We probably should have seen this one coming: the new watch from Kurono Tokyo, the affordable offshoot of Hajime Asaoka’s eponymous and very high end independent brand, is a GMT equipped with the new Miyota 9075 movement. This is a new complication for Kurono, and it makes sense that the brand waited to launch a GMT until an affordable, Japanese made, caliber with local jumping hours became available. The new watch, dubbed simply the Kurono GMT 1, feels very much of a piece with other recent Kurono releases, simply extending Asaoka’s Art Deco infused design codes with some new functionality.
The conceit of this watch, according to Asaoka, is that a GMT is a complication highly desired by those traveling the world for business purposes, but watches that are equipped with this feature often find themselves in the sport category. While I think any serious watch lover can probably poke a few holes in that theory, it led Asaoka to create an apologetically not a traditional sports watch. Like all Kurono watches, this is an aesthetic object first and foremost, with design flourishes that exist simply to look good, rather than serve any specific functional purpose. The watch was also designed with conservative “business” fashion in mind, which from Asaoka’s perspective hasn’t changed a whole lot through the years, which lends the GMT 1 a traditional look that, while not vintage inspired, wouldn’t look out of place in the 1950s or 60s.
The dial features multiple sectors, with a red inner 24 hour scale, and a gray 12 hour scale along the dial’s perimeter. We get the now familiar Kurono leaf handset, which I think is objectively attractive, but in my own experience a little difficult to discern hours from minutes given the similar length of the two main hands. Of course, we also now have a fourth hand, a small red arrow, that is meant to display home time when traveling. My personal favorite element of the new watch is the one that feels the most directly inspired by the Art Deco tradition, which is the 24 hour stainless steel bezel (allowing the tracking of a third time zone) featuring prominent, decorative grooves in its upper half. The concentric lines here are also a direct callback to previous Kurono designs, and everything has been lacquer filled.
The case is 38mm in diameter and high polished all around, and measures 11.7mm tall (including the domed sapphire crystal). The case has lines that curve elegantly at the lug tips, and measures 46.3mm from end to end. As mentioned at the top, the Miyota 9075 powers the GMT 1, which allows the wearer to jump the local hour hand as they pass through time zones. The date changes in a corresponding fashion, both backwards and forwards, as the hour hand passes midnight.
The retail price for the Kurono GMT 1 (which is described as “limited production” by the brand) is set at $2,250, and it goes on sale worldwide on Friday September 8. More information can be found on Kurono’s website here.