Watchmaking must be the national pastime in Switzerland. In a country known for its precision, a Swiss horology museum—of course there’s a museum dedicated to watches and other time keepers in Switzerland—has made their own watch, and it’s beautiful and unique.
The Musee International d’Horlogerie (MIH) worked with craftsman from the local La Chaux-de-Fonds industry to create the watch, which they call the MIH Gaia. Many watch makers source the different parts of their watches from different companies. MIH did much the same thing, but they kept it all local. It helps that they are located in the center of watchmaking in Switzerland, but nonetheless, each part of the Gaia comes from local craftsman, starting with the movement, which comes from Sellita. Among the eight local partners that contributed in addition to Sellita are designer Atelier XJC, case maker Stila, and dial maker Jean Singer & Cie (that last company is best known for making dials for Rolex and Patek Philippe).
The watch benefits from a clean design, with the hours displayed on a disc and viewed through an aperture. The minutes are indicated by a hand painted on a rotating center dial disc. The watch is made of steel and measures 39mm wide and only 9.74mm thick. The movement, which has a 38-hour power reserve, is an automatic Sellita 400-1. The watch is water resistant to 30m. MIH is limiting the first run of the watch, which will be done in blue, to just 200 pieces, but variations may be had in the future. Interested buyers can pick up the watch for between $2,400 to $2,900 USD.
The name Gaia comes from the Museum’s annual Gaia Prize, which is awarded for excellence in different watchmaking categories. The proceeds of the watch sales will fund “projects to restore, document and showcase the museum’s collection, and to promote the expertise of regional watchmakers.”