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Musée International d'Horlogerie  - Gaïa Prize 2020

Musée International d'Horlogerie Gaïa Prize 2020

Since 1993, this award has been presented in recognition of extraordinary careers in the field of watchmaking, as well as in art and culture

The public ceremony – on prior registration due to the health measures – will take place at 6.30 pm on Thursday 17th September 2020 at the Musée International d'Horlogerie (MIH) in La Chaux-de-Fonds, and will be attended by David Vitali, Head of Culture and Society of the Federal Office of Culture. On this occasion, the MIH will once again award the Horizon Gaïa Fellowship, intended for the next generation of researchers. 

The unique Gaïa Prize honours the very best: those contributing to the reputation of watchmaking, its history, its technology or its industry. An institution of global renown, the Musée International d'Horlogerie 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 figures active in the watchmaking field, nominated the following laureates: 

Antoine Preziuso - winner in the Craftsmanship-Creation category for his systematic approach to mechanical watchmaking in his exceptional creations, his perseverance in developing his brand and his dedication to sharing his passion. 

Gaïa Prize 2020

Antoine Preziuso © MIH

Denis Savoie - winner in the History-Research category for his exceptional career as a theorist, historian and builder of sundials, combining the greatest scientific rigour with his outstanding work to popularise this area. 

Prix Gaïa 2020

Denis Savoie © Prix Gaïa

Felix Baumgartner and Martin Frei - winners in the Entrepreneurship category for the pioneering role their company – Urwerk –  has played in defining watchmaking in the 21st century watchmaking: bold, yet rigorous and humble, the product of ongoing dialogue and unwavering loyalty between the designer and watchmaker. 

Prix Gaïa 2020

Felix Baumgartner et Martin Frei © Prix Gaïa

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 Horizon Gaïa grant has been awarded to Zoé Snijders, who is taking her Master's in Conservation and Restoration for technical, scientific and watchmaking instruments at the Haute-École Arc in Neuchâtel. Her knowledge means she will be able to understand a mechanism as complex as the Delvart astronomical clock, an object that combines science with belief, history and watchmaking expertise, and which entered the MIH collections in 2015. Zoé Snijders will study the origin, symbolism and operation of the clock, with the aim of raising its profile amongst the museum's visitors. 


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