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Hands-on – Schwarz Etienne Roma Synergy by Kari Voutilainen


Watch collaborations thrive. More and more partnerships among the watch industry are forming as brands want to tie up with those that share similar values and have complementary expertise. The most recent example of this trend has brought together Schwarz Etienne and Kari Voutilainen, which together create an elegant time-only watch. Meet the Schwarz Etienne Roma Synergy by Kari Voutilainen.

If you are a regular reader of MONOCHROME, you are probably familiar with Schwarz Etienne. Based in La Chaux-de-Fonds, this century-old watch brands stand out for its remarkable level of vertical integration. Part of a watchmaking group owned by entrepreneur Raffaelo Radicchi, Schwarz Etienne manufactures its watches and movements in-house (including production for third-party brands, such as MING) but also hairsprings (with sister company E2O innovations). The group even manufactures CNC machines to produce watch components!

The brand’s latest watch is a co-signed creation. Schwarz Etienne has solicited the talents of Kari Voutilainen, one of the most respected and talented craftsmen in the industry, to create two exclusive limited editions showcasing some of the rare and remarkable crafts practised in the different Voutilainen production facilities.

For this collaboration, Schwarz Etienne and Voutilainen have elected the Roma collection. The brand’s classic dress watch has been infused with some Voutilainen DNA. The Finnish independent watchmaker is involved in the dial manufacturing and movement decoration… and the Roma never looked better!

The Schwarz Etienne Roma Synergy by Kari Voutilainen comes in a classic round, polished steel case. 39mm in diameter, it is well proportioned with a sloped bezel and elongated lugs that are stepped on the outer edge. On the wrist, it radiates elegant refinement and wears comfortably, with enough presence.

The superb engine-turned dial is one of the main attractions of the watch. It is offered in two colours, “ocean blue” and “sand grey”. Made from a solid silver plate, it stands out with different guilloché patterns creating an interesting sense of depth: guilloche soleil (sun) for the outer circular section, écaille de poisson (fish scale) for the centre part and vague (wave) for the generously proportioned small seconds sub-dial. The applied Arabic numerals and indexes are paired with faceted Alpha-type hours and minutes hands. Two applied cartouches bear the captions “Schwarz Etienne” and “by Voutilainen”.

Flip the watch over and you are granted an unimpeded view of the automatic, in-house Calibre ASE 200.00, revealed behind a sapphire crystal. Decorated in collaboration with Kari Voutilainen, the Schwarz Etienne micro-rotor movement appears in a new light. The bridges are finely bevelled and adorned with a guilloche pattern radiating from the balance wheel. The ratchet features a characteristic Voutilainen finish. The jewel sinks and screws are polished and perlage is visible, adjacent to the micro-rotor. A red gold cartouche “Schwarz Etienne by Voutllainen” is applied at the periphery of the balance wheel. The Calibre ASE 200.00 runs at 21,600 vibrations/hour and boasts a power reserve of 86 hours when fully wound. The stop-seconds mechanism allows for precise time setting.

Price and availability

The Schwarz Etienne Roma Synergy by Kari Voutilainen is released in two limited editions of 50 pieces each. It is worn on colour-coordinating straps: aged grey leather or blue calf leather. The steel folding buckle ensures a comfortable and secure fit. Price is set at CHF 27,400 (excl. taxes).

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Technical specifications – Schwarz Etienne Roma Synergy

39mm diameter x 11mm height – stainless steel case, polished – sapphire crystals front and caseback – 50m water-resistant

solid silver dial, sand grey or blue, hand-guilloché, made by Les Ateliers Kari Voutilainen – outer section: guilloché “Soleil” – centre part: guilloché “écaille de poisson” – small seconds: guilloché “vague” – applique ” by Voutilainen” – silver Arabic numerals and indexes, silver applique and Schwarz Etienne logo, alpha-type hour and minute hands

Calibre ASE 200.00, in-house – automatic with micro-rotor – 30.40mm x 5.35mm – 33 jewels – 198 parts – 21,600 vibrations/hours – 86h power reserve – hours, minutes, small seconds

aged grey leather strap or blue calf leather strap – steel folding buckle

2 limited editions of 50 pieces each

CHF 27,400 (excl. taxes)

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