Horological Culture • 16 Jan 2019

F.P. Journe Young Talent Competition 2019

Since 2015, the Young Talent Competition has assisted in the discovery of the next generation of talented young watchmaking apprentices. It also aims to support them in their route to independence by identifying and celebrating their accomplishments.

F.P.Journe has organised the Young Talent Competition with the support of the Fondation de la Haute Horlogerie (FHH) and The Hour Glass. Each of the organizations aims to perpetuate and support the art of haute horology and the appreciation of horological craftsmanship. The 2019 winner receives a diploma and a CHF 10,000.- grant from The Hour Glass, which will go towards the purchase of watchmaking tools and equipment.

The jury of the Young Talent Competition 2019 was composed of key personalities from the international horological scene: Philippe Dufour, Giulio Papi, Andreas Strehler, Marc Jenni, Pascal Ravessoud, Michael Tay, Elizabeth Doerr and François-Paul Journe. Their selection criteria was based on technical achievement, the search for complexity and a sense of design and aesthetics.

This is the first time The Hour Glass has participated in this initiative. We take great pride in not only promoting the independent watch scene but also keeping the next generation engaged in watchmaking and watch culture.

Winner of the 2019 Competition – Tyler John Davies

  • Equilibrium “An expression of the balance between two or more forces”
  • 27-year-old graduate from the School of Jewellery of Birmingham University, England.


Creation of a clock to be more than a timepiece, to draw people in, be expressive and portray a message. The idea of balance was always in my thoughts, it was consistent across all aspects of the design, “the clock needed to be both functional and scientific, whilst remaining to be creative and artistic”. Inspired by our ultimate reality, this piece encompasses principles such as polarity, vibration and gender. This mechanism utilises the laws of the universe, simultaneously reflecting its true nature and beauty in form.

Case Dimensions & Construction

American black walnut 585 x 200 x 200 mm Movement plates: Brass 300 x 100 mm Dial: Brass (waxed and silvered) 1.5 x 340 x 210 mmTechnical Characteristics: 8-Day weight driven wall clock, Deadbeat escapement, Harrison maintaining power, Breakaway crutch, Beat setting adjustment, Invar pendulum rod with temperature compensation tube.


For my major final year project, I was set to design and manufacture a mechanical clock with a visible escapement, addition of a complication at the designer’s discretion. I included some of my own principles; The mechanism should be open and easily viewed – The project should be specific and achievable – I aim to make 90% of the components from raw material with use of both traditional and modern manufacturing techniques where suited – Traditional construction.

Key Challenges

The deadbeat escapement: I had lots of experience making the recoil escapement and I wanted to challenge myself so I opted for the deadbeat. I knew the deadbeat was more critical and less forgiving, it also required some tooling to be made, which did help guarantee its success.

The case

I designed the case on a CAD and used a CNC router to cut out the components, first a prototype was done in MDF and then the finished piece in American black walnut. The components were then jointed and finished by hand.

The dial

The dial is a large chapter ring which encompasses the movement. It was proving quite difficult to find an engraver to do any work, never mind such a large piece and when I did, the cost was too high. In the end, I designed the dial on a CAD and had it engraved using a gravograph, it was then roughly cut out and mounted to a face-plate on a lathe with large enough swing. The work was strapped up to ensure it didn’t rip out when turning the outer and inner diameter, after this the dial feet were riveted in place and then finally the dial was waxed and silvered.

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