Kurono Tokyo 3rd Anniversary Release – Grand Mori 森

The most awaited Kurono Tokyo release of 2022 has finally arrived. The Grand Mori took the 2020 Mori and added the “Grand” flare. That means it got the Urushi treatment, the unique caseback and then some extras. It sounds very little, but it did improve what I consider a perfect formula into something more desirable for the collectors.

It wouldn’t be a Kurono Tokyo release without the story behind the colour

The 2022 Anniversary Grand Mori’ 森’ is a work by sensei to reflect the concept “nature is the teacher” – the philosophy that Hajime Asaoka pays special attention to and tries to implement in his designs. Inspired by the canopies of the forest, this pattern on the dial mimics the unveiling of the sun rays seeping through the layers of the trees. The metallic green shade of the dial not only embodies the foliage but also enhances the intricate details of the pattern under different angles and lighting, making it alluring each time one looks at it. The complexity allows for various interpretations and brings out harmony simultaneously, just like the concept of the canopies in nature.

For those who don’t know what makes the Grand lineup better (and more expensive!) is that it features the traditional kyoto-style handmade Japanese Urushi lacquer dials. These dials are handcrafted piece by piece by female craftswomen in Kyoto who are trained in the Kyoto-style lacquering technique. Other than the rare talent required, there are a lot of processes involved in creating a dial.

Urushi is becoming more valuable and rare over time. However, what makes it rare is that only 200 grams can be extracted from each tree. Lacquer trees need to be 10-20 years old before the sap can be harvested. After the sap has been collected, the trees die, and a new one is planted.

Compared to the other Grand watches, this is the first time the dial is gold-gilded before the Urushi is applied. This additional layer allows for warmer and richer tones when paired with the translucent green Urushi. On top of the new change, Urushi will turn brighter over time due to moister lost from the natural and UV light. These changes will, in turn, create a unique piece for everybody.

Lastly, Kurono continues with the “grand” separation by having the Kanji-embellished caseback. The exclusive caseback is Hajime-sensei’s signature in bold kanji calligraphy alongside the impression of his one-of-a-kind Hanko stamp.

As a Kurono Tokyo fan, I was pretty disappointed that we’re back with the exact case design and just an updated colour. Most people were expecting either a new case or a dial design. I can’t blame Hajime for re-using the same case and movement as it’s been working for him, but I was just feeling a bit down like the others. However, there are small improvements in the design and most would appreciate also it’s a time-limited window.


Movement Japan-made Premium Automatic movement 90S5 by Miyota
Case diameter 38mm
Thickness 7mm (excl sapphire glass)
Lug width 20mm at lugs, 16mm at buckle
Case 316L high-polished stainless steel case
Dial finish Hand-applied Urushi lacquer dial
Power reserve 40 hours
Water resistance 3 ATM
Strap Black calf leather band with green embellished sides

The 2022 Anniversary Grand Mori ‘森’ will be available for purchase on Friday 27th May at 11PM Japan Standard Time.

Like the past anniversary watches, all orders completed within a 12-minute window will be honoured and fulfilled. The majority of orders should be fulfilled by July 2022, as the Grand Mori’ 森’ production began in September 2021.

(JST) Japan: Friday, May 27 – 11.00pm
(GMT) London: Friday, May 27 – 15:00
(EST) New York: Friday, May 27 – 10:00am
(GST) Dubai: Friday, May 27 – 18:00
(AEDT) Sydney: Saturday, May 28, 12:00am

The watch is priced at JPY358,000 (US$2,770) excluding tax and shipping, and shipment will start on mid-June 2022. 50% non-refundable preorder deposit applies.

You can learn more about the watch here.