Kari Voutilainen has built a range of timepieces using his in-house calibre 28 as a base, ranging from the basic Vingt-8 to the more recent V-8R with a power reserve display. The latest to join the line-up is the Vingt-8 GMT, which has the addition of a second time zone display at six o’clock, integrated into the subsidiary seconds. The Vingt-8 GMT retains the same case as the basic Vingt-8, measuring 39 mm with Voutilainen’s signature teardrop lugs.
The second time zone is essentially a 24 hour disc, marked out for day (in gold with a sun engraved) and night (black with the moon and stars), and read via the small triangular pointer at the top of the sub-dial.
Advanced in one hour increments by pressing the crown, the day and night indicator is artfully decorated, but unfortunately not especially legible. That’s because the numerals are small, and also easily confused with the numbers of the sub-seconds. Though having the GMT button co-axial with the crown is an elegant solution, the action of the button is imprecise; lacking a definitive and clean feel.
Engraved in relief with the sun and moon, the GMT sub-dial is attractive executed. But the rest of the dial is similarly engraved, decorated with planets, shooting stars and even an entire galaxy, which is too much cosmological content for a simple watch. And some of the engraved details are not sufficiently refined for a watch of this calibre.
One detail worth mentioning are the Breguet hands with their oversized tips, executed in the typical Voutilainen style. They are hand-made from two colours of gold, and are beautiful.
Fortunately the view from the back is serene. The movement has a frosted gilt finish, one of the most attractive versions of the cal. 28. This gives prominence to the polished steel parts, like the barrel ratchet wheels and balance bridge.
The movement is of Voutilainen’s own design and manufacture. Its centrepiece is the oversized, free-sprunng 13.6 mm balance wheel with adjustable rose gold weighs, held aloft by a rounded steel bridge.
|The adjustable mass of the balance wheel|
As expected, the finishing is of an extremely high standard, even up close. The bevels on the cocks for the double escape wheels are particularly beautiful, though the lines of the edges are not as sleek as they should be.
All the teeth of the barrel ratchet and winding wheel are polished as well.
This Voutilainen Vingt-8 GMT is a unique piece, though there are several other versions in other metals with different engraved dials. This particular piece in rose gold retails for 125,800 Singapore dollars inclusive of 7% tax, equivalent to approximately US$99,100.
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Presented earlier this year as the sucessor to the successful Observatoire, the Vingt-8 is equipped with Voutilainen's first in-house calibre featuring a enormous, adjusable mass balance and dual escape wheels.