A school watch gets the prize

name Alexander Hazman

age 22

lives in Pontarlier, a town in eastern France near the border with Switzerland

Claim to fame Mr. Hazman is the winner of the 2023 FP Journe Young Talent, an annual competition organized by the brand to help students and recent graduates establish themselves in the independent watch industry.

assets Mr. Hazemann’s watch is what the industry calls a school watch, made during his seventh and final year of the prestigious Lycée Edgar Faure watchmaking program in Morteau, France. In fact, Mr. Hazman and his classmate, Victor Monin, worked together on their watches and submitted both, but the contest representative said there could only be one winner. “We’ve always been friends,” Mr. Hazman said. “With the years we spent studying together, we realized that teamwork is a key strength.”

the hour The AH.02 Signature, 42mm watch with stainless steel case, chimes the hours and has a jumping hour complication. (The hour hand jumps to the next number on the dial instead of moving smoothly.) It took about 1,200 hours to make. “The School only requires a functional model movement, not a wearable watch capable of appealing to the collector market,” he said. “But this project meant a lot to us, and we wanted to end seven years of study in the most beautiful way” — so both Mr. Hazemann and Mr. Monnin’s watches had custom-made straps by French leather brand Jean Rousseau and dials covered with sapphire crystal by Sébal, a specialist in Switzerland.

his way “Our strength was organization, and we pushed that to the limit with daily schedules and 6 a.m. briefings,” Mr. Hazman said, explaining that the men had been sharing an apartment near the school for the last three years of schooling.

His interest in watches her dad A precision mechanic at a watch factory in Val-de-Travers, Switzerland, introduced him to the field. Mr. Hazman said he has been influenced in recent years by independent watchmakers François-Paul Journe, Rexip Rexpe, and MB&F founder Maximilian Busser.

perfect day After an early run, he heads to Le Locle, Switzerland, where he attended a three-year program at Center de Formation Professionnelle Neuchâtelois. Each week, he spends two days on watchmaking courses and three days in a model workshop in Val-de-Travers with French watchmaker Emmanuel Bouchet. “This training is geared towards building and designing watches in 3D,” said Mr. Hazman. “By the end of the course, I will be as complete a watchmaker as possible.”

about the award Mr. Hazman was awarded 20,000 Swiss francs, or $22,330 USD. He said that he intended to acquire several watchmaking machines, including a Sixis milling machine, used for the precision machining of small watch parts; the Hauser M1 pointing machine, which punches holes in watch parts; and an axial lathe and a circular lathe, which are used to make final adjustments to sprockets and axles. “I have to enrich my watchmaking tools as well as increase my experience and maturity,” he said.

However, Andreas Streller, an independent watchmaker in Switzerland and a member of the competition’s jury, noted in an email that Mr. Hazmann’s winning watch “doesn’t look like a student’s work. It does look like a commercial watch.”

the next… “My goal remains to learn as much as I can and gain enough experience so that I can launch myself as an independent watchmaker as soon as I feel ready.”