Thomas Aubert Wins 2024 F.P. Journe Young Talent Competition

With the Séléné.

Established in 2015, the F.P. Journe Young Talent Competition is an annual affair to recognise the next generation of watchmakers. Applicants present a timepiece of their own design and construction, which is judged by on its complexity, craftsmanship, and aesthetics by a jury including Philippe Dufour, Giulio Papi, and Francois-Paul Journe.

While last year’s winner was a Swiss-Italian clockmaker, this year’s winner is 23-year-old Frenchman Thomas Aubert, who entered his wristwatch Séléné, a unique piece crafted in his final year at the Edgar Faure High School in Morteau, France. Amongst the standout features of the Séléné is its key-winding and -setting as well as the clever “shooting star” display on the back.

The Séléné pays tribute to classical watchmaking in both style and technique, but each reinterpreted with a modern twist.

As is often the case with such school watches, the movement is based on the Unitas 6497, although it underwent extensive reworking. For example, the timepiece doesn’t feature a crown; instead winding and time-setting are done via a key that goes into dedicated slots on the case back. 

The front of the Séléné is classical and tastefully done, with a “grated” finish on the dial that is set on a frosted plate backdrop. The exposed balance bridge is mirror polished and chamfered. The screwed balance beats at 2.5 Hz and features a prominent Breguet overcoil hairspring.

Mr Aubert is fascinated by astronomy, a passion that he incorporated into the reverse of the Séléné. Even though the watch doesn’t feature a true astronomical complication, the case back incorporates a shooting-star animation that comes to life during winding. He devised an innovative mechanism for the animation that makes use of the winding recoil lost energy to power the shooting stars. 

Mr Aubert was presented with the award at the F. P. Journe Manufacture in Geneva during the week of Watches & Wonders. Like past winners, he receives a diploma and a CHF50,000 grant sponsored by F.P. Journe and retailer The Hour Glass that is intended to aid him in pursuing a horological career.

We congratulate Thomas Aubert for the win and wish him good luck.


Back to top.

You may also enjoy these.