Last year, Kari Voutilainen presented the Kaen, a watch where the dial was also made in Japan. This year, he introduced another masterpiece from Japan, the Vingt8 Aki-No-Kure. And again is the dial created by the legendary Japanese lacquer studio Unryuan.
Having visited Kari in his studio in Motiers, I have seen how much handwork is going into his watches and how long it takes to make one watch. In average, Kari needs about 6 months to produce one of his watches. This japanese art piece which is a unique piece most likely has taken even longer I assume.
I took a long video during Baselworld letting a Japanese expert explain this watch. He especially is explaining the background of the dial.
The spider on the outer caseback is coming out of the late autumn woods. In the video above, the Japanese expert is explaining it.
The backside with the caseback that open to give a full view on the artistically decorated movement is another sight to behold:
This timepiece carries an in-house designed movement. The main plate and bridges are manufactured from pure German silver and titanium with Art decoration made by the legendary Japanese lacquer studio Unryuan. New direct impulse escapement with two escapement wheels.
Free sprung balance (with Grossman interior curve and Philips exterior curve, beating at 18,000 vph). Diameter of balance wheel is 13.60 mm. Wheels in gold.
The case is made of 18-carat high palladium gold. Sapphire glass front and back, with anti-reflection treatment on front. Matching tang buckle in 18-carat white gold and alligator strap. All design, manufacturing, construction, fabrication, hand finishing and assembly is done in the Voutilainen workshop.
This bespoke watch was inspired from a late autumn scene with the spirit of circle of life. This symbiosis of Japanese tradition with 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.
One of the greatest lacquered studios in the world is Unryuan in Wajima, a town in Japan. Under the guidance of Mr. T. Kitamura, they 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 kind of work of art is still here today, it can be restored and remains like new and even manipulate lacquer with human hands. This superlative work involves a patient’s patience and dedication to create these works of art. This masterpiece shown here; Using the techniques of lacquering which takes more than a thousand hours of work to complete the dial, bridges and cover of the case back.
(all information in this contribution is taken either from my meeting with Kari and his japanese expert during Baselworld, the video was taken during Baselworld, and some information is courtesy of Kari’s homepage).
I recall that the last Unryuan timepiece sold very fast, and at the time of publishing, I do not know if this timepiece has been sold or not. For any inquiries, just visit the homepage of Kari Voutilainen and contact him.