Kari Voutilainen, (a Finish watchmaker based in Switzerland) one of the most loved and respected independent watchmakers of our time.
1. What did your father do? what did your mother do? Describe briefly your childhood?
My father was banker and my mother was taking care of the house and wild boys. Happy childhood and lot of sport.
2. As a child did you have any driving ambition? What did you want to be?
I made skiing competitions and I was training a lot. I loved to make woodwork and work on machines.
I wanted to be independent and work with my hands.
3. What is your first significant memory as a child?
Summer holiday on seaside..
4. Have you ever had another profession? What did you do?
No other professions..
5. Who have you worked for in the past? What made you decide to go in the direction you are currently in.
Parmigiani followed by WOSTEP as a teacher. Desire to make my own creations and have freedom on that.
6. What’s the worst job you’ve had to do?
7. What’s been the hardest moment in your life so far, and how did you overcome it?
When my mother passed away when I was 17 years old, it took several years..
8. Who has had the strongest influence on you? What are your greatest inspirations?
I admire old masters like Breguet, Berthoud etc. They were true masters and scientist mastering astronomy and inventers. They did first theory books for us..
I have restored watches made by these great masters, and it is something very special and impossible to describe the feeling once working on that type of timepiece.
9. What are you most proud of?
My first watch, tourbillon pocket watch with power reserve indication.
10. What advice would you give to a 20 something someone thinking of taking a similar path as you?
Everything takes time and we need lot of patience and time. We have to enjoy our daily life, this counts.
11. Name three things on your bucket list.
Lot of new watches..with surprising mechanisms..
12.Where do you think the industry is going to be in 10 years time.
More mechanical watches and certainly more electronic / connected watches with health functions and communication possibilities.
To learn more about Kari www.voutilainen.ch