Trying to define a watch from Kari Voutilainen is like trying to explain a Rembrandt to someone that has no clue about art. Indeed, a Voutilainen watch is proper piece of horological art, when you consider the details, the stunning finishing or the unadulterated beauty of the movement. As some other brands (recently Laurent Ferrier with a unique Galet Square Sector Dial), Kari Voutilainen also revealed his own watch for Only-Watch 2015, a unique stainless steel edition with enamel dial of his GMT-6.
As we told you, this year’s Only Watch will not take place in Monaco but rather in Geneva (November 7th, 2015) and it will be held by Aurel Bacs from Phillips Auctions. What doesn’t change is the concept, meaning brands must come to the auction with a one-of-a-kind watch – it has to be the very first of its kind (the first of a limited edition for example), a unique prototype or a unique edition of an existing watch (with several modifications, such as a new dial, a new material for the case or some new design clues). The latter is the option chose by Kari for the unique Voutilainen GMT-6 dedicated to Only-Watch 2015.
This unique edition is based on the Voutilainen GMT-6, a watch we already reviewed on Monochrome, with another unique edition with an Art-Deco dial (unique editions are one of Kari’s specialties). There are various modifications on this watch, including the dial. The white gold hand-guilloché dial of the GMT-6 is partially covered with translucent blue enamel in the central part, revealing a concentric wave pattern. The hour circle shows a more classical Clou-de-Paris pattern (and a dark grey colour) on which some gold Roman numerals are applied. The second time-zone counter also features this same finish. This rotating disc has two functions: first being an independent 24-hour sub-dial to display a second time zone and being a night/day indicator. These are displayed on two distinct zones, one with a sun pattern and a yellow translucent enamel on the top and one with a moon pattern covered with blue translucent enamel.
Alongside this new dial, the Kari Voutilainen GMT-6 Unique Piece for Only-Watch 2015 also comes with a specific material for the case: stainless steel. It’s surprising to see how this commoner material can overpass gold or platinum when it comes to unique or very limited editions. Considering the price of a classical Kari Voutilainen watch (north of 80k), we could expect this stainless steel watch to reach north of 150k during the auction.
Technically, this unique edition remains identical to the non-limited GMT-6, meaning that it features a superbly finished and technically advanced movement. The movement has a special escapement featuring not one, but two escapement wheels. These give direct impulse to the balance and this construction requires no lubrication. The impulses given by both escapement wheels are in opposite directions, directly to the balance wheel, through the impulse jewels mounted on the balance staff. The lever in the middle holds the wheels and releases them, one after another, directed by the balance wheel. The single main spring boasts 65 hours of autonomy, when fully wound.
As you can see, the movement is finished to the highest standards possible, with large and shining polished bevelled angles and hand-made frost surfaces on the bridges. Every part is carefully designed, assembled and completed in Kari’s own workshop, including inward angles, wheel spokes bevelled, screws-heads and slots highly polished and an amazing balance wheel bridge black polished on a round shape.
This beauty will be part of the Only Watch charity auction of 43 unique timepieces taking place on 7 November 2015 in Geneva, it will be sold to raise funds for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. More details here.