Recently, we showed a Kari Voutilainen GMT-6 with a unique (and superb) engraved Art-Deco dial. What you have to understand with the watches manufactured by Kari is that we’re talking about proper in-house, hand-made, hand-finished objects. Far from marketing speeches here, this man is not only a watchmaker, he is also a discreet artist. His latest creation reflects once again this mastery. It is called the Kari Voutilainen GMR and it could easily stand for Grand-Master-Range.
What makes a Kari Voutilainen watch so special?
In a recent conversation with Kari, he explained us his point of view and the way he creates his watches. “It is our movement. We make the design, construction, drawings, fabrication of every component except: hairspring-mainspring and jewels. We do heat treatments, finishing, decoration, assembling and control. We do also hands and dials entirely in my workshop. Dials are engine turned by hand. I think it is quite achievement, we do put a lot of attention to function of the watch as well as finishing it.“
While some brands are arguing to have in-house movements, they are in fact assembling pieces coming from multiple sub-contractors. Nothing bad in this, as some of the pieces out-sourced are extremely well finished. The main issue remains the lack of transparency. With Kari, we’re talking about 99% of pieces conceived, crafted and finished in his own workshop. The quality of the finishings is of course one of the most impressive that you’d be able to contemplate. However, beauty is not Kari’s single concern. Robustness of the construction is also extremely important.
“I do robust constructions. Our movement is 5.60 mm thick. I don’t use small screws – bridge screw threads are 1mm – all this because of the future. Once we have such a solid construction, our watches will be alive after many generations. We can’t destroy the movement. We can tighten the screw as tight as we can, and it won’t broke down. We can put hands on and push hard, but the mainplate and bridges won’t bend…“
The new Kari Voutilainen GMR is all about this. It may be the latest edition of the collection, nothing in the way to manufacture these watches had changed since the introduction of the very first Kari Voutilainen. One thing is sure, it looks like a Kari Voutilainen, it smells like a Kari Voutilainen and it wears like a Kari Voutilainen – something we won’t complain about. It resembles a Kari Voutilainen GMT-6 with however one novelty: a power reserve indicator located at 12.
One of the thing to know however is that a watch by Kari Voutilainen is almost a unique object. This new Kari Voutilainen GMR may look familiar, the dial for instance is all new. It comes with a hand-guilloché pattern with applied Roman numerals and the classic ‘mega pomme’ hands. It features a subsidiary dial at 6 that provides two indications: a small second on the inner track and pointed with a silver hand and a second time-zone with 24-hour scale on the outer track pointed by a red hand. This second time-zone can easily be set by the crown with 1-hour increments, in order not to deregulate the main time-zone. The novelty here is the power-reserve gauge at 12 with a retrograde hand.
Another thing about watches manufactured by Kari is that the base movement might be the same, the complications are not added on the top of it but directly integrated in it. It means that we’re talking each time about a brand new movement, with a new architecture. That’s what happened when he launched the GMT-6. The base was the same as the Voutilainen Twenty-8 but the GMT complication was integrated in it. Here, with the new Voutilainen GMR, the story is the same. The power-reserve function is integrated. It’s not that often that a watchmaker is proud to show what is under the dial. So for once, take the time to look at the way these complications work – and also admire how the movement is finished, even the parts hidden behind the engine-turned dial.
The Kari Voutilainen GMR comes with a 39mm case and in a choice of several materials: white gold, rose gold as well as platinum. The dial is also available in white with blued hands and applied numerals. This watch will be made in a limited run of 12 pieces only. The gold edition is priced at 108.000 Swiss Francs.
More details on Kari’s website
- Hand wound movement, Voutilainen caliber made from German silver. 250 parts, Geneva stripes decoration, hand chamfered bevels and movement is rhodium plated.
- Hours, Minutes, GMT in 24 hour indication and power reserve indication.
- Movement diameter is 30mm.
- Free sprung, made from CuBe (with Grossman interior curve and Philips exterior curve). Diameter of balance wheel is 13.50 mm.
- 28 jewels.
- Gold and steel.
- Solid silver, engine turned by hand.
- Case is available in white and rose gold as well in platinum, case diameter is 39mm.
- Sapphire glass front and back, with anti reflection treatment. Matching tang buckle and crocodile strap.
- Limited production of 12 pieces.
- All manufacturing, construction, fabrication, hand finishing and assembly are done in the Voutilainen workshop.