Hajime Asaoka Announces The Revival Of Takano Watches

https://youtu.be/Kno6fVFfcmU?si=QpnjBhXgJIkHBaOf

On June 1st, Hajime Asaoka announced that his company Precision Watch Tokyo has signed a license agreement with RICOH Corporation which currently holds the Takano trademark to revive the Takano brand.

Takano was a watch brand established in 1957 that began to build a following for its cutting edge technology. Unfortunately in 1962 the factory was destroyed in a typhoon and the company ceased to exist.

With the addition of Takano watches, this brings 3 brands that Hajime Asaoka's Precision Watch Tokyo manufactures: Kurono Tokyo, Otsuka Lotec, and now Takano. Hajime Sensei announced that they are already starting the project to revive Takano.

This sounds awesome, I don't know anything about Tokano, but if Hajime San is involved I am sure it will be another amazing watch for us to be astonished by.

From a business perspective, I鈥檓 really curious about the decision making here. It seems strange to me to pay a license fee for a brand that鈥檚 been dead for over 50 years, and as far as I can tell, wasn鈥檛 all that popular in the 5 years it made wristwatches. How many people are even aware of the brand today? Is there some latent brand equity that I鈥檓 just not aware of? Maybe Precision Watch Co. is just paying a nominal fee? As an IP guy who does licensing deals (amongst many other kinds of deals) for a living, I鈥檓 really curious.

From a watch perspective, I鈥檓 really interested to see what Asaoka does with the brand, and how it鈥檚 differentiated from Kurono Tokyo and his namesake brand. It looks like these watches will all be COSC certified, based on the YouTube trailer they released.

https://youtu.be/Kno6fVFfcmU?si=P833WYR8Vo7Oo9pk

As an owner of a Kurono, I鈥檓 curious as well what the move is here. Both Otsuka and Kurono are small quantity releases. Perhaps this is his way of designing watches that will be available to the masses. The design language is so similar with Kurono with the font and hands, but at least with the pictures, the focus seems to be simple monotone elegant instead.

This watch looks like something that could have been under the Kurono name and nobody would have an issue with it.

Perhaps this is a move to expand the number of microbrands from Japan? A push to build up more Japanese micro brands?

TimeEQ

This watch looks like something that could have been under the Kurono name and nobody would have an issue with it.

I am hoping this will be an avenue for technical experimentation. Kurono seems to be the avenue for Hajime to experiment with design. Maybe Takano will be where Hajime focuses on movements. If we are lucky, Takano will have Hajime's own designed movements in it. Just not hand built and assembled like his own branded watches.

minmin

As an owner of a Kurono, I鈥檓 curious as well what the move is here. Both Otsuka and Kurono are small quantity releases. Perhaps this is his way of designing watches that will be available to the masses. The design language is so similar with Kurono with the font and hands, but at least with the pictures, the focus seems to be simple monotone elegant instead.

Yeah, the watches shown are very much in the Kurono milieu, design wise. The dial layout is like a simplified version of the Reiwa dial, the metal spherical markers look very similar to those of the Kurono chronograph, and those hands are in the same vein as the Kurono hands (bent tip included).

Asaoka using Takano for his 鈥渦nlimited鈥 series makes a lot of sense: namesake brand for elite high horology, Kurono LE's for enthusiasts/collectors, and Takano for everyone.

I too am curious how Asaoka plans to position and distinguish this new brand from Kurono Tokyo, perhaps more high end movements with decoration?

Gorgeous.

Those look quite lovely

https://takanowatch.jp/products/chateau-nouvel-chronometer

Pretty hefty sum, specs of mvmt feels like miyota, hope it isnt

Otherwise its in GS tier

songiang

https://takanowatch.jp/products/chateau-nouvel-chronometer

Pretty hefty sum, specs of mvmt feels like miyota, hope it isnt

Otherwise its in GS tier

The page says the movement is an automatic movement called a 90T. Can't find anything so far on the web about a Japanese automatic movement called a 90T. Perhaps this really is a more basic form of one of Hajime's own inhouse movements.

Lacquerite

The page says the movement is an automatic movement called a 90T. Can't find anything so far on the web about a Japanese automatic movement called a 90T. Perhaps this really is a more basic form of one of Hajime's own inhouse movements.

Hope so

This is miyota

Image

This is 90T

Image

Both have 42h PR and 24 jewels

Love the design and propotions tho, waiting for my Kurono to arrive and very excited atm.

Adding Takano down the line wouldnt be a bad idea, just need to justify the price:specs

songiang

Hope so

This is miyota

Image

This is 90T

Image

Both have 42h PR and 24 jewels

Love the design and propotions tho, waiting for my Kurono to arrive and very excited atm.

Adding Takano down the line wouldnt be a bad idea, just need to justify the price:specs

So after doing some digging I have altered my conclusion and agree with @songiang It looks like the 90T is a heavily customized ebauche of a Miyota 9039 movement. Basically, Takano is to Miyota what Minase is to ETA. Takano is going to have a lot more inhouse finishing than a standard Miyota movement and probably some tweaks to the actual calibre. I鈥檇 guess sending the movements to France for chronometer rating is pricy as well.

Am I disappointed we don鈥檛 see a Takano movement redesigned with Hajime flair? Yes. I definitely hoped that Takano would be the brand that would make Hajime movements available at a more accessible price range. I think the Takano line is going to use Miyota movements as the base movement but do a lot more in house upgrades than Kurono. But sadly that means unless Miyota 90xx family expands, we won鈥檛 get to see a Hajime designed moonphase or jumping hour, or other complications.

Lacquerite

So after doing some digging I have altered my conclusion and agree with @songiang It looks like the 90T is a heavily customized ebauche of a Miyota 9039 movement. Basically, Takano is to Miyota what Minase is to ETA. Takano is going to have a lot more inhouse finishing than a standard Miyota movement and probably some tweaks to the actual calibre. I鈥檇 guess sending the movements to France for chronometer rating is pricy as well.

Am I disappointed we don鈥檛 see a Takano movement redesigned with Hajime flair? Yes. I definitely hoped that Takano would be the brand that would make Hajime movements available at a more accessible price range. I think the Takano line is going to use Miyota movements as the base movement but do a lot more in house upgrades than Kurono. But sadly that means unless Miyota 90xx family expands, we won鈥檛 get to see a Hajime designed moonphase or jumping hour, or other complications.

if the tweaks would elevate the movement and not just finishing, I wouldnt mind. Would be too pricy for just movement finishing and COSC imo (comparing to Kurono)

It looks like an attractive watch, unsurprisingly, but not sure if Hajime Asaoka needed a separate brand for it.