Kari Voutilainen ←
The word “art” is thrown around a lot when it comes to watches, but very few can ever truly enter that category. This watch is truly a piece of art. It starts as a Vingt-8, already one of the finest watches ever made, but then gets taken to a completely new level. Here is the blurb from Kari’s website:
One of the greatest lacquer studios of Japan, Unryuan, under the guidance of Mr. T. Kitamura, create works of lacquer art that stand at the pinnacle of Japanese tradition, bringing a craft that has existed for hundreds of years into the present, exemplifying the passion to preserve the soul, spirit and identity of traditional Japanese culture as expressed in the Edo period. This superlative work engages us immediately on a physical level and one can only stand in awe at the commitment, patience and dedication required to create these works of art. The work of Art shown here, using the techniques of lacquering which takes far more than thousand hours of work to complete the dial and bridges. The raw materials for its creation are: Kinpun (gold dust), Jyunkin-itakane (gold leaf), Yakou-gai (shell of great green turban) and Awabi-gai (abalone shell from New Zealand).
Since ancient times, “Hojyu », a sacred ball-shape gem has been said to have the power to purge (keep off) evil spirits and to fulfill a wish.
The vermilion-lacquered second with gold describes a Hojyu with an auspicious omen motif and generate the energy (the power) into the time by representing a flame.
The distinguished wheel with a traditional Raden pattern converts the diffusion of energetic particle spreading on the bridge into an ordered power to provide to the watch.
This symbiosis of Japanese tradition with the Swiss haute horlogerie creations of Kari Voutilainen represents an all-embracing mechanical and visual work of art that unites the East and West in perfect harmony.