facebook twitter pinterest instagram You Tube

Independence Movements: Woman of the Hour

James D. Malcolmson

Cartier, like Bulgari, has brought enormous corporate resources to bear in its drive to become a force in mechanical watchmaking. Yet the firm’s most important resource in this process so far has been a human one. Almost every one of Cartier’s achievements in mechanical watchmaking today bears the fingerprints of design movement specialist Carole Forestier. Women have by now gained a significant foothold in the watchmaking profession, but in the more demanding field of movement development, Forestier is almost unique. After years of study, she began her career at Conseilray, where she worked on Zenith’s Elite automatic movement. She subsequently spent two years at the renowned complication specialist Renaud & Papi before propitiously joining Cartier on a part-time basis, just as the company was first seriously venturing into the mechanical-movements business.

Forestier, who is both personally modest and infectiously enthusiastic about her work, now designs for the brand exclusively. The movement she devised for last year’s Central Chronograph—a type generally regarded as one of the most difficult to complete successfully—was in many ways a technical validation of Cartier’s program. Forestier, however, seems to take more personal satisfaction in a watch unveiled this year, the Rotonde de Cartier Astrotourbillon (pictured). For this piece, Forestier placed the tourbillon escapement on an arm rotating around the dial, an arrangement similar to that of Piaget’s Polo Tourbillon Relatif or Ulysse Nardin’s Freak. But the cage on the Astrotourbillon rotates at a much higher rate—once every 60 seconds—than those on these other watches, making it effectively a sweep-second hand. "The mechanism is actually a relatively simple modification of the traditional tourbillon," says Forestier. "I just love the way it turned out."

Read Next Article >>
Blancpain’s classically inspired Villeret collection—named after the...
Though summer is drawing to a close in the Northern Hemisphere, warm...
Photo by Tino Hammid
One of the world’s rarest gems, the Blue Moon Diamond , will be on exhibit...
In honor of the brand’s origins as a travel-trunk manufacturer, the new...
Perhaps the most significant timepiece ever created, the Henry Graves...
This month, the Swiss watchmaker Arnold and Son revealed two new style...
“From the very beginning, we wanted to create a watch on our own, without...
Studio Dino Eisele
The latest limited-edition version of the Doettling Fortress is the German...
Recently, Parmigiani Fleurier teamed up with the Italian luxury brands...
The freewheeling, improvisational nature of jazz music may seem at odds...