Thursday, April 27, 2017

Voutilainen 28 Aki-No-Kure

Kari Voutilainen has partnered with a famous lacquer studio in Japan to create the extra ordinary 28 Aki-No-Kure timepiece.

One of the greatest lacquer studios in the world is Unryuan in Wajima town in Japan. Under the guidance of Mr. T. Kitamura, they create works of lacquer art that stand at the pinnacle of Japanese tradition, bringing a craft that has existed for hundreds of years into the present, exemplifying the passion to preserve the soul, spirit and identity of traditional Japanese culture as expressed in the Edo period. This kind of work of art made hundreds of years ago is still here today, it can be restored and remains like new even we touch and manipulate lacquer with human hands. This superlative work engages us immediately on a physical level and one can only stand in awe at the commitment, patience and dedication required to create these works of art. This masterpiece shown here; using the techniques of lacquering which takes far more than thousand hours of work to complete the dial, bridges and cover of the case back. The raw materials for its creation are: Kinpun (gold dust), Jyunkin-itakane (gold leaf), Yakou-gai (shell of great green turban) and Awabi-gai (abalone shell from New Zealand).
This bespoke watch been inspired from late autumn scene with the spirit of circle of life. This symbiosis of Japanese tradition with the Swiss haute horlogerie creations of Kari Voutilainen represents an all-embracing mechanical and visual work of art that unites the East and West in perfect harmony.

The theme selected for this watch is Aki-No-Kure that means “the scene in late autumn” and there is a notion hidden behind the theme, “the circle of life”. Late autumn represents the wheel of life [regeneration] takes place for spring. UNRYUAN (Tatsuo Kitamura).

The stunning watch dial describes ears of Japanese pampas grass [miscanthus sinensis] are forming full ears in the autumn breeze. Also, it reminds of the fantastic effects to move in ripple or surging waves. It is depicted using the technique, TOGIDASHI-MAKIE [burnished MAKIE], TAKA-MAKIE [raised MAKIE] embossed gilt lacquer work in gold, and RADEN [mother-of-pearl inlay work] on the top of surface. The materials are black lacquer, gold powder, turban shell and abalone shell.

On the inside part of case back, a dragonfly and ripples on water nearby a field of pampas grass. The decorating techniques used here are SAIEI-MAKIE, TOGIDASHI-MAKIE, TAKA-MAKIE, ARADASHI-MAKIE [rough-finishing MAKIE], and RADEN. The materials are gold powder, gold leaf, turban shell (wing), abalone shell (ripple), black lacquer, vermilion-lacquer (body).In Japan the dragonfly is known as the victory insect (kachimushi) because of its hunting prowess and also it is known to never retreat.
Opening the case back, you can admire a meticulously decorated, in house movement. This manual winding movement crafted in German silver and titanium is decorated with utilizing the technique of SAIEI-MAKIE. The materials are gold leaf, abalone shell, black lacquer, “glass-particle”.
Outside part of the case back features a spider, which considered as auspicious, a good omen. This decoration incorporates an ancient technique of inlaying gold, KINZOUGAN (by a Japanese Metal & Tosogu artist, Koshiro Izumi). The web is carved on white gold and inlaid with different gold. The spider is made of a Japanese alloy of copper and inlaid with gold. The materials are gold, Shakudō.

Technical details
Model: Voutilainen 28 Aki-No-Kure

Unique, in house designed movement with hours and minutes
New direct impulse escapement with two escapement wheels
Dimensions: 30mm x 5.60mm with pure German silver main plate and bridges made from
German silver and titanium with Art decoration made by the legendary Japanese lacquer studio Unryuan
Wheels in gold
Jewels: 21
Free sprung balance (wheel diameter 13.60mm) with Grossman interior curve and Philips exterior curve, beating at 18,000 vph

Unique art piece created by the legendary Japanese lacquer studio Unryuan
Hands: gold and steel, hand made
All manufacturing, construction, fabrication, hand finishing and assembly in the Voutilainen workshop

Made from 18ct high palladium gold , diameter of the case is 39.00mm
Sapphire glass front and back, with anti reflection treatment

Buckle and strap
18K white gold tang buckle and alligator strap

Limited to 1 unique example

MAKIE is lacquer work, the decoration technique, in which designs or patterns are drawn in lacquer (urushi), over which gold powder is sprinkled [scattered] while the lacquer is wet to secure the design on the surface.
RADEN is mother-of-pearl inlay work, the decoration technique in which designs or patterns are drawn in lacquer (urushi), gold powder, pieces of cut gold leaf, turban and abalone shell.
Shakudō is a billon of gold and copper (typically 4–10% gold, 96–90% copper) which can be treated to form an indigo/black
KINZOUGAN is a technique used to decorate sword (katana) fittings, particularly sword hand guard (tsuba).

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