Although most of her time is spent at TAG Heuer, she occasionally teaches in the métiers d’arts courses at La Chaux-de-Fonds École d’Arts Appliqués. “When I was in watchmaking school in the 1980s, I was alone, I was the only woman,” she said, but now women make up roughly half of the student body at the La Chaux-de-Fonds school.
“But there are still only men in the research and development area in watchmaking,” she said. “It is a very conservative industry — clearly. When all these women are in the market, of course the industry will have to move, they will be forced to adapt and employ them.”
Ms. Forestier-Kasapi said she was convinced that more women in research and development would change the industry for the better. “The sensibility is different, the eyes are different,” she said. “That’s why I speak about richness. We don’t see the same things at first, and that goes for everything.”
She also teaches an annual master class in which 11- to 14-year-old girls work together to build a simple clock. It is organized by Élargis tes Horizons Genève (in English, Expanding Your Horizons Geneva), a nonprofit organization that hopes to inspire young girls to choose technical and scientific professions.
Ms. Forestier-Kasapi said she liked to share ideas with contemporary watchmakers, such as Maximilian Büsser, founder of MB&F. “His Time Machines are very different,” she said, “and he is opening new doors in watchmaking.”
When Ms. Forestier-Kasapi’s comments were repeated to Mr. Büsser, he said he was honored to be mentioned, adding that he found her productivity “absolutely mind-blowing.”
“Carole brings a level of creativity and innovation and things never done — in an industry that keeps recycling all the ideas,” he said. “She is not in that, she doesn’t repackage goods. And one thing that I really admire and respect is that she basically created her own path.”