The winners of the Young Talent Competition 2016

This year, the Young Talent Competition selected 3 watchmakers who have distinguished themselves by their technical achievement, their search for complexity, and their sense of design and aesthetics.

By Benjamin Teisseire, journalist specialised in watchmaking, for the AHCI.

The mission of the Académie des Horlogers Créateurs Indépendants is to perpetuate and promote independent watchmaking savoir-faire. The Young Talent Competition, under the patronage of F.P. Journe, achieves this by identifying and recognising the most talented apprentices.

For a second year, the Academy opened its Young Talent Competition to 47 international watchmaking schools in 14 countries. The award ceremony took place on the 17th of March at Baselworld. Horotec – the event’s sponsor – gave each winner a voucher for CHF 3’000 in tools.

Press representatives, founding members, retail partners and watch lovers attended the ceremony in a relaxed, passionate and open-minded atmosphere.

As François-Paul Journe stated in its introductory speech, the purpose of this competition is to help young watchmakers write the first page of their press book … then it is their responsibility to write the following ones to achieve their own road to independence: « It is a difficult road, where you need to be a bit crazy, where passion is essential and sometimes rage is even required ».

To create their own brand, independent watchmakers have to master not only the art of watchmaking. They have to also become real entrepreneurs, marketers, digital experts, accountant, PR specialist. They have to reach collectors who are looking for different timepieces that they cannot find with big commercial brands. They have to associate with the right retailers who share the same vision. François-Paul Journe notes that he sees a new trend for some retailers who are focusing more and more on independent watchmakers. Let’s hope this trend will increase even more in the near future.

For members, the AHCI nurtures the creativity needed to face all these challenges. It also gives precious access to a network of passionate watch lovers and helps perpetuate the dream of independent watchmaking, both for collectors and retailers. Hence the importance of this prestigious award.

And the winners are …

This year, the Young Talent Competition selected 3 watchmakers who have distinguished themselves by their technical achievement, their search for complexity, and their sense of design and aesthetics.

Anton Sukhanov – Clock with triple Axis Tourbillon

Anton Sukhanov

Age 33 – Moscow – Russia
Graduated from Konstankin Chaykin’s atelier in January 2016
Project: designed, manufacturing and construction of a three-dimensional clock with triple axis tourbillon.

Technical characteristics
Dimensions: 100 mm x 170 mm x 82 mm
Movement: anchor escapement – triple axis tourbillon, tourbillon cages made of titanium, plates and other bridges made of nickel-plated brass, frequency 18000 vibrations per hour, 21 jewels
Case: black nephrite, steel, nickel-plated brass, mineral crystal, 5 windows, 4 on the side and 1 on top Functions: hours, minutes, seconds
Dial: silver 999, guilloche, hot enamel (white opal colour)
Specificities: triple axis tourbillon (inner tourbillon cage turns around in 71.25 seconds, middle tourbillon cage turns around in 114 seconds, outer tourbillon cage turns around in 180 seconds), 8 days power reserve, winding stop device in the shape of Maltese cross.

“I made the turning parts (axles, bushings, column, pins) by small lathe with a microscope. I made the cutting of teeth wheels by milling head with an index plate. The milling parts made on CNC machines, followed by manual processing. Bridges cages are made of titanium. Plate and other bridges are made of brass, nickel-plated. The anchor escapement, barrel with a spring, balance wheel, spiral balance spring, and some big wheels were taken from an old Soviet movement and I modified them.”

Anna-Rose Kirk – The Horizon Clock

Anna-Rose Kirk

Age 27 – Birmingham – United Kingdom
Graduated from Birmingham University of Horology in July 2015 with 1st class honorrs BHI’s Diploma of Repair, Restoration and Conservation of Clocks/Watches,
from Konstankin Chaykin in January 2016
Project: Construction of a Horizon Clock inspired by the Swahili Clock and researching Swahili time.

Technical characteristics
Dimensions: height 1m20, 10 kilos
Movement: brass and steel
Dial: brass with cut out copper centre allowing a view into the mechanism, 25 cm diameter
Specificities: circular wall clock, supported by a walnut wooden bracket covered with brass. A single gold plated hand indicates the time which rotates once a day around a 24-hour dial. Blue steel sunrise and sunset indication.

“The Horizon Clock was inspired by the ‘Swahili Clock’ and Swahili time-keeping. In Kenya, Uganda and surrounding countries close to the Equator, the sun rises and sets at the same time every day. The day starts when the sun rises where one o’clock is one hour after sunrise. Sunrise in this part of the world is so consistent that people set their clock by it.”

Tristan Ledard – Clock with Linear Equation of Time

Tristan Ledard

Age 23 – Paris – France
Graduated from Lycée Diderot in July 2015
Project: Invention of a Linear Indication for a Clock with Linear Equation of Time

Technical characteristics
Dimensions: clock diameter 110 cm, globe diameter 29 cm, construction diameter 36 cm, weight 2 kg
Movement: brass
Dial: brass, blast sanded at the centre and brushed on the outer diameter. Total diameter 110mm, indexes in brass with stainless steel hands
Specificities: hour and half hour chiming, annual calendar, seasons, solstices and equinoxes and astronomical sign display on the clock, and world time on the globe.

“For my graduation work, I had to add the equation of time on a movement of Paris. I thus decided to invent a linear indication for the indication of the realisation of this complication. A wheel making a tour in one year supports an equation of time cam. Everything has been made with a Schaublin 102 and a Hauser jig boring machine M1.
I bought a classical terrestrial globe, built a cabinet in cherry wood, cut the globe in 2 and cut a round cherry wood plate to place the clock on top. Above the clock is a plastic ring with the engraved hours of the day and the night. In indexing the local hours, one can read the time everywhere in the world.”

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