When a relatively unknown company makes a big splash in the watchmaking industry all eyes turn to them with anticipation for their next major release. That’s the kind of scrutiny faced by Japanese brand Kurono after their Chronograph 1 was nominated for the 2020 GPHG awards. With the launch of the Chronograph 2, they’ve risen to expectations and created a super stylish Art Deco inspired watch packed full of information and mechanical goodies.
Chronographs are the most elite measurement tools around and Kurono has really taken that to heart by including almost every possible counter or scale you could want, all packed into the dial without looking cluttered. The layout is the same as the original model and it still looks amazing, the interconnected dials and various measuring scales draw the eye and the longer you look at it the more details you see.
In order to break down everything that this watch is capable of doing, let’s start in the centre of the dial and work our way out. In the very middle are the hours, minutes and seconds hands, artfully wrought in an Art Deco style and bent towards the ends for greater precision. Further out you have the two subdials, finished with a concentric guilloche pattern. The 9 o’clock position dial is a 30-minute timer with a unique Kyudo arrow design, while at 3 o’clock is a simpler running seconds indicator.
Intercepting the two subdials is a combined tachymeter and pulsation scale, used for measuring speed and your heart rate. It’s intriguing to see those features combined and placed near the middle of the face when they’re usually exiled to the extreme edge. Just outside that scale you can see a series of small, circular metal indices that denote the hours – at 12 o’clock there is a larger rectangular index.
Beyond the hour markers is the minute scale on a lighter coloured ring, it has hash markings accompanied by Arabic numerals every five minutes. Overlapping the minute scale at the 6 o’clock position is a date window and finally at the very periphery is a telemeter, which is used for measuring distance between yourself and an object you can see or hear.
Despite having so many different scales, dials and whatnot, the Chronograph 2 manages to keep a sense of cohesion thanks to its strong colour palette – black, brown, and copper. The use of this scheme, which watchmaker Hajime Asaoka took from one of his earlier watch collections called Reiwa, is the primary difference between the two Kurono Chronographs.
Inside the polished stainless steel case is the Seiko NE86A calibre chronograph movement. Kurono decided to use this movement for its great accuracy and durability, factors that are improved by its intricate three-point hammer system, which controls all three wheels simultaneously. It also has a very reasonable 45-hour power reserve before it will need winding.
The Chronograph 2 is a fusion of Japanese and Art Deco styles that works excellently. The sheer number of scales and technical aspects to this watch might not be to everyone’s taste, but hey if that’s not for you why are you looking at a chronograph? If you are interested, you’ll have to move fast because the Chronograph 2 is limited to 500 pieces worldwide with a portion of those reserved for the Japanese market and Kurono backers. If you do manage to get a look in, you’ll find it surprisingly affordable at less than £3000.
Price & Specs:
Model: Kurono Chronograph 2
Case/Dial: 38mm diameter, high-polished stainless steel
Water Resistance: 30m (3 bar)
Movement: Calibre NE86A, automatic, 34 jewels
Frequency: 28,800 vph (4 Hz)
Power Reserve: 42h
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, date, 30-minute timer at 9 o’clock, running seconds indicator at 3 o’clock
Strap: Black calf leather with stainless steel buckle
Price/Availability: $3,993 USD (excl. taxes), limited to 500 pieces
More details at Kurono.