Over the last few months I have written in-depth articles about Stepan Sarpaneva and Antti Rönkkö. Both of these ateliers have very individual styles and hail from Finland.
It is also pertinent to mention Suunto and the multi talented Kari Voutilainen. This watchmaker has an enormous amount of experience spanning over three decades. Originally he relocated to Switzerland in 1989 to attend the International Watchmaking School. Subsequently he obtained a postgraduate qualification specializing in the restoration of high-end complicated timepieces. This stimulated him to establish his own brand by the name of Voutilainen.
In 2002 Kari Voutilainen established his own brand in the idyllic village of Môtiers, situated in the ‘Val-de-Travers’ region, Switzerland. Like most small independent watchmakers every element of the watch is made by hand. Essentially this means a timepiece can be customized exactly to the client’s specifications at the company’s workshops. Voutilainen personally signs every watch, which make them exceptionally exclusive. The wonderful V-8R Power Reserve is a perfect example of his technical and creative abilities.
In my recent coverage of Baselworld 2014 I was overwhelmed by the sheer amount of beautiful timepieces on display. One of my highlights was Kari Voutilainen’s sublime V-8R Power Reserve. This watch was awarded Grand Prix d’Horologerie de Genève 2013. Dimensionally it is probably one of the smallest models I featured with a diameter measuring only 39mm (excluding lugs and crown). These proportions should attract the attention of both male and female collectors. Based on previous experience I also suspect the timepiece would be comfortable and lightweight to wear. Primarily this is down to the elegant case design and use of luxurious red gold in production.
Aesthetically the timepiece has a very refined and classical façade. For each creation Kari Voutilainen insists on using only the finest materials in manufacture. The dial of the V-8R Power Reserve is constructed from solid sliver with various treatments, which gives it a stylish dark appearance. This acts in prefect harmony with the raised gold indexes and Roman numerals. Other enticing features include the small second counter, gold/steel hands and retrograde power reserve. Overall the composition is delightful and the attention to detail is superlative.
At the heart of the watch is a highly sophisticated 30mm manual winding movement. This caliber comprises 28-jewels and oscillates at a frequency of 18,000 vibrations per hour. Each of the 228 individual components have been engraved, decorated and assembled personally by Kari Voutilainen. This incredible mechanism is clearly visible through the sapphire crystal exhibition case back. Functionally the V-8R Power Reserve features hours, minutes, small seconds and power reserve indication.
The V-8R Power Reserve is limited to only 25 pieces and is equipped with a hand stitched alligator strap.
You can read more reviews by Steve Huyton on his own website www.totalwatchreviews.com