Kurono Tokyo Grand Akane Red
The final release of 2020 was an all-new watch, different from any previous model. The Grand:Akane features a unique urushi lacquer dial in bright red. The pattern, known as Hamon (刃文), is finished with a traditional chemical treatment known as Niiro (煮色). Finally, a layer of transparent lacquer (suki-urushi) is used to fix the pattern. The indices are metal and resemble the “Bullseye” Chrono Tokyo model, but the overall look is completely new.
The name refers to the deep red color of the dial (“Akane” in Japanese) and the character printed above 6:00 is the associated Kanji character (茜). The Grand:Akane was announced on November 16, 2020 and released for sale at 11:30 PM Japan Standard Time on November 25. The first truly international Kurono Tokyo model, the Grand:Akane was priced at JPY 350,000 or $3,320. The entire stock was sold in 1.5 minutes globally, with 70% of stock released to the public and the remaining 30% reserved for “contributors” and “collectors” who expressed their interest via email by November 18. In the end, only 8 of 12 offered to “Contributors” were claimed, so four were returned to the public pool. 144 were sold to the public, 48 to Collectors, and 8 to Contributors. Five “scalpers” were detected and their orders later cancelled.
The urushi dials proved challenging to manufacture. Kurono Tokyo revealed that over 50% of the initial batch were rejected by Asaoka, stretching delivery times. But subsequent batches improved, with 80% acceptance rate. The first shipments began at the end of February, 2021.
In 2021, the company revealed the Kurono Tokyo Grand series of watches. These “signature” models would feature Hajime Asaoka’s signature on the case back. Judging from the Grand:Akane, it is likely that they would be higher-cost models with special dials.
Kurono Tokyo Grand Akane Red Automatic Limited Edition Watch
Model: Grand Akane
Bracelet: Black Calf Leather Band with Red Sides
Case Size: 37mm
Lug Width: 20mm
Case Metal: Stainless Steel
Box and Papers: Both
Bracelet size: 8”
Caliber: Premium Miyota 90S5