Kari Voutilainen is one of the rising…perhaps already bright and shining…stars in independent horology. Meticulous, deliberate, precise in his action and choice of words. His works are marvelled the world over. One example of his clear thinking is the “re-invention” of the minute repeater striking mechanism. Instead of striking the hours, quarters and minutes after the quarters, he made a system which strikes the hours, number of ten minutes after the hour and the minutes…like we actually read the time. He calls this the decimal repeater.
But the focus of this article is on the chronograph. Recently, in the little village of Motiers, he converted his house, into a home cum workshop.
When I visited in early January, the fresh snow had just fallen, and the view of the living room from the yard is beautiful…still with Christmas decorations.
A separate stairwell leads to the basement and third and fourth floors which house the workshops. While the private residence occupies the ground and second floors. He has indeed geared up with much equipment and is able to manufacture almost the entire watch in-house. For example, the beautiful dials which are featured in his watches are hand cut on the rose engine in the basement.
The Voutilainen Masterpiece Chronograph is a beauty:
The dial is clean, but yet features delicate engine turned guilloche patterns. As this is a chronograph, the pride of place on the dial is given to the seconds counter for the chronograph, while the time is indicated on the subdial at 6 o’clock.
The movement is equally fascinating, the surface of the bridges are finished in a frosted 18k gold plating. And the hand anglaged sides glistened as they are polished to a shine contrasting with the frosted plate tops.
A closer look at the chronograph wheel and its bridge, showing the contrast on the polished anglage against the frosted top:
Another look at the beautifully set and polished column wheel, which commands all the chronograph functions with precision:
Another side view of the movement, showing the 3D watchscape: