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Members of the Cultural Council

Carlos Alonso

Publisher and editor-in-chief of Tiempo de Relojes magazine and director of the Salon Internacional Alta Relojeria in Mexico City, Mexico

Carlos Alonso graduated in Communication Sciences from Universidad Complutense in Madrid. He began his career at Futuro Magazine (Rizzoli Group) in 1987. This was the first regular feature on watches in a business and lifestyle publication in Spanish. He then moved to Mexico and a new position as business editor for El Pais. In 1996 he founded Tiempo de Relojes, now with local editions in Mexico, Spain and Colombia. In 2006, Carlos Alonso launched SIAR, Latin America's first fine watch fair, which since 2014 has had a sister event in Spain. He is also the publisher of the Mexican edition of the monthly magazine Gentleman.


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.


Henry-John Belmont

Fine Watch consultant and founder of Belmont Conseil, Switzerland


A consultant in fine watchmaking, Henry-John Belmont is a qualified engineer and holds an MBA from INSEAD. He became chief executive of Jaeger-LeCoultre in 1987. Appointed to the board of Richemont in 2001, he oversaw the integration of Jaeger-LeCoultre, IWC and A. Lange & Söhne within the Group's other specialist watch brands. He developed Richemont's overall watch movement manufacturing strategy before creating Belmont Conseil in 2006.


Fabio Bertini

External partner at Pisa Orologeria, Italy


Fabio Bertini began working at F.lli Pisa, his uncle’s store, as a young boy in the early 1970s. He acquired experience as a clock repairer and in the technical aspects of horology before joining the sales desk, then the management of various aspects of the business, including after-sales service. After serving as general manager of Pisa Orologeria in Milan for some two decades, he continues to contribute to the development of this foremost watch retailer as an outside partner.


Terry Betteridge

CEO of Betteridge Jewelers, United States


Terry Betteridge represents the fifth generation of a family whose association with the finest jewellery and silverware dates back to the 1700s in Birmingham, England. As CEO of the company, he has helped turn Betteridge into one of the leading jewellery designers and retailers in the world. Today, Betteridge has stores in Greenwich, Palm Beach, Vail, Aspen and Southampton, and a truly global clientele. Terry has been featured in articles in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and Vanity Fair.


Alberto Cavalli

Managing Director of Fondazione Cologni dei Mestieri d’Arte, Milan, Italy


Alberto Cavalli is managing director of the Fondazione Cologni dei Mestieri d'Arte, a private, non-profit institution for the promotion and preservation of fine craftsmanship. He is a professor at Milan Politecnico school of design, as well as a visiting professor at the Creative Academy, where he leads seminars dedicated to the applied arts. He is a correspondent for the Russian magazine Kak Potratit and contributes to the Centre du Luxe et de la Création in Paris.


Gian Luigi Cavalli

Director of Gübelin Zürich, Switzerland


Gian Luigi Cavalli began his career in the watch industry with Jim Gerber Fine Timepieces, where he was partner in 2001 and 2002. For the past five years, he has worked at Gubelin as director of Gubelin Zurich, an important name in luxury retail. Gian Luigi is also CEO of Gruppo Marchesi Cavalli. He holds a Masters in Law from Freiburg University.


Daniel Chan

Founder and managing director of Paragon International Limited, Hong Kong


Daniel Chan is the founder and managing director of Paragon International Limited and has over 20 years' experience in the luxury watch industry. Paragon is the main operator of Cartier boutiques in Mainland China. Daniel sits on the board of directors of Po Leung Kuk, one of the most important charity organisations in Hong Kong, established over 135 years ago. He was previously chairman of the Federation of Hong Kong Watch Trades and Industries Limited.


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.


Charles H. Chaussepied

Recognized expert in the sustainable supply chains and responsible sourcing for the watch and Jewellery Industry


Today, member of the board of the Responsible Jewellery Council -since 2006- former Chair and Vice Chair of the RJC. Until 2015, Piaget’s Deputy CEO in charge of the Jewellery Business Unit and later, Director of CSR and Corporate Affairs for a total of 13 years. Before joining the luxury sector, Charles was successively, Managing Director at Grange SA and CEO of Toshiba Consumers Products SA. Charles is certified as Chartered Business Administrator, he holds a MBA of the University of Montreal and a Master in Finance from SUPDECO Bordeaux.


Stephan Ciejka

Editor-in-chief at La Revue des Montres, France


Stephan Ciejka is a french photojournalist and writer specialised for more than fifteen years in military affairs for french and foreign magazines and televisions who for he covered several conflicts from Africa to Bosnia. He began collecting and studying military, diver and pilot watches in the mid 80’s, before writing his first article about French Air Force and Navy chronographs. He became Director and chief editor of La Revue des Montres in Paris, the oldest French specialised monthly watch magazine for over 25 years. He created several books and films regarding sports and complication watches such as Blancpain and Jaeger le Coultre.


Diana Culillas

Secretary General, Swiss Better Gold Association (SBGA)

Diana started her professional path at the International Committee of the Red Cross in the context of the first Russian-Chechen conflict. She then spent 14 years in Africa, Asia and Middle East by being involved in different humanitarian projects. From 2008 to 2018, as the CSR Manager at Chopard Group, she established and led numerous sourcing, environmental, work-life balance and philanthropic initiatives of the brand. Today, Diana leads the SBGA, a pioneering network of industry, finance and service providers representing Swiss gold industry, which supports sustainable development of artisanal small-scale miners and establishes responsible gold value chains from these operations to end market.


Céline Dassonville (Marchal)

Former Managing Director of TBWA Corporate and former Director of CSR at Maison Cartier


Céline has more than twenty years of experience in communication and Corporate Social Responsibility. In 2018, she created Ethiwork, an impact studio to accelerate the positive impact transition. Ethiwork crafts, develops, measures and engages in social and environmental change. Céline Dassonville teaches sustainable transition in Luxury MBA at ESSEC. She is at the origin of a “Luxury for Good” movement which promotes solutions that optimize the environmental, social and economic contribution of the luxury sector. Feminist, she is Vice President of UN Woman France and on the board of directors of ZEI, an impact measurement solution. She graduated from Sup de Co Montpellier and an MBA from the University of Westminster.


Vincent Daveau

Specialised journalist, historian and watchmaker, France


Biography coming soon…


Simon de Burton

Freelance journalist and author, United Kingdom


Simon de Burton is a freelance journalist and author whose work is published in titles such as the Financial Times, Architectural Digest, the Daily Telegraph and Vogue China. As an employee of Sotheby's, he specialises in the field of luxury living and is well-known for writing about cars, motorcycles, fine art auctions and watches. He has contributed to the Financial Times Watch and Jewellery report since 2002, and covers watches and the watch auction market for Patek Philippe magazine, Vanity Fair "On Time", GQ, QP, Revolution, Plaza Watch and the Daily Telegraph's "Telegraph Time" supplement.


Zhixiang Ding

Editor-in-chief of Chronos, China


Zhixiang Ding has an inner passion for mechanics. After beginning his career as a cardiovascular surgeon in China and the United States, he became editorial director of Car & Motor magazine in Shanghai in 2001. He went on to occupy various editorial positions and oversaw the launch of several premium car brand magazines. A true watch aficionado, he has spent the last ten years as editor-in-chief of Chronos in China, where he has established himself as an undisputed authority in editorial content for high-end watches.


Elizabeth Doerr

Freelance journalist and author, Germany


Elizabeth Doerr fell under the spell of watchmaking on her very first visit to Baselworld in 1991. Her articles are read by millions of people every year and appear in newspapers and magazines as well as online, foremost on her own digital magazine QuillAndPad.com. Elizabeth Doerr published '12 Faces of Time,' her first book, in 2010, which has been described as a "love letter" to independent watchmakers.


Manuel Emch

Consultant


Manuel Emch, creative thinker, trained in design at the ArtCenter, HEC business graduate. As CEO and Artistic Director, he created the powerful identity, developed iconic products and internationally grew Jaquet Droz then RJ-Romain Jerome, two haute horlogerie brands. He was a member of the Swatch Group management board with responsibilities that included East European countries, starting up the Russian subsidiary, and managing Swatch alongside N. G. Hayek, his mentor. He is a consultant and board member for watch, luxury and tech firms. He helped set up the first watch design course at Geneva School of Design-HEAD and sits on the school's academic board.


Dominique Fléchon

Author and historian, expert in antiquarian timepieces


Dominique Fléchon joined the Richemont Group in 1994 as a historian and specialist in antiquarian horology. In 2006 he became content editor for the Fondation de la Haute Horlogerie. He has curated numerous exhibitions as part of major watch fairs. Dominique is highly regarded as the author of exhibition catalogues, and of the authoritative reference work, The Mastery of Time.


Jack Forster

Biography coming soon...


Nick Foulkes

Author of numerous books on art and history, and a contributor to a wide range of newspapers and magazines around the world, United Kingdom


Biography coming soon...


Alexis Georgacopoulos

Director of Lausanne University of Art and Design/ECAL,Switzerland


Alexis Georgacopoulos is a graduate of ECAL/University of Art and Design Lausanne, and in July 2011 became the university's director. Alexis continues to both teach and practice design. Among his many partnerships and collaborations, he initiated the award-winning Delirious Home project that was presented at the Milan Furniture Fair in April 2014. Wallpaper* magazine has named him one of the 100 most influential figures in design.


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.


Eric Giroud

Freelance watch designer, Switzerland


Eric Giroud shapes the hours. Through his collaborations with numerous watchmaking brands, this Swiss watch designer reveals his openness to the world, nurtured by the arts. Music lover, contemporary art collector and architect, Eric Giroud takes it upon himself to fuse the artistic and cultural universes that nurture him in order to create designs which are recognised by the profession and acknowledged with numerous prizes.


Jean-Pierre Greff

HEAD Director


Jean-Pierre Greff is an art and design historian born in 1957. After leading the École supérieure des arts décoratifs de Strasbourg from 1993 to 2004, he ran the Ecole supérieure des beaux-arts de Genève (ESBA) since 2004. In 2007, he lead the creation of HEAD – Genève formed from the merger of the ESBA and the Haute école d’arts appliqués, both over two hundred years old. HEAD has quickly ranked among the world’s best schools in Art and Design.


Michel Jeannot

Journalist and founder of Bureau d'Information et de Presse Horlogère (BIPH), Switzerland


Michel Jeannot heads the Bureau d’Information et de Presse Horlogère (BIPH) in Switzerland, a team of journalists working with some fifteen media worldwide. His confident and at times caustic style is equally at home with technical subjects as writing about the challenges facing the sector and its economy. He is founder and editor-in-chief of Montres Le Guide (205,000 circulation) and of the WtheJournal.com multimedia platforms. His articles can be read in Bilan, Le Figaro, Huffington Post and HH Magazine online.


Nailesh Khimji

Director/shareholder of the Khimji Ramdas Group of Companies, Oman


Back home in Muscat since 2007, Nailesh Khimji is a keen student of world economic and community affairs. He is a director/shareholder of the Khimji Ramdas (KR) Group of Companies, one of the largest groups in Oman and prominent in luxury retail. He is currently associated with the OCCI's Economic Committee and various international organisations, including the Entrepreneurs Organization, Young Arab Leaders and the World Economic Forum Young Presidents' Organization.


Wei Koh

Founder of Revolution, Singapore


Wei Koh was educated in North America. In 2000 he moved to Singapore and began working as a freelance watch journalist. In 2005 he created Revolution, the world’s first horological lifestyle magazine, now published and distributed in 16 international editions. In 2010 Wei launched The Rake magazine, "the modern voice of classic elegance", which is published in English with licensed editions in Dubai, Russia and Japan. He is the author of Making of a Masterpiece, a celebration of Ulysee Nardin.


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.


Stefano Macaluso


Stefano Macaluso has dedicated the last 16 years of his life to creating watches. Both Italian and Swiss, Stefano graduated in Architecture at Polytechnic of Turin and spent 5 years in motorsport, competing in the Italian and World rally championships. After this experience, for many years his main mission has been to take care of the products of one of the oldest Swiss watch manufactures. Stefano today is an independent watch designer and strategy advisor for various brands; his sources of inspirations are architecture, films, art, travels and any kind of terrestrial, aerial and aquatic vehicle.


Thomas Mao

Founder of ThePuristS.com, United States


A doctor in psychology, Thomas Mao bought his first "serious" watches in 1976. This was the beginning of a lasting affair with fine watchmaking which would lead to the creation of ThePuristS.com. One of the most important websites for serious watch connoisseurs, it made the transition to a community site in 2001. The affiliated site PuristSPro.com, launched in 2006, has nearly one million unique visitors per month. Thomas Mao advises collectors all over the world on how to expand and elevate their private collections.


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.


Morghan Mootoosamy


Biography coming soon…


Laurent Picciotto

Founder of Chronopassion, Paris, France


Founder of the Chronopassion store in Paris, ambassador for the Fondation de la Haute Horlogerie, creator of the first ever Hublot boutique, and a former shareholder in Richard Mille, Laurent Picciotto is an internationally acclaimed expert in timepieces, a passion he inherited from his father. He showed the full measure of his extensive knowledge as master of ceremonies at the 2009 and 2010 Grand Prix d'Horlogerie de Genève.


Jean-Michel Piguet

Former assistant curator at the Musée International d’Horlogerie, La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland


Jean-Michel Piguet qualified as a watchmaker-restorer in 1974. He went on to study at the Technicum in La Chaux-de-Fonds, where he specialised in the restoration of antique clocks. He then taught for nine years at the watchmaking school in La Chaux-de-Fonds. Between 1988 and 2018, he was assistant curator at the Musée International d'Horlogerie, also in La Chaux-de-Fonds.


Stephen Pulvirent

Managing editor of HODINKEE


Stephen Pulvirent is the managing editor of HODINKEE. He was the first employee at HODINKEE back in 2012, and has also served as an associate editor at Bloomberg Pursuits and as the executive digital editor of Surface Media. Stephen's writing and photographs have appeared in Wired, GQ, Departures, CNN, Bloomberg Businessweek, and other international publications. While his focus is on watches, he also covers topics such as design, travel, fashion, technology, and luxury.


Gianfranco Ritschel

Trainer and consultant in watchmaking, Switzerland

After a successful career as a watchmaker with several major brands, including Rolex, Gianfranco Ritschel turned his attention to a different aspect of watches: marketing. Between 1992 and 1994, he served as marketing and sales manager at Piaget Switzerland. He then moved to Bucherer as branch director, becoming a member of the management team and, at the same time, director for watches at Bucherer Group. From 2004 to 2008, Gianfranco developed the Swiss branch of Girard-Perregaux and JeanRichard. Since 2009 he has been active as a trainer and consultant.


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.


Francesca Romano

Author and editor-in-chief of Orologi & Market – OM Magazine, Italy


After a Masters degree in literature and foreign languages, Francesca Romano began her career in haute couture before joining Sondep publishing company. In 2004 she contributed to I cronografi Rolex - La leggenda, and became editor-in-chief of Orologi & Market. She also compiled the 2004, 2005 and 2006 editions of Sold! Watches & Wristwatches Auction Results. In 2008 Francesca founded Milla Editore and acquired Orologi & Market-OM Magazine, the leading trilingual Italian luxury lifestyle magazine, specialising in modern and vintage fine watches. In 2013 she published Chronograph Wristwatches. Precious Memories of the XX Century.


Abdul Hamied Seddiqi

Vice Chairman of Ahmed Seddiqi & Sons, Dubai


Abdul Hamied Seddiqi began his career at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Abu Dhabi as the main liaison for various government ministries. Currently serving as the vice chairman of Ahmed Seddiqi & Sons, he oversees the company’s expansion and has, throughout his career, developed and fostered valuable partnerships with principle brands and strategic partners. Abdul Hamied has been appointed Ambassador for fine watchmaking by the FHH for the Middle East. He sits on the board of various companies and government organisations.


Michael Tay

Executive Director of The Hour Glass Limited, Singapore


Executive Director of The Hour Glass Limited and a graduate of Oxford Brookes University with First Class Honours, Michael has acquired diverse experience in the watch industry. He serves on the boards of the National Heritage Board, STPI and Platform Projects, institutions which are engaged in the visual arts and heritage sectors. He is also the chairman of Mercy Relief, an international humanitarian NGO.


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.


Jean-Marc Wiederrecht

Agenhor Founder


A graduate of the Geneva Watchmaking School, Jean-Marc Wiederrecht founded the Agenhor SA horological development company together with his wife. In the course of his 40-year career to date, he has created the watch mechanisms of many landmark watches – some of them distinguished by prestigious prizes – such as Harry Winston’s Opus 9, the poetic complications models from Van Cleef & Arpels as well as the Slim d’Hermès Perpetual Calendar. His most recent creation is the AgenGraphe®, a revolutionary central-hand chronograph.


Suzanne Wong

Editor At Large, Revolution


Born and raised in Singapore, Suzanne Wong started writing about watches in 2010 when she joined Revolution magazine, the world’s most widely published watch title. Over the years, she has been editor-in-chief of Revolution’s flagship Asia issue, kick-started the current reinvigoration of the company’s online platforms and established herself as a leading editorial voice with particular expertise in the technical aspects of watchmaking. Recently, Suzanne has focused on increasing her contributions to the industry, moderating key discussions at regional events such as the Asian Horological Trade and Industry Promotion Conference and Dubai Watch Week. She currently serves on the jury of the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève. In 2017, Suzanne relocated to Switzerland, and is now based in Geneva.