An overall view of Kari Voutilainen's collection, present and past.

Dec 25, 2014,15:49 PM

Good evening gentlemen,

As I've been reading Kari Voutilainen's book cleverly written by Theodore Diehl lately and as I had a wide look at articles on the internet, I also had an overall look at Voutilainen's unique or very limited pieces and how some are called in its collection "Masterpiece" (and I think in this case is legitimate).

I thought, as it is not a brand we don't hear much of and that some don't even know about, that I could post some pictures from his official website or "in the metal" experience some purists could have shared here.

For those who are not familiar with KV's collection, there is only one standard model in a non limited edition which is called "Vingt-8" ("Twenty-8" in English) and which replaced the Observatoire in late 2011. By the way, I won't talk about the Vingt-8 regular line (except the GMT) as it would need another deep intro and description.

Next to this watch, KV manufactures very limited series (around 10 pieces) or unique watches ordered by collectorsor made for a particular event. They are usually a way for Voutilainen to create something new to him and let flow his pleasure in testing new efficient displays.

He is not just duplicating complications from a watch to another, he is more often trying to improve and bring some changes when useful where he can.

Please note that I didn't go too much into the details I found in the book in order not to spoil the pleasure ofreading it but it is worth reading to see how much attention and work is dedicated to make these beauties and being able to measure the difference between an independent watchmaker putting all his know-how and talent into his work and more traditional brands providing a wider market.


I hope this overview will make you want to appreciate the work of indies and discover more of Kari's work.


Hope you'll enjoy it and do not hesitate to share some pictures smile


Cheers, Mark


PS: I tried to mention the source when I could; sometimes I couldn't find it (or missed it). Sorry for that and thank you to all who shared them with us.

Special thanks for the pictures I could identify to many purists as Stefan, Alex, Don, Fr.-Xavier, Gary, SuitbertW, Oliver and from pictures posted on the net by Sjx, Pete Chong, Eddie Sng... and I guess other people I missed in this list but we thank for sharing on many platforms dealing with watchmaking.

(Feel free of course to PM me if there is a problem you wish I correct about your pictures).





- Minutes Repeaters -

To begin with, Kari Voutilainen is known for his mastery in making minute repeater wristwatches.

At the beginning of the millenary he decided to re think the minute repeater watch by making it "decimal" instead of the usual "quarter" indication (instead of marking each of the 3 intermediate quarters of an hour it plays each of the five 10 minutes periods). It was more logical as an hour is easier to divide by 10minutes parts instead of quarters and with a lower possible number of minutes it is easier to count too (9 instead of 14).

Many of them (all of them?) are made on the basis of a LeCoultre ebauche and when they are not unique, they have only been edited at a very few number of pieces. Some of the movements have been applied some changes, especially concerning the balance wheel and spiral. Each movement is not identical from one another from the pictures and details I could see on the net (bridges shape, spiral and balance wheel material).

What we can notice is that the diameter of all the MR movements is not the same size. Voutilainen is proving the detailed work he performs as he is each time selecting the right dimension. Furthermore, some of the pieces have a special material showing his intention to try something new in a way to improve the result (accuracy, reliability, aesthetics...).

I found 3 videos showing some differences in tone from a material to another. Have a look at them!



1. Masterpiece 6 ( 39.5mm)

This is his first wrist watch decimal repeater and is equipped with a power reserve indicator. I think this version is my favorite among all repeaters and one of my favorite from the whole collection, present and past.

Please have a look at the specific back engraving which matches very well with the case and the sapphire of the crown. The blue and the gold fit very well together and the Roman numerals bring a nice touch to the more modern color outfit.

2. Masterpiece 7 (39.5mm)

It has the particularity of having a Pleiades theme engraving representing the 7 daughters of Atlas (made by Eddy Jaquet).

This one has a GMT function.



3. Masterpiece 8 (unique, 39mm)

Another version of the decimal repeater in a more usual oufit.




4. Minute Repeater GMT "Seven sisters" (42mm)

It is a GMT MR with another engraved back based on the Pleiades theme.

I find it 2 tones Day-night indicator beautiful.




5. Minute repeater Power reserve Decimal (unique, 40mm)

A more classical look for the front and a bit richer at the back made by Eddy Jaquet again. The lion is taken from the Finnish flag and mixes red enamel work with rose and white gold decoration.




6. Minute repeater 10 (unique, 38mm)

This piece is made of a special hardened steel (Stavax) used for sound propagation purposes and has an open-worked dial which is unique in what Voutilainen's has already done.  



7. Decimal Tantalor (45mm)

As the name suggests this one is made with a tantalum case. 



8. Minute repeater Turning bezel (unique, 37mm)

On this particular and early version the collector wanted something very discreet for a minute repeater, thus the mechanism is launched via the bezel.

9. Another unidentified I found, MR and GMT.

Some MR videos:




- Tourbillon -

Kari Voutilainen has also been producing very high end tourbillon watches.


1. The Tourbillon Pocketwatch with power reserve indicator (unique, 50mm case, 43.4mm movement)

This is his first major personal creation. It took more than three years and 2,000 hours (in the early 90's if I'm not wrong) to elaborate during his free time when he wasn't working yet for his own brand. As always, he managed to perform a very precise hand polishing finishing, especially on the tourbillon cage.




2. Tourbillon Board Chronometer with constant force escapement (unique, 85mm case, 67.5mm movement)

Another fantastic finishing of bridges' edges and tourbillon cage.



3. Tourbillon (unique, 37mm)

As its usual attention to details, the hands are off-centered to give more room to the tourbillon cage.




4. Tourbillon with chronometer escapement (unique)

The movement shape is totally new and absolutely beautiful and balanced.



5. The latest tourbillon

Presented in 2014 it also has the hands off-centered.


Some videos of tourbillon watches:





- GMT -

Lately, Kari Voutilainen has worked on unique GMT timepieces with engraved dials. Whereas the early versions had 2 different subdials and the GMT was indicated via a standard hand, the late versions were equipped with a cleverly integrated mechanism within the small seconds sub dial (disk). That way, KV's GMT function is not "intrusive" as it is very discreetly integrated.


1. Observatoire Unique with big sized date (38mm case, 30mm movement)

As its name says, it is based on an Observatoire movement. This unique piece has a patented selector mechanism activated by a pusher on the crown for the different functions.

On this early GMT version the GMT is indicated by a hand on a separate sub dial from the small seconds one. 



2. Zodiac

This version is based on the new Vingt-8 movement (with a specific balance wheel bridge) with an engraved officer's back (by Eddy Jaquet). The case is in Tantalum and gold.




3. Other limited series GMT

The latest Vingt-8 GMT watches gather this useful complication as well as an engraving work of art.


Jura Mountain (or Alpes?)

Grey dial:

Black dial:


Astronomy dial:

Art Deco:



- Shaped watches -

Kari Voutilainen has also been exploring the non round watches area with a very fine taste. Here are some examples I could gather.


1. Chronomètre 27 (44 x 31.5mm)

Based on a Longines 360 ebauche, it has a 36,000 vph frequency.

Beautiful, even if I wondered when looking at the pictures how the watch behaves on the wrist (comfort) with this sort of "column" lugs on the back side. 



2. Tonneau (unique)

This one has a jumping second complication.




- Métiers d'Art -

As we saw earlier Kari Voutilainen is known to have collaborated with several artists for several dials decoration. Apart of the engraving skills, KV also has created other kind of decorated masterpices.

1. First, the Sarasamon two unique pieces (37mm) with the Japanese laquer studio Unryuan inspiring his work fro Edo period.

One in yellow gold:

With a different strap:

One in white gold:

2. Secondly, the unique Oukamon piece (37mm) from the same author:


3. And finally, the unique Hisui mosaic piece (39mm, in platinum), inspired from Emeralds and Jade:




- Chronograph -

To finish with let's have a little word about the chronographs.

There are three models which are:

1. The Masterpiece Chronograph I (10 pieces, 39mm case)



2. The Masterpiece Chronograph II (10 pieces, 40mm case)



3. The Chronograph Monopoussoir (above 40mm)


The least we can say is that in less than two decades Kari Voutilainen has come around many fields of watchmaking (complications, artwork, design choices...) and it is always a great pelasure to discover what he will bring next.

Today, my favorite watches may be the blue dial/rose gold MR with it beautiful caseback and spphire on the crown as well as the pocket watch.

But that's all for now, next discoveries to be found in Baselworld 2015!

Cheers, Mark

This message has been edited by Mark in Paris on 2015-10-09 15:20:26

More posts: Chronograph MonopoussoirChronomètre 27Decimal TantalorHisui mosaicMasterpiece 6Masterpiece 7Masterpiece 8Masterpiece Chronograph IMasterpiece Chronograph IIMillenaryMinute repeater 10Minute Repeater GMT Seven sistersMinute repeater Power reserve DecimalMinute repeater Turning bezelObservatoire UniqueOukamonSarasamonTourbillon Board ChronometerVingt-8VoutilainenZodiac

  login to reply

Comments: view entire thread



 By: Mark in Paris : December 26th, 2014-02:29
No Raymond but I guess during our horological journey we go from discoveries to other discoveries and now for me it is KV time :) Cheers, Mark

Thank you!

 By: Esharp : December 25th, 2014-20:44
Mark, Thank you for taking the time to make such a fantastic and educational post! KV's work is brilliant. Particular standouts for me - 1. The 'Seven Sisters' - the GMT/night and day subdial is not only lovely to look at, it is also located just a bit of... 

Nice choice

 By: Mark in Paris : December 26th, 2014-02:39
I guess we could like them all but everyone will have a different top 3 :) Yes I also find that, even if they may look curious at first sight, I love off-centered subdials and as you pointed out it lasts longer. I noticed the same thing in the Nautilus 57... 

Kari - The silent Master

 By: Ares501 - Mr Green : December 26th, 2014-00:17
Who's watches speaks volumes What a nice Christmas gift you prepared for us to read and enjoy dear Mark To become Master of masters Kari needs Perpetual Calendar to complete Holy Trinity of High Horology Yours gratefully Damjan

What next complication...

 By: Mark in Paris : December 26th, 2014-02:43
Indeed Damjan I was thinking lately about what could he add as a new complication and it is quite a tough question. I think, with the métiers d'arts and the pure philosophy that a special Moonphase disk crafted by an artist could be something great. Who k... 

Some serious pieces of Dream!

 By: amanico : December 26th, 2014-00:36
My favs being the simpler ones, and, among the most complicated the Minute Repeater 10, the Masterpiece 8, the Jura ( or Alps ) Mountain GMT, and the Astronomy. These dials are so delicious, so exquisite. The Chronometre 27 is superb, too. Thank you so mu... 

My pleasure Nicolas :)

 By: Mark in Paris : December 26th, 2014-02:55
I agree with your approach, especially when you think about something you may be wearing if you had it. Although, on pictures, the MR10 looks a bit busy (it was my first impression when I discovered it) it must be a real beauty in the metal with this open... 

The 27, I saw it only once, some 7 years ago, in Paris, on a PuristS Friend's wrist.

 By: amanico : December 26th, 2014-03:03
And I never could forget it. Just wow. The depth, the care on the dial is just breathtaking. Kari sure knows how to drive us crazy! Best, Nicolas

Captivating indeed

 By: Mark in Paris : December 26th, 2014-08:04
I saw from Gary's posts in the past that someone he knows has one, I don't know if it is that collector you know the watch from too. Anyway, I read more that once that the quality of this 27 case and dial are outstanding. I hope I'll be able to see it one... 

Incredible post Mark, absolutely stunning

 By: Mike H : December 26th, 2014-02:56
I am speachless ! My absolute dream, and Kari himself is such a humble person, it ads to the beauty of these timepieces. 1000 thanks Mark for this superb reference post about KV. Mike

Kari is a great ambassador of his own brand indeed

 By: Mark in Paris : December 26th, 2014-07:14
You're welcome Mike Yes, the man behind the watches is a big part of why we like them as it is often the case when dealing with independant watchmaking. Thanks a lot for your words! Cheers, Mark

amazing post

 By: ambel : December 26th, 2014-03:31
Congrats, truly the best post ever seen...

Thanks a lot Alex

 By: Mark in Paris : December 26th, 2014-07:16
I'm glad you enjoyed it. Cheers.

Thanks Mark

 By: gensiulia : December 26th, 2014-04:03
my KV folder thanks you very much! happy holidays chris

Indeed they move from a folder to the other ;)

 By: Mark in Paris : December 26th, 2014-07:19
Several months of gathering pictures here and there :) Thanks Chris. Cheers, Mark

What a fantastic post....

 By: Darren : December 26th, 2014-06:31
Awfully fun to view so many of KV's timepieces in a single place. Amazing how many different timepieces he's managed to create in a relatively short period of time, and at no point does the workmanship seems to suffer in the least. Many of these are among... 

I indeed thought it could be fun to gather many pieces in one thread

 By: Mark in Paris : December 26th, 2014-08:00
and have a look at what he did in the past. As many of these pieces could have reached their owner without us knowing, I'm grateful these were shared with the watch community. As you mention it, I also appreciate that, with time, the work remains at the s... 

Perfect for the holiday season!

 By: jmpTT : December 26th, 2014-07:52
So many Voutilainen watches in a single post is a real treat, so thank you. Beyond the outstanding watchmaking, all of Kari's watches have artistic soul, which is why they are so easily admired.


 By: Mark in Paris : December 26th, 2014-13:49
Thanks jmp I'm glad you like it. As I said before, the watchmaker's soul is much more readable through his work than a traditional brand. This is something we really appreciate in independant watchmaking indeed, and Kari seems really to fly at the top. Ch... 

Great post Mark!

 By: andrewluff : December 26th, 2014-12:52
What a fantastic source of information and an array of wonderful pictures. So much variety in his pieces, dials and movements, he really is a genius. Another one to be unveiled soon ;) Thanks for taking the time to prepare it for us. Cheers Andrew

His watches are indeed coming from...

 By: Mark in Paris : December 26th, 2014-13:53
...the heart of a hard worker and very talented man. I'm glad you liked it Andrew, thanks for your nice comments. We would even like to find more pictures of these rare beauties :) Cheers, Mark

What an extensive report of KV watches, Mark. if I had a million dollars..

 By: Ronald Held : December 26th, 2014-13:14
I know where some of it would go. Should I ask Kari which of his watches are the most accurate: Observatoire, Vingt-8, or his detent chronometer?

That's an interesting question Ronald

 By: Mark in Paris : December 26th, 2014-13:58
I guess they would be similar and need a very precise device to measure the differences. Anyway, as you proposed, with a million I would carry on the tests myself! (maybe his Board Chronometer would bring the best performance?) A chrono, a minute repeater... 

Reference post

 By: tahoeblue : December 26th, 2014-14:45
Such an impressive collection of Kari's watches, and what a post! This certainly does remind one of Kari's incredible skills, and vision, with all pieces showing KV DNA, even in various shapes and complications. Probably the greatest breadth of any indepe... 


 By: Mark in Paris : December 27th, 2014-05:19
I indeed thought it could be nice to remember some older watches he made as they are still very interesting, in all aspects. Kari really succeeded in finding his style in a classic way which looks beautiful and in the mean time which won't fade away. As f... 


 By: pplater : December 29th, 2014-01:37
Hello TB. Isn't that tonneau something else - and with jumping seconds!!! Feel a 'friendship watch' coming on??? :-) Cheers, pplater.

I was wondering what new complication

 By: Mark in Paris : December 30th, 2014-02:59
and talked about a nicely crafted moonphase. But I may say I would love to see another jumping second.


 By: JerryW : December 26th, 2014-20:59
Met Kari at a dinner several years ago and I was immediately in awe of him and his amazing watches. On my shortlist. Best, JerryW

Great post

 By: bobi22 : December 27th, 2014-03:26
Thank you for the all information in one place Just stunning watches , really like the designs.

Thanks a lot bobi

 By: Mark in Paris : December 27th, 2014-07:07
It is really a watchmaker who is worth to discover. Cheers, Mark

On mine too.

 By: Mark in Paris : December 27th, 2014-07:06
I imagine the pelasure to spend an evening diner in his company. I've just met him for the first time in Paris at Belles Montres last November. He was very available to discuss and I could really appreciate the man. Thanks Jerry for chiming in ;) Cheers, ... 

Yes I can confirm

 By: Mike H : December 27th, 2014-12:56
I had the fantastic opportunity to have dinner with both the same evening Kari V. and Ludovic B. last november after Belles Montres Show. That was such a fantastic evening ( we were just about 20 ). These 2 extremely talented creators are equally nice and... 

Ludovic Ballouard is also a great guy

 By: Mark in Paris : December 27th, 2014-13:42
and has a very interesting approach of watchmaking, the upside/down, the half-time but also the Harry Winston. Great fun talking with him. I hope you'll be able to get one soon, it's a fantastic project imho :) Have a nice Sunday Mike, Cheers, Mark

You blew me away with that post Sir!!!!

 By: ik2000 : December 27th, 2014-06:49
Hi Mark, Hahahaha, I think that is the first time I have ever seen the header and the first few sentences of an article, and thought to myself... "No... don't read it yet... finish your tasks for the day, get everything done, and then savour this!" And I ... 

A great watchmaker

 By: Mark in Paris : December 27th, 2014-13:50
I greatly appreciate your words Imran :) I guess KV's watches do all the job! And it is true that Gary is telling the story in a formidable way. I don't how many different pieces I could see on the net but I guess that many watches collectors picked up di... 

Thats an article!!Kari is what keeps me going right now...

 By: moc : December 27th, 2014-06:59
That is what tickles me ,watchmaking,tailored can t even express the sheer admiration I have towards Kari s work.. Impressive gathering of pictures Mark,incredible effort. Mo ...  

That blue one...

 By: Mark in Paris : December 27th, 2014-13:57
I forgot to post it! I had a wristshot from Fx but it was late and I went to fast :p Thanks for your picture, I'll keep it in my lair. I think we have the same approach concerning KV's work (and himself) and I think going for one of his pieces perfectly m... 

Dead Mark, Thanks you SO much

 By: ztirual : December 27th, 2014-09:19
for your wonderful review of Voutilainen's production or the least ten years. I am trying hard but canot really see anyone who can match him in terms of creativity, quality and variety, except perhaps J.P. Journe. Kari's atelier is much smaller though and... 

Sorry I meant off course Dear Mark

 By: ztirual : December 27th, 2014-14:37
message written on the fly ... Too late to correct when I read it again. Btw I find the edit function so hard to find... Best

My pelasure :)

 By: Mark in Paris : December 28th, 2014-08:03
Hey Z', Thanks a lot for your comments it was a pleasure to share with you all here. I would say it is quite unique in this "industry" as it goes really far in the attention given to finishing quality and the work he is carrying on to bring something new ... 

Thanks again Mark

 By: ztirual : December 28th, 2014-11:59
Ah! if you could review each and everyone of the Observatoires that have been produced! A dream that I have had for many years. Imagine what a book it would make...! :-) Thank you for your nice words. As you are asking about that specific watch, yes, I st... 

That would be a long list...

 By: Mark in Paris : December 28th, 2014-14:06
but I thought about it. I would certainly not have all of them but it would be fun to make a long post with the ones I know. And I'd like to talk about the Vingt-8 caliber and the V-8R I didn't like when it was launched but which I love now :p As a great ... 

Thanks a lot Mark for this great compilation of Kari's masterpieces!

 By: foversta : December 28th, 2014-14:45
A must read for any Kari's fan. Congrats. Fx

You're welcome Fx!

 By: Mark in Paris : December 29th, 2014-02:03
And thanks for the pictures ;) Cheers, Mark

Mark, THANK YOU so much!!!...

 By: pplater : December 29th, 2014-02:00
What an amazing undertaking; what a great post! Because this will undoubtedly become a reference post, will you kindly permit the addition of one more image? The watch in question is important because it is the first of the ' Observatoire ' series, commis...  

Of course, you're welcome to share :)

 By: Mark in Paris : December 29th, 2014-07:39
First, you're too kind, I appreciate your words very much :) I didn't know about this watch, thanks for sharing the anecdote and the picture. Those 2 details (hands and lugs) transform the watch quite significantly and make me think that each detail count... 

You're so right

 By: ztirual : December 29th, 2014-13:29
thanks Pplater for refreshing our memory and showing us a picture of that seminal watch. Kudos to Felipe Jordao. As for what Kari enjoys wearing, yes, always his own, but as always polite and curious, he also enjoys trying many of the watches brought by h... 

Thank you

 By: dcfis : January 9th, 2015-20:32
This is my favorite KV model (one off?) of all time. I wish he would go back and make it his statement base in all metals.

Bravo! Yet another spectacular post!

 By: Ancienne Le Brassus : December 30th, 2014-06:48
I've both learned tons and have newer and greater admiration for these timepieces!! Wonderful and hope their happy owners will continue to share their pix of these fine pieces with us here! Thanks for taking the time to make this post!! Great!! S

Still some to discover

 By: Mark in Paris : December 31st, 2014-07:39
As many are personnalised and unique I guess we can discover some new models every day. Thanks a lot for your comments Cheers, Mark

As I fan of KV and an owner of his watches...

 By: swjoseph : December 31st, 2014-10:21
I truly enjoyed this post and the wish the thread will never ends! Thanks a lot for your effort in putting all this art pieces together and may it be a place where other collectors will unveil their hidden treasures. One last note, the Chronometer 27 is a...  

Thanks a lot Joseph

 By: Mark in Paris : January 1st, 2015-07:26
and congratulations for the 27, it is a very unique KV indeed. Glad you enjoyed the post :) Cheers, Mark

What a great psot

 By: cisco : January 17th, 2015-14:32
I discover it only now but thanks a lot Mark, great great post, some I didn't know like these awesome pocket watches.

You're welcome François

 By: Mark in Paris : January 19th, 2015-14:04
It was a pleasure to share his short history among these rare models. I do like the pocket watch a lot too... Cheers, Mark

Fantastic post!!! Well done!!

 By: Horology75 : January 29th, 2015-05:27

Thanks a lot Ovi :) [nt]

 By: Mark in Paris : January 29th, 2015-14:04

Thanks hs :)

 By: Mark in Paris : January 30th, 2015-08:06
I'm glad you liked it. I thought it was nice to talk about such talented watchmaker from time to time. Cheers, Mark

Wow! Thank you Mark.....

 By: Sandgroper : February 2nd, 2015-01:32
Beautiful review. Personally I love the Masterpiece 6, the Masterpiece 8, the Masterpiece Chronograph I, the Chronograph Monopoussoir and the Tonneau. Actually just one of them will make me fly to the moon....and stay there:) Cheers Francois

I agree we would easily take one of each

 By: Mark in Paris : February 2nd, 2015-07:56
The Master 6 and the Monopoussoir are really on the top for me too. Thanks and you're welcome François it was a pleasure to share. Cheers, Mark

Thank you Mark

 By: lhk1 : February 7th, 2015-07:15
For MR, the chimes are loud enough. Overall, I prefer the last MR video. The rest has room for improvement. However, the flaw of the last MR is that the minute chime is losing its speed towards the end. I just got the chance to hear the chimes of Christop... 

Interesting thoughts

 By: Mark in Paris : February 21st, 2015-07:25
And I must say that from the few MRs I could hear, this is may be not the best (in rythm or sound). But I think I should live the experience in real to be affirmative. Thanks for sharing Ling. Cheers, Mark