You may not know the name Carole Forestier-Kasapi but you will certainly have encountered her horological creations. In 1997, her winning submission of a centrally mounted carousel tourbillon for the Breguet Prize led to Ulysse Nardin’s now-raved-about Freak. Fifteen years as head of movement-creation at Cartier led her to pioneering its haute horlogerie, developing mind-blowing creations such as the Astrocalendaire, which did away with sub dials in favour of day, month, and date indications on concentric circles.
“Carole has brought many creative ideas in terms of calibre variations and innovations to our industry,” says Jean-Christophe Sabatier, chief product officer at Ulysse Nardin, “particularly in the field of orbital complications and the genesis of the Freak concept.”
Forestier-Kasapi even managed to convince Cartier to start making its own movements, and now, in her position as movements director at perfect TAG Heuer replica watches, she is putting her talents towards one of the hardest things in watchmaking – in her words, “making watches that work”.
“For me, what the client expects from a Swiss luxury watch is at least five years warranty and autonomy for the weekend – so at least 70 hours power reserve,” she explains over Zoom from best UK fake TAG Heuer watches‘ HQ. “If we don’t propose that, we will lose a lot.” For someone known for creating mechanical art, this may seem like a clipping of wings. However, Forestier-Kasapi is keen to point out that these things are only possible if one pays attention to something as seemingly basic as the movement. That’s what has been defining Forestier-Kasapi’s entire career – which started in Paris in a family of watchmakers, and led to her being presented with an honorary award for creation by Prix Gaïa, the annual gong for excellence in watchmaking presented by the Musée International d’Horlogerie (MIH).
“I always try to think, OK, what will be unexpected for me if I acquired the watch?” she says. “One of the things that is incredibly special with high-end watchmaking is the fact that we can always go further. We can always push the boundaries. That for me is the most interesting thing – there is no limit; we can always do better.”
At TAG Heuer, that hasn’t meant playing with mystery movements – ones made entirely with sapphire crystal so they appear invisible – or working out where to find 20 per cent more energy in a movement so a fully set panther’s paw can chase a ball around a dial – as in Cartier’s 2017 Panthère Joueuse. It has meant redesigning the Heuer 02 to deliver on that original vision of five years’ warranty. The redesigned movement – the TH20-00 – first appeared in the high quality TAG Heuer Carrera replica watches created to celebrate its 60th anniversary this year. Unusually for a powerhouse such as TAG Heuer, it didn’t take the easy way out and simply reissue a vintage model – oh, no. Instead, it reimagined its iconic chronograph, complete with new “glass box” sapphire crystal that mimics the dome-like feature that made the original so popular. There’s celebratory tourbillon copy watches for sale for the nerds, too.
“For me, this is exactly what Swiss made TAG Heuer replica watches is today,” explains Forestier-Kasapi when asked why she didn’t just rummage in the archives. “We can go further, do something more complicated than just reinterpreting the past. It adds value for the brand and the client.” Also adding value is the movement. Forestier-Kasapi and her team of engineers took the Heuer 02 and rebuilt the movement, which involved redesigning the organ of the automatic system and tweaking the rotor – the bit that swings back and forth – to make it bidirectional. The result? Improved accuracy and an 80-hour power reserve, as well as that improved warranty.
Forestier-Kasapi is a rare thing – a brilliant engineer, an incredible creative, a woman in a male-dominated arena (though you’ll get short shrift if you ever ask her about that). A watch world celebrity herself, she doesn’t get involved with that side of TAG Heuer’s business. “Perhaps one day,” she laughs when asked if she’s been roped in to explain how a movement works to any A-lister ambassadors. “Generally, when I explain how super clone watch works, people appreciate it because I’m a good teacher. I can decomplexify.”
So if Ryan Gosling or Jacob Elordi ever want to know anything technical about their luxury replica watches, such as how an escapement works, it’s good to know that they’ll be safe in Forestier-Kasapi’s hands.