Kurono Tokyo’s latest drop, the Kurono Calendrier Type 1 was recently released on Aug 11 and was quickly sold out as with the earlier releases. We explore why this is so in our commentary.
Press Release details with commentary in italics.
Kurono Calendrier Type 1
PRICE & AVAILABILITY The Kurono Calendrier ‘Type I’ is priced at JPY 243,000 (~US$1,787). It will be available for purchase on Thursday, 11 August 2022. Deliveries start from mid-September 2022 through end October 2022. The Kurono website says that the watch is already sold out.
The new release marks Kurono’s success once again in textbook execution of a product launch. It begins with a great design, good pricing and finishes with great marketing. Riding on Hajime’s popularity, the brand story benefits from the watchmaker’s credibility. The design is classic and accessible, with finishing that is a bar above most in its segment. It also benefits from finding a niche in the USD1-4k segment, in a non-mass production vertical. Its limited production possibly limited by assembly and manufacturing capacity works ironically in its favor, to create scarcity.
In terms of distribution, the brand capitalizes on the tribal elements of brand loyalty, creating a sense of belonging within collector groups. Early supporters and champions of the brand are properly recognized and classified as Contributors with preferential treatment when it comes to allocation of new products. This in turn incentivizes repeat purchase and a perception that those who are “in-the-know” are collecting Kurono timepieces. The network effect of these ‘respected’ collectors drive further interest and willingness to pay among the ‘have-nots’ those who are outside the Contributor tier. This desire to belong, and to be recognized drives FOMO exacerbated by the brand’s distribution strategy.
Limited time-based releases through a direct to market online channel creates a sense of urgency and behavioral nudging to buy the watches. The strong demand and desire to win a ballot diminishes price elasticity and triggers impulse purchases. As compared to a more traditional calculated purchase when buyers view products in a physical store and makes his decision with comparatively more hands on information and less time pressure, this type of drops arguably increases the risk of buyer’s remorse, which leads to a higher number of watches being resold in short periods of time.
Notwithstanding of course, the macro trend of opportunistic flippers of anything that makes a quick buck. A quick check on the prices at Chrono24, reveal a neat profit to be made for these flippers.
Its design intent is for it to be worn regularly and to develop character over time – a design that allows for and embraces scratches. “Blemishes accumulated are unique to the wearer and is a written record of his journey and adventures through life. Owners should spend their time in meaningful pursuits rather than worry about scratches. Hence the design embraces such blemishes, adds character, and looks better over time,” said Hajime Asaoka.
The Kurono Calendrier ‘Type I’ is a complete calendar watch with a classic coin-edged bezel that ushers in a new design language by master watchmaker Hajime Asaoka – designed for the gentleman adventurer but still firmly rooted in his penchant for the vintage romanticism of the art-deco era.
The design of the Calendrier ‘Type I’ has been calculated to enhance the three-dimensionality of the iconic Kurono hands and the symmetry of the dial. It aims to evoke a sense of refined adventure – with its new high-polish coin edge bezel and khaki dial interplaying with an audacious blacklettered vintage typeface to evoke a bold regimental atmosphere for the wrist. Guilloche sub-dials with high-polish hands hint at the mechanical complexity of its triple calendar complication, with the mood accentuated by railway-track minute markers at the periphery.
The Kurono Calendrier ‘Type I’s dial enhances the “beauty of symmetry” that is a component of the Art Deco style. The cylinder dial is designed to curve from the center to the outer edge of the dial, and two dial layers are pressed together to create a three-dimensional effect. The numerals themselves are also purposefully printed in a raised format.
The combination of high-polish leaf hands for the hour and minute hands with modern hands is a typical Kurono design. The hour and minute hands are curved at both ends, and are paired with a counterweighted second hand that is very thin. The tips of the second and minute hands are bent by hand.
The case is made of forged 316L stainless steel. It is newly designed to fit the coin-edged bezel, but keeps the iconic Kurono case DNA. The case sides are mirror-finished. The mirror finish is free from distortion, so much so that exterior reflections are beautifully portrayed. Also, when viewed from the side, the mirror finish and the coin-edge bezel can be seen to stand out in their respective finishes. Water resistance has been increased to 5 ATM. The case-back is finished with a circular lettering design, as seen on vintage watches.
The scratch-resistant box sapphire crystal is raised like the acrylic glass of a vintage watch. Designed for the Calendrier ‘Type I’, its shape is 0.15 mm higher than that of an ordinary sapphire box crystal.
Movement made in Japan
Miyota 9122 – a Japan-made movement – is used. It is a rare movement with “center seconds and full calendar,” which is uncommon in current Swiss-made mass-produced ebauches. Leveraging a Japanese movement allows for the Kurono Calendrier ‘Type I’ to be fully Japan made. The movement has a 40 hour power reserve, beats at 4 Hz and has an accuracy rating of -10～＋30 sec per day.