Irina Ciobanu started the first UAE based Ladies Watch Club, Emirates Woman talks to her about carving a niche in a male-dominated industry.

What do the first 30 mins of your day look like?

Your morning routine. As a parent of a toddler, my morning routine can be quite hectic, but I try to keep it as consistent as possible. The first 30 minutes of my day typically involve waking up at around 7:00 am, getting out of bed and following that, I head to the bathroom to brush my teeth and wash my face. I then make my way to my toddler’s room to check on him and give him a good morning hug. Once we are finished with our morning cuddles, we have breakfast, which usually consists of oatmeal with nuts and fruits. After finishing breakfast, I begin to get myself and my toddler dressed and ready for the day. By that time the first 30 minutes of my day have passed. I’m usually now ready to tackle whatever the day has in store for me. Despite the chaos that can come with being a parent, having a consistent morning routine helps me feel grounded and ready to take on the day.

Tell us about your passion for watches – How did it start?

Over the years, my passion for watches has only grown stronger. I’ve collected a variety of watches from different brands and eras, each with its own unique story and significance. For me, watches represent not just a functional device to tell time, but also a piece of history and a work of art that can be appreciated for generations to come. Overall, my passion for watches has given me a greater appreciation for the importance of craftsmanship and attention to detail in all aspects of life and has brought me endless joy and satisfaction over the years.

This is the first UAE-based Ladies Watch Club – what inspired you to launch it?

The idea for launching came from my personal passion for watches and my observation that there were very few forums or clubs dedicated exclusively to women watch enthusiasts. I noticed that most watch clubs and events were dominated by male members and catered mostly to their interests and preferences. As a female watch enthusiast, I felt the need to create a space where women could come together, share their love for watches, and learn from each other. I wanted to create a community that was welcoming, inclusive, and empowering for women who share a common interest in watches. Moreover, I wanted to provide a platform where women could learn about the history, craftsmanship, latest trends in the watch industry and network with other likeminded women. I am proud to have created a space where women can come together to share their love for watches and support each other in pursuing their passions.

How many women are in the Ladies Watch Club?

Talk us through the selection process. We welcome all ladies that share the same passion for watches. Our members are watch collectors, watch enthusiasts, ladies working in the watch industry or who want to learn more about watches. To become a member of this amazing community, there is a form on the website to be filled. We are 3000+ passionate and knowledgeable members worldwide, from the USA, UAE, India, Switzerland, Italy, Russia and more.


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What makes a watch timeless?

A timeless watch is more than just a functional accessory, it is a piece of art that transcends seasonal trends. A timeless watch is a perfect
and history.

What is your favourite timepiece?

As a watch enthusiast, I’ve had the pleasure of owning and admiring many beautiful timepieces over the years, but if I had to choose just one, my favourite would have to be the stunning and iconic Reverso Classic Duetto from the watchmaker’s watchmaker: Jaeger-LeCoultre. The Reverso Duetto Medium stays not only in the classic look of the collection but also in the mechanical gimmick present – a watch with two faces fitted with an automatic movement. All this in a relatively small case size fitted with two rows of diamonds.

What is your day to night approach when it comes to watch dressing?

As someone who is passionate about watches, I believe that choosing the right timepiece is an important part of completing any outfit. My approach to selecting a watch that can transition seamlessly from day to night involves considering several key factors. Firstly, I look for a watch with a versatile design that can complement a range of styles and occasions. I gravitate towardsderstated designs that can be dressed up or down as needed. Secondly, I consider thesize and weight of the watch. A watch that feels comfortable and doesn’t weigh down my wrist is essential for all-day wear. Finally, I think about the materials and colours of the watch. I tend to prefer watches with neutral tones and classic materials like stainless steel or leather, as these can be paired with a wide range of outfits.

This is primarily a male dominated field – what has been the biggest challenge you had to overcome?

As a woman in a maledominated field, I have faced a few challenges. One of the biggest challenges I have had to overcome is breaking down gender stereotypes and proving myself as a knowledgeable and capable expert in the industry. I have often found that people are surprised to learn that I am passionate about watches and have a deep understanding of the intricacies of timepieces. Despite the challenges, I have found that my passion and dedication to watches has given me the drive to overcome any obstacles that come my way. I believe that by continuing to stayinformed, and advocate for gender equality in the industry, we can create a more inclusive and diverse community of watch enthusiasts and professionals. By staying true to my passion and working hard to overcome any obstacles, I can thrive in this male-dominated field and make a meaningfulcontribution to the industry.

Tell us about some of the big brands you have collaborated with?

As a watch enthusiast and influencer, I have been fortunate enough to collaborate with several top watch brands over the years. These collaborations have given me the opportunity to work with some of the most respected names in the industry, and to share my love of watches with a wider audience. I have collaborated with brands such as IWC, Time Valee, JLC, Vacheron Costantin, Roger Dubuis, Bulgari. All of which are known for their innovative designs and impeccable craftsmanship. Each of these collaborations has been a unique and rewarding experience, and I am grateful for the opportunity to have worked with such esteemed brands in the watch industry.


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What is the future for the Ladies Watch Club?

As the founder of the Ladies Watch Club, I am excited about the future of the community and the role it will play in promoting women’s involvement in the world of watches. One of our primary goals is to create a supportive community where women can come together to share their love of watches and to learn from one another. We have already seen tremendous growth in our membership over the past few years, and we are committed to continuing to expand our reach and impact. Looking ahead, we plan to focus on several key areas to support the growth and development of the Ladies Watch Club. One of our top priorities is to provide more educational opportunities for our members, including workshops and history, learn more about the brands and the amount of work put behind a watch. Another area we plan to focus on is building partnerships with leading watch brands and retailers to provide our members with exclusive access to the latest models and innovations. We believe that by forging strong relationships with top industry players, we can help to promote women’s involvement in the watch industry and create more opportunities for women to succeed. Ultimately, our vision for the Ladies Watch Club is to create a vibrant and inclusive community that empowers women to pursue their passion for watches and to make meaningful contributions to the industry. We are excited about the future of the community and look forward to working with our members and partners to continue to build a strong and supportive community of women in watches.

This is The Horology Issue – how do you use your time wisely?

The key to using time wisely is to prioritize my activities and focus on what’s most important. Using time wisely requires careful planning, organization, and focus. By prioritizing my activities, eliminating distractions like phone notifications, taking breaks, and remaining flexible, I can make the most of my time and achieve my goals more effectively. We must remember, time is a finite resource, so we must use it wisely and make the most of every moment.

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