The watch fairs have come and gone, and watchmakers have shown off their newest novelties, from the necessary commercial fodder to the innovative and mind-boggling. Kari Voutilainen’s new Tourbillon-6 looks like it belongs in the former category at first glance, but still remains one of the best tourbillons seen this year.
That shouldn’t come as a surprise, considering Voutilainen, 52, created the world’s first decimal repeater and just won the Best Men’s Watch prize at last year’s Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Geneve for his V-8R watch. The reason collectors will be scrambling to get a hold of one of just six pieces of Voutilainen’s latest tourbillon is that it uses his new direct impulse escapement. Through his own brand of horological wizardry, this escapement requires 30 to 40 per cent less energy than traditional lever escapements. Together with a large free-sprung balance, the movement benefits from a generous 65-hour power reserve.
It is also because of Voutilainen’s meticulous finishing that makes his watches so coveted. While not as immediately eye-catching as the mosaic dial of the Hisui 28 he also released this year, the Tourbillon-6 boasts a beautiful guilloche on the dial, hand-turned by a rose engine. No matter what you scrutinise, be it the tourbillon cage or the tiny gears in the German silver movement, you’ll find the finishing is flawless – a trademark that can’t be said of some watchmaking brands far older than the man.