As you may know, today is International Women’s Day. A day designated to celebrate women and all they do, whether at home, in the office, or in their communities. I won’t get too political here as most of you likely come here to escape politics, but as this is an important day not only to me but to all women and for women’s rights (and for men who care about both) I thought it would be relevant to do a round up of my favorite HODINKEE articles about women in watches.
Clare Vincent, The Woman Who Kept The MET’s Clocks Running1 OF 5
Clare Vincent is well known in horological circles. Ms. Vincent started her career at the Metropolitan Museum of Art way back in 1962 as a curatorial assistant. She rose through the ranks and in 1972 became associate curator of the MET’s European timepieces. Ms. Vincent later oversaw the entire collection of European timepieces at the MET (some of which you can see here) and made sure that everything was well maintained. Ms. Vincent recently retired, but the clocks still chime thanks to her diligence, vigilance, and love for all things horological. You can read the full article here.
Daryn Schnipper, The Boss-Lady Who Sold the Henry Graves Jr. Supercomplication – Twice2 OF 5
This story is not only historically significant, but is personally significant for me as well. The Henry Graves Jr. Patek Philippe Supercomplication was not only the most complicated watch ever made, but it also sold for a record-breaking price…twice! The first time it sold for $11 million in 1999, with the second sale reaching a whopping $24 million in 2014. The person behind the sale of this watch (both times) was Daryn Schnipper, currently Chairman of the International Watch Division at Sotheby’s, and also my former boss (hey, Daryn). I had the honor of working closely with her on the Supercomplication when it came up for auction for the second time in 2014. The watch was totally awe-inspiring, but Schnipper’s knowledge was equally impressive. You can watch the video on Ms. Schnipper’s experience in the auction room here.
Lili von Baeyer, The Philadelphia Capitol ‘Clock Whisperer’3 OF 5
Just as Clare Vincent kept the clocks alive at the MET, Lili von Baeyer keeps the clockmaking craft alive and well in America. After completing a one-year program with the National Association of Watch and Clock Collectors (NAWCC), Ms. von Baeyer began her career as a clockmaker. She mostly maintains over 200 historic clocks at the Pennsylvania State Capitol (casual), and teaches her own clockmaking courses. The art of clockmaking is a dying art form and it gives us all here at HODINKEE to see someone working towards preserving it. You can read the full piece here.
Fiona Kruger Breaks The Laws Of Watchmaking, One Skull At A Time4 OF 5
If you haven’t seen one of Fiona Kruger’s timepieces yet, you’re missing out. Ms. Kruger is known for her skull-form watches inspired by drawings of a 17th century skull watch that was once thought to have belonged to Mary Queen of Scots. They are cool, vibrant, and incredibly different from anything you have seen. You can read more about Fiona Kruger here.
Carole Forestier-Kasapi, Cartier Watchmaker Extraordinaire5 OF 5
While we don’t have a specific article on Carole Forestier-Kasapi (more on that to come!), we do have tons of articles on timepieces that she has designed. Ms. Forestier-Kasapi is the head of Movement Design at Cartier and is behind all of Cartier’s high complications, such as the Minute Repeater Mysterious Double Tourbillon 9407 MC and the Rotonde de Cartier Astromystérieux.
All in all, it is fantastic to see women gaining more interest in watches and holding such high-ranking positions in the industry. And while this is not a complete list, it is certainly a strong one. I hope to see more people on this list next year.
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