28TI Piece Unique
Voutilainen SPECIALLY FOR THE EVENT
A unique, extremely fine, and unusual titanium wristwatch of Kari Voutilainen, the Swiss independent watchmaker of Finnish origin, who founded his atelier in 2002 in Môtiers, Switzerland. Produced circa 2020. Case made of titanium, diameter 39mm, 13.4mm thick, sapphire caseback. Open-worked dial, rose gold and blackened steel hands. Caliber Vingt-8, hand-wound with reversed hand-fitting, power reserve up to 65 hours. Functions – indication of time in hours and minutes, small seconds hand and power reserve indicator at the movement back. Dark green Voutilainen leather strap, Voutilainen titanium pin buckle. Unique piece.
Among today’s independent watchmakers, Kari Voutilainen is considered one of the best in the art of hand-finishing. He does this to perfection, applying it to parts of the caliber, the hands, the dial and the case. In addition, he is a talented inventor and caliber designer who has launched a series of minute repeaters with a rare decimal rehearsal function. In 2014, for the watches produced under his brand name and based on the principles of an observatory chronometric caliber (and obviously with the design of the famous Peseux 260 observatory caliber in mind), he developed the excellent in-house base caliber Vingt-8, which may by regarded as the perfect movement for a collector’s watch. His concept includes a very large balance wheel, a classic layout, and excellent hand finishing of all parts of the caliber, including an incredibly meticulously-finished balance bridge, offering an unimpeded view of the escapement and balance. Kari Voutilainen approaches the finishing of the balance bridge with the same meticulousness with which very skilled watchmakers finish the bridge of a high-class tourbillon. Besides, Voutilainen abandoned the classic Swiss lever escapement in favour of another invention by Abraham-Louis Breguet, namely his échappement naturel, albeit in a modernised version.
In 2019 Voutilainen introduced the 28Ti watch, with a reversed layout caliber. This saw the bridges side of the caliber with its large balance appear on the dial side, and the former dial side move to the rear side of the watch.
Thereby, the caliber received a complex direct impulse escapement enabling a more constant distribution of energy and extended power reserve. Furthermore, Kari Voutilainen updated the caliber’s chronometric quality. The large balance wheel with four regulating eccentrics allows fine adjustment of the rate. The balance is paired with a chronometric hairspring featuring a Phillips curve for the external coil, while the internal coil uses the Grossmann curve.
The caliber is a real beauty of fine watchmaking art, and therefore what the master did next is understandable. In 2019 he proposed the 28Ti watch, with a reversed layout caliber. This saw the bridges side of the caliber with its large balance appear on the dial side, and the former dial side move to the rear side of the watch. To do this, it was necessary to modify the Vingt-8 caliber, equipping it with a reversed hand-fitting scheme. Voutilainen announced the release of three limited editions of the 28Ti in titanium, platinum or tantalum, each of 8 or 10 pieces. A few unique pieces were also made by the master, and the present lot is one of them. There is little point in talking about rarity – this is a one-of-a-kind timepiece that will never be reproduced again.
The titanium case, with its characteristic grey tones, is complemented by the dark grey bridges of the caliber, with a finely-made frosted finish. The parts of the caliber in their rose gold tone stand out against the grey background, including the balance bridge, transmission wheel (crown wheel) with its cap, finely solarised ratchet wheel (winding wheel), and plate with the name of the brand. The rose gold hands really suit this design. The reverse side of the watch has a similar design, with a dark grey frosted background and parts with a rose gold tone, small seconds hand and power reserve indicator scales, and a plate with the inscription “Unique piece”.
The Voutilainen 28INV-1/1 Unique Piece would appear to be a fine purchase for the collector thanks to its unique design, excellent and extremely elaborated hand finishing of the case, dials and movement, as well as the rare inversed caliber design, and is, therefore, full of charisma. The present lot, produced as a unique piece, will remain part of the exclusive circle of the rarest watches of an independent watchmaker, one of the most respected in this professional community. Kari Voutilainen and his watches are a prominent feature of the landscape of modern haute horlogerie. Indeed, one can call them one of the symbols of the independent watchmakers’ movement.
|Case||Polished titanium case with teardrop lugs & sapphire caseback|
|Strap||Original green Alligator leather strap, with a original titanium pin buckle|
|Dial||Openworked dial, black minute track with applied rose gold indices, rose gold Breguet hands with black inserts, power reserve & small seconds on the caseback|
|Movement||Ruthenium-plated hand-wound inverted movement, double wheel escapement, Breguet hairspring, polished rose gold balance bridge, power reserve indication|
|Case No.||Piece unique|
|Movement:||All functions working properly|
|Amplitude (Dial on top/Lift angle 52):||Approx 320°|
|Accuracy (Dial on top):||Approx +10 sec/day|
Kari Voutilainen was born in 1962 in the city of Rovaniemi, the very capital of Lapland, which is called the birthplace of Santa Claus. When it came to choosing a profession, Kari decided that sitting at the office was not for him. He realized that he needed freedom; he needed to do something with his hands and to see the result of his work. With these thoughts, in 1983 he entered Kelloseppäkoulu, the Finnish School of Watchmaking in Tapiola.