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TAG Heuer - Carole Forestier-Kasapi and her New TAG Heuer Adventures

TAG Heuer Carole Forestier-Kasapi and her New TAG Heuer Adventures

WorldTempus’s Sophie Furley catches up with Carole Forestier-Kasapi to talk about her new role as Movement Director at TAG Heuer

Can you tell us about your new role at TAG Heuer?
When I started at TAG Heuer, I began by setting out a new vision and creating a strategy and development plan to support it. Now that the strategy is in place, the focus is more on the development of the movements themselves. 

Carole Forestier-Kasapi et ses nouvelles aventures chez TAG Heuer

Carole Kasapi © TAG Heuer

What attracted you most to TAG Heuer when you started talking with the team?
The super technical side of the brand. I wanted to work with a brand like this. It is very different and very interesting to discover a world that is very different from what I knew. And there is also this avant-garde side which is inspiring, with the art of time measurement which is very technical and very different. I wanted to write a new story and write a very different story.

Carole Forestier-Kasapi et ses nouvelles aventures chez TAG Heuer

Manufacture © TAG Heuer

Do you have carte blanche to do what you like?
It is always the same, you have carte blanche to suggest things, but I am not the one who decides!

What was your impression when you visited all the different entities of the manufacture?
To be honest, when I arrived at TAG Heuer, with Covid, it was a little complicated at the beginning, working with new colleagues online was a bit special. But apart from that, I have everything I need, that’s what is great about TAG Heuer. You have all the tools. I felt like I had arrived at NASA to write the program for Apollo! You have the brains, you have the tools, you have everything and that’s great!

Carole Forestier-Kasapi et ses nouvelles aventures chez TAG Heuer

Workshop © TAG Heuer

It sounds like you are having a lot of fun?
Yes, it is exciting. It’s really something else and Frédéric Arnault has big plans for the company, it is really interesting. He has a very clear vision so it is perfectly clear for us where we need to go. 

How many people are on your team?
There are five people in the movement development team and there are the people who work on prototypes and projects. I also work with the guys on a subject called customer perception. 

What’s that exactly?
It is all the aspects that are related to how a watch is perceived. When you look at a watch, the first thing you see is its design, its aesthetic. It’s the I like it, I don’t like it, or it is beautiful or ugly. It makes me think of a TAG Heuer, or not. It is all the emotions that the watch evokes. That’s the factor that triggers the purchase. And then there is the whole part around what I call sensations. For example, I have the feeling that this watch is ultra-thin, I have the feeling that this watch is hand-decorated, etc. All these impressions that are related to the design can also be measured. For example, when a client has the impression that a watch is ultra-thin, there is the design that will reinforce this impression, but there is also the thickness, so it’s a mix between the design and the things that you can measure.

And then, in the customer’s perception, you have everything that is sensory. When you look at a watch, can you read the indications easily, when you open the bracelet and put the watch on your wrist, how does it feel? Is the weight coherent with what you thought it would be, or is too heavy to wear? It is all these interactions that appeal to the senses that we study. 

And the last element of customer perception is all about quality and reliability. This is what customers tend to talk about the least, but you can have the most beautiful watch in the world, but if the quality is not there, it won’t sell. And conversely, you can have the best quality in the world, but if you make products that are not desirable, it won’t work either. There’s a real notion of consistency with all these elements, and that is what I am working on. 

Have you had any surprises working on this research?
We have a lot of preconceived notions as watch professionals. We think that the customer thinks this, or thinks that, but our perception is distorted, and that’s why we carry out tests with users who don’t know watchmaking because most customers don’t know that much. You have to bridge this gap between the preconceived ideas we have and the reality of our customers. 

When will we see the first results of all this work?
Only Watch was the first project I worked on when I joined TAG Heuer. I had six months to make a watch for Only Watch. It was fun because it is a totally free space for a designer. It was a unique piece so you can do many things that you can’t necessarily do with a commercial piece for so many reasons. 

Carole Forestier-Kasapi et ses nouvelles aventures chez TAG Heuer

Monaco, Only Watch 2021 © TAG Heuer

What motivates you for the future?
TAG Heuer is an extraordinary playground, and there is this incredible past. When I started, I immersed myself in the history because when you are in charge of creating something for a company, finally you are in charge of creating a page in its history and you have to know the beginning of the book, otherwise, the page you are writing does not match. So, I dove into the history, reading books and working with the heritage people and the museum, annoying them with my questions. What I discovered was a fascinating and extraordinary history that I look forward to continuing.

 

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Over 150 years of watchmaking savoir-faire and technical innovation have made TAG Heuer a global reference in avant-garde sports watches. As it tracked the rise of sports demanding increasingly precise timekeeping, TAG Heuer continually developed its unique capabilities through a long-term vision of what watchmaking is today, and what it will look like tomorrow.

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