In a male-dominated industry, these female watchmakers are changing the game Image: Fiona Krüger | Source: Cédric Widmer

The Female Founded Watch Brands Leaving Their Mark on the Industry

It’s no secret the watch industry is overwhelmingly male-dominated. With male-owned Swiss watchmaking giants account for more than half of the luxury watch sector, it’s rare to see a female founded and owned high-end watch brand. Fortunately, in recent years expert female watchmakers and timepiece designers are changing this; earning more attention in the watch industry. Forging a name for themselves amid a sea of conglomerates and male CEOs are these talented, female-led watch brands.

Galvin Watch Company

Based in Sydney, Galvin Watch Company is one of the few watch brands with a female founder. Created, owned and managed by Finnish-born Susan Galvin, Galvin Watch Company was born from Galvin being made redundant from OMEGA while on maternity leave. After successfully crowdfunding on Kickstarter and Indiegogo in 2020, Galvin raised A$125,000 to kickstart the dream of her watch brand. The result is the Alku Collection: a series of timepieces that combine “Nordic minamilist design with the vividness of the landscapes” in which Galvin was raised.

Bedat & Co Geneve

Established in 1996, Bedat & Co Geneve was created to fill a glaringly clear gap in the Swiss watchmaking industry: timepieces designed by women for women. Founded by the late Swiss national and timepiece expert, Simone Bédat, alongside her son Christian Bédat, Bedat & Co set out to create opulent women’s wristwatches and have achieved just that, boasting several timeless watch collections and accolades. Inspired by the aesthetic traditions of the Art Deco era, the brand’s timepieces feature top grade diamonds, curvaceous cases and elegant designs.

After a lifetime in the Swiss watch-making industry watching 50 per cent of the world’s population being ignored, I decided to do something. BEDAT & CO was that something; a luxury timepiece brand founded by a woman for women.

Mme Simone Bédat, Founder of Bedat & Co Geneve

Eva Leube Watchmaking

Founded by German watchmaker, Eva Leube, Eva Leube Watchmaking earned critical acclaim with the debut of the brand’s first timepiece, Ari. Featuring a strikingly contoured case and sapphire crystal display, Ari is undoubtedly distinctive in design thanks to its arc shape and panoramic sapphire window. Now based in Switzerland, Eva Leube builds custom-designed precision watches entirely by hand.

Anne Klein

Described by Harper’s Bazaar as “a champion of authentic style”, the late Anne Klein’s eponymous brand began in 1968 as a sportswear brand that then went on to encapsulate stylish women’s separates and accessories, including watches and jewellery. While Anne Klein watches are now made by Sutton Time, the timepieces draw the same inspiration from Klein’s original designs. The designer once famously said: “clothes won’t change the world. The women who wear them will.”

Fiona Krüger

Bringing together a passion for craftsmanship and a background in fine art, Fiona Krüger’s eponymous brand quickly gained recognition for her initial series, the Skull. Inspired by Krüger’s memories of celebrating the Day of the Dead in Mexico, the Skull collection truly skeletonised the watch. Krüger has earned a reputation for her intricate timepieces and unique and thought-provoking designs.

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