Observatoire | Limited Edition | rose gold
The Observatoire won the Grand Prix d'Horlogerie de Genève in the category of “Best Men's Watch” in 2007, and it is estimated that only around 50 were made, making this piece exceptionally sought-after and rare.
It was delivered in December 2008 and has three different engine-turned patterns on the gold, white dial. Each pattern reflects light differently, giving the dial a mixture of tones and fantastic depth. Applied Anthracite Roman numerals, a sub-seconds dial at six o’clock with Arabic numerals, and blue steel Breguet-style hands make up the face. A hand-sewn, brown crocodile strap and Kari Voutilainen's signature tear-shaped lugs finish off this fantastic timepiece; showing both the watchmaker's uncompromising attention to detail and craftsmanship.
While Kari Voutilainen is more famously known for the Vingt-8 model, there were a smaller number of Observatoires made, making them far rarer. Although they look similar on the outside, the movement distinguishes the models. This Observatoire houses a very special ébauche in the form of a Peseux 260. It was an observatory-grade ébauche made in the last century for research purposes and for precision timing competitions in the Geneva and Neuchâtel Observatories. Never made available for public purchase, it is estimated that only 3300 examples of the Peseux 260 ébauche were ever made. When Kari Voutilainen found untouched new old stock examples of this movement, he knew he had stumbled across something special and proceeded to build a suitably special watch to house them.
The manual-winding movement itself is one of the most accurate ever made, but it was still heavily modified by Kari Voutilainen for the Observatoire. Some of the aesthetic changes made include the high-level of finishing we have come to expect from Voutilainen, with Geneva stripes on the bridges, chamfering on all the edges and perlage beneath. The timing screws used are made of platinum, with all of this resulting in a stunning movement.
Mechanically, some changes were made too, as Kari modified the entire escapement and inserted his own balance wheel, hairspring and escape-mechanism. Most notably, the strategically engineered balance-spring with the exterior using a Breguet overcoil and the Grosmann curve for the interior, distributing tension evenly between the internal curve of the balance spring and the external overcoil. The free-sprung balance-wheel beats at 18,000 A/h. With all of this, the Voutilainen Observatoire is a truly special watch that holds a place in horological history.
Viewings can be arranged in Central London by appointment.
|Model:||Observatoire - Limited Edition|
|Movement:||Mechanical manual-winding hand-made|
|Functions:||Time-only: hours, minutes, sub-seconds|
|Features:||Silver engine-turned dial and Breguet hands|
|Case:||38 mm 18-carat rose gold|
|Crystal:||Sapphire front and back|
|Bracelet:||Black alligator strap with rose gold deployant clasp|
|Box & papers:||Full set - box, papers and service booklet|
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