Founded in 2018 as a way for legendary Japanese watchmaker Hajime Asaoka to create serial production pieces, Kurono Tokyo stands as one of the most exciting microbrands in the market today. With his reputation as an exceptional watchmaker, Hajime Asaoka was famed for designing one off timepieces in close collaboration with his clients. With demand growing, he decided to launch his own brand and create timepieces that would cater to those that wanted affordable watches that shared design language with his other once-off pieces.
In 2021, Kurono announced a 500 piece series of their classic line, this time with a Tiffany blue dial and with this came a curious story. It was initially said that only females were allowed to buy this piece as they were trying to promote inclusivity, but in essence, all it caused was a lot of confusion. This resulted in the brand backtracking and rephrasing that they will ‘prioritise’ women in the ordering process.
While this was perhaps seen as a PR blunder, it should not take away from the watch itself. With a beautiful pastel blue dial that is all the rage these days, the Kurono Seiji is decorated with the immediately distinctive Kurono logo, applied indices at 3, 6, 9 and 12, and concentric engravings. The Seiji’s dial is left uncluttered, to be enjoyed by the wearer uninterrupted.
The Seiji avoids complexities and takes refuge in its beautiful dial. Furthermore, it features a 37mm high-polished case and domed sapphire crystal, mimicking vintage design and adding another layer of dimension to the dial.
Kurono has become one of the hardest micro brand watches to buy at retail, and it is easy to see why.