As pondered in our ‘hands-on’ post about the MIH Gaïa, the Musée International d’Horlogerie (MIH) has announced a new colour variant, also in a limited edition.
In 2019 the MIH announced its second timepiece called Gaïa, fourteen years after the first MIH watch, in honour of the 25th edition of the eponymous prize. Established in 1967, the Fondation Maurice Favre is responsible for managing the MIH’s funds, donations, and resources, including projects such as the limited edition Gaïa.
The Gaïa watch, put up for subscription in a limited run of 200 watches, had a blue-PVD coated dial. The 2021 Gaïa II, in black, is also in a limited edition, this time an even smaller run of 75 pieces.
The inaugural Gaïa allowed the museum to raise funds to complete the restoration of the Grand Magicien des Maillardet, an automaton in the collection that was produced by Jean-David Maillardet of Neuchâtel and his son Julien-Auguste in 1830. The 2021 edition will enable the MIH watchmakers to tackle the Tellurium by François Ducommun, about which you can read here at the MIH’s site.
In their words: “Built at the beginning of the 19th century, this rare piece, emblematic of the museum and of the watchmaking know-how of La Chaux-de-Fonds, has an astronomical mechanism consisting of the Earth and the Moon revolving around the Sun. The cylindrical gilt bronze cabinet is decorated with garlands of roses, leaves and ribbons. An oval medallion, painted on enamel, representing an allegory of Astronomy, appears under the white enamel dial with Roman numerals. The case is surmounted by the planetarium and a silver circle with the following astronomical indications: date, month, leap year, age and phases of the moon. The signs of the zodiac are represented in medallions painted on enamel. The clock movement has a recoiling anchor escapement and an hour and quarter chime.”
Designed by Atelier XJC/ Xavier Perrenoud, the MIH Gaïa is made with nine watch industry suppliers from the area around La Choux-de-Fonds. Their contributions include an automatic SW400-1 movement via Sellita, a stainless steel case from Stila SA, a display from Jean Singer & Cie., sapphire from Arunic®, calf strap from Brasport SA, and a clasp from Cornu & Cie.
The MIH Gaïa II uses the same 39mm x 9.74mm stainless steel case with its unusual lugs. To recap, the time telling is via two discs – a large window on the upper part of the dial shows the hours from 1 to 12 and the minutes are on a second central disc.
The black dial is nickel-plated with a sunburst effect. The hour disc is rhodium-plated and the domed minute disk disc is also black nickel-plated with a sunburst effect to blend in with the rest of the dial side.
The movement is the Sellita SW 400-1 which beats at 28,800VPH and has a power reserve of 38 hours. The MIH’s name is engraved on the oscillating weight.
As with the first blue model, the strap comes on a buckle which is engraved with “MIH” and featuring the museum’s geographical coordinates (47°06’03” N / 06°49’48” E). You can see this on my earlier post.
As mentioned, there will only be 75 pieces. You can buy it at the MIH boutique and their on the website for CHF 2,900. Delivery is scheduled to commence in November 2021 and be complete in the first quarter of 2022.
[Photo credit: MIH]