Although avoiding the media buzz, Hajime Asaoka is one of the youngest and most talented watchmakers in Japan. His career path is undoubtedly out of the loop, he is graduated in product design from the Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music, and for several years he designed many product types, including watches.
Perhaps watch design triggered its watchmaking learning decision; he self-taught in watchmaking by disassembling some alarm clocks, reading some watchmaking books but always without any master watchmaker guidance. In 2002, he assembled his workshop with tools and machines from DIY stores, sometimes bought off of eBay, nine years later he created Japan’s only true craftsmanship high-end tourbillon – the Tourbillon #1
Tourbillon #1 by Hajime Asaoka was created from scratch, not based on any existing tourbillon caliber. It is the evolution of his first experimental tourbillon, which took him seven months to conceive, back in 2007. Its design is clean and practical, with elegant design components reminiscent of the Art Deco era.
The watch case is stainless steel made and measures 42 mm of diameter. The dial has an open heart configuration enabling to expose the tourbillon cage movement at 9 o’clock. The cage bridge is vertical oriented, inline with the dials stripes patterns, creating a very harmonious effect.
This hand-crafted mechanical watch isn’t cheap it retails for 6,825,000 Yen, which is about $87,500 (72,000 euros). Nonetheless, it should be looked has a statement of individual endeavor and perseverance, the authentic values of a real master watchmaker.
- Caliber: T1001
- Driving system: Manually wound
- Power reserve: 40 hour
- Jewels: 17 jewels
- Frequency: 18.000 beats / hour ( 2,5 Hz )
- Diameter: 42 mm, Thickness: 14,8 mm
- Case: Stainless steel see-through case back
- Band: Leather
More detailed information about this watch specifications might be found under Hajime Asaoka website;