Kortela Valta

Entrepreneurial Stories of Watchmaker School Graduates Part 1- Kortela Valta

We are a duo, who graduated from Kelloseppäkoulu in 2023. We are motivated to bring high-quality craftsmanship to Finnish watchmaking, through the strength of our versatility. Rene, from his youth and other hobbies, has a long background in crafting by hand. The love for everything mechanical sparked Rene’s interest to enter the watch industry, after his high school education. When it comes to watches, Rene’s special interest surrounds watch complications, especially chronographs and repeaters. Roope, on the other hand, has a commercial university degree with ten years of experience in financial, sales, and marketing roles in an international premium consumer product company. Roope was fascinated by hand-finished top-of-the-line watches even before applying to the watchmaking School, but it wasn’t until he came to the watchmaking school that he felt his heart was in the right place.  As the school has progressed, a fully equipped Schaublin 102N has become our holy-grail of the watchmaking shop, and has allowed us to progress more in our craft. 


Rene Valta
Artisan Rene Valta

Our joint watchmaking project started in the second year of our studies, after a successful joint project at school. That’s when we began our plan to co-create a watch as our final project for the school. When designing the final-project watch, we took into account our common desire, and dream, of making our own independent watches, and we used it as good practice for making our own independent watch. The design of our first watch “EKA” started already in school, when we received guaranteed support for the project from a top expert in the field. The first big decision was the choice of base machinery. In the end, we settled on Omega’s 1950s caliber 266 due to its high quality (Breguet spiral gears, derailleur and escapement with pressure screws), good availability, and size. After this, Roope was able to design a 3D model of the clock in its whole form. We took influences from the design language of the Machine Age, both in the design of the bridges, and in the appearance and details of the board. We decided that we would manufacture as many parts of the watch ourselves as possible which were using a reasonable level of time and resources. In practice, the face of the clock, the hands, the knob, the bridge screws, and the mechanism fastening screws are all hand-made in our workshop. The blank shell of the watch was wire sawn in Porvoo, after which the finishing was done in the workshop. The bridges of the watch are machined in Finland according to our original plans, and have been shaped and finished in the workshop to compete strongly with any watch in the market. The board has been made from scratch in our workshop using a laser engraver and multi-stage finishing techniques, and the pointers have been made in the same way, all from a raw sheet of metal. All these components combine harmoniously to create a highly finished watch, suitable for everyday use, complemented by the use of macro photography, and will stand the test of time, both mechanically and visually.

Artisan Roope Kortela

Our company values:


– the unfiltered process of our watch manufacturing, with ability for customers to follow the process at each step. 


– hand-finishing each individual part. 


– striving to manufacture everything from scratch. 

Our company’s goals:

Our goal is not to reinvent the wheel, but to bring transparency to high-end watchmaking. We want to bring an uncompromisingly high-quality object to the market which contrasts against modern approaches of quick-fix profits.

The biggest challenge:

The most challenging part of the project has been finding funding. It still affects us in the way that we don’t necessarily have enough time to wait to find buyers for the watches at the price we want. However, we did receive feedback after the “launch” of the watch on Instagram which was very encouraging, and our price capture has been commented on as “very very reasonable for the work you’ve put into this”.

School lessons:

The skills learned at school in handling and repairing watches provided an excellent foundation to build on. The role of our final-project work course has been significant in honing our skills, and further with combined support from teachers, work with exchange-students, and self-directed study.

Who can we recommend the school to?:

Studying at our school can be highly recommended to anyone who has an interest in fine mechanics and/or watches, and who has a calm and especially persistent character.

What entrepreneurship in watchmaking requires:

We necessarily have an opinion on defined requirements, but if your dream is to manufacture watches in Finland, we would say that it requires at least:

1. Idea / angle – (ours was to have a top-class hand-finished watch and the opportunity for the customer to follow the completion of their watch at each step of the process). 

2. To believe in one’s own abilities and possibilities

3. Sufficient capital – e.g. premises, machines, tools, raw materials, subcontracting costs

4. Support from a mentor

5. Network – other watch manufacturers in Finland and abroad, partners/subcontractors, suppliers of raw materials and tools, etc.

KortelaValta EKA
KortelaValta EKA