Försti Diver is the most recent addition to the collaborative series between master watchmaker Voutilainen and Leijona, the brand known for its Finnish-Swiss watchmaking heritage.
This is the first diving watch in which Kari Voutilainen and his studio have been closely involved. This amazing timepiece boasts good proportions and user comfort, without compromising on the features characteristic of a diving watch: durability and water resistance.
The Finnish temperament, honest and unyielding, is reflected in the high-quality implementation of the unique details. Every Försti Diver wristwatch undergoes several stages of artisan work before its journey to Finland from the Val-de-Travers valley of watches next to the Jura Mountains in Switzerland.
The effective implementation of the stylish black and light-coloured dials involves several production stages emphasizing the importance of flawless craftsmanship and professional skill. A galvanic tint defined by a special kind of plating method has been chosen as the dial colour for both Försti Diver watches. This exceptional technique brings out the stunning finish of the dial.
The dials have been manufactured by Voutilainen’s dial making company Comblémine SA, which produces these flawless dials down to the finest detail.
Made of high-grade stainless steel, each watch case is refined and finished by hand at Voutilainen & Cattin SA’s factory. In the finishing of the case, special attention has been paid to the quality of the surfaces, the longevity, and the durability.
A Leijona quartz diving watch of the 1970s/1980s was the source of inspiration for the Försti Diver watches. To support the design work, an original model in good condition was tracked down and used as part of the model’s design. The Leijona diving watch found to support the design was discovered intact in the sea in the early 1990s by its current owner while diving.
The watch that inspired the Försti is incidentally almost identical to the first watch (Leijona) of Grand Master Kari Voutilainen, which was a black-dial Leijona diving watch with a rubber strap and a reddish bezel. In honour of the original model and Kari’s first watch (Leijona), the new model, the design of which has been adapted for the present day, also has a black dial, a red and black bezel and a rubber strap in addition to a steel one.
Even though the Försti Diver wristwatch has been made to be aesthetically pleasing as a whole, the specific requirements for a diving watch have also been taken into account in the model’s design. Its 3 mm thick sapphire crystal glass has been placed slightly above the watch’s rotating bezel to protect it.
The watch also has a screw-down crown as well as crown protection for added resistance against water and light shocks. The structure of the case thus protects the crown and reduces pressure against the wrist.
Functionality has been considered with regard to the steel watch strap as well. The strap has been equipped with fine tuning that can be used to fit over a diving suit, for example, at the touch of a button. The dazzling side profile of the watch reveals the quality of the handcrafted finishing and the complexity of the surfaces.
Under the leadership of Kari Voutilainen, the aim was top-quality finishing of the watch case, down to the smallest detail. The assembly of the watches as well as the checking of their operation and water resistance also takes place at Voutilainen & Cattin SA.
The movement chosen for the Försti Diver watches is the Sellita SW200-1 automatic movement, which is known for its accuracy, durability and reliability. The availability of spare parts for the movement has accordingly been ensured for a long time to come. The watch movement is checked three times before placement in the case. The first check is carried out at Sellita, the second before the movement is attached to the watch, and the third once this has been completed.
The straps of the Försti Diver watches are also manufactured in accordance with the principles of the Voutilainen x Leijona collaboration collection, which is why Rhein Fils (steel strap) and Crafter Blue (rubber strap) have been chosen as the manufacturers. Both manufacturers rely solely on the best materials and solutions in their straps, a choice reflected in their user comfort, finish and unique solutions.
About Voutilainen x Leijona Series
Voutilainen x Leijona is a collaboration that brings together two icons from the world of watches; where watch models inspired by the history of Leijona watches are combined with Finnish-Swiss watchmaking expertise, creating a unique collection that honours craftsmanship and the value of time.
In addition to the new Försti Diver, the collection includes three different watches suitable for different situations: Urho Chrono, Oiva Classic, and Jalo Sport. The most technical of the models is Urho, the design of which is based on a traditional chronograph. Urho’s sporty design offers everyday luxury for the man who values momentum. Oiva is a more understated three-hand dress watch; while Jalo’s powerful and sporty design was inspired by Leijona watches from the 1970s.
The Voutilainen x Leijona collection is available in nine specialty shops throughout Finland and at https://leijonaheritage.com/, an online shop that has been serving customers across the EU (excl. Finland) since the summer of 2021.
Model: Försti Diver
Sellita SW200-1 (automatic movement)
Frequency: 28,800 vph, 4 Hz
Power reserve: approximately 38 hours
Accuracy: ± 7–20 seconds per day
Made of stainless steel (Switzerland), screw-down crown
Diameter: 41 mm
Thickness: 12.75 mm
3 mm thick sapphire crystal with anti-reflection (AR) coating
Screw down caseback with laser engraved Leijona logo
Water resistance: 20 atm
Ref. 21.400.01.521: Comes with a two-colour replacement bezel
Ref. 21.400.01.220: Comes with a single-colour replacement bezel
Ref. 21.400.01.521: Light-coloured dial (galvanised), luminous indexes and pointers (Super LumiNova)
Ref. 21.400.01.220: Black dial (galvanised), luminous indexes and pointers (Super LumiNova)
Steel bracelet with fine tuning
Black or blue rubber strap
Width: 20 mm
Each version is limited to 50 units
Recommended retail price
From 2 December 2021