Kurono Tokyo is releasing tomorrow a “Grande” watch with an Urushi lacquer dial and a special Japanese “Koji” script on the dial and the back of the case.
the Grand Hagané follows the Grand Akane and features a traditional hand-painted multi-layered Urushi dial. According to Kurono Tokyo, each watch is “handcrafted piece by piece by women artisans in Kyoto who inherited the Japanese Kyoto-style lacquer technique.” Kyoto lacquer is based on a technique introduced from the Tang Dynasty during the Nara period (710-794) and has been passed down from generation to generation for over a thousand years based on Kyoto’s unique aesthetic sense.
Japanese swords are made from very high purity steel called “Tamahagane” and this type of steel is said to be “unbreakable, unyielding and very sharp”. Using this steel as the base of the dial, Japanese women who have inherited the ancient tradition of lacquering swords manufacture the dials by hand. The quality of Urushi dials depends on the polishing process, which Kurono Tokyo explains below:
“To polish it, they first find a small piece of charcoal without impurities. Then the dial is polished using only human fingertips. The work is so delicate that the slightest knock on the fingertip can cause streaks on the dial, which would have to be redone. This is one of the reasons why there is such a high rejection rate during the QC process.
Urushi lacquer is made from the filtered sap of the Japanese rhus vernicifera tree. The lacquer absorbs moisture from the air as it hardens, making the lacquered surface perpetually shiny and smooth. Over time, Urushi will become harder and more scratch resistant as the hardening process continues even after the initial manufacturing. The black lacquer used in this project is called “Roiro”, which is a chemical reaction in which iron oxide is added to the raw Urushi and the iron blackens the lacquer. In Japan, this traditional coloring method has long been used to produce a clear, transparent lacquer.
This time the process of applying several thin coats of Roiro Urushi lacquer and polishing it is used so that the design of “Tamahagane”, the base material, is slightly transparent. The metallic sheen of the base metal is covered with a veil of lacquer that shines as if it were wet, allowing us to enjoy the different expressions of the tama-koh patterns depending on the light. Sunlight, especially UV light, will brighten over time and make it more translucent and warmer or cooler.
The Grand Hagane watch comes in a 316L stainless steel case measuring 37mm in diameter, with a sapphire crystal, screw-down caseback and a nominal depth of 30 meters. A Japanese-made 90S5 MIYOTA Premium 4 Hz automatic movement, with a 40-hour power reserve, drives the three hands of this dress watch on time only.
Each of the Kurono Tokyo Grand Hagane watches is paired with a black calfskin strap (20mm / 16mm) and will be retailed for $ 3,171 (JPY 358,500) as of December 9, 2021.
Interestingly, the customer’s name and serial number will now be printed on the outside of the watch packaging for the Grand Hagane. This limited edition will be produced in the hundreds, not the thousands, although Kurono is not disclosing the exact production number.
Kurono states that if the watch is discovered in the resale market within the first six months, the warranty will be voided, although this will likely not reduce the fins that resell them at high prices, especially since There’s a subcontracted Miyota movement inside, which can be easily repaired or replaced, guaranteed or not.
Photos from Kurono Tokyo.