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. Building on his classic, time-only Vingt-8, the 217QRS collection brings the added functionality of a retrograde date indicator, which the watchmaker subtly integrates into the design. Only 30 pieces will ever be made, spread out evenly across platinum, white gold and rose gold cases.
This 217QRS has three different engine-turned patterns on the dark-blue, solid-silver dial. Each pattern reflects light differently, giving the dial a mixture of tones and fantastic depth. The applied Arabic numerals and Breguet-style hands are the standout features of the dial, while the retrograde date arc at the centre of the dial displays white numerals, showing the days of the month. Kari Voutilainen's newly designed case, with more angular, sculpted lugs finish off this timepiece; showing both the watchmaker's uncompromising attention to detail and craftsmanship.
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. The dial of this 217QRS is made from solid-silver and engine-turned by hand in the Voutilainen workshop.
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.
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 limited series, 217QRS in platinum comes with its original outer blue box, inner wooden slide box, "Horlogerie d'Art" hardback book, polishing cloth, manual and original papers. The watch comes on our Zürich taupe grained calfskin strap, as well as its original navy alligator strap and and platinum buckle from Kari Voutilainen.
A Collected Man is the exclusively approved reseller of pre-owned Voutilainen watches.