For those who insist on having a one-of-a-kind watch, only a few watchmakers can answer the call. One of them is Kari Voutilainen, who entertains practically any request. One of his most recent orders featured the Orion constellation engraved on the back with a layer of enamel on top, making it three dimensional, while the face is covered in tiny dots and has a night and day indicator. 'My client said as a kid he loved looking at the Orion constellation so he wanted it on a watch,' Voutilainen says. 'I worked together with an engraver and we presented a few ideas to the client and from there we decided what to do.' The Finn watchmaker, who is based in Switzerland, was recently in Hong Kong to meet with clients and avid collectors who are eager to acquire his watches. As an artisan watchmaker, he only makes a small series of between 10 and 50 watches, which can then be further personalised for each client. Or for those who insist on having a one-of-a-kind watch, Voutilainen can create a piece just for him or her - if they are willing to wait. Each watch can take almost three years to complete and it is a continuing process of communication between the client and Voutilainen. After 2,000 hours of work, each gains great satisfaction - for the customer receiving exactly what they wanted, and the watchmaker fulfilling the request with precision and artistry. And at prices ranging from US$56,000 to hundreds of thousands of dollars, the watch has to be perfect. Although computers help Voutilainen in the design process, he insists on crafting watches by hand. 'Before, we had to create designs by drawing them by hand and, if our calculations were wrong, we had to do them all over again,' he explains. 'With computers, they can do the calculations for us, but humans still have to come up with the designs.' While he has clients all over the world, those from Hong Kong and Singapore have the greatest appreciation for artisan watches. 'They don't just want to show off having an expensive watch,' Voutilainen says. 'They know how they are made and know all about the techniques. You don't see that in Europe. 'In Singapore and Hong Kong, wearing a nice watch is a status symbol, but in Europe, even the wealthy don't care about wearing a nice watch. But Asians really consider wearing a watch as part of their dress - it is a part of them.' Perhaps part of the fascination with Voutilainen's watches is not only the designs, but also the ability to see the mechanics through the sapphire glass backing, allowing the viewer an even greater appreciation for the art of watchmaking. When he was a teenager, Voutilainen knew he wanted to work with his hands, which angered his father, a banker who had hoped his son would work in the same field. But Voutilainen was determined and entered the renowned Tapiola watchmaking school in Finland and later the International Watchmaking School in Switzerland. 'Now I know what it feels like to be religious - because being there felt right for me,' Voutilainen says. 'My father couldn't say anything because I was already 21 at that time. But after I started my own company, I needed to take business courses and learn marketing and so I did sort of meet my father's expectations,' he says with a smile. Handing off a watch to a client he has got to know over the years is like passing a child he has created to them. 'When I check to see that everything is ready and works properly, and finally close the watch, there is a great sense of satisfaction,' he says. Voutilainen's watches are unique, though some luxury brands can customise existing timepieces. Vacheron Constantin will entertain one-of-a-kind requests, but the design must have the 'VC look', otherwise its watchmakers will personalise specific timepieces from its collection. At Louis Vuitton, customers can create their own Tambour Monogram Tourbillon by choosing either a pink, yellow or white gold, or platinum case, and the gold of the movement. They can even customise the third wheel bridge (between 8 and 9 on the watch face) with his or her initials, a coat of arms or lucky symbols. Precious stones can also be added to the bridge, and engraving on the back and main plate. The watch is placed in a Louis Vuitton trunk case complete with the name of the owner and the individual number of the watch. Swiss luxury watch and jewellery manufacturer Chopard will also personalise watches in its Happy Diamonds and Happy Sport collections by adding diamonds and engraving names or initials.