Eight young watchmakers from seven countries are taking part in the competition for the Walter Lange Watchmaking Excellence Award 2018. In the last week of April, the company invited them to attend a programme of workshops, at the end of which the competition task was revealed. The participants have until the end of October to develop an acoustic timepiece.
In the ninth year of its existence, the international competition for young watchmakers is being held under a new name. In honour of the company founder, who died at the beginning of 2017, the competition launched by A. Lange & Söhne in 2010 will be known as the Walter Lange Watchmaking Excellence Award from now on. The training of young watchmakers and the competition were matters especially close to Walter Lange’s heart.
Promoting young talent is the main focus of the competition in which the best students of renowned watchmaking schools from all over the world compete to win the 10,000-euro prize. The multistage process started with a call for applications, which was sent out to over 30 watchmaking schools at the beginning of the year. They could nominate up to three candidates, of whom the most qualified were invited to participate.
From 23 to 27 April 2018, the selected candidates from Germany, Austria, Switzerland, France, Sweden, Finland and Japan visited Dresden and Glashütte. The highlights of the varied programme included various workshops in the manufactory. Here, budding watchmakers were able to demonstrate their skills in manual techniques such as tremblage engraving and chamfer polishing under the expert guidance of engravers, finishing specialists and watchmakers. In addition, they assembled the automatic movement of a SAXONIA DUAL TIME, a task which – due to the complexity of the movement and the sensitivity of German silver parts to being touched – presents a great challenge for even the most experienced watchmakers.
The eagerly awaited competition task was revealed by Lange’s director of product development, Anthony de Haas, on the last day. The participants have six months to design and build an acoustic timepiece. A basic movement will be provided to them for this purpose. “The development of an acoustic timepiece is one of the most demanding constructions in watchmaking,” says de Haas of the task, and adds: “After the creative results of the past few years, I am optimistic that we can look forward to outstanding designs again this year.” The entries will be judged by a panel of experts in November. The award ceremony will take place as part of an international press event in January 2019.