You may not know the name off the top of your head, but Japanese independent watchmaker Hajime Asaoka is a quiet sensation. The watches produced under his own name are hand-built, incorporate complicated features like tourbillons — and are very high-end. So, to serve a more budget-minded audience, he created the brand Kurono, which is now celebrating its second anniversary with a limited-edition watch — a watch which will only be for sale on May 21, 2021, for only 10 minutes.
It's not uncommon for hyped and in-demand watches to sell out in a matter of minutes online, but this is an unusual tactic. Most limited editions are restricted by the number of watches available and some are only produced for a limited time, but it seems that the Kurono approach is to make as many pieces as the company receives orders for within the 10-minute window.
Also interestingly, the brand says it won't number the watches nor disclose how many are in the batch, and that part of the reason for its unusual release method is to discourage speculative buying. (Last year's anniversary watch was limited to only 50 examples.)
If you're already intrigued and excited, this is a great example of the scarcity principle and how it drives demand — because I've hardly told you anything about the watch itself yet. It's a reprise of the brand's basic three-hand design, powered by a Miyota 90S5 automatic movement and now featuring a "typical 'salmon'-shade dial, which is popular amongst watchmakers in the West."
Just like past Kurono watches of this design, it has the watchmaker's signature Art Deco style and measures 37mm wide. The name of the watch is Toki, which is the name of the crested ibis bird, but it's surely no coincidence that it's also a homophone for the Japanese word for "time."
If you want one if the Kurono Anniversary Toki watches, here's what you have to do: The sale begins at 10am Eastern Daylight time, May 21, 2021, on the brand's website; you should make sure to register an account on the site ahead of time. Then, you'll need to get your payment of $1,738 in before 10:10am and wait for delivery in mid June 2021. Simple enough...but you'll want to be ready.