Cultural Council - Connoisseurs and collectors

Connoisseurs and collectors represent the heart of fine watchmaking. Characterised by loyalty and their passion for watches, their opinions are highly valued by the brands.

Brands willingly communicate with these most staunch supporters, who are a barometer for the profession. One-to-one relations are as fundamental as ever, including through new channels of communication such as social media.


Pascal O. Ravessoud

Secretary-General of the Fondation de la Haute Horlogerie Cultural Council

Holder of an MBA from Business School Lausanne, Pascal joined Harry Winston in 2000 as PR & events manager, and later head of communications for the Timepieces division. In 2007 he moved to the Fondation de la Haute Horlogerie as a marketing/development director. Currently in charge of coordinating the activities of the Foundation’s Cultural Council, he also oversees the development of the FHH's cultural activities in the markets. Pascal is a member of the academic committee for the Masters in Luxury Management at the Geneva School of Business, Business School Lausanne and Sup de Luxe in Paris, where he lectures.

Experts // Europe

Aurel Bacs

Expert, collector

International Co-Head of Watches for Christie's, Geneva, Aurel Bacs has been passionate about mechanical watches since his teenage years, when he would follow his father to auction houses, antique stores and the homes of other collectors in search of fine mechanical watches. In those days of quartz, aficionados had little choice than to turn to vintage timepieces. Aurel Bacs' interest in watches grew to the point that he abandoned his Law and Business studies for a position as a junior specialist at an auction house. What he thought would last only a few months turned into a lifelong passion and career.

Alexandre Ghotbi

Specialist at Phillips Watches department, Geneva, Switzerland

A passion for watches which began in his early teens led Alexandre Ghotbi to become a pioneer in online discussion forums, first by co-founding « The Purists » in 2001 (now PuristsPro) followed by « The Hour Lounge » the Vacheron Constantin discussion forum in 2007. In 2008, he turned his passion for watches into his profession when he left his career as a finance lawyer in Paris to become the Head of Vacheron Constantin’s Social Media and Community Management. Alexandre joined the Phillips Watches Geneva team in April 2016 as Specialist.

Auro Montanari

Collector and author writing under the pseudonym "John Goldberger", Italy

Auro Montanari has been collecting and studying vintage watches for 35 years, and still spends many hours browsing through watch shops, museums, flea markets and auctions. He is a true horological scholar and serious collector of the highest order, synonymous with expertise, quality, discretion and taste. Auro is perhaps best-known to watch lovers by his pseudonym, John Goldberger, as the author of 100 Superlative Rolex Watches, Patek Philippe Watches, Longines Watches and Omega Watches.

Arnaud Tellier

Founder of Tellier Fine Arts consultancy in the valuation and acquisition of artworks, Geneva, Switzerland

Arnaud Tellier grew up in a family where art was very much a part of life. His interest in watches began at an early age. After training as a watchmaker-restorer, as an expert in collectible horology he spent ten years with Antiquorum auctioneers, followed by eleven years as director and curator of the Patek Philippe Museum in Geneva. In 2011 he set up a consulting firm specialising in the valuation and acquisition of artworks.

Experts // Asia

Carson Chan

FHH Head of Mission, Greater China, consultant and collector, Hong Kong

An international business graduate of California State University, Carson Chan started his own company in 1997, Hong Kong. In 2004 he was appointed General Manager for Richard Mille Asia, managing the Greater China and SE Asia market. In 2007, Carson established Bonhams Auction in Asia and became Managing Director Asia. In 2014 he was appointed FHH Ambassador and spearheaded the FHH activities throughout Asia. Today, Carson’s role as the Head of Mission FHH not only allow him to be at the forefront of the industry but it also a platform for him to share his passion in horology with like minded people.

Sean Li

Editorial & Business Development Director, Blackbird Watch Manual, Hong Kong

Sean Li has always been fascinated by timekeeping, and was truly drawn into its inner workings when he took a close look at a perpetual calendar for the first time. Working in information technology until 2009, his career changed significantly when he took on the editorial director’s role of a prominent watch publication in Hong Kong. He is now with Blackbird Watch Manual, a new dedicated digital publication with a focus on highly curated, independent stories that celebrate the art and passion of watchmaking.

Experts // Americas

William Rohr

Managing Director of TimeZone.com, United States

William Rohr is managing director of TimeZone.com, one of the world’s largest online watch discussion forum, where he has been an important contributor since its founding in 1995. He is a partner at Digital Luxury Group, a Geneva-based marketing and communication research company for luxury brands, and a watch consultant for Bonhams. Previously, William was chief operating officer and managing director of Antiquorum SA.