Kari Voutilainen is one of the most interesting watchmakers living with us today. And when he delivers a significant wristwatch, first in the hands of a collector and a pièce unique, the event needs to be recorded.
One of our Deployant friends took delivery of this magnificent watch, and we took the opportunity to photograph and give a hands-on view of the piece. This is a wristwatch which utilizes an escapement with a Pivoted Détente Escapement Tourbillon. We spoke to Kari Voutilainen , who personally delivered the watch to its new owner, and he revealed that he began this project in 1995, and almost the entire watch, from dial, hands and movement is hand made by himself. Kari revealed that this is the kind of work he enjoys most, working silently in his atelier and creating magnificent and technically challenging timepieces.
The dial is typical Voutilainen style, with appliqué Roman and bar hour markers and a gorgeous hand guilloché dial. The dial is most beautiful, with the guilloché pattern made by hand on a rose machine.
The watch case is almost sans bezel, the front crystal extending and showing the entire dial, making the watch look lighter and less bulky than the dimensions suggest. Legibility is excellent.
The movement is magnificent, with the tourbillon cage, which measures some 16mm in a 32mm movement taking center stage. A half plate covers the rest of the wheel train, and none of the wheels are exposed.
The movement finish is exemplary. The classical finnasage elements are designed and excuted par excellence. We love the sensuous curve of the mainplate, the beautifully sharp points of the anchor for the tourbillon cock. We also love the juxtaposition of the black polished steel tourbillon cock and the untreated German Silver main plate, the beautifully polished, conical steel tourbillon cock extending from its black polished anchor to the ruby endstone for the tourbillon cage, held by a rose gold chaton. Magnificent!
The movement beats at 18,000 bph, 19 jewels, and runs on on a single barrel, with a power reserve of nearly 48 hours, despite the large tourbillon cage and balance wheel. The pivoted detent escapement is used in the escapement, and the entire escapement runs dry, sans lubrication.
The watch feels great on the hand and on the wrist.
And on the reverse
Our impression is that though the photograph below it sits amongst lemons, it certainly is not one, and in our opinion, represents a true masterpiece.
p.s. Photographs taken on site at a restaurant. And as this is a pièce unique which has already been sold, there is no press documentation for the watch. Technical details and information directly from Kari Voutilainen in our discussion over lunch. Some technical drawings and photographs of Kari working on the watch may be available later, and we will update this article.