The next generation is coming on and is coming in hot, as Victor Monnin and Alexander Hazemann, two young watchmaking students, highlight as they take things to the next level with their school watches.
School watches are generally used in an old fashion sense, like in the time of the guilds when a project has to be completed perfectly to obtain the rank of master. For their 7th year at the Lycée Edgar Faure in Morteau, France, where both Victor Monnin and Alexander Hazemann study watchmaking, they made a sensational watch to demonstrate what they have learned and what they are worth. The school partnered with Arnold & Son, which gave the students access to their movement manufacture La Joux-Perret.
For their watches, Monnin and Hazemann selected caliber LJP 6000 as a base movement, which they modified to create their vision and finished by hand. They set out to craft a jumping mechanism for the hour, combined with a striking mechanism that sounds when the hour changes. A very elegant complication, which they also made visible on the dial side.
It took them a total of 8 months to craft their watches, and countless hours and sleepless nights to do so.
Crafting watches is not only about function, the look is equally important. Here Monnin and Hazemann developed their own styles. Hazemann emphasized the technical side of their creation by creating a clean skeletonized look. He cleverly used blue as his color of choice, matching nicely with the blue hands and screws.
Monin opted for a more classic approach, using dials that cover part of the movement, hiding some of the magic, but allowing for a clear view on important parts including the hammer. His dial is distinctive as the hour display has a malachite center, giving it an exquisite flair.
Both watches are housed in a (different) stainless steel case and have a beautiful box-shaped sapphire crystal, which was made especially for these watches. The same goes for the alligator straps, which come from Manufacture Jean Rousseau.
Alexander Hazemann continues his studies in Switzerland to become a watchmaking constructor in the workshops of Emmanuel Bouchet. Victor Monnin is following his heart in a slightly different direction, embracing artisanal watchmaking to make his dream of becoming a prototype watchmaker a reality. However, mark their names, as I think that we haven’t heard the last of these two very talented watchmakers.