Voutilainen 28ti was released this year during the Baselworld show. This time, master watchmaker Kari Voutilainen comes with a pure mechanical art piece. The watch does not have a dial disk (guilloche, enamel or other dial decorating technique). The 28ti is a flipped design of the well-known Vinght-8. What is achieved? – A masterpiece where the viewer can be immersed directly into the movement finishes and where the large balance wheel is part of the dial “decorations”.
The presented piece is the prototype, number 0 of 8. The watch was running at the moment when the pictures were taken and I decided to leave the hands at the shown position for several reasons: a ten-ten position will cover the balance wheel and the nameplate, the hands are already in a similar position translated to twelve twenty-something.
Hands-on review Voutilainen 28ti
This watch is so beautiful that I will start with the conclusions. I cannot hold on to my feelings until the end of the article.
I was so impressed by it, that I forgot to make the wrist shot. So many details available on both front and back made me turn the watch repeatedly to look again and again. Why? I was discovering new things, I was observing new details. Have a look at the video below. Fortunately, the video contains a wrist roll.
The Voutilainen 28ti is a masterpiece. Not that was unexpected from master Voutilainen to deliver such a superb technical piece. It is the emotion that it creates. I was always drowned into the reverse designs, but this is amazing. It is not just a movement that was turned/reversed. The usual approach is to drill the plates to transmit the movement directly to the other side. Kari Voutilanen chooses a more complex technical solution that brings new appealing elements to what is now the dial side.
The finishes are exceptional by all means. The gear train was made of white gold to be even more visually appealing. Every surface, every edge, every corner has something to reveal. The creation brings satisfaction to any avid lover of high-end finishes. A masterpiece between masterpieces.
A precious case – not by material but from design and construction
The case is made of titanium in Voutilainen Ateliers. The 39mm diameter is a perfect size for most of the collectors. The overall dimensions are balanced by the thickness of 13.4mm. The case has a known construction for those familiar with Voutilainen pieces. Ones of the most appealing exterior details are the soldered teardrop lugs. The knowledge and the tech to solder without leaving any marks in the case’s material and colour is something extraordinary.
The case’s components are mirror polished. When speaking about titanium, it is known that its polish is spectacular, but hard to achieve it – a tremendous amount of work is needed. The tree-parts case construction is elegant.
The front view of the 28ti
Voutilainen 28ti offers an atypical dial show. Due to its flipped design, the dial is governed now by the generously sized balance wheel. This is fixed with a baton bridge fixed on two pillars. The bridge is rounded and highly polished. The antishock system is held in place in a gold cabochon. Spectacular bridge shape and finishes…
To note that the watch uses gold gear train. The pinions and wheels are completely flat and highly polished. An exception is made for the ratcheted gear wheel of the barrel, where a sublime snailing is implemented.
The bridges are flowless decorated. Rounded and polished chamfers take the eyes from the fine frosted surface finish. Note that all sinks are polished.
For the time display, Kari uses his complex constructed and finished hands. The hands are manufactured in gold. The manufacturing process needs multiple steps and painstaking handwork. For legibility, the watch is fitted with an exterior register with printed dots as indexes. For 12, 3, 6 and 9 o’clock, the indexes are volumetric dots, probably white gold or titanium bolts.
The backside view of the Voutilainen 28ti
The backside of the watch reveals what was before the watchmaker’s side (the side under the dial visible usually only to the watchmakers). The backside features the small seconds’ indication, a remnant of the classic Vingt-8 movement and a power reserve indication.
The back view also is spectacular. The clean metallic appearance is “broken” by the coloured addition of the horological complications. The small seconds uses a blued metal circles with printed Arabic numerals and indexes.
The power reserve uses a similar implementation but with a semi-circle. The indication is visually balanced by a plate bearing the name of the watch and the serial number 0/8 (prototype from a limited series of 8 pieces). The hands of the backside suffer the same construction type and the finishes as the frontal counterparts.
Some notes on the movement
The Voutilainen 28ti is equipped with two escapements. The unusual typology uses a typical Phillips overcoil for the exterior spring and a Grossmann curve for the interior one. The Vingt-8 was the first to use this very rare and unique balance-spring system in such a configuration. This escapement system requires less energy as the classic swiss lever escapement and is much more efficient. The escapement wheels give a direct impulse to the balance wheel through the impulse roller/jewel offering better functional stability.
Voutilainen 28ti Technical Specifications and Price
In-house movement. Design, construction, fabrication, finishing and assembly inVoutilainen workshops.
Ø 30mm x 8.45mm
Free sprung balance wheel with rose gold timing weights frequency of 18,000 v.p.h.
Silver dial made in house
Titanium case, manufactured in house
Ø 39mm x 13.40mm
Voutilainen 28ti is a limited edition of 8 pieces at a price tag of 86,000 CHF each. It is also available in platinum, 8 pieces limited series at a price of 98,000 CHF.