So Ten Guys Go Into a Restaurant...
Seven happy brand owners, two additional watch enthusiasts, and our guest of honor for the evening, Kari Voutilainen!
Great to have Kari in our NorCal area for an all-too-brief evening together. Wonderful fellowship, a few new faces to spice up the proceedings, and of course wonderful watches.
Let's get straight to it, shall we? Standard disclaimers about restaurant event photography apply...
First of all, the only piece we will see that is not from Kari -- but what a beauty! Loved the deep dimensionality of this piece -- gorgeous.
First KV sighting of the evening -- one of six Masterpiece Chronograph IIs in attendance, this one in RG with silver dial. If you look closely you'll see that the dial is in two colors, with the brighter subdials brushed rather than frosted. While we're at it, the other thing that makes this watch (the only RG/light dial watch in the total series of 10 made) even more special is its unique use of applied RG dots for the minor hour markers.
As many of you know, this set of six Chrono IIs was ordered en masse in early 2010 by our NorCal gang -- for me the ultimate "friendship" watch, at least for now! For a variety of reasons, this was the first time that we had all six watches in one place -- fitting, I think, given Kari's presence on the evening.
On to the second chrono -- this one is the only one in the series in SS, and one of two watches with the two-tone "dark" dial. Minor hour markers are printed red triangles and if you look very closely you may notice the absence of guards around the chrono pushers (a result of the difficulty of machining the SS).
On we go! The next piece is the only WG in our set of six (if I understand correctly, the other four Chrono IIs that make up the remainder of the production run are all WG with solid dark grey faces). This dial is slightly less shiny than the one on the RG/light dial version, and is made to look as similar to the colors and textures on the original Chrono I dial as possible (more on that later).
A brief pause from the Chrono progression to admire one of two watches brought by Kari -- the 28-R with its power reserve. I wasn't quite sure about the look of this watch based on photos, but have to admit that this black dial implementation is quite attractive.
Here's the back side, with the power reserve mechanism visible on the upper right of the movement:
This event was an official "Karifest" in the sense that we asked all of the owners in attendance to bring their full set of currently owned KV watches. Everyone politely obliged, which made for some great viewing! Here's a lovely WG Observatoire with anthracite dial
Time to sit down for dinner! Here's another view of the 28-R movement as seen on the table:
Next up, two very special watches (but that said, I thought all were pretty special!). On the left, one of six monopusher chronographs made by Kari, and on the right the fabulous Masterpiece 8 Decimal Repeater. Looks like an Observatoire, no? The story there is that when our buddy commissioned the watch, he worked with Kari on the dial design and together they came up with this one -- which Kari liked so much he then used on the Observatoire. The giveaways on this piece are (of course) the slider for the repeating mechanism and the YG Roman Numeral VIII. Like its owner, understated but dripping with class.
Looking at this next photo makes my mouth water! Both of these movements are fantastic to see in person -- I loved the monopusher movement from the first time I saw photos, and in person it does not disappoint.
Kari also brought his personal "Serial 000" Vingt-8, seen here. Love the pronounced soleil guilloche on this movement! Kari keeps changing up the dial on this watch -- on this evening he had a very interesting modified soleil dial in dark grey
You can see the dial on this watch at center, below. The soleil is broken up with several radial ribs -- a look that i don't recall seeing before and a very nice one indeed. From left to right here, the Masterpiece 8, another WG Observatoire, two Vingt-8s, and my RG Observatoire.
I had the honor of sitting to Kari's left -- at one point he took the opportunity to put on the Cal. 27 brought by one of our gang, and I think it looks good on him! For me this is one of those watches that looks fantastic every time I see it on someone else, but can't quite get used to on my own wrist. Happily, we have one in our group so I get to see it on others' wrists a fair amount!
Here it is in hand -- would likely take me some practice to get used to reading the regulator display, but then again I'd mostly be staring at this beautiful display rather than trying to read the time:
Kari checks out the Cal. 27 on my wrist -- seems that he approves...
Here and in some of the other photos you can see that this Cal. 27 is currently on one of the antiqued Santoni IWC straps -- great choice! I have one of those straps on my Double Split and love it -- really looks great for some reason on white metal watches with dark dials:
Let's wrap up with some more table shots -- first, some of the "simple" watches present:
...the movement side, with another Observatoire added second from left and the Masterpiece 8 on the far left. For whatever reason, I've concluded that the finishing on that particular WG Observatoire is the best I've seen -- it really has that "Kari glow"
One more of the SS Chrono II -- love the contrasting dial:
For the first time, all six of our Masterpiece Chronograph IIs in one photo! From left to right: WG with two-tone light dial; PT with solid blue dial and individual minute dots between the hour markers on the hours/minutes dial (no detail too small to customize!); PT with black dial -- on this one, there are no applied numerals -- everything, including the major hour numerals, is printed in white; SS with two-tone dark dial; RG with two-tone dark dial (this one is mine) -- you can see that my subdials are more shiny than on the SS version and are also brushed -- in addition, I have applied RG triangle indices for the minor hours; and finally, the RG with light dial as seen earlier.
Next, the same six watches with the addition of the Chrono I on the left and the Monopusher on the right. You can see how closely Kari was able to match the look of the Chrono I with his dial on the WG Chrono II that sits next to it.
Last but certainly not least, Karipalooza! Kari seemed quite sure that this was the largest gathering of his watches in one place ever -- and he was standing among us snapping photos of this display to send back to his team at the atelier to show the enthusiasm that customers have for Kari's pieces. The total: 18 watches, including 6 Chrono IIs, 5 Observatoires, 2 Vingt-8s, and one each of the Chrono Series I, Monopusher Chrono, 28-R, Caliber 27, and Masterpiece 8 Decimal Repeater. We've actually "lost" a few KVs from our collective set over the past year or so (two Observatoires and the SS Minute Repeater 10, if memory serves) but what's left ain't so bad!
If you've read this far, thanks! Hope you enjoyed -- always great to have an opportunity to share these fun events with all of the PuristS, and I love seeing reports from everyone else's events as well, so please keep them coming!