Only Watch is about unique pieces. Sometimes brands use colour to create a unique expression of a familiar design, others employ previously unused complications or materials (a black ceramic Tudor anyone?). But never before has the biennial charity watch auction presented buyers with the opportunity to buy such a personal project, something that is sure to appeal to the watchmaker concerned’s most ardent collectors.
The unusually contemporary TP1 pocket watch with TV screen case submitted by Finnish watchmaker Kari Voutilainen, is the first project he’s worked on with his daughter, Venla, herself a newly qualified watchmaker.
The father and daughter collaboration set out a clear division of labour; Kari would work on the case and dial while Venla made all the decisions regarding use of colour and decoration of the movement, a bold move considering Voutilainen Snr is one of the world’s best in that arena.
The movement at the heart of the TP1 is a 17 jewel Swiss lever escapement LeCoultre ebauche which features a Guillaume Balance Wheel, the development of which led to Dr Charles Edouard Guillaume winning the 1920 Nobel Prize for Physics, and Phillips overcoil hairspring.
Venla opted to use a satin-finish black gold coating on the mainplate and bridges while Kari decided to make the striking 50mm TV screen case from titanium. The watch features an engine-turned solid silver dial, finished in a two-tone blue with orange-red highlights and is secured on a hand stitched leather fob with titanium screw. A blued engine-turned movement ring is rightly signed Kari and Venla to mark the project.
Given the small number of handmade watches that Voutilainen Snr makes and the devotion of his fans it’s safe to assume that the TP1 will achieve something north of its £55,600 high estimate when the 52 watches of Only Watch are sold at auction in November. Or perhaps we’re way off; after all this could be an opportunity to get in on the ground floor with a future horological superstar.
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