6th of September 2006)
Finnish Association of Watchmakers celebrates its 100th anniversary:
Kari Voutilainen, “Watchmaker of the Year 2006”
Subrenat* (Photos by the author)
3rd of September 2006, the Finnish Association of Watchmakers celebrated
its 100th anniversary. A gala dinner was held at the Crowne Plaza Hotel
in Helsinki, and 3 special prizes were granted on this occasion:
- The distinction of “Watchmaker of the year 2006”, for outstanding achievements
in horology, was bestowed on Kari Voutilainen, who has set up his own
atelier in Môtiers (Switzerland). http://www.watches-lexic.ch/pages/eng/tec/fs_voutilainen.htm
The commendation, which was read by Ms. Maj-Lis Kvist, President of the
Finnish Association of Watchmakers, is an interesting résumé of Kari Voutilainen’s
professional history and achievements: it mentions that he graduated from
the School of Watchmaking in Tapiola in 1986, attended WOSTEP courses
in 1988 and 1989, and graduated from the Finnish Institute of Business
Management in 1988.
This prize also recognizes his “outstanding professionalism, his open
mind”, and his high technology solutions to watchmaking.
“He is also, for the moment, the most famous Finnish watchmaker, who has
kept alive the tradition and reputation of Finnish watchmaking in the
world, especially in Switzerland”.
The commendation goes on to mention that he worked 10 years with Parmigiani
and Mesure et Temps S.A.. After that, as a teacher in WOSTEP, he was in
charge of the course on complicated watches. From 2002, has been working
as an independent watchmaker in Switzerland, “concentrating on crafting
high-quality watches by hand. He possesses all the talents required of
a representative, successful watchmaker”. And the commendation ends with
this conclusion: “Has demonstrated great skills as well as a sense of
innovation, and has set the highest technological standards in watchmaking.
Has not been afraid to go out and discover the world”.
- The diploma of “Watch and Jewellery Shop of the Year 2006” was awarded
to the Piekäinen shop in Helsinki, managed by Riikka Piekäinen
- The diploma of “The most attractive shopwindow of the Year 2006” related
to horology was awarded to Kultakaksikko in Lohja, managed by Ms. Eija
Kari Voutilainen winding his way through the tables of applauding guests,
on his way to the podium to receive the distinction of “Watchmaker of
the Year 2006”, bestowed by the Finnish Association of Watchmakers, on
the occasion of its 100th anniversary
Voutilainen thanking the Association of Finnish Watchmakers for having
nominated him “Watchmaker of the Year 2006”
holding the diploma of “Watchmaker of the Year 2006”. To his right, Ms.
Maj-Lis Kvist, President, and Ms. Tuula Navia, Managing Director of the
Finnish Association of Watchmakers
prizes (from left to right): Riikka Piekäinen, Eija Kullaa, Kari Voutilainen
that day, a ceremony was held to commemorate the 100th anniversary of
the Finnish Association of Watchmakers. The ceremony celebrating the 100th
anniversary of the Finnish Association of Watchmakers
in 1906, the Finnish Association of Watchmakers has some members who are
In the course
of this ceremony, the Association bestowed for the first time, in honour
of the centennial celebration, numbered silver hammers to watchmakers
having demonstrated special skill, interest and talent in craftmanship:
Hammer n° 1 was offered to Kari Voutilainen,
2, Harry Åkerman,
3, Seppo Tienhaara,
4, Stepan Sarpaneva,
5, Hannu Korsman.
award (a numbered silver hammer) was presented by Ms Maj-Lis Kvist (far
right), President of the Finnish Association of Watchmakers, to Kari Voutilainen,
Harry Akerman, Seppo Tienhaara, Stepan Sarpaneva and Hannu Korsman (from
right to left)
onwards, only one watchmaker will receive this yearly distinction.
a retired ambassador, has been interested in horology since childhood.