There are several phrases in the world of high-end independent watch-making that really get my pulse running; ‘triple-axis tourbillon’ is one, ‘satellite time-display’ is another. However the one that really captures my attention is ‘AHCI Candidate.’ These two simple words instantly call to mind the oft-daring creations of some of the world’s most talented up-and-coming watchmakers, each seeking to carve out their own place in horological history. Today we turn our attention to one such Candidate, Masahiro Kikuno, and his incredible Tourbillon timepiece.
Who Is Masahiro Kikuno?
I’m sure that is the question on many of your lips and probably a reasonable one at that, however I would venture to say that if you’re not familiar with the work of Masahiro Kikuno already, you soon will be.
As the first Japanese watch-maker ever permitted to join the Académie Horlogère Des Créateurs Indépendants, Masahiro Kikuno established himself as a serious watch-maker at Baselworld 2011, presenting three stunning creations; the Japanese Style Temporal hour watch, The Western Style Temporal hour watch and the sublime Perpetual Calendar Tourbillon, the first watch he made fully in Japan (pictured below).
Now he has done it again, this year presenting a one-of-a-kind, hand-made timepiece featuring his own manual wind cal.mk12 movement complete with tourbillon. And when we say hand-made, we mean hand-made! According to Masahiro Kikuno he did not make use of CNC machines at any stage during the construction of the timepiece.
The watch in and of itself is quite simplistic in appearance but the level of craftsmanship required to produce such a delicate piece of micro-mechanical machinery by hand is truly mind-blowing. Not to mention the fact that it is a true one-of-a-kind, even if he were to ever make another it would still be distinctly different from the first just by virtue of it being hand-made instead of computer generated.
Regrettably, as is often the case with up-and-coming independent watchmakers, there is very little other information available about Kikuno’s tourbillon. What we can tell you is that it is presented in a 18k rose gold, 43mm case with a sapphire exhibition case back that shows off the Herringbone finished movement. And if you’re wondering what a Herringbone finish is and how it is achieved, then check out this cool little video below from Masahiro Kikuno himself:
At just 29 years of age, Kikuno’s achievements to date seem remarkable, and they absolutely are, making it all the more exciting to ponder what may lay ahead for this incredibly talented young man. In an age rapidly becoming dominated by computer-driven manufacturing it is somewhat refreshing to see a piece of fine craftsmanship that truly represents a bond between man and his creation. As Masahiro Kikuno says, “this watch is equal to a piece of my life”.
For more information on this amazing independent watchmaker please visit his official website: www.masahirokikuno.jp (please note there is quite a reasonable amount of English content which is well worth checking out.)