Hajime Asaoka Project T Tourbillon Watch Hands-On

Hajime Asaoka Project T Tourbillon Watch Hands-On

I’ve got to say, I’m writing up this involved article about the  Hajime Asaoka Project T Tourbillon with Ariel’s pictures – and that fills me with great frustration and envy. Hajime Asaoka is on the actual top of my list of independents whose work I want to see active, but I am yet to get the opportunity to do as such. A mix of what I’d call  postmodern Japanese plan , eccentric designing solutions, and a strong, gladly customized way to deal with top of the line watch plan and horology, Hajime Asaoka’s work is among the most characterful in all of watchmaking today.

Hands-on pictures by Ariel Adams

Hajime Asaoka graduated from the Department of Design at the Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and has had a profession in product plan, publication, and advertising prior to moving into making watches all alone in the late ’00s. An eye for configuration becomes immediately apparent in his individual pieces as much as from his collection of work – something plenty of significant brands struggle with even today, as we as a whole know so well. Hajime Asaoka’s first watch was a tourbillon, dispatched in 2009. This one, the Project T Tourbillon was dispatched later in 2014, but I think we’ll all concur, it hasn’t matured one bit.


Overall looks and wearability we’ll get to soon, but let’s first glance at the more exceptional designing solutions inside the Hajime Asaoka Project T Tourbillon. What stood out for me first when taking a gander at the watch was the metal roller inside the right hand end of the tourbillon’s upper extension. Obviously, the tourbillon is being driven by the third wheel that has its pinion got by metal rollers from top and beneath the same. Operating recurrence is a traditional 18,000 bph and force save is 40 hours. Asaoka-san has utilized 13 gems and 13 metal rollers for the Project T Tourbillon, his thinking being that metal balls are more solid and sturdy than synthetic ruby jewels.

Some would contend that metal rollers have more friction – and I wish I could be an authority on the exact friction estimations of every solution. Since I am not, I’ll not perpetuate questionable sources on the matter and will just say what the watchmaker said: these are the among the smallest metal rollers on the planet and they come from top of the line Yuki Precision. Since I’m a total geek (and on the grounds that Hajime’s site wasn’t clear if the course were from OSG, who they’ve likewise worked with, or Yuki Precision Co. Ltd.), I Googled around and found that, in 2017, it was Yuki Precision that was granted the Guinness World Record for a 1.5mm outer diameter metal roller that they had utilized for… a fidget spinner. Will this story get any more Japanese? I think not. Whether or not that’s a fraction more modest than the ones in the 2014 Project T Tourbillon, I’m not certain – but these are certainly among the smallest conceivable metal rollers in the world.

A eccentric detail to be seen on the caseback shot above is the means by which the tourbillon gathering is driven by the gold wheel scarcely obvious to the left of the tourbillon, with drive transmitted to the monstrous, silver-hued (actually titanium) wheel in the center of the cut-outs underneath the Tourbillon text. Likewise note how in the nearer center, there is a gold-shaded wheel that’s scarcely bigger than the center of the plate. For what reason is this interesting? Indeed, in light of the fact that it’s pretty much an opposite of what tourbillons typically resemble. Regularly, the tourbillon’s confine (that we love to see and respect on the dial side) is connected to a pinion (that is an exceptionally little wheel connected to a pivot), and the fixed fourth wheel is a huge wheel that doesn’t move an inch. In the Project T Tourbillon, the pinion is actually an enormous wheel (the silver shaded one), though the fixed wheel is that little, concentric wheel in gold. The fixed wheel is needed by the getaway wheel’s pinion. On the off chance that this sounds complicated, envision what sort of a watchmaker’s mindset it takes to play with the overall request of things.


I am likewise rather partial to the semi-particular plan of the movement – the one above is an authority shot from Hajime Asaoka of the movement prepared to be completely amassed. It helps me to remember the Bugatti Chiron, a vehicle whose front and back end are held together exclusively by twelve – albeit extremely, extremely strong – titanium screws. To give you a more watch-accommodating equal, it likewise helped me to remember the particular escapement system that H. Moser & Cie. utilizes  –that, and the Project T Tourbillon’s solution looks quite a lot more remarkable and more elegant than the customary “mainplate with things on it” solution that we’ve seen a thousand times. One gets the possibility that should the keyless works, the tourbillon, the heart or some other part need overhauling, they can be dismantled effectively – without having the take apart the entire movement, for one portion of it can generally be set aside and left unmolested after just eliminating the two screws that hold the two parts together. Once more, a particularly elegant solution.

On the wrist, the 43mm stainless steel case wears as any 43mm watch would; rather enormous, particularly with its prominent carries that are long with wide, cleaned top surfaces and are set far apart. Still, the general plan figures out how to come across as light and natural-looking – there’s a lot going on and I envision the weight is substantial too… But at least it’s entirely deficient with regards to the “try-hard” vibe that other enormous, costly, glossy metal watches tend to take on. With the skeletonized, breezy looking dial and the long, filigree hands, important elements radiate refinement to offset the stout case.

The good to beat all must be that magnificent dial that is interestingly, dark DLC coated. It has three concentric notches cut into its outskirts, alongside a metal minute track with neatly applied but then more neatly painted little markings – this latter element helps me to remember the manner in which George Daniels used to work with metal on dials. A decent gander at the contrasting plan elements is additionally due on the off chance that we are to completely appreciate the Hajime Asaoka Project T Tourbillon: dark and silver unmistakably get the job done to deliver a fascinating look. I particularly like the neat metal line set into the top of the tourbillon connect. It is entirely for configuration, but looks absolutely fantastic and flavors that 6 o’clock area up pleasantly. This prominent, dark horizontal line additionally underscores the watch and highlights the tourbillon – once more, I can’t locate a better path than considering it an elegant touch.

To end on an individual note, I desire to see at least one works of Hajime Asaoka soon, as I’d love to look at and photograph its numerous stellar details myself. The last value we have for the Hajime Asaoka Project T Tourbillon is about $80,000. Get familiar with the watch and watch a video of it on Hajime Asaoka’s si