Hajime Asaoka - The New York Watch Auction: X New York Saturday, June 8, 2024 | Phillips
  • Manufacturer: Hajime Asaoka
    Year: 2022
    Movement No: Prototype No. 0
    Model Name: Tourbillon PURA
    Material: Stainless steel
    Calibre: Manual, 17 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: Leather
    Clasp/Buckle: Stainless steel pin buckle
    Dimensions: 40mm Diameter
    Signed: Dial and movement signed.
    Accessories: Accompanied by Hajime Asaoka Technical Specification certificate confirming serial number 0, suede presentation box, leather envelope, product literature and outer packaging.
    Literature: Financial Times, Friday 7, 2022 “Hajime Asaoka: Japanese watchmaker takes on the resellers”

  • Catalogue Essay

    Though Switzerland has long been the international center of watchmaking, during the latter half of the 20th century a handful of talented artisans outside of Switzerland began to grow in popularity, manufacturing watches based on traditional watchmaking while pushing the boundaries of design and innovation. These independent watchmakers thrive in the 21st with a growing number of collectors seeking their exceptional timepieces, cherished for their commitment to creativity and craftsmanship.

    Hajime Asaoka is a relatively new yet revered name in the market, gaining repute with his superbly crafted timepieces that are quite difficult to obtain. His early career as a product designer put him in contact with watchmaking enthusiasts. Inspired, Asaoka purchased a copy of George Daniels’ “Watchmaking,” which led to the creation of his prototype Tourbillon Number 1, in 2009. This prototype allowed him to be accepted as a member of the Académie Horlogère des Créateurs Indépendants (AHCI), a Swiss-based organization dedicated to preserving the art of fine, handmade watchmaking and independent makers. By 2011, Asaoka was manufacturing a small collection of timepieces – all designed, manufactured, and assembled by himself, resulting in an extremely low annual production of no more than a few pieces. He is committed to the preservation of traditional mechanical watchmaking while pushing the boundaries of innovation.

    Asaoka’s craft is rooted in Japanese culture, aesthetics and Zen philosophy, which are reflected in his timepieces with a harmonious balance between meticulous attention to detail, precision engineering, and understated elegance. The present prototype Tourbillon PURA is based on Asaoka’s pursuit for purity. There is a simplicity to the black lacquered dial with a a single bridge movement. Like other 21st century craftsmen, he used new materials such as A7075 duralumin, used for the tourbillon carriage, which is also found in aircrafts and guns. It has a low specific gravity and is durable allowing for an efficient transfer of energy from the movement to the carriage ensuring timekeeping accuracy. Compared to his earlier Project-T Tourbillon, which was housed in a 43mm diameter case, the Tourbillon PURA has a smaller 40mm diameter case.

    Phillips is honored to present this unique, fresh-to-the-market prototype tourbillon from Japan’s most important independent watchmaker. It is offered in near new condition, most probably worn less than a handful of times, complete with its technical specification sheet and presentation box. The watch is also prominently featured in a 2022 Financial Times article on the watchmaker. A “one and only” trophy watch for the most discerning connoisseur of independent timepieces, this prototype tourbillon is a wonderful representation of the remarkable craftsmanship and ingenuity of one of the most sought after contemporary watchmakers.


A unique, highly important, and extremely attractive stainless steel prototype tourbillon wristwatch with black lacquer dial, technical specifications certificate and presentation box, number 0

40mm Diameter
Dial and movement signed.

$120,000 - 240,000 

Sold for $361,950

Contact Specialist

Paul Boutros
Deputy Chairman, Watches, Head of Watches, Americas
+1 (212) 940-1293

Isabella Proia
Head of Sale, New York
+1 (212) 940 1285

The New York Watch Auction: X

New York Auction 8 - 9 June 2024