Marking The Hour With Carole Kasapi Forestier, Movements Director At TAG Heuer : Insights From The Woman In Charge

Marking The Hour With Carole Kasapi Forestier, Movements Director At TAG Heuer : Insights From The Woman In Charge

THM Desk
16 Apr 2024 |
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Women have long been an integral part of the watch world, contributing their expertise, creativity, and passion to every aspect of horology. Their influence can be seen in the intricate designs of luxury watches, the innovation of new complications, and the promotion of watch culture worldwide. At the vanguard of this transformative journey is Carole Kasapi Forestier, Movements Director at TAG Heuer, propelling the brand into uncharted territories of timekeeping excellence.

We caught up with her to discuss her journey at TAG Heuer, changing trends, and a few tips for those who want to enter this field.

THM: Re-issues seems to be an ongoing trend and you too took the Heuer 2 and rebuilt the movement for better accuracy. What are your thoughts on reinterpreting the past?

Carole: For me, as a creator, the most crucial aspect is maintaining control over shaping the narrative of this company. I need to have a profound understanding of the origin story and the foundations upon which this endeavor is built.

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Comprehending the significance, our priority lies in formulating a strategic approach and crafting timepieces that are intrinsically linked to our brand's DNA. Rather than merely reinterpreting the past, we aim to forge a path that transcends it. In this pursuit, the most challenging aspect, in my opinion, is our ability to propose truly client-centric offerings, as we discussed. The expectations of our clientele have undoubtedly evolved over the past three decades, and meeting those shifting demands poses a formidable challenge.

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THM: Is this why you introduced the solar energy movement for the Aquaracer?

Carole: That is precisely the "new normal" topic we are addressing. For instance, with regular quartz watches, we cannot offer a five-year guarantee because the battery needs to be changed every two to three years, depending on the movement's power consumption.

The only solution is to transition from regular quartz movements to solar-powered movements. Beyond the five-year warranty, what we aim to achieve at TAG Heuer is another highly client-centric aspect: the time between service intervals. Our goal is to target at least ten years between service intervals. Currently, the time between services for regular watches versus solar-powered movements differs significantly.


For a solar-powered movement, instead of a battery, there is an accumulator, similar to the one in your phone. With a solar panel underneath the dial, this accumulator is charged. The expected life of this accumulator is fifteen years, whereas, with a regular quartz watch, the battery needs to be replaced every two to three years, depending on the movement's power consumption. By adopting solar-powered movements, we can extend the time between service intervals, providing a more convenient and cost-effective experience for our clients over the long run.

THM: How did you devise the plan for the Monza flyback chronograph?

Carole: The new movement, the TH20, represents a significant step forward in terms of quality and accuracy. And yes, it's a flyback chronograph complication within the TH20 movement family.

The rest of the watch itself is a special edition with a carbon case and other premium features, but the true highlight is the TH20 in-house chronograph movement. This is why we've transitioned from the previous nomenclature to the TH20 name – it signifies the "new normal" conditions we are striving for.


By offering these watches with the TH20 movement, we can now provide a five-year warranty and better accuracy, which aligns with our client-centric approach. Accuracy is indeed a crucial factor for our clients when it comes to mechanical watches.

THM: For you innovation is about tackling problems. What is one of the most interesting problems that you've tackled in your journey?

Carole: Addressing challenges head-on is precisely what we're doing with our Solar Movement. We're tackling the issue of frequent battery changes by transitioning to this new solar technology. Our approach is to confront the problems directly - to enhance accuracy and elevate quality standards across our offerings. This unwavering commitment to tackling watchmaking challenges is ultimately what drives us.

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THM: There is a misconception that the more the complications in a timepiece, the better it is. What are your thoughts on this?

Carole: It always comes down to a matter of compromise when it comes to watchmaking. Whether we're discussing the smallest movements or the thinnest calibers, there's an inherent trade-off that must be navigated.

Performance and functionality are often directly tied to the physical dimensions and space available within the movement. Just like with a car's engine, you can't expect the same level of performance from a more compact design with less internal real estate. It becomes a delicate balancing act, a constant decision-making process of determining which aspects to prioritize and which to compromise on. Do we sacrifice power reserve for a slimmer profile? Or do we opt for a larger case size to accommodate a more robust movement?

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THM: Since you have multiple patents in your portfolio, can you tell us about the ones you’re proud of?

Carole: It's like having to choose between your own children - an impossible task, as there is a profound and compelling story behind each and every project we undertake. When I reflect on what fills me with the greatest sense of pride, it's not any one particular timepiece or design that stands out. Rather, it's the sheer quantity and consistency of our output, year after year, without fail, that truly astonishes me.

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THM: Could you suggest the first steps of anyone who is interested in entering the R&D world of watchmaking

Carole: It's crucial to understand the fundamentals of watchmaking. For me, it's evident that the journey should begin with formal training at a watchmaking school. After that foundational education, it becomes a matter of feeling and intuition, of determining what kind of products you're truly passionate about working on.

The world of watchmaking can diverge in vastly different directions - from other luxury goods to mass-produced timepieces. Each path requires a unique set of skills and mindset. Ultimately, the most important thing is to believe in yourself and find genuine enjoyment in your work. I've never approached my craft from a purely calculated or analytical standpoint. Instead, I remain steadfastly focused on the product itself - my goal is to propose something truly desirable for the client, something that aligns with the brand's core ethos and values.

Well, rightly said.