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Hands-On with the Voutilainen GMT-6 in Titanium, a Unique Piece for a Good Cause

A one of a kind creation for a children's charity, this enamelled GMT-6 - the only one ever in titanium - will go under the hammer on August 20, 2016.

Voutilainen’s signature chronometer wristwatch with an added second time zone feature, the GMT-6 is the base for a one-off timepiece created to benefit Singapore children’s charity Kidz Horizon. Featuring a hand-made champlevé enamel dial, the GMT-6 Kidz Horizon is the only one ever made in titanium.

A collector’s legacy 

The unique GMT-6 is the sixth watch in a series donated by the family of the late Duncan Wang. A Chinese-American businessman who passed away in 2009, the late Mr Wang was a prolific watch collector as well as a patron of many charities. Consequently, Mr Wang’s family, who helped found software firm Computer Associates, decided to create a unique wristwatch every year to be sold for charity in his memory.

Having raised over S$600,000, the “Duncan Watches” in past years have been collaborations with some of the world’s most noted watchmakers. Vacheron Constantin created a Chronometre Royal with a striking blue enamel dial in 2013, while the year before Audemars Piguet put together a Royal Oak Skeleton in titanium and cermet.

GMT-6 Kidz Horizon

Voutilainen Vingt-8 Titanium Kidz Horizon 10

This year’s Kidz Horizon timepiece is a Voutilainen GMT-6, the second example of such a watch Voutilainen has made for charity; in late 2015 a stainless steel GMT-6 was sold at the Only Watch charity auction in Geneva for SFr145,000.

While Voutilainen watches are typically made of precious metals, the GMT-6 Kidz Horizon is titanium – the only specimen in this alloy.

But unlike conventional titanium watch cases that have a matte finish, the GMT-6 case is mirror-polished. The surface is glossy enough that it could be mistaken for steel, with only the lightness of the case revealing it as titanium.

The dial is elaborately made and decorated. A grey-blue, the outermost section is made of solid silver and engine-turned, while the central portion of the dial is finished with a deep blue vitreous enamel.

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This crescent-shaped section is actually a disc of gold, engraved with a barleycorn guilloche, and then enamelled – a technique known as champlevé. A sub-dial at six o’clock indicates the second time zone, with two champlevé enamelled inserts indicating day and night time.

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The hands are, well, hand-made, with the main parts in white gold and accented with blued steel rings on the ends and centre. All of the hour markers are white gold.

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Inside is Voutilainen’s own calibre 28, a hand-wound movement that’s impeccably constructed and finished. Plated in black gold, the German silver bridges have a frosted finish, while all of the wheels are made of solid rose gold.

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Like precision chronometers of old, the calibre 28 has a very large balance wheel, one that is almost half the diameter of the movement. It’s held in place by a long steel bridge with polished, rounded arms, not unlike the bridge on a high-end tourbillon regulator.

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Every detail of the movement, big or small, is beautifully executed. The black polish on the ratchet and barrel wheels is gorgeous, as are the polished countersinks for the jewels and screws.

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Auction details

The GMT-6 Kidz Horizon carries a retail price of SFr102,000 or S$145,000. It will be sold at the Kidz Horizon dinner on August 20, 2016, at the Ritz-Carlton in Singapore.

All proceeds will go to Kidz Horizon, a charity the funds medical treatment for disadvantaged children.

Interested bidders can contact Ms Christine Gwee at Kidz Horizon.

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Introducing the G-Shock MR-G 20th Anniversary “Hammer Tone”

Cutting edge tech and traditional Japanese metalworking.

Casio boasts some of the most advanced electronic watches in the world, with its G-Shock having become something of a cult object. To mark 20 years of the top of the line G-Shock, the MR-G, Casio recruited master metalworker Bihou Asano to create a limited edition that blends high tech electronics and centuries-old artisanal decoration like tsuiki. As cool, high-end gadgets go, this is a winner.

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The MR-G 20th Anniversary “Hammer Tone” is made of titanium, with the bezel and bracelet links finished with tsuiki, a technique of hand-hammering traditionally used for copper ware and armour. Each component is finished by hand, using a small hammer with a ball tip.

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Casio G-Shock MR-G 20th Anniversary MRG-G1000HT 4

To achieve the unusual silvery-grey finish on the bezel and bracelet, a finish known as oboro-gin (“hazy silver”) was applied. Oboro-gin is historically used for Japanese sword (katana) accessories, just like the akagane (“red metal” or copper) finish on the bezel screws, pushers and crown.

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Casio G-Shock MR-G 20th Anniversary MRG-G1000HT 5

Casio G-Shock MR-G 20th Anniversary MRG-G1000HT 3

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While the case finish is eminently traditional, the electronics of the watch are leading edge. The movement syncs with both Global Positioning System (GPS) satellites and radio time signals, ensuring it is always spot-on.

In addition it has a world time function, stopwatch, countdown, alarm, perpetual calendar, battery level indicator and LED illumination. Charged by solar cells on the dial, the MR-G 20th Anniversary will run for 18 months on a full charge, with the power saving mode turned on.

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With a look that is typical of Japanese electronics, the dial is extremely complex, with numerous markings and indicators. However, it is constructed as elaborately as it looks, being three-dimensional with applied markers and sub-dial rings.

Like most G-Shocks, the MR-G 20th Anniversary is a large watch, measuring 49.8mm in diameter and 16.9mm high. But being mostly titanium, it is relatively light, being just over 150g.

Limited to 300 pieces, the G-Shock MR-G 20th anniversary (ref. MRG-G1000HT) retails for US$6200 or S$8888. It will be available from G-Factory stores and select retailers worldwide; in Singapore it is available at Cortina Watch.


 

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