Norifumi Seki wins F.P.Journe Young Talent Competition 2020

Norifumi Seki, a Graduate from Hiko Mizuno College of Jewelry in Tokyo, has won the F.P.Journe Young Talent Competition 2020 for his Spherical moon and drum calendar pocket watch.

Norifumi Seki wins F.P.Journe Young Talent Competition 2020
Norifumi Seki, the winner of F.P.Journe Young Talent Competition 2020

Since 2015, the Young Talent Competition allows discovering the next generation of most talented young watchmaking apprentices in the world, supports them in their route to independence by identifying their achievements and putting them under the spotlight.

F.P.Journe organizes the Young Talent Competition with the support of The Hour Glass, luxury watch retailer in the Asia Pacific region. Both Maisons aim to perpetuate and support the art of haute horology and cultivate the appreciation of extensive horological craftsmanship.

The selection criteria are based on technical achievement, the search for complexity in their realization, the quality of craftsmanship as well as their sense of design and aesthetics. Applicants must have independently designed and created a timepiece and/or technical construction. The 2020 Young Talent Competition winner receives a diploma and a CHF 20,000.- grant from The Hour Glass and F.P.Journe, which will allow him to purchase watchmaking tools or finance an horological project.

The jury of the Young Talent Competition 2020 is composed of key personalities from the international horological scene: Philippe Dufour, Andreas Strehler, Giulio Papi, Marc Jenni, Michael Tay, Elizabeth Doerr and François-Paul Journe.

The Spherical moon and drum calendar pocket watch created by Norifumi Seki features a multiple complications. First one is the large spherical moon-phase display. Made entirely of titanium, the moon phase is 20 mm in diameter and set via a recessed pusher in the case band. A third of the sphere is blue heated, while the other two thirds are coated in gold.

Norifumi Seki Spherical moon and drum calendar pocket watch

Second complication is the vertical calendar display. Shown in two large windows, each containing two drums for the digits, the calendar is a simple one, with the month in the left window and date on the right; both can be set via the crown. Because the calendar display relies on drums, rather than discs, it is driven by gears perpendicular to the plane of the movement.

The movement is a mix of parts made from scratch as well as components from tried-and-test calibres. The base plate, bridges, and mechanisms for the calendar and moon phase are made by Norifumi Seki. Most parts of going train, from mainspring to fourth wheel, are taken from the Valjoux 7750, long a favourite base movement for complications because of its robustness and reliable energy delivery. However, the escapement is from the Peseux 7040 because, the young watchmaker wanted to run the movement at 3Hz instead of 4Hz to make the balance wheel larger.

Norifumi Seki Spherical moon and drum calendar pocket watch

He then produced the four-armed balance wheel and paired it with a hairspring from the 7750. As a result, the balance bridge still retains the Etachron regulator index of the 7750. The movement is coated in 18K yellow gold, and finished with perlage and Côtes de Genève. Both the balance bridge and escape wheel cock are hand engraved.

Norifumi Seki Spherical moon and drum calendar pocket watch

Norifumi also produced all of the external components of the watch. Though it appears to be engine turned, the dial was actually engraved on a lathe due to non-availability of a rose engine. But the dial colour was achieved the traditional way, having been silver plated using diluted sulphuric acid. The hands were also made from scratch with a combination of heat-blued steel and golden brass.

Technical specifications

Case
18K yellow golden brass
Width: 4.7 cm
Height: 2.3 cm
Length: 6.3 cm
Total weight: 140 grams
Crown and bow also in 18K yellow golden brass

Movement
Coated in 18K yellow gold, with perlage and Côtes de Genève decorations, balance bridge and escape wheel cock hand engraved

Dial
Engraved guilloche silver plated
Moon: 20 mm diameter in titanium partly golden
Hands: heated blued steel and golden brass.