Friday, June 19, 2015

The Patek Philippe Craftsmanship and Precision Competition 2015 Edition - Results

On April 3 and 4 this year, 18 students from six Swiss watchmaking schools took part in the sixth Patek Philippe Craftsmanship and Precision Competition (“Concours de Bienfacture et de Précision”). The winners were honored on Saturday 25 April 2015 during a prize- award ceremony that took place at the Patek Philippe Museum in the presence of Patek Philippe President Thierry Stern, President of the Jury Robert Anguenot, Human Resources Director Daniel Rochat and International Customer Service Director Laurent Cantin.

The sixth edition of this competition affirms the company’s commitment to solid and long-lasting partnerships with the Swiss watchmaking schools. The idea behind the competition dates back to November 2008 when Patek Philippe decided to not only nurture its partnership with these schools but also to contribute to training future professionals and promote the Patek Philippe heritage and knowhow in precision and chronometry.

The theme of this competition is linked directly to the fundamental values of Patek Philippe, as evidenced by its name: Craftsmanship and precision. These values describe the operating principles and the concept of quality applied in the manufacture and mandated by the directives of the Patek Philippe Seal. The competition is part of a training initiative. It allows for an objective evaluation of the professional abilities of the trainees by creating equal and fair conditions for all of the participants, regardless of the schools from which they were recruited.

As was the case in previous editions, this sixth competition aimed to make the trainees aware of the significance of artisan skills such as reliability and precision in manual finishing and timing operations, and to identify the most promising talents. The pedagogical goal of this program is further supported by the valuable know-how and expertise of the manufacture’s staff. In addition, the competition provides participants with a unique opportunity to work on a high-quality mechanical movement that fulfills the extremely strict criteria of the Patek Philippe Seal, offering them a glimpse of the exclusive universe of fine watchmaking.

At the end of the competition, the first three winners are given the opportunity to enrich their professional experience with an internship at Patek Philippe’s workshops. The first prize winner will in addition be able to spend one week of training at one of the company’s service centers abroad – an experience which will add to the winner’s career profile.

The technical exams were held in the company’s workshops and supervised by a jury of senior Patek Philippe staff: Robert Anguenot (Director, Watchmaking Department and President of the Jury), Vincent Lemmelet (Head, Advanced Technical Training), Carlos Dos Santos and Hakim Hakkar (Head, Precision Timing), Patrick Conus (Watchmaker Training Instructor).

On the first day, the candidates from the participating schools (3 per school), accompanied by their instructors, paid a visit to several departments of the manufacture (Balance Springs, Timing, Haute Horlogerie, International Customer Service). The tour was followed by a theoretical introduction and a series of practical exercises performed by the candidates. The theoretical introduction was a preparation for the rate accuracy timing process (“réglage”) on the Gyromax balance wheel, which Patek Philippe exclusively mounts and assembles on its production. The purpose of this introduction is also to allow the candidates a practical exercise before the competition.

During the examinations, candidates are requested to complete the following tasks: assembly of a balance and bridge on a Patek Philippe movement, dynamic poising of the balance, as well as precision adjustment in the six positions, all while strictly respecting the quality criteria mandated by the Patek Philippe Seal. In addition, they must comply with the industry’s best practices, more specifically those adopted by Patek Philippe such as keeping the workbench neat, the tools in proper order and the work well organized.

In assessing the candidates, the time taken for the examination tasks, the parts used, and obviously the results of their work were all taken into consideration. This year once again the results showed a very uniform picture with regard to the success and abilities of the candidates, which illustrates the consistently high level of training provided by the participating schools. This sixth edition also confirmed that the high level of the students’ skills continues to rise.

On Saturday 25 April 2015, President Thierry Stern presented the awards to all prize winners during a ceremony at the prestigious Patek Philippe Museum. The prizes offer the future watchmakers in the top three ranks the opportunity of an internship in the company’s workshops. Here, they will experience at first hand the company’s culture and philosophy, work on manually wound and self-winding calibers, and be able to visit the different production facilities of Patek Philippe in Geneva (Plan-les-Ouates and Perly). During this internship week, they will also meet students from other affiliated watchmaking schools (Hiko Mizuno College in Tokyo, IES-SEP Mare de Déu de la Mercè in Barcelona, and the CCI of Saint-Malo in Fougères).

Additionally, the winner of the first prize is given the opportunity of a week’s internship at the service center of one of Patek Philippe’s subsidiaries. This year, the internship will take place in Barcelona. The awards ceremony was preceded by a guided tour of the Patek Philippe Museum.

In 2016, Patek Philippe will organize a seventh edition of the “Concours de Bienfacture et Précision” in cooperation with all the participating watchmaking schools.

  • 1st prize: 1 trophy (reproduction of a balance wheel that can be kept by the winner during one year and then awarded to the next winner in 2016) + 1 week of training at the Patek Philippe workshops in Geneva + 1 week of training at a Patek Philippe service center in Barcelona + 1 tool set
  • 2nd prize: 2 weeks of training at the Patek Philippe workshops in Geneva + 1 tool set
  • 3rd prize: 1 week of training at the Patek Philippe workshops in Geneva + 1 tool set
  • 4th prize: 1 tool set
  • 5th prize: 1 tool set

Winners of the Patek Philippe “Concours de Bienfacture et de Précision 2015”
  • 1st prize: DROZ Timothée, CFP Lycée technique, Bienne BE
  • 2nd prize: BOLOMEY David, ETVJ Ecole technique, Le Sentier VD
  • 3rd prize: JERABEK Jan, CIFOM Ecole technique, Le Locle NE
  • 4th prize: HAUSER Bruno, CFP Ecole d'horlogerie, Petit Lancy GE
  • 5th price: JOUSSON Simon, ETVJ Ecole technique, Le Sentier VD

Participating schools
  • CFPT – Ecole d’Horlogerie de Genève
  • ETVJ – Ecole Technique de la Vallée de Joux
  • CEJEF – Ecole des Métiers Techniques de Porrentruy
  • CIFOM – Ecole Technique du Locle
  • BBZ – Zeitzentrum Uhrmacherschule de Grenchen
  • CFP – Centre de formation professionnelle de Bienne

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