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Hajime Asaoka

Hajime Asaoka is a Japanese watchmaker and member of the AHCI since 2015. Along with Masahiro Kikuno, Asaoka is one of two Japanese watchmakers in the AHCI.

Overview

Asaoka is known for extremely low production and hand crafting based on salvaged movement components. He sources difficult components from historic Unitas movements and other components such as cases from automotive suppliers as well as from sympathetic Swiss contacts including Philippe Dufour and Antoine Preziuso.

Asaoka's watches include the Tsunami, a time-only watch priced at $25,000, the Project T tourbillon which costs $80,000, and a chronograph priced at $120,000. Each is constructed by hand and takes months to construct, with Asaoka completing just 19 watches as of 2018.

Asaoka created the Odessa Tourbillon for Japanese jeweler and watchmaker Tasaki.

Chrono/Kurono Tokyo

Asaoka launched the Chrono Tokyo brand in 2018 as a more affordable alternative to his hand-made watches. These were only available in the domestic TiC TAC store, and were limited to 50 examples per series. A total of 450 Chrono Tokyo watches were produced, including both time-only and chronograph models, before the brand was retired in 2021.

Because of strong international demand, Asaoka added the Kurono Tokyo brand in 2019. Initially, these were re-editions of exciting Chrono Tokyo models, but unique models with special dials followed in 2020. Due to strong demand, production was expanded, with 288 examples of the Anniversary Green “Mori” model, 68 each of the Chronograph 1, 200 of the Grand Akane, and 500 of the Chronograph 2.

In 2020, two of Asaoka's Kurono watches were finalists for the GPHG awards, the Kurono Tokyo Chronograph 1 (limited to 68 pieces per dial variant) and Anniversary Green “Mori” (limited to 288 pieces). Although these did not win, this gained additional attention to the brand.

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hajime_asaoka.txt · Last modified: 11.10.2021 17:36 (external edit)

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