The creations of Finnish watchmaker, Kari Voutilainen, are high on my list of grail pieces. Every time there is a new Voutilainen announced, always in very limited numbers, I just can’t believe my eyes. Both technically and visually, his pieces are beyond perfection, these are works of art, creations of a genius. If other watches are proud to inscribe “Swiss Made” on their dial, a Voutilainen will have “Hand Made” at six o’clock, a reminder of the amount of work done by hand in the Voutilainen workshop that goes into his watches. All movement components except for balance-springs, mainsprings and watch-jewels are manufactured from start to finish in Voutilainen workshops. Dials too, are produced and engine-turned by hand on the premises.
The unique Voutilainen GMT-6 made for Only Watch 2015 is no different. The 39 x 11.5 mm stainless steel case is crafted in the typical Voutilainen style, with the lugs having the unmistakable shape of this craftsman. Actually the choice of stainless steel over precious metals, in combination with an enamelled dial makes this watch unique. Its white gold central section is engine-turned by hand, as well 24 sector division motifs and then coated with Grand Feu enamel.
A GMT mechanism is integrated in the movement. Its indicator takes the form of a disc at 6 o’clock. The disc shows 24 hours and includes a day/night indicator. The triangle transferred to the subsidiary seconds dial represents the index by which the indication can be read. The disc is advanced by pressing the crown, each press moving the disc forward one hour at a time.
The back of the watch unveils the exquisitely decorated movement powering the GMT-6. The view is dominated by the huge free sprung balance wheel with four rose gold inertia blocks that beats at 18,000 vibrations/hour.
The watch’s outstanding feature is its escapement; it is the first watch to present two escape-wheels in such a configuration. The escape-wheels provide a direct impulse to the balance through the roller/jewel. This escapement is extremely efficient and requires less energy than traditional lever escapements, offering gains in terms of longevity and stability in everyday use.
About Only Watch 2015
Only Watch is a major charity event for aficionados and collectors of fine watches that will take place on November 7th 2015. Under the patronage of HSH Prince Albert II, Honorary President of the Cercle de l’Horlogerie de Monaco, this exhibition and auction will present creations from some 40 of the most prestigious watch companies, each one of them creating a unique piece for this occasion.
All the proceedings of the auction will benefit the Monaco Association against Muscular Dystrophy, to help fund research on Duchenne muscular dystrophy, a genetic neuromuscular disease affecting 250,000 children, adolescents and young adults worldwide and provoking a progressive organism-wide degeneration of muscles.
The auction is preceded by a travelling exhibition presenting the collection in Monaco, Hong Kong, Beijing, New York and London.