A task for the next six monthsUp-and-coming watchmakers visit A. Lange & Söhne
Eight trainee watchmakers from Japan, the United States, Sweden, Finland, France and Germany take part in this year's "F. A. Lange Scholarship & Watchmaking Excellence Award". They visited Dresden and Glashütte from 9 to 13 May 2016 to gain insights into the traditional craft of watchmaking and find out about the competition task.
The international contest was first launched in 2010 in commemoration of Ferdinand Adolph Lange, founder of Saxon precision watchmaking.
This is the moment to which the watchmaking students have looked forward for the last four days – and the highlight of the eventful week in Glashütte. The tension in the showroom at the Lange manufactory is palpable as Anthony de Haas announces this year's competition task. "It is about designing and developing the display of a complete calendar with the hours, minutes, date and day of the week as well as month and moon-phase displays", the Product Development Director at A. Lange & Söhne explains to the budding watchmakers. Unlike a perpetual calendar, it is not necessary to consider the length of the month with a complete calendar. This means that the wearer has to manually correct the date display in months with fewer than 31 days. The movement design should be based on the ETA calibre 6498-1.
Anthony de Haas encourages the trainees but also tells them "that it is important to manage the allotted time well, even if six months initially sounds like an age". The trainees have time until 10 November 2016 to complete the task. Their designs will then be evaluated by a panel of experts. First prize is 10,000 euros.
In addition to the competition task, the young talents also return home with many new impressions from Dresden and Glashütte. They spent a week experiencing many different areas of the Lange manufactory and tried their hand at several tasks, such as tremblage engraving, chamfer polishing and the assembly of a Lange calibre, all with professional guidance. The programme was rounded off with visits to the Mathematics and Physics Salon in Dresden and the Glashütte Watchmaking Museum. A further highlight was a visit to see the movement of the Five-Minute Clock in the Dresden Semper Opera.