This year for International Women’s Day, we are celebrating some of the best female watchmakers to ever grace this earth. When is International Women’s Day you ask? International Women’s Day is celebrated on the 8th of March every year.
When it comes to female success, there’s no better industry to examine than that of watchmaking. Despite being traditionally male-dominated, female watchmakers have gradually made their presence known in the field, changing it for the better with their innovation.
So, how can we celebrate this?
In our expert opinion, purchasing a female watch is a great way to celebrate International Women’s Day. Alternatively, an even better way would be to order a timepiece made by a woman. In doing so, you would be honouring female achievement in the watchmaking world this year.
Buying from a brand with a female CEO (such as Jaeger-LeCoultre) demonstrates that you approve of the brand’s move towards modern management that upholds gender equality.
Finally, simply reading this article is a brilliant way to educate yourself on successful female watchmakers.
Read on to discover 7 of our all-time favourite women who have graced the watchmaking world. They are in no particular order, these ladies are all equally as fabulous.
First, we have the formidable Jacqueline Dimier. She’s Swiss, she’s sophisticated, and she’s successful.
It wasn’t easy for Jacqueline to pursue a career in watchmaking, as one of the only female watchmakers in Geneva at one time.
Nonetheless, she went on to design at Rolex for 7 years, before moving on to the prestigious Audemars Piguet for a further 25. While working as the head of product design at Audemars Piguet, Dimier designed the Royal Oak for women. After the huge success of the men’s version, this was no mean feat, but it was received incredibly well.
Overall, Dimier entered the watchmaking industry at a time when it was even more male-dominated than it is today; she made many brave moves that have thankfully paid off, evidenced by her successful career.
Next up is the German Queen of craftsmanship, Eva Leube.
Raised in Berlin, Leube always desired a practical career. From the young age of 16, she undertook a watchmaking apprenticeship that would kickstart her long watchmaking journey.
Having worked for Rolex, Ulysse Nardin and Thomas Prescher, Leube decided to go independent in 2011 with her own company, Eva Leube Watchmaking.
This successful business centres around handcrafted custom watches; Leube is a pro at adding a personal touch to each watch she constructs.
We all know Switzerland is home to the most sophisticated timepieces, but it appears it’s also home to the best watchmakers! Number three on our list is Swiss-born Chabi Nouri.
Nouri’s career achievements are endless, but perhaps the most notable is when she became the first woman to lead a Richemont watchmaker (Piaget).
She certainly hasn’t stopped there, continuing to integrate tradition with modernity in her pieces.
Sandrine Stern’s entry into the domain of watchmaking could be called a stroke of luck. Her part-time job at Patek Philippe – intended to finance her studies –resulted in an 18-year-long career with the prestigious brand.
Stern worked in watch creation at Patek Philippe, always striving to produce watches that were at once pretty and practical.
Her efforts haven’t gone amiss; she has succeeded in introducing functionality as a primary feature in women’s watches, as opposed to simply aesthetics.
We can all thank Magali Métrailler’s stepfather for her great achievements in watchmaking, as it was his selling of watches that first piqued her interest in the industry.
Years after this initial interest, she went on to be the first female designer at Jaeger-LeCoultre (2002). Evidently, this was a huge success in itself, but her main focus was even more inspiring.
Métrailler worked on sports watches and watch movements, both stereotypically masculine areas. However, she didn’t let that stop her as she went on to design an abundance of impressive watches, including the Master Compressor.
Now for the first British woman on our list, allow us to introduce you to the phenomenal Fiona Kruger.
Kruger treats watchmaking like art, which is evident in her incredibly unique designs. She is primarily known for her skull designs which you can find on the Fiona Kruger Timepieces website.
We adore this modern watchmaker for her appreciation of true craftsmanship over mass-produced products.
Catherine Rénier: one of the biggest female names in watchmaking, and for good reason.
Rénier’s CV is beyond impressive, involving roles at Cartier, Van Cleef, and Jaeger-LeCoultre. In 2018, the businesswoman became the CEO of Jaeger-LeCoultre, and she’s been transforming the brand ever since.
Faced with unprecedented times in early 2020, Rénier did not hesitate to adapt her plans. Thanks to her innovation, Jaeger-LeCoultre has gone online with their events, increasing interest in the brand.
International Women’s Day: Our Final Thoughts
We could discuss female success in watchmaking forever. What is still seen as a male-dominated industry is being gradually infiltrated with exceptional businesswomen, all bringing something new to the table.
Over the years, we’ve come a long way from male-only CEOs and products solely geared towards male consumers. While there’s still work to do, the fact that both genders can enjoy the watch industry is certainly cause for celebration according to us.
So, let’s celebrate!
This International Women’s Day, treat yourself to the ultimate womens watch. Need a little help? Check out our International Women’s Day 2021: Uniform Wares Gift Guide and prepare to be inspired.