Voutilainen Vingt-8 Rose gold
Certain names garner heightened levels of respect and admiration within independent watchmaking. Philippe Dufour for his industry-leading hand finishing and singular operational structure, François-Paul Journe for his technical excellence, and George Daniels for advancing watchmaking with the co-axial escapement and his lifelong dedication to horology. The list goes on, with one name firmly towards the top of the list: Kari Voutilainen. His elaborate handmade guilloché dials and innovative calibres honour tradition while remaining loaded with proprietary flair, and this Vingt-8 is an exemplary instance of his craft.
Rendered in 18ct rose gold, the round case includes idiosyncrasy teardrop welded lugs a convex bezel and carries an entirely polished finish. These characterful lugs, along with its 39mm width, result in an immensely coherent and individual-wearing experience, with the dial housing a myriad of elements combining to embody Voutilainen’s talents. Proprietary design vocabulary has been rather classically expressed on this elegant piece. Realised from silver with a silvered tone throughout, the dial base comprises four practices, three of which are engine turning. Sitting just inside the brushed raised marker chapter ring is a diamond hobnail guilloché, which houses the triple applique Arabic numerals and baton markers. Further stepping towards the centre reveals a second guilloché with a horizontal wave pattern. Here is where the arched Voutilainen signature and the characterful handmade and finished hands reside, realised in 18ct rose gold with a heat-blued centre cap and rounded tip design. The final piece of the guilloché puzzle comes in the form of a rosette pattern, often found on some of the most luxurious of traditional timepieces. A singular seconds hand also realised in 18ct rose gold with a blued centre cap again along with a second brushed chapter ring.
But here's where this Vingt-8 further distances itself from convention, as the Arabic and baton markers are presented in an unassuming, muted slate grey tone. This impact is tremendous, creating a watch that almost delivers a two-tone experience and a level of contrast seldom delivered via this execution.
Traditional configurations can't be said for all of Voutilainen's creations, but this Vingt-8 stands out significantly due to its classic appearance. But it is by no means orthodox in present-day watchmaking. Voutilainen is known to be a fan of early Breguet, and in numerous ways, the execution of this Vingt-8 recalls Breguet pocket watches, from the flawless guilloché work to the clever mixes of metals. There are handmade watches, and then there's Voutilainen.
As is the case with watches by independent watchmakers, the calibre underneath the dial deserves just as much attention as the watch itself. Visible through the display caseback is the manufacture Vingt-8 calibre. Designed, fabricated, constructed, finished, and assembled under Voutilainen roofs, it is a sight commanded by the famous hand polishing and finishing techniques on which Voutilainen has built its reputation. Geneva striping is throughout the large bridge and plates, with gracious anglage and a large free-sprung balance (touching 14mm), with Breguet/Grossmann balance beating at 18,000 vibrations per hour with a power reserve of 65 hours. Whether it's the range of depth, rounded black polished balance bridge or the fact this piece features two direct impulse escapement wheels leading to less energy consumption and wear, this calibre is a celebration of classic craftsmanship while maintaining alertness to permanence and accuracy.
How It Wears
Watches by independent watchmakers often feel almost unexplainable on the wrist. With such consideration poured into every detail, they offer a wearing experience unlike any other, and the Vingt-8 is no different. At 39mm, with those teardrop-esque lugs forming around the wrist and its crisp dial, this is a superlative wearing experience. Every element of its form and design feels connected, providing an unparalleled level of cohesiveness, making every moment the piece is on the wrist a real occasion.
This Voutilainen Vingt-8 Rose Gold is presented in as new condition. The piece is offered as a complete set, with its outer box, inner wooden box, warranty papers, and booklets included in the sale. Despite being fitted to a Mr Watchley Midnight Blue Grained strap, the piece is complete with its original Voutilainen rose gold pin buckle and its original strap.
Kari Voutilainen, a Finnish native with no ancestral ties to the world of watchmaking, has always defied convention. Emerging from his humble beginnings in Lapland, Finland, he has become one of our time's most significant independent watchmakers while maintaining a remarkably unassuming demeanour. He is a master craftsman who has earned the utmost respect from both brand devotees and peers.
Voutilainen's journey began when he enrolled in a watchmaking school in Espoo, Finland, discovering his passion for watch movements. Eager to refine his skills, he ventured to Neuchâtel, Switzerland, to undergo advanced training at WOSTEP's complex horological program. However, this educational pursuit came at a cost, and Voutilainen needed funding, requiring him to become an established watch restorer in Helsinki. In 1989, after a year of hard work, he re-enrolled and completed the program. Among his fellow alums were notable figures like Stephen Forsey of Greubel Forsey and Tim and Bart Grönefeld.
Voutilainen's career took a important turn when he joined Parmigiani's restoration workshop, where he worked on intricate pieces, including vintage Vacheron Constantin pocket watches. During this time, he was introduced to Charles Meylan, a seasoned watchmaker who imparted invaluable techniques and insights gleaned from years of experience. Meylan was pivotal in inspiring Voutilainen to contemplate establishing his brand. During the 1990s, Voutilainen dedicated his evenings and weekends to developing a one-minute twin-barrel tourbillon, which ultimately catalysed his eponymous venture. After returning to WOSTEP, this time as a teacher, he received encouragement from Philippe Dufour to embark on the journey of producing his own watches. Thus, in 2002, Voutilainen Watches was born. Over the years, he collaborated closely with esteemed names like MB&F, Zenith, Phillips, and Schwarz Etienne, further enhancing his reputation as a mysteriously brilliant watchmaking virtuoso.
Operating from his atelier, Voutilainen produces a modest annual output of 50-100 watches. However, his approach eschews the concept of a conventional catalogue. Instead, he creates models in exceedingly limited quantities or crafts unique, one-of-a-kind timepieces. As a fully integrated manufacturer, Voutilainen occupies the upper echelons of watchmaking, offering true artistry in technique and unmatched expertise in bespoke craftsmanship. Rather poetically, his watchmaking haven perches on the precipice of a cliff overlooking Fleurier, Switzerland, raised above other watchmakers—an apt metaphor for his elevated artisanal craft.
If you desire to take a closer look at this precious timepiece, don't hesitate to contact us and make an appointment. No stock is kept on site.
* Every watch is delivered in a Mr WATCHLEY Membrane Protection Box for a safe transportation in addition to its original set *
|Size (Case)||39 mm|
|Material (Case)||Rose gold|
|Bracelet||Mr Watchley Grained Midnight Blue|
|Condition||Perfect condition/ Like new|