Discovering the 2017 Gaïa Prize winners

By Mr. E
Europa Star WorldWatchWeb, 11 September 2017    Español Pусский

The three big winners include Richard Mille, Laurence Marti, and Jean-Marc Wiederrech. Here’s why they’re being honoured this year.

Discovering the 2017 Gaïa Prize winners

The Gaïa Prize is a unique one in the watch industry. It’s actually more of a distinction than a one-off prize, because it is based on a rigorous and independent assessment of nominees that considers their entire body of work.

Created in 1993 by the Musée international d’horlogerie based out of La Chaux-de-Fonds, the prize is hosted in a town whose social and economic history is deeply intertwined with the world of watches. So you can be sure the panel of judges does their due diligence.

This year, the panel of the Gaïa Prize recognized the contribution of Jean-Marc Wiederrecht in the craftsmanship category.

Discovering the 2017 Gaïa Prize winners

Wiederrecht has been all about complications throughout his career. His first bi-retrograde perpetual calendar, designed for Harry Winston, was a world first. It was also the start of his successful and longstanding partnership that resulted in some of the maison’s most notable innovations, including within the famous Opus line.

In 1996, Jean-Marc and his spouse founded Agenhor, a company dedicated to studying, developing and creating mechanical watches. The company holds several patents, including one for gear without play. Just this year, the company unveiled the impressive Agengraphe, a chronograph movement with central elapsed time indications.

Discovering the 2017 Gaïa Prize winners

Laurence Marti is also being honoured this year for her contributions to the knowledge of the social history of watchmaking.

As both a historian and a sociologist, Laurence has made a career out of carefully studying the key figures in the industrial and social history of watchmaking in the Swiss Jura Arc. She has enriched our knowledge of a regional industry with global reach through her many publications.

Last but certainly not least, the entrepreneurship category prize this year belongs to Frenchman and renowned watchmaker Richard Mille. Needless to say, his bold and innovative use of unique materials in his futuristic creations has redefined modern watchmaking, and helped to cement his vision on the global scale.

Discovering the 2017 Gaïa Prize winners

After studying marketing in Besançon, Mille quickly made his way up the ranks of the watchmaking industry. It all led to the creation his own line of watches in 1999, inspired by the high-tech aviation and automotive industries.

By 2001, the now famous Richard Mille collection was officially launched. The rest, as they say, is history, and the brand has produced some of the most recognizable timepieces in the business since.

As if his modern and ground breaking timepieces were not enough of a contribution to the industry, Mille also set up the influential Fondation de la Haute Horlogerie in 2007.

The three winners will be officially honoured on 21 September 2017 in La Chaux-De-Fonds, where they will pick up their very distinctive orb-shaped prize.

WATCH AUCTIONS - Premium and everything else
24 May 2017

Features - WATCH AUCTIONS - Premium and everything else

’Everything beautiful is expensive’: such could be the slogan for the current collector watch market. But beyond the record prices for exceptional lots at auction, a division is clearly emerging in (...)
EXTRAORDINARY WATCHES - Innovation is the best response to the crisis
24 May 2017

Features - EXTRAORDINARY WATCHES - Innovation is the best response to the crisis

The existential crisis currently gripping the watch industry is no reason to throw in the towel. On the contrary, the best response to the crisis is surely to innovate! Slashing prices is not the (...)
TRENDS & COLOURS - The Rose Golden age
24 May 2017

Features - TRENDS & COLOURS - The Rose Golden age

Just when we thought rose gold could not saturate the luxury market any further, rose gold dials are making something of a statement in gentlemen’s fine (...)
INDUSTRY - Gem-setting techniques
24 May 2017

Watch Knowledge - INDUSTRY - Gem-setting techniques

The art of jewellery developed in France in the 17th century. At that time, goldsmiths and silversmiths were tasked with enhancing the brilliance of cut precious stones by setting them on (...)
Getting back onto YOUNG PEOPLE's wrists
24 May 2017

Features - Getting back onto YOUNG PEOPLE’s wrists

For the past fifty years, the only so-called ‘watches’ worn by young people have been garish, interchangeable, gimmicky things; accessories rather than real watches. That’s because young people’s (...)
…Watchwords / THE PERFECT NAME for a watch brand
24 May 2017

Editorials - …Watchwords / THE PERFECT NAME for a watch brand

Remember all those hours you spent as a kid, trying to think up the coolest name for a band, when you could barely strum three chords together? Now try naming a watch brand. Our columnist and (...)
A LAST WORD TO START - “The danger is not the humanisation of robots but the robotisation of humans”
22 March 2017

Editorials - A LAST WORD TO START - “The danger is not the humanisation of robots but the robotisation of humans”

The German futurologist Gerd Leonhard was invited to the 8th Haute Horlogerie Forum last autumn. He had one piece of advice to give to young people looking for a future career path: choose (...)
SMARTWATCHES - Focus on smartwatches from A to Z
1 December 2016

Features - SMARTWATCHES - Focus on smartwatches from A to Z

Smartwatches are garnering little enthusiasm from Swiss companies, to say the least. Brands feel ‘forced’ to get involved, without any real appetite to do so (apart from the enthusiasm shown by TAG (...)

Europa Star, the World’s Most influential Watch Magazine, is the premier provider of international watch industry news and information. For 89 years, we have supplied watch retailers, watch distributors, watch designers, watch agents and watch manufacturers with news from the international watch industry. Our web and print publications are of interest to the specialized watch trade and the world’s most knowledgeable aficionados, watch collectors and consumers. Our magazines and websites are available in several different languages, making them accessible to all international markets and an essential tool for anyone working in the watch business and all those passionate about watches.

© 2017 Europa Star - All rights reserved.