The concept

Ludwig Oechslin, Curator of the MIH, has developed many a wristwatch in his distinguished career as watchmaker. He has long harboured a desire to design a straightforward watch – a desire that has finally become a reality with the MIH Watch. Three factors conspired to facilitate its emergence: Ludwig Oechslin’s position as head of the museum; the involvement of Lucerne watch specialist EMBASSY; and the enthusiasm of master watchmaker Paul Gerber. EMBASSY is a specialist retailer of haute horlogerie, and its stores attract the devotees of complex timepieces. Cordial relations with Ludwig Oechslin over the years have led to the development of close ties between the MIH and EMBASSY. Enthused by Oechslin’s concept, the directors of EMBASSY took up the gauntlet and declared them-selves ready to manage the MIH Watch project. Someone now had to be found to first construct the prototype, and then manufacture the series proper: enter Paul Gerber, a member of the horological academy of independent creators (Académie Horlogère des Créateurs Indépendants, AHCI), an amalgam of horology’s most renowned watchmakers. Paul Gerber’s atelier is in Zurich, and alongside the watches he manufactures under his own name, he also designs complications for well-known watch brands. It was he who brought Ludwig Oechslin’s design for the annual calendar in the MIH Watch to series maturity; it was also he who accepted the task of constructing every single MIH Watch, aided by his craftsmen. Typical of this project, the packaging of the MIH Watch, too, shuns convention: «the purchaser should not have to pay extra for superfluous packaging,» declared Ludwig Oechslin at the very outset, though the watch would have to be presented in something of value. But what? For Oechslin, there was only one solution: «we will insert the watch into a current edition of the Neue Zürcher Zeitung. That way, we add even more value to what, for over 225 years, has been Switzerland’s leading quality daily newspaper.»