This rare bird was mentioned historically as early as 720 in the Nihon Shoki, Japan’s second-oldest book of classical history, and yet it was considered extinct until recently: the crested ibis. Even though the bird species has been saved from extinction for the time being through successful breeding efforts, the Japanese ibis is still considered in need of strong protection.
Today, the white bird adorned with pink feathers is rightly one of Japan’s national treasures and stands as a symbol of happiness and bliss, which prompted Japanese watchmaker Hajime Asaoka to dedicate it a very special, time-limited piece.
Kurono Tokyo is considered the entry-level brand of Japanese watchmaker Hajime Asaoka. Asaoka is a member of the Académie Horlogère des Créateurs Indépendants (AHCI), a guild of leading independent watchmakers worldwide, and considered one of the most talented watchmakers of our time.
Born in 1965, Asaoka graduated in design from Tokyo’s prestigious University of the Arts in 1990 before launching his own design studio in 1992.
In 2005, Asaoka officially began producing high-quality wristwatches by hand and introduced his first very own tourbillon watch just four years later.
You can find more interesting facts about him in our Top 10 Japanese Watch Brands article.
To celebrate Kurono’s two-year anniversary, Hajime-San set himself the goal of creating a new watch with a dial color that best captured Japanese culture. For this purpose, the Japanese ibis (also called “toki”) was the source of inspiration.
When it flies across the sky, its feathers shine in the light of the sun in a beautiful shade of dark pink, also known as Toki-iro(朱鷺色). Capturing this hue on the dial, however, turned out to be more difficult than anticipated and cost Asaoka nearly a year of development – from idea to sampling to production and finally to completion.
He also attached great importance to the fact that the color would be decisively different from the (in his eyes) so ubiquitous “salmon-colored” dials.
With the Miyota 90S5, Asaoka also relies on domestic components on the inside. This automatic caliber can definitely be called a Japanese counterpart to the ETA 2824-2, as pretty much boasts the same specs: three hands, 28,800 vibrations per hour (4 Hz), 40-hour power reserve, hacking seconds and a daily deviation of about -10 to +30 seconds per day.
The highly polished 37 mm stainless steel case and black calfskin strap come from the Land of the Rising Sun as well, making the new Kurono Anniversary 朱鷺 TOKI a Japanese watch through and through.
Asaoka’s latest creation is priced at 189,900 Japanese yen, round about €1,430, and will be available for exactly 10 minutes on May 21.
Let us give you a little word of advice here: If you want to secure one of the coveted models, you’d be well advised to set an alarm, as Kurono Tokyo watches have a history of selling like hot cakes. (In Germany, the time window for pre-orders is open from exactly 16:00 to 16:10.)
More information at www.kuronotokyo.com.