Phillips in Association with Bacs & Russo is the watch department of the Phillips auction house, dedicated exclusively to the world’s finest collectors’ watches. Launched in November 2014 by Aurel Bacs and his partner, Livia Russo, the department was established in response to the ever- increasing need for today’s collectors to easily access scholarship, guidance, and quality across the board. The team of specialists is dedicated to an uncompromised approach to quality, transparency, and client service, and as a result, in its inaugural year, in just two auction seasons and locations, realized a total of $80.3 million. With ten watches selling for over $1 million, multiple world records including for any stainless steel watch and the most expensive wristwatch ever sold at auction, Phillips became the market leader in its two selling locations – Geneva and Hong Kong – in 2015.
As of May 2016, again with just two selling locations, Phillips achieved nearly $53 million in its Spring 2016 auction season, making it the undisputed worldwide market leader above all other auction houses. A selection of our recent record-breaking prices:
For estimates and valuations, please contact us at:
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With 20 years of professional experience in the field of Collectors' Watches, Aurel Bacs is an internationally recognized leading specialist in the watch market. As an auctioneer and watch specialist, Mr. Bacs has worked at various auction houses since 1995, most recently as the Head of the International Watch department at Christie's. During his tenure, he oversaw an unprecedented growth for the firm, raising the department's annual turnover from US $8 million to over US $130 million.
Today, Mr. Bacs is an independent advisor to private collectors, manufacturers and museums in the field of high-end collectors' watches and co-founder of Bacs & Russo SA. In this capacity, he is partnering with Phillips as exclusive consultant for their newly created watch department.
Italian-born Livia Russo started her career in the art world in 1994 when she joined Christie's in their Milano branch. Over the course of the next seven years, Livia gained a strong knowledge and passion for vintage watches and consequently moved to Geneva in 2001, holding various key positions at different international auction houses. In 2003 she joined the Christie's watch team where she was instrumental in the development of the department's strategies and acted as one of the key business getters until the end of 2013.
Livia Russo is co-founder of Bacs & Russo SA, a Geneva based company specialising in brokering high-end Collectors' Watches and offering various consultancy services to collectors and manufacturers.
International Head of Watches
Sam Hines is the International Head of Watches based in Hong Kong. Sam joined Phillips in 2015 to lead the International Watch Specialist teams in Geneva, London and New York with Aurel Bacs and Livia Russo continuing to work exclusively with the department as Senior Consultants.
With twenty years’ experience in the auction world, Sam has held executive positions in New York and in Asia, spearheading many ground-breaking sales of Important Watches throughout the globe. In 2013 he was appointed International Co-Head of the Watches Department at another auction house, which, throughout his time, was world-leading in the category of important watches and wristwatches.
Highlights from Sam Hines’ career to date include the discovery and sale of two previously unknown pocket watches from the third generation of James Ward Packard, achieving $2.7m at auction in 2011, as well as curating the sale of Asia’s most expensive horological object; a pair of Singing Bird Pistols which sold for $5.8m. Sam is also responsible for numerous auction records for some of the world’s most important wristwatches and watches, pocket watches and automata, including the sale of the only known Patek Philippe Star Calibre 2000 for $3.5m, a Rolex cloisonné enamel wristwatch for $1m and two sets of the Patek Philippe reference 5004 for $3.75m.
Sam was born in London and lives in Hong Kong with his wife and two daughters. He studied political science at New York University.
TEL 852 6773 9315
Head of Americas & International Strategy Advisor
A collector and respected member of the watch community for three decades, Paul Boutros is a specialist in the authentication and valuation of collectible wristwatches, advising clients on obtaining enduring, investment-grade watches and collections. As the department’s International Strategy Advisor, he leads the department's marketing efforts while also guiding strategic growth initiatives. Paul previously held Design Engineering, Product Development, Program Management, and Strategic Marketing and Business Development leadership positions in advanced technology firms.
In his spare time, Mr. Boutros writes about the world of watches, and also serves as a consultant to luxury brands. Based in New York, he frequently participates in talks for manufacturers and publications, leading discussions on the art of watch collecting.
TEL +1 212 940 1293
MOB +1 732 666 3077
International Specialist - Director
Having over 16 years of watch auction experience, Paul Maudsley is a well-respected, and recognized specialist in the watch world.
He has conducted sales in all 3 continents around the world, building on his reputation, and sourcing some of the finest quality pieces. He has an extremely keen eye, and has absolute integrity. Developing a love of horology since an early age, has given him an incredible depth of knowledge, across all areas of watches and wristwatches.
With a well known passion for Rolex Sports watches, he has gained a great knowledge of the many different models and variations produced, and he has achieved many record prices.
Paul shares his love of fine watches with fine classic cars, and is a regular at International car events. He contributes to Automotive and Watch magazines, and is also a member of the Freeman of the Worshipful Company of Clockmakers.
TEL +44 20 7901 7916
MOB +44 7760 848881
Business Development Director
Nathalie Monbaron has worked for 20 years in the Art and Luxury Industries and for the last decade at Christie's Watch Department. Most recently Nathalie was Business Development Director, a position she held for four years. Her invaluable involvement and contribution to the growth of the department has enabled Nathalie to acquire a particularly deep knowledge of the auction world and specifically the high-end collector's watch market.
She is Historienne de l'Art and holds a Doctorat es Lettres from the University of Geneva.
MOB +41 79 959 73 69
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. During these years, Alexandre developed expertise in building and managing collections for private individuals. 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 and will be in charge of valuing timepieces and advising buyers and sellers on building and managing their watch collections with a focus on quality, transparency, and long term value.
Alexandre is a member of a think tank within the Fondation de Haute Horlogerie and an author of four books and numerous articles on horology.
+41 22 317 8181
+41 79 637 1724
Business Development Director
Jill Chen joined Antiquorum, a specialist watch auction house, in March 2006 after she moved to Hong Kong from Taiwan. After being promoted to the management team, she worked closely with the firm’s senior watch specialists, focusing on developing the Asian watch market and building relationships with collectors in the region. Subsequently joining Phillips Watches in 2014 as their Hong Kong Business Development Director, Jill is fluent in Mandarin, Cantonese, English and Japanese.
TEL +852 9133 0819
Kate began her auction house career in 2006 as sale room assistant at Bonhams and quickly progressed from cataloguer in the Clocks and Watches department, to watch specialist and then, most recently, Head of Department, London Watches. Prior to this, Kate achieved her postgraduate diploma in fine furniture conservation at West Dean College England, and spent the following years restoring fine furniture in Oxford and Edinburgh, which exposed her to the world of clocks. Kate holds a Masters degree with Honours in History of Art from St. Andrews and she is a freeman in the clockmakers company. She joined Phillips in 2014 as a specialist based in London.
TEL +44 20 7 901 2907
Virginie Liatard-Roessli joins Phillips as Department Manager based in Geneva. Virginie worked in Human Resources for 15 years following her studies in visual arts.
MOB +41 76 338 9103
Junior Specialist / Cataloguer
A native New Yorker, Leigh has been passionate for wristwatches since a very early age, taking on many roles in the watch industry. Leigh’s enthusiasm for watches is inspired by her family’s background in the industry, as acclaimed collectors and pioneers in the field of wristwatch collecting. Her interest in fine timepieces led her to positions at Christie’s and Betteridge Jewelers, where she applied her knowledge of fine timepieces to help build client relationships and new online initiatives. A George Washington University alumni, and member of Alpha Epsilon Phi, Leigh joined the Phillips Watch department in 2015, and is based in our New York office.
TEL +1 212 940 1285
MOB +1 516 639 7075