MIH Gaïa watch

A long-term project

Ten years after it created its first watch, the MIH was keen to repeat the experience and to prioritise working with the city’s artisans. The watch had to be both classic and original, with not only a high-end finish but also an accessible price. This is why the MIH forged partnerships with the region’s best watchmaking manufactures and artisans. The museum benefited from their support to develop a functional prototype led by the internal restoration workshop which assembled, tested, monitored and conducted checks on all of the components associated with the MIH Gaïa. This network of expertise reflects a traditional Swiss watchmaking production system, and the MIH is keen to raise public awareness of this.

MIH Gaïa,
a truly inspired creation

The appearance of the MIH Gaïa watch is reminiscent of the museum’s concrete architectural design by Zurich’s Pierre Zoelly and La Chaux-de-Fonds’ Georges-Jacques Haefeli. Produced in Le Corbusier’s birthplace, the timepiece shares a number of similarities with the Brutalist movement. The building’s bold, raw, minimalist outlines are reflected in the lugs and dial of the watch, combining rectangular and rounded forms. The watch also takes inspiration from the architectural interplay of empty space and solid mass : the hour, displayed on a revolving disc, is shown through the window at the top of the dial, and the minutes are indicated through an opening in a domed disc – a reference to the Gaïa trophy – which also rotates. On the case back, the oscillating weight uncovers a message, as a nod to the underground building which reveals its many treasures as the visitor continues to explore. The initials MIH are subtly engraved on the crown and the museum’s geographical coordinates are featured on the pin buckle of the strap. Unusual yet understated, unisex and timeless, the MIH Gaïa watch illustrates a harmony between industry and craftsmanship. An initial limited series of 200 pieces will be produced with a blue finish – the official colour of the MIH – with the possibility of subsequent variations. The accompanying case consists of a cardboard container especially designed for long-term storage, as a reminder of the initiatives the watch has been designed to fund.

A few words from the curators

The MIH Gaïa watch is…

a watch that exemplifies our ambition to raise the MIH’s profile through an iconic object which embodies our identity and values;
a watch that is the product of collaboration between artisans and businesses based in La Chaux-de-Fonds, and that truly showcases the exceptional individuals and skills we have in this city;
a watch that bears the name MIH Gaïa, in tribute to the Gaïa Prize which the MIH has been awarding since 1993 to those who have devoted their careers to measuring time, be they artisans, researchers or entrepreneurs;

a watch that pursues two aims:

– to promote the MIH and thus the preservation and enhancement of horological heritage in the broadest sense,

– to allow the funding of one-of-a-kind restoration, documentation and research projects for the MIH’s unique collection with the profits generated.

Our thanks to all those who have been involved in this ambitious project; we are proud that today we are able to present to the public a key milestone towards making it a reality.

Régis Huguenin

Nathalie Marielloni
Vice Curator

Technical specifications

    MIH Gaïa, Series I, limited to 200 pieces
  • CASING, Stila SA
    Stainless steel 316 L
    Diameter: 39 mm
    Thickness: 9.74 mm
    Water resistance: 3 ATM
    Sapphire crystal
    MIH, Gaïa, Swiss made, La Chaux-de-Fonds and individual serial number engraved on the case back
    MIH engraved on the crown
  • DISPLAY, Jean Singer & Cie
    PVD treated main dial
    Rhodium-plated hour disc
    PVD treated central minute disc
  • MOVEMENT, Sellita Watch Co SA
    SW400-1 calibre, 13¾”’, Ø 31.00 mm
    Self-winding mechanical movement
    Oscillating weight engraved with “Musée international d’horlogerie”
    Power reserve: 38 hours
    Frequency: 28,800 Vib/h
    Jewels: 26 rubies
  • STRAP, Brasport S.A.
    Calf leather
    Wrist size 14-18,5 cm
  • CLASP, Cornu & Cie SA
    Tongue buckle with tool-free removal system, engraved with “MIH” and featuring the museum’s geographical coordinates (47°06’03” N / 06°49’48” E)
    CHF 2400 during the subscription period, thereafter CHF 2900
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