June 21, 2014
by Ariel Adams
This isn’t the first time that Kari Voutilainen has worked with Japanese national treasure and legendary lacquer artist Kitamura Tatsuo, otherwise known as “Unryuan.” Kitamura’s crafts take many different forms, and when he works with Voutilainen, it is often for carefully hand-assembled mosaic dials that combine a range of natural elements and materials such as gold and mollusk shells. This watch is called the Voutilainen 28 Hisui, which is Japanese for jade, and looking at the dial colors of the Voutilainen 28 Hisui, it is easy to tell why.
Produced as a one-of-a-kind “piece unique” watch, according to the brand, the Voutilainen 28 Hisui watch dial and movement required “thousands of hours of work” by the Unryuan studio in Japan. That, of course, is in addition to the work done by Voutilainen’s studio on the timepiece itself. In my opinion, a watch like the Voutilainen 28 Hisui is breathtakingly beautiful, but I can’t decide whether or not I like the dial or movement side better. What do you think?
This is one of the most unique Voutilainen dials I’ve ever seen, and the only one that I can think of that is completely decorated in this manner. I have to respect Kari’s dedication to a watch being a watch, because the Voutilainen 28 Hisui still has 18k white gold applied hour markers as well as the Voutilainen brand logo plate. Applied gold leaf is used on the periphery of the dial that melds into shades of blue and green.
Gold dust is mixed into the equation with individually placed pieces of New Zealand abalone and great green turban shell. These tiny fragments are first assorted into shape and color and then carefully placed in order to create the mosaic art which makes the Hisui, the Hisui.