Attempting to get an an allocation for a limited release Kurono piece is a bit like attempting to qualify for the Tour de France: one could spend their entire life preparing and still wind up empty-handed and sobbing. Thankfully, the secondhand market has a way of making these rare Pokémon a bit more capture-able, if for a premium. The Grand Akane was released last year as their first ‘artisan’ level piece. You likely couldn’t have gotten one if you tried. Many did and many failed. Today, the opportunity has resurfaced.
The bulk of the Japanese watchmaker’s effort was placed in the Grand Akane dial, a beautiful contrast of orange, red and dark burgundy. The design is a forged blade pattern created through heat, laquer, and patience. I defer to Kurono themselves for describing the labourious process. The dial was then paired with a modified Miyota 90S5, keeping the production within Japan’s coast. The package was placed in a svelt 37mm case with a distinct crown and elongated lugs. The model was limited to just 200 pieces.
Kurono has taken some heat for both their release method and customer service. I will say that for what it’s worth, sustaining a huge demand with highly limited releases and a very small workforce is no easy task. Everyone should form their own opinions, but I think the watch world is a better and more diverse sphere for Hajime Asaoka’s Kurono efforts. I remain in awe of their dial work, amongst other things.
The example shown today is beautiful. It is in a lovely condition with no visible marks across the highly polished case. It comes with a full set from a well-regarded retailer.
Find this Grand Akane here from Subdial for 5095 GBP.