The Kurono Chronograph 2 was just delivered to our door, and here is our (almost) live report and unboxing.
The watch is being prepared for photography in our studio this week, but in the meantime, here is the almost live unboxing of the Kurono Chronograph 2. All photographs were taken with an iPhone 8 Plus, and not optimized for image quality.
Kurono Chronograph 2
This is a follow on watch to the highly successful, now sold out Chronograph 1 which was released in a monochromatic colourway of either a black dial or silver dial (limited edition of 68 pieces in each dial variant). The Chronograph 2, also now fully sold out, was released in February this year, with contrasting layers of gloss black and dark brown as its base, accentuated with a copper tachymeter and silver chronograph scale at its center and circumference respectively. A dial colourway inspired by the Reiwa Project Tsunami watch that Hajime Asaoka. The Tsunami had a retail price of ¥2.5million (USD 22,500 or about SGD 33,000) at launch, and was a time only watch handmade by Hajime himself.
While the first Kurono Classic had a retail of SGD 2,998 (approx JPY 240,000 / USD 2,200), the Chronograph 1 had a retail of USD 3,680 (SGD 5,190 excluding GST). The Chronograph 2 retails for JPY 418,000 / USD 3,993 (approx SGD 5,700 including GST). The series is limited to 500 pieces worldwide (Including Japanese Domestic Market) of which 20% of stock will be reserved for JDM and Kurono Contributors. This sample No K231, was ordered under the allocation for Contributors.
The Kurono project was conceived as a way to democratize his work, and allow more collectors to own the magnificent watches. Not only with a more accessible price, but also with an increase in production. This is done by outsourcing manufacture and movement to third parties. Hajime remains in control of the design as well as final quality control. In any case, demand still outstriped supply, and all 500 pieces of the Chronograph 2 were snapped up very quickly. And currently, all watches in the Kurono catalog are sold out.
The watch is delivered in a large outer package which is a DHL box stuffed with packing air bubbles. Within, we find the watch box wrapped in a Furoshiki, a typical Japanese gift wrapping cloth.
Opening the Furoshiki, we find the vacuum sealed and disinfected box.
Cutting open the seal, the box is revealed, and it is a paper box – typical Japanese art style paper which is quite rigid. Opening this box reveals the watch.
In the Chronograph 2, Hajime chose the mechanical chronograph caliber Seiko NE86A from one of Japan’s most esteemed movement manufacturers – positioned by them as its newest flagship chronograph movement and successor to the 6S. The movement boasts of many technical features, which we will cover in detail on the review.
The steel case measures a comfortable 38mm diameter. The thickness is a rather thick 13.9mm including the sapphire glass.
The watch feels dense on the hand.
The watch will be photographed in our studio and a full report will follow soon.