Mario Scarpatetti wins F.P.Journe Young Talent Competition 2021

Mario Scarpatetti, a graduate from the Zeit Zentrum Grenchen, has won the F.P.Journe Young Talent Competition 2021 for his innovative secular calendar mechanism based on his patented invention.

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.

François-Paul Journe awarding Mario Scarpatetti
François-Paul Journe awarding Mario Scarpatetti

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 2021 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 2021 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.

Secular Perpetual Calendar Clock by Mario Scarpatetti
Secular Perpetual Calendar Clock by Mario Scarpatetti

The secular perpetual calendar clock by Mario Scarpatetti features an additional wheel that turns once every 400 years. This perpetual calendar automatically corrects even the uneven secular years. During the production, Mario applied for a patent for this invention by the Swiss Federal Institute of Intellectual Property relating to a 400-year wheel and its indexing. In 2018, he received the patent N° CH 00400/18.

Secular Perpetual Calendar Clock by Mario Scarpatetti

All parts of the movement, with the exception of four ball-bearings (Kugellager), were traditionally handmade. Most of the parts were made from brass and steel sheets, as well as brass and steel round bars. All movement parts were made without NC and CNC-controlled machines. The movement can be dismantled into 478 individual parts. It consists of a total of 570 components.

All components, such as the rocker switch (Schaltwippe), are exactly the same as in a known perpetual calendar with a 4-year wheel. The 4-year wheel is the first on this calendar that looks different. All 4 deepenings for February have the same depth.

Secular Perpetual Calendar Clock by Mario Scarpatetti

The 4-year wheel therefore does not decide whether February has 28 or 29 days. A shift finger (Schaltfinger) is pressed into the front of the 4-year wheel. This finger thus makes one turn every 4 years and switches the 400-year wheel further. The whole thing also works with two shift fingers.

The 400-year wheel had to be manufactured slightly differently. The wheel is switched twice every 4 years, but not regularly every two years. The placement takes place a few months before a leap year (e.g. between April 2019 and January 2020). The next placement takes place after February of a leap year (e.g. between April 2020 and January 2021).

Secular Perpetual Calendar Clock by Mario Scarpatetti

The 400-year wheel then remains in the same position for about 3 years. Only then does the next switching take place (in our example between April 2023 and January 2024). The switching is very energy-saving over several months. The shift finger grips in the outer gearing of the 400-year wheel (a fine gearing with 200-teeth). A pawl also grips in the same gearing for positioning.

The inner scope of the wheel has 97 elevations. The nose of the rocker switch of the perpetual calendar feels the 400-year wheel every February. If the nose falls into a gap, the clock switches from February 28th to March 1st. If the nose rests on one of the 97 elevations, the mechanics switches from February 28th to February 29th and then to March 1st the following night.

It gets interesting now at a century or a millennium. In the case of the gear wheel, there is a very large gap at the point where a step would be for three consecutive centuries. At this point, instead of two gaps, the gear wheel has only one gap in the width of three divisions next to a step. Only in the fourth century is there an elevation where the nose feels the century. Namely for those centuries which are a leap year. That is why the 400-year wheel has 97 and not 100 steps inside.

The Gregorian calendar is based on a cycle of 400 years, after one turn of the wheel the game starts all over again, just like with the Gregorian calendar. The owner of the clock never needs to adjust the date.


  • Mechanism: Height: 48 cm – Width: 48 cm Total clock height: 203 cm Total clock weight: 50 kg.
  • Movement: Height 42 cm Dial: Height 41 cm Weight: 21 kg, Sassalbo stone from Poschiavo.


Months – moon phases – years / hours – minutes – seconds – equation of time / date – day.