Knowledge & culture

International Watch Museum La Chaux-de-Fonds

A fascinating journey through time

The International Watch Museum (MIH) is characterised by a unique architectural and museographic concept and exhibits a significant collection dedicated to everything to do with horology. The exhibition of new acquisitions, the monumental carillon clock, the restoration room for antique clocks and the wall frescos by Hans Erni are just a few of the museum’s abundance of hidden treasures. The Swiss Watchmaking Fair, which always takes place on the first Sunday in November, is another of the museum's highlights.

 

Temporary exhibitions

Brillance of Glass. The Mastery of Enamel

1 May – 6 November 2022

Enamel in all its forms – cloisonné, champlevé, painted, opaque, translucent or opalescent – has been a source of fascination for centuries. Behind the apparent simplicity of its composition of glass and metal oxides lies the expert skill of the enamellers who have mastered its preparation, application and firing in the furnace. Even today, decorating a watch with enamel is a kind of alchemy that is still part shrouded in mystery.

To mark the 150th anniversary of the School of Applied Arts in La Chaux-de-Fonds, and to coincide with the UN’s «International Year of Glass», the Brilliance of Glass. The Mastery of Enamel exhibition showcases the traditional techniques of enamelling applied to the decoration of timepieces. Following on directly from the earlier exhibition entitled Transmissions. Picturing the Intangible, which was dedicated to mechanical watchmaking expertise, this new exhibition will highlight the art of enamelling in all its finery thanks to loans from several prestigious institutions in Switzerland and abroad; the exhibition will also cover the challenges – past and present – in training enamellers, through the School’s industrial arts collection.

The Brillance of Glass exhibition highlights many contrasts: the artisan enamellers creating masterpieces and those who commissioned them; the simplicity of the material and the great complexity of its mastery; the current appeal of enamelled timepieces and the absence of a well-established apprenticeship route.

New exhibition space

To the nearest femtosecond !

How long does one second last? Who decides what time it is? The scholarly quest for precision has been at the heart of watchmaking innovation since the 17th century. Oscillators are key to developments in this field: the pendulum, the spring balance and, later, quartz, have all increased timekeeping accuracy.

An audio guide is also available for the tour.

Immerse yourself in infinite precision!

Opening hours Today (Sunday) open

Mon        closed
Tue-Sun  10.00-17.00 hours

Open on Easter Monday and Whit Monday
The museum is closed on 24, 25 and 31 December and 1 January.

 

Subject to change without prior notice

Entry fee

Entry prices for the International Watch Museum

  • CHF 15.00 Adults
  • CHF 12.50 Students (up to 24.99 years)
  • CHF 7.50 Young people (aged 12 to 15.99)
  • free of charge Children up to the age of 11.99
  • CHF 12.50 Retirees, recipients of invalidity pension
  • CHF 30.00 Families

3-day tickets to 3 museums (MBA/MIH/MH)

The same ticket allows you a free visit in the Musée d'histoire and in the Musée des beaux-arts. These 3 museums are not far away, about 50 meters. The ticket is valid for 3 consecutive days.

The ticket also offers discounts by six partners : Musée paysan et artisanal  Maison blanche  Musée des beaux-arts du Locle  Musée d'horlogerie du Locle  Moulins souterrains du Col-des-Roches  Tourisme neuchâtelois - Montagnes (Small train and guided tour on schedule)

  • CHF 17.00 Adults
  • CHF 14.00 Students up to 25
  • CHF 7.50 Children 12 - 15.99 years old
  • CHF 14.00 Retirees
  • CHF 34.00 Families Parents and own children


Prices in CHF incl. VAT / Prices and products subject to alteration.

For the children

Treasure hunt

A treasure hunt allows children to learn about the museum through play. By taking part in the hunt, specially designed for young visitors, children are encouraged to wander around the whole museum looking for items as diverse as a sword, a boat, a dragon, or even Minnie and Snowy. Every year, a draw takes place with prizes issued to the winners.

Language: French, German and English 

Workshops and birthday parties

Play-based and educational workshops for a different way of encountering the museum! Why not come and build an object related to time or timekeeping and discover similar items in the museum’s collections?

Audioguides

Audio guides (French, German, English, Italian and Spanish) are available to visitors free of charge. The audio application guide izi. TRAVEL from the Musée international d'horlogerie is available on iPhone, Android and Microsoft but also on the following web version

How to get there

Travel comfortably by train to La Chaux de Fonds.

From La Chaux de Fonds railway station it takes 7 minutes on foot along the Rue des Musées.

Weather & webcam Today: thunderstorms possible 13/21°

Today thunderstorms possible 13/21°
Tomorrow thunderstorm 13/18°
Tuesday thunderstorm 12/17°
Wednesday partly cloudy 11/20°

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