While Switzerland is the traditional home of watchmaking, Japan also produces some of the most exciting and intriguing watches in the world. And one of the most prominent names in Japanese watchmaking is Hajime Asaoka and his accessible watchmaking project Kurono. Kurono is so popular that their watches sell out instantly, leading to a period of hype and interest surrounding each launch. Their next launch just so happens to be tomorrow, November 21st, with two pre-order windows at 2am GMT and again at 2pm GMT. The watch in question is the new Kurono Tokyo Chronograph 3 Hisui.
As you can gather from the fact that this is the Chronograph 3, there have been a handful of Kurono Chronographs previously such as the Chronograph 2 Shiro. The Chronograph 3 features a much more refined display with a reduced number of scales to improve its legibility. Specifically, they’ve removed the peripheral telemeter and moved the pulsometer from the centre of the dial to the peripheral position.
This change makes the Kurono Tokyo Chronograph 3 Hisui much more elegant. The absence of a central scale makes the delineations between the sections of the display far cleaner with clear separations between the central white disc, turquoise subdials, jade style ring and white pulsometer. I say “jade style” ring because it’s not actually made from the precious stone, it’s a multi-layer painting that uses a pointillist technique combines with micro-metallic particles to create the impression of the stone.
It’s this jadeite aspect that gives the watch its name Hisui, which quite simply means jade in Japanese. It’s inspired by a certain type of jade found on the coast of Itoigawa in Japan, also known as the Jade Coast. Due to the ban on jade mining in Japan, Itoigawa Jade can only be found as loose stones washed down to the coast by mountain rivers.
This cool new dial is housed in a 38mm stainless steel case with a fairly slim 11.7mm thickness, highlighting the increasing popularity in smaller watches across a wealth of subtypes including chronographs. The case also houses the NE86 automatic column wheel chronograph movement from Seiko, one of their premium chrono calibres they distribute to other brands through Time Module Inc (TMI). It features a solid 45-hour power reserve.
I really like the Kurono Tokyo Chronograph 3 Hisui, it improves on the elegance and legibility of the previous chronographs Kurono have released while retaining the same identity. Plus the colourway is one of the most attractive they’ve ever created. It’s priced at $3,490 (approx. £2,775) and is available exclusively through the pre-order periods tomorrow in limited quantities. To re-iterate, that’s 2am GMT and again at 2pm GMT.
Price and Specs:
More details at Kurono Tokyo.