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Schwarz Etienne - ROMA SYNERGY by Kari Voutilainen

Schwarz Etienne ROMA SYNERGY by Kari Voutilainen

The brand presents its watch created with the help of Kari Voutilainen.

Mauro Egermini, CEO of Schwarz Etienne met Kari Voutilainen a couple of years ago. He was already aware of the Finn’s exceptional work and reputation, but when the two men chatted, Mauro was struck by Kari’s endearing modesty and immediately felt at ease with him. The two men spoke again on a couple of occasions and, ultimately, they explored the possibility of collaborating in some way.

The Schwarz Etienne ROMA SYNERGY by Kari Voutilainen, bears the names of both parties. It is not the usual customer-supplier relationship. Indeed, both parties have worked together on the design, the making of the dial and, lastly, the movement finishing.

ROMA SYNERGY by Kari Voutilainen

ROMA SYNERGY by Kari Voutilainen © Schwarz Etienne

Finishing In the finishing department of Les Ateliers Kari Voutilainen, time-served finisseurs suffuse surfaces with exquisite forms of decoration. The most challenging and time-consuming form of decoration is ‘black polishing’. This technique requires the use of a ‘tin-plate’ smeared with an even coating of diamond paste. The part being polished is carefully moved across the surface of the tin-plate, ensuring it remains perfectly flat. When successfully completed, the part will exhibit a mirrorlike appearance.

The dial The Schwarz Etienne ROMA SYNERGY by Kari Voutilainen is offered in two dial colours, ‘ocean blue’ and ‘sand grey’. Both versions feature silver-toned, lancine-shape hour and minute hands. A combination of short, applied batons and contemporary Arabic numerals denote each hour. They are presented on a hand-guilloché hour track enriched with a ‘soleil’ pattern. A neat chemin de fer frames the dial area, providing an elegant means of delineation as well as aiding readability.

The central area of the dial encompasses an ‘écaille de poisson’ motif. Intended to resemble fish scales, the textured motif emanates from the fulcrum of the dial with the scale gradually increasing in size as it approaches the hour track. The Schwarz Etienne name is presented on a plain cartouche below noon.

A generously proportioned small seconds display occupies a sizeable portion of the lower dial area. It usurps some of the central dial area as well as a section of the hour track. The small seconds display is suffused with a sea of ‘vague’ guilloché. Again, a chemin de fer is used to frame the small seconds display. In addition, a silver-toned plaque references the Kari’s contribution.

ROMA SYNERGY by Kari Voutilainen

ROMA SYNERGY by Kari Voutilainen © Schwarz Etienne

The case The Schwarz Etienne ROMA SYNERGY by Kari Voutilainen is housed in a 39mm stainless steel case which has a thickness of 11mm, allowing it to readily reside beneath the shirt cuff.

The case gleams resplendently courtesy of its highly polished surfaces. This form of polishing accentuates the numerous case contours around the bezel, case band and lugs.

Both versions of the Schwarz Etienne ROMA SYNERGY by Kari Voutilainen are complemented with colour-coordinating straps, each made of leather and endowed with a contrasting leather lining. Each strap is paired with a stainless-steel folding buckle.

The movement The Manufacture automatic movement, the Calibre ASE 200.00, is visible via the exhibition case back. It features 198 components, including 33 jewels. The balance has a frequency of 21,600 VpH (3Hz) and, assuming the watch is fully wound, the movement will run autonomously for up to 86 hours.

ROMA SYNERGY by Kari Voutilainen

ROMA SYNERGY by Kari Voutilainen © Schwarz Etienne

Micro-rotors are a speciality of Schwarz Etienne. While other companies also offer models equipped with a micro-rotor, they are few in number. A micro-rotor sits flush with the neighbouring bridges, mitigating the thickness of the movement. Unlike a movement fitted with a conventional oscillating weight, there is nothing to obstruct the view of the beautifully decorated bridges and various other components.

In this instance, the micro-rotor has been decorated by Les Ateliers Kari Voutilainen. His company has also embellished the ratchet wheel with diamond drops and snailing. The bridges are handbevelled and feature straight flanks. Indeed, hand bevelling abounds and sits in concert with black polished steel parts.

The aforementioned guilloché decoration found on the dial also extends to the movement. A guilloché motif, again executed on a rose engine lathe, emanates from the balance’s shock protection system, spreading outwards. The pattern is not restricted to just the balance cock but extends to all of the bridges.

The jewel and screws are highly polished and perlage is visible adjacent the micro-rotor. An 18-carat red gold applique is positioned adjacent the balance wheel and proudly proclaims ‘Schwarz Etienne by Voutilainen’.


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Based in traditional Swiss watchmaking country in La Chaux-de-Fonds, Schwarz Etienne has a century of history in watchmaking but chooses to look to the future rather than the past.

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