Taking the high dive! It is in the famous Chapeau de Napoléon, this haughty mansion overlooking the Val de Travers, that the niche watchmaker Kari Voutilainen, Gaïa Price awarded in 2014 has just tucked himself away. And to commit to eco-responsibility with its 28SC-SB (Sun Bird) series.
From among his 60-70 annual watches, here is a timepiece in a 12-piece numbered series with a case made of 100% recycled solar steel, carved from the first melt from the solar furnace in Mont-Louis (Pyrénées-Orientales, France).
Ultra-luxury and sustainable values
While an Observatory piece from his early days has just been auctioned off at three times its initial value of CHF 51,000.00, while gleaming old machines snatched from the oblivion of watchmaking history and handled by lucky young watchmakers immersed in this permanent reservoir of knowledge transmission, the master of the house evokes this stainless steel foundry in his native country which on its own, not to mention its environmental pollution, swallows up 5% of Finnish electricity!
Through a concrete commitment, he is expressing his awareness in addition to 900 references in house manufactured, which represent 16,000 annual components crafted and finished from steel, nickel silver, brass, silver, gold or titanium. Voutilainen initiates in his own way, the arrival of sustainable values in ultra-luxury. And time itself seems to have frozen up there, somewhere high above Fleurier.
A collector’s micro-series?
As he occasionally teases out materials as hazardous to work with as Tantalum or Niobium, the twelve 28SC-SB (Sun Bird) made by this award-winning watchmaker are just about as rare. They come from the first AISI 316L grade 4441 steel bar offered by Panatere, made from recycled wood shavings harvested in the Jura region and melted down using solar energy.
On the inside, the famous Vingt-8 caliber, with its unique and innovative escapement and balance spring. Kari Voutilainen is promoting watchmaking at its most noble. His ultimate finishing is also expressed on this two-tone silver dial, hand-engraved with gold appliques. Until now, the master has been known for the uniqueness of his pieces, which are open to individualization. Here, the master is offering a fully assumed micro-series of 12 pieces. This is a premiere!