The new Kurono 34mm ‘Calligra’ Special Project is a slick US$1,170 Breguet-numeraled three-hander The new Kurono 34mm ‘Calligra’ Special Project is a slick US$1,170 Breguet-numeraled three-hander

The new Kurono 34mm ‘Calligra’ Special Project is a slick US$1,170 Breguet-numeraled three-hander

Zach Blass
  • Hajime Asaoka’s Kurono Tokyo returns with 3 new 34mm models that exchange Arabic numerals in favour of his own bespoke Breguet numerals.
  • Three dial configs: Dark MOP, Stark Black, Silver White.
  • Limited production series, priced at US$1,170 across all three configs.

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I am well on the record in terms of being a fan of Kurono Tokyo watches. Launched by Japanese master watchmaker Hajime Asaoka, the brand offers watches of his design for a much lower price-point than the pieces created under the brand of his own name. While vastly lower in price, Kurono has built a reputation and cult following among watch enthusiasts due to the brand’s high attention to detail, quality of dials, and quality of external finish, at proportionally low prices. Last year a range of 34mm watches was introduced by Kurono, but if I am being honest I did not love the typeface on the dial. It felt, dare I say, a bit childish in aesthetic. The new Kurono 34mm ‘Calligra’ Special Project range introduced this week, however, rectifies my personal ‘ick’ with a new Breguet-style typeface that matures their 34mm line.


There are three dial configurations to choose between, a standard ‘Stark Black’ and ‘Silver White’ for collectors who are, for lack of a better phrase, less experimental. The one that intrigues me the most, as there is no added cost, is the ‘Dark MOP’ configuration with a mother-of-pearl central medallion that creates an ocean-like feel to the centre of the dial. While a seemingly small twist, again, the Asaoka’s hand-drawn Breguet numerals really elevate the offering in my opinion, and are indicative yet again of his immense attention to small details.

Hajime Asaoka explains: “For this new 34mm series, I have adopted Breguet hour markers. generally, it is very difficult to place and balance Arabic numerals in a circular pattern as indices, because they were originally meant to be placed in a straight horizontal line. but Breguet indices seem to have been designed from the beginning to be placed in a circular pattern on the dial of a watch.

“During my art school years, I was trained in lettering. thus for the first time in a long while, I personally designed a typeface with hand-drawn lettering for the Breguet indices from 1′ to 12′. The fact that the original drawing is hand-drawn is extremely important in the design of Breguet indices. this is because the original Breguet markers were all hand-drawn and the design is based on the strokes of a human hand. I started with the calligraphy of small numbers using a pen, in the same manner as it was done 200 years ago. Afterward, I selected the ones with the most beautiful balance, enlarged them, and used them as the original templates for the dial indices.”

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Some may question the value-offer of a Miyota-driven 34mm automatic watch priced at US$1,170 when stacked against brands like Baltic, but, ultimately, my experience holding Kurono watches ‘in the metal’, which I get can be rare considering the scale of production, is that this sort of perspective evaporates once you take in the quality of the full-polished finish to the case and the quality of the dial execution. At its 34mm size, this is definitely a watch partners within a couple can share and fight over for daily wear.

Kurono 34mm ‘Calligra’ Special Project pricing and availability


The Kurono 34mm ‘Calligra’ Special Project is a limited production series and will not be repeated. Expected deliveries by Mid-March 2024. Price: US$1,170 (excl. VAT)

Orders open: (GMT) London: Friday, 23 Feb, 2:00pm, (EST) New York: Friday, 23 Feb, 9:00am, (GST) Dubai: Friday, 23 Feb, 6:00pm, (AEDT) Sydney: Saturday, 24 Feb, 1:00am, (PST) California: Friday, 23 Feb, 6:00am.

Brand Kurono
Model 34mm ‘Calligra’ Special Project
Case Dimensions 34mm (D) x 9,.6mm (T) x 41mm (LTL)
Case Material Stainless steel
Water Resistance 50m
Crystal Domed sapphire crystal
Dials Dark MOP, Stark Black, or Silver White
Strap Calf leather strap w/ steel pin/buckle
Movement Miyota 90S5 Automatic
Power Reserve 40 hours
Functions Hours, minutes, seconds
Availability Expected deliveries from Mid-March 2024
Price US$1,170 (excl. VAT)