Prix Gaïa 2018 – Paul Clementi. Craftmanship-Creation category
The Gaïa Prize jury highlights Paul Clementi's extensive skills in craftsmanship and use of historical knowledge to produce inventive creations, with the highest standards of professional conduct.
At just 15 years old, Paul Clementi left his native Drôme to attend the Besançon watchmaking school. In this completely different environment, watchmaking was the only reminder of the back room of his fa- ther's shop, where his passion for all things mechanical was born.
In 1980, Paul Clementi trained as a watchmaker/repairer, later specialising in antique watch restoration in La Chaux-de-Fonds under the tutelage of Jean-Claude Nicolet, Pierre Willen and Jean-Michel Piguet, among others. During his training, he conducted an analysis of the Breguet three-wheel clock, constructed a detent escapement, and prepared a report on Abraham Louis Breguet.
In 1986, he began work as a prototype maker at L'Epée in Sainte-Suzanne, creating new models of table clocks and other objects, before joining Michel Parmigiani's team in Fleurier in 1989. There, he restored a Breguet Sympathique clock and created exceptional objects from scratch. Curious and open-minded, he acquired very high-level skills in diverse specialised areas (mathematics, technology, physics and art), assisted by a network of top experts in these fields.
Reserved but keen to share his knowledge, he was always looking to pass on his expertise, which led him to the Technical College in La Chaux-de-Fonds (1994- 1997), to train apprentices, then to teach at HE-ARC (2012-2016). He also contributed several articles to specialist watchmaking publications and conducted historical research. He is now the Technical Director at Bovet.