GPHG BEST MEN´S WATCH PRIZE 2013
WORLD’S FINEST WATCH RUNS ON FINNISH SKILL
“Finnish-born horologist Kari Voutilainen made the world’s nicest men’s watch. His ‘V-8R’ watch won the Men’s Watch Prize in the esteemed Grand Prix d’Horlogerie competition. The news was reported by the Finnish business daily Kauppalehti.
The base calibre for the V-8R is Voutilainen’s own creation. Instead of the single wheel seen in traditional anchor escapement design, Voutilainen’s watch is powered by two escapement wheels, which give a direct impulse to the balance. As a result, the V-8R’s escapement is much more efficient than traditional escapements.
This is not the first time Voutilainen’s work is recognised. He won the same series in 2007 for his watch ‘Observatoire’. A limited edition of 25 pieces of the V-8R have been made. The winning watch comes with a price tag of roughly EUR 66.000, not including tax.
Voutilainen was born in Rovaniemi, completed his watchmaker training in Espoo, and moved to Switzerland in 1989 to attend the International Watchmaking School, where he completed the WOSTEP watch course, later also teaching at the school. In 2002, he began creating his own brand of watches. One watch takes a week to make.
The annual Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève was held 15 November 2013 in Geneva. The independent competition is run by a foundation set up specifically for the purpose. It is widely considered to be the ‘Oscars’ of the watch industry.” (Article: © HA | Finnfacts)
SPEECH OF KARI VOUTILAINEN
“When I was designing my in house caliber some years ago, there were already plans in my mind for future possibilities regarding complications and new features. The first question that came up after the new base caliber was released was simply: what should be the next development? After discussions within the workshop together with my team, we decided that a power reserve indicator was a perfect first complication that was exactly in character with a manual winding wristwatch. The first step was to define the characteristics we wanted to achieve. I felt it was good at this point to add a hacking feature for the seconds, and to design the power reserve in an unusual way so that it could actually be seen by the user; normally this is impossible to see inside the movement. However, there was one important aspect that I wanted to design which is harder to describe:
the limiting of the power reserve to the period of the best torque of the mainspring.
When you finish winding any watch, there will be a certain amount of power reserve built up in the mainspring. However, the hours at the end of the reserve period will not be optimal for the best chronometric results. My solution is taken from the best examples from the past: a Maltese cross construction on the winding barrel limits the power reserve to only supply slightly more than 2 days of optimal power out of 65 hours of torque to the movement. So said, so done, and the new mechanical design was worked out, requiring the production of some 70 new movement parts. As a final flourish, new dial design was created for this timepiece, with framed sub-dials and a new guilloché pattern…”