SIHH 2017 PREVIEW: Voutilainen Vingt 8 demands more than a glance to tell the time


The key design feature of the Voutilainen’s Vingt 8 watch is that it makes it more difficult to tell the time.

The watchmaker has deliberately moved away from the two hands rotating to point at a fixed arrangement of 12 hours and 60 minutes.

Instead, the brand has created a constantly changing watch face that takes a moment to work out what time it displays.


The watch was invented as a way of embracing the behavioral theories of Nobel prize-winning psychologist Daniel Kahneman.

His book Thinking: Fast and Slow, defines fast thinking as System 1 and slow thinking as System 2. Telling time when looking at a wrist watch is a pure System 1 activity; a glance is enough because we understand it instinctively.

But the Vignt 8 watch breaks that code. It is a System 2 watch that creates a more intimate and reflective relationship with the watch because it takes a few seconds now to read the time. By taking longer, Voutilainen says you then know the time better.

To explain how the watch achieves this, without the use of video, is almost impossible, so I will leave it to Voutilainen, which says: “Each hour, the hands are superimposed, regardless of the time. Every half hour, the hands are opposite. The circle of minutes turns at the same rate as the hour hand for easy reading. The angle between the hour hand and the minute hand remains the same regardless of the time. The position of the hands of hours and minutes, one with respect to the other is always the same according to the minutes and this, whatever the time.”

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