October 4, 2018

10 Questions: Kari Voutilainen

Kari Voutilainen is a Finnish watchmaker living in Switzerland.

  1. What constitutes a perfect watch?

A watch that is enjoyable to wear. One that brings a smile to your face when you look at it.

  1. Your artisanal timepieces are well known to exclusive collectors around the globe. Why do you think people are so interested in them?

Because we make our watches in-house. I am also doing the actual job of watchmaking; I am not just a businessman who runs the company.

  1. As an independent watchmaker, how do you separate your free time from your work?

I don’t separate the two. I love my work and I haven’t had the feeling that I am working since I finished watchmaking school.

  1. What are the biggest misconceptions about watchmaking?

I think it looks easy from the outside, but it is not easy to do what we do. Imagine, create, fabricate and then sell and deliver. It is all very complicated and requires a vision.

  1. How do you develop yourself professionally?

Practical work is the way to develop, and so is restoring antique watches.

  1. What tools could you not live without?

An eyeglass. It reveals small details.

  1. What is the best feedback you have ever received?

A happy customer who ordered a new watch after I delivered a watch which was ready after a several-year waiting period.

  1. How do you see the evolution of the watch industry in recent decades?

Computers have created a revolution, as have new machining techniques. They are really useful for us and a key reason why we are able to exist.

  1. How does the lifestyle in Môtiers, Switzerland, differ from Finland?

Not that much, as living in the countryside is great. There are no traffic jams, but lots of fresh air. We have all four seasons here, but a gentle winter with some snow. There is more sun in Switzerland during wintertime, and the rays begin to warm the air already in January.

  1. You have an impressive catalogue and have won several important awards, but is there still something you feel you have not accomplished?

I have plenty of ideas and plans, and so I don’t have any intention to retire as yet. I will keep on doing my work, as today we are very independent, which is what I have always dreamt of.

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