After a period spent restoring some of the finest watches from the last three centuries, Kari Voutilainen set out as an independent watchmaker. His work has been welcomed with great acclaim, on account of its unique aesthetic and quality. Every component in his watches, from the bridges to the smallest of screws, involves manual labour, from adjusting tolerances to polishing and angling. His efforts have been recognised with more than a half dozen awards the GPHG (Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève), the most prestigious award ceremony in the watch industry.
When deciding to collaborate with the watchmaker on a unique piece for A Collected Man, the 217QRS seemed like an obvious choice, due to its combination of a classic, practical complication with paired back aesthetics and unusual lugs. Only 30 examples of the original 217QRS will ever be made, with an even split between platinum, white gold and rose gold examples.
This unique 217QRS features a dark grey, textured dial, with a grainy finish. The Clous de Paris engine-turned pattern on the cartouche and subsidiary seconds indication adds a welcome touch of variety. Each section reflects light differently, giving the dial a mixture of tones and fantastic depth.
Unique hour batons, made specifically for this dial, were chosen to accentuate the paired back aesthetic of the piece, with all other 217QRS watches featuring numerals instead. The Breguet-style hands and indicator for the retrograde date arc are made out of white gold, helping to cement the watch’s monochromatic appearance.
Kari Voutilainen's newly designed case with more angular, sculpted lugs finish off this fantastic timepiece; showing both the watchmaker's uncompromising attention to detail and craftsmanship. The mid-case is brushed, as opposed to polished, which is another distinguishing feature of this unique piece. The caseback is marked with a “Unique Piece” designation, as well as “09/10”, indicating its position in the run of white gold 217QRS cases.
The retrograde date indication is displayed on a 240-degree arc, situated between 4 and 7 o’clock, connected to the sub-seconds. The date function is almost concealed, owing to its precise and neat integration. It’s advanced by pressing the crown, moving the pointer forward by one day, with each engagement. The retrograde date mechanism itself, enables the indicator of the 217QRS to slowly return from the 31st to the 1st day of the month, avoiding any possible inaccuracies or “bouncing”, which can occur with instantaneous retrograde mechanisms.
While the inspiration for the 217QRS movement comes from the Vingt-8, the retrograde date mechanism is entirely integrated within the Calibre 28. The movement features Voutilainen's direct impulse-escapement with two escape wheels. The exceptionally large, free-sprung balance beats at 18,000 vph, held in place by a long steel bridge with rounded arms. The 39 mm case is platinum, and features Voutilainen's sculpted lugs, flaring outwards from the case.
On the reverse, the sapphire crystal exhibits the movement in full view, revealing the in-house Cal. 28, manufactured from German silver and titanium. Through the combination of a free-sprung balance, with Breguet over-coil and Grossmann interior curve, and signature direct impulse escapement with two large escapement wheels, a high degree of engineering ingenuity is accomplished. One of the hallmarks of Voutilainen as a manufacture is their superlative hand-finishing; with expert rhodium-plated German silver bridges, classically finished with Cotes de Genève and perlage on the base plate, for this QRS. The watch has a 65-hour power reserve.
This unique 217QRS piece, made for A Collected Man, is brand new and is subject to VAT at the prevailing rate. The watch comes with our Paris and Zürich grained calfskin straps, as well as its original black alligator strap from Kari Voutilainen.
A Collected Man is the exclusively approved reseller of pre-owned Voutilainen watches. Viewings can be arranged in Central London by appointment.