Presenting The 2019 Winners Of The Gaïa Prize
The Prix Gaïa is awarded each year by the Musée international d'horlogerie (MIH) in recognition of extraordinary careers within the field of watchmaking, its art, and its culture.
The 2019 edition of the Prix Gaïa, the 25th, will take place at Club 44 in La Chaux-de-Fonds at 6.30 p.m. on Thursday 19th September and is set to be remarkable in more ways than one. Firstly, it will pay tribute to three very experienced talents from the world of watchmaking. Then, it will see the award of first ever Horizon Gaïa grant, intended to promote new talent working in the areas covered by the Prize. Lastly, it will provide the setting for the unveiling of the prototype of the brand new watch created by the MIH. Subscriptions for the MIH Gaïa watch will officially open at the end of the ceremony.
Gaïa 2019: the winners are announced
The unique Prix Gaïa honours the very best: those contributing – either currently or in the past – to the reputation of watchmaking, its history, its technology or its industry. The MIH in La Chaux-de-Fonds – a city whose economic and social history is closely linked to watchmaking – awards this prize in recognition of the spiritual heirs of watchmaking culture embodied in the museum's collections, and in the city itself.
This year, the Prix Gaïa jury, comprising 15 figures active in the watchmaking field, nominated:
Suzanne Rohr - winner in the Craftsmanship - Creation category
for her pioneering role in and her mastery of the art of enamelling, her perseverance and her independence in apprenticeship, and her work to train others in these skills.
Laurent Tissot - winner in the History - Research category
for his contribution to the renewal of our understanding of the economic, social and cultural history of Swiss watchmaking at an academic level, influenced by his many research studies, wealth of publications and his strong communication skills.
Karl-Friedrich Scheufele - winner in the Entrepreneurship category
for the dynamic growth and international renown which the family company has enjoyed thanks to his leadership, and for developing new watchmaking entities which emphasise the value of people, craftsmanship and innovation.
The public ceremony will be attended by Laure-Emmanuelle Perret, founder of Association Compáz, and will take place this year at Club 44, as the temporary exhibition Time for all, a watch for everyone: a century of watch advertising is taking place in the Hans Erni room at MIH.
Horizon Gaïa grant
To celebrate the Prix Gaïa's quarter-century, the MIH is leading it into a new dimension. Alongside the three categories used to honour leading figures in the watchmaking world, Horizon Gaïa, an incentive grant made possible thanks to the generosity of the Watch Academy Foundation, is being awarded to encourage new talent in the fields recognised by the Prix Gaïa: Craftsmanship - Creation, History - Research, and Entrepreneurship. The grant will finance all or part of an individual project.
The recipient of the Horizon Gaïa 2019 grant is Aude Moutoussamy, who has a Masters in contemporary history from the Sorbonne and is completing a Masters in communication and social media strategy. The grant will enable her to undertake original research on the strategies for appropriating social media adopted by different watch brands, in Switzerland and abroad, by financing her research project entitled "The appropriation of social media by watch brands" for a period of six months.
First glimpse of the watch created by MIH: the MIH Gaïa watch
In tribute to the winners of the Prix Gaïa over the last 25 years, on the day of the ceremony, the MIH will be opening subscriptions for a totally original watch, named the "MIH Gaïa", designed and developed by the museum with various regional partners. This piece, the design of which was unveiled today, is inspired both by the unique architecture of the MIH and by the trophy awarded to winners of the Prize. It will enable important work to be undertaken to restore and document iconic pieces on display at the MIH. The detailed presentation of the prototype for the MIH Gaïa watch will take place on 17th September.