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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.


Coordinator

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

Carson Chan

Former Managing Director of Bonhams Auction Asia, consultant and collector, Hong Kong


An international business graduate of California State University, Carson Chan started his own company in Hong Kong, in 1997. In 2004 he was appointed General Manager Asia for Richard Mille, managing the Greater China and SE Asia market. In 2007, Carson established Bonhams Auction in Asia and became Managing Director Asia in Hong Kong. He led his team to open the Asia headquarters, held biannual auctions, and set up representative offices in Taipei, Beijing, Singapore and Tokyo.


Ben Clymer

Founder and executive editor of Hodinkee, United States


Benjamin Clymer is the founder and executive editor of HODINKEE, one of the most popular digital wristwatch magazines in the world, and one of Time Magazine’s 50 Best Websites. A well-known tastemaker, Ben has been celebrated by the New York Times as “The High Priest of Horology” and has consulted with such leading consumer brands as Ralph Lauren and Apple. He is also an established journalist, holding a Masters in journalism from the Columbia University School of Journalism. Ben's interests lie in vintage sports watches of the 1960s and 70s. He sees the wristwatch as the perfect combination of style, engineering and art, and gained his knowledge through years of reading old auction catalogues.


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.


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.