SIHH 2019 sneak preview: Kari Voutilainen

Quill & Pad
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Limited edition of 30 pieces

360° view of the rotating globe

Universal time display

Tourbillon 24 Seconds

Exclusive edition of 60 movements

POLARIS MEMOVOX

POLARIS CHRONOGRAPH

POLARIS DATE

POLARIS MEMOVOX

Breguet Marine
Chronographe 5527

Iconic Breguet codes with a contemporary twist

Breguet Marine: inspired by the sea

Manufacture caliber 582QA

SIHH 2019 sneak preview: Kari Voutilainen

by GaryG

Greetings from Geneva! As always for our small group of enthusiast collectors from Northern California, SIHH week started yesterday with our arrival in Geneva and our traditional dinner with independent watchmaking wizard Kari Voutilainen and his wife Terttu.

It’s always an evening of laughter, story-telling, and catching up on events of the past year as well as a chance to see many of the watches that Voutilainen will be displaying at the show; and with Kari’s kind permission I’m able once again to share some of those here with you.

Voutilainen Vingt-8 with guilloche dial and 37.5mm case
Voutilainen Vingt-8 with guilloche dial and 37.5mm case

Voutilainen Vingt-8 with guilloche dial and 37.5mm case

This time around, Kari’s focus will be on variants of his established Vingt-8 line that showcase a variety of materials, sizes, and dial-making techniques. The watch shown above draws on all three threads as it’s a platinum-cased piece with a dramatic guilloche dial in a very wearable 37.5mm case diameter. I particularly liked the fully-blued hands and the guilloche pattern that alternates vertically and horizontally striped boxes that gradually narrow in shape as the pattern approaches the edges of the dial.

Vingt-8 in 37.5mm size with brilliant red guilloche dial from Kari Voutilainen
Vingt-8 in 37.5mm size with brilliant red guilloche dial from Kari Voutilainen

Vingt-8 in 37.5mm size with brilliant red guilloche dial from Kari Voutilainen

The next piece that blew me away was another 37.5mm watch with a stunningly textured, bright red guilloche dial. Once again, the hands are a stand-out feature of this watch with their red circles matching the dial color and rhodium plated frosting on their other surfaces.

In the more standard Vingt-8 diameter, Kari experiments this year with case materials; the watch below is in titanium, giving physical lightness to a piece that also sparkles with bright blue on its enameled guilloche dial and catches the eye with radial guilloche ribs between the hour markers.

Kari Voutilainen Vingt-8 in polished titanium
Kari Voutilainen Vingt-8 in polished titanium

Kari Voutilainen Vingt-8 in polished titanium

I was really pleased to see this next watch with its red gold case, perfectly-made jet-black enamel dial, and applied Breguet indices. Kari pointed out that his intention with the Breguets was to use a somewhat flatter (but in my view, still nicely dimensional) top-to-bottom shape for the numerals than we see in pieces like the Patek Philippe Ref. 5950 in order to give his watch a more contemporary look; for me the approach works quite well.

Voutilainen Vingt-8 in red gold with enamel dial and Breguet numerals
Voutilainen Vingt-8 in red gold with enamel dial and Breguet numerals

Voutilainen Vingt-8 in red gold with enamel dial and Breguet numerals

The look of the watch shown below was almost holographic, with the bright orange-red color and op-art guilloche texture combining to catch the viewer’s attention. I liked the minimalist approach that Kari took with the rest of the dial to ensure that the guilloche work is the star here, including the delicate printed dots indicating the seconds.

Wavy gravy: psychedelic orange dial, Voutilainen Vingt-8 for SIHH 2019
Wavy gravy: psychedelic orange dial, Voutilainen Vingt-8 for SIHH 2019

Wavy gravy: psychedelic orange dial, Voutilainen Vingt-8 for SIHH 2019

It seems that each year, Kari also introduces a “big boy/big girl” watch with a dramatic dial treatment, and 2019 is no exception as his assortment includes a weighty 44mm platinum piece with a fantastic mother-of-pearl dial. Terttu Voutilainen told me that a good deal of work went into deciding exactly which way to orient the discs of natural material on the dial to capture the maximum color variety and luminance as seen by the wearer. Even in dim restaurant lighting this piece really popped, and its size and weight added to the statement.

Statement piece: 44mm Voutilainen Vingt-8 in platinum with mother-of-pearl dial
Statement piece: 44mm Voutilainen Vingt-8 in platinum with mother-of-pearl dial

Statement piece: 44mm Voutilainen Vingt-8 in platinum with mother-of-pearl dial

Kari will have additional watches at the show, including one or both of the only two remaining unsold examples of last year’s impressive retrograde date calendar watch; I’m looking forward to seeing the complete display, but last night’s watches were an outstanding start!

Parting shot: dial detail, Kari Voutilainen Vingt-8
Parting shot: dial detail, Kari Voutilainen Vingt-8

Parting shot: dial detail, Kari Voutilainen Vingt-8

For more information, please visit www.voutilainen.ch




Originally published at Quill & Pad.

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