Carole Forestier-Kasapi, Cartier Head of Fine Watchmaking

6 March 2015 |

It’s rare to find women in watchmaking. Or, to better say, they are rare in the leading positions, because nowadays it is easy to find many coloured-nails girls and lens-on-the-eye women behind a watchmaker table in all the leading manufactures.

Among the women with a leading role in watchmaking it is easy to think about Carole Forestier-Kasapi, Head of movement creation at Cartier.
“I am still learning!” she says, but she was born in the watchmaking world.  Her father, her mother and her brother were all watchmakers. She learned from her father, in Paris: “as a child, I was always in the shop where my father worked and I started dismantling different watches. My brother started in the same way, and wanted just to fix the mechanisms to get them to work. Getting them to work was not my goal. I’ve always been very curious, and like to know how things work – not only regarding horology. My goal was to figure out how the watches worked, and the possibilities to get them to work in a different way”.

At the age of 16, she left Paris to go to La Chaux-de-Fonds to start watchmaking studies… and she stood because all the manufactures are in Switzerland. From 1991 she workes in watchmaking.

Today she is proud of her team. They managed a revolution within Cartier: in 2008 the first Catier watch with in-house movement has been produced. Starting from that year, they developed 29 in-house movements as well as two basic calibers: the 1904PSMC and the 1904CHMC chronograph—and two ID concept watches that challenge traditional watchmaking ideas.

Today Ms. Forestier-Kasapi is working on pieces for 2019: “Working so far ahead of release, we have no trends to follow and no limitations in how far we can go. Some of our ideas are truly revolutionary and the most important quality I can have is confidence, confidence in my own ability to translate ideas into reality. I have to be convinced that I am right.”