Introducing The New Voutilainen CSW Watch

Kari Voutilainen's new watch may be stainless steel but that hasn't diminished any of its qualities.


When you think of Kari Voutilainen’s watches, assuming you’ve heard of him, you naturally think of dress watches with gorgeous movements, precious metal cases and high price tags. This piece certainly has two out of three, and the biggest surprise reveals the third part of the above puzzle which seems to be absent here.

Yes, you’re looking at a watch from Kari Voutilainen which is made in stainless steel, rather than white gold, platinum or something else. Yet, the material takes the back seat in this watch thanks to its unique case. The cushion-shaped case is like a square but the edges bulge outwards slightly, mimicking a soft cushion. Panerai is most notable for using the cushion shape, but they don’t have a monopoly on it, many brands from Alpina to H.Moser & Cie also use this shape for their watches. In this new watch, the CSW in the name stands for Cushion Shaped Worldtime, which is precisely what this is.

The stainless steel cushion-shaped case measures 39mm x 39mm and is 12mm thick. This surrounds a grey dial which is beautifully simple, and simply beautiful. The traditional Voutilain finishing is all here, the dial features oodles of guilloché engraving, the quality of which is unmatched by all but a very select few. The pomme hands, typical of Voutilainen watches, are here too in full force making reading the time a doddle. 

Voutilainen has stripped away non-essentials such as a running seconds hand and a date indicator, which are not necessary to make the world time function work. The 24-hour ring is here and is surrounded by the cities as is typical for a world timer, but eagle-eyed readers may have spotted that for the European timezone Paris has been replaced by MOTIERS. Môtiers is a village in Switzerland near Fleurier and is where the Voutilainen workshop is located. The next timezone along, which is typically Cairo, has also been replaced with KEMI, Kemi is the Finnish town where Kari Voutilainen grew up. 

Controlling the world time function is done by pressing the crown, which removes any other pushers that are usually required. This is thanks in part to the calibre 216TMZ which is brilliant and beautiful. It has a large balance wheel which beats at 2Hz, and has a Grossmann interior curve and Phillips exterior curve on its hairspring with a 60-hour power reserve. The quality of the hand-finishing needs to be seen to be believed. As is typical with watches of this level, the press photos do not do it justice.

The watch is presented on a leather strap and, due to the nature of production volumes from a small watchmaker, is limited to just ten pieces. Also, because it is an exceptional piece from a super-rare watchmaker, the price is high, at CHF198,000 before tax.