F. A. Lange Watchmaking Excellence Award 2017Regulator with jumping seconds in first place at international young talent competition
On 16 January 2018, the Frenchman Timothé Raguin, winner of the F. A. Lange Watchmaking Excellence Award 2017, received the first prize worth EUR 10,000 at a press event in Geneva. The jury of the international competition was particularly impressed by his work.
The regulator with its excellent quality and 24-hour display also has a jumping second - a mechanism that would surely have impressed Walter Lange as well.
This year's challenge was to construct and build a regulator. After spending an eventful and instructive project week at A. Lange & Söhne in May 2017, eight young watchmakers from the USA, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, France, Germany and the Netherlands returned to their schools where they had six months to design and build their watch.
In late November, a specialist jury met to evaluate the entries. It was made up of Lange's director of product development, Anthony de Haas, journalists Gisbert L. Brunner and Peter Braun, and the director of the Royal Cabinet of Mathematical and Physical Instruments in Dresden, Dr Peter Plaßmeyer. The jury's decision was unanimous. With a perfectly executed regulator, additionally equipped with jumping seconds and a 24-hour display, Timothé Raguin – a student of Lycée Polyvalent Edgar Faure in Morteau - fulfilled all four criteria of the competition: originality, technical functionality, quality of craftsmanship and aesthetic implementation.
According to the jury, the work is well above average, both in terms of technology and craftsmanship. The idea and implementation of the jumping seconds with an escapement of its own and day/night indicator fully convinced the jury. The construction and execution of the movement are functional and well balanced. The design as well as the arrangement of the displays and cocks is coherent and well thought out. The calibre design reveals the French watchmaking tradition, which has here been interpreted in a contemporary way.
Due to the high quality of the other entries, the jury decided to once again award a second and third prize. The work submitted by Veit Rothaupt from the vocational training centre in Glashütte, Germany, stood out thanks to the idea of a rotating pointer mechanism with vertical set displays and a day/night indicator. Vesa Kulkki from the Finnish School of Watchmaking in Espoo, Finland, won over the jury thanks to his construction inspired by Formula One cockpit instruments featuring rotating dials in a roadster design.
As part of an international press event on 16 January 2018 on the sidelines of the Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie in Geneva, Lange CEO Wilhelm Schmid presented the winner with the prize of 10,000 euros. In his congratulatory speech, Schmid praised the achievements of the participants and the high level of education at the participating schools. He emphasised how important it is for the future of fine watchmaking to support young talents: "The creative potential reflected in the submitted works shows that the enthusiasm for mechanics has finally reached Generation Z."
Schmid also announced the renaming of the competition in honour of Walter Lange. The company founder and former member of the jury, who died a year ago, was always particularly concerned about the next generation of watchmakers. In his honour, A. Lange & Söhne developed the 1815 "Homage to Walter Lange", a model that, like Timothé Raguin's construction, has a jumping second. As of this year, the competition will continue under the name of "Walter Lange Watchmaking Excellence Award". Schmid commented: "With our competition, we want to continue to contribute to fostering the inventive spirit of young watchmakers from all over the world".