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 Chopard has enjoyed thanks to his leadership, and for developing new watchmaking entities which emphasise the value of people, craftsmanship and innovation.
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.