A big change but not a goodbye

A big change but not a goodbye


Dear Loungers,

All good things come to an end and after seven and a half fantastic years at Vacheron Constantin, time has come for a new venture and it is my pleasure to share with you that I will join the Geneva team of PHILLIPS WATCHES – In Association with Bacs & Russo as watch specialist in April 2016.

Phillips Watches is the most recent player in the watch auction industry with already a few world records such as a stainless steel Vacheron Constantin ref 4178 sold last year for over CHF 260,000 breaking the record for any vintage Vacheron Constantin chronograph! 

A big change but not a goodbye


As you know, I am a lover of fine horology. Having had the privileged opportunity to participate, in Vacheron Constantin's 260th anniversary celebration and being there when Ref 57260, the world's most complicated timepiece - ever - was introduced; it was time for me to go from the world's oldest watch manufacturer to the world's most recent watch auction department, set up only 18 months ago! Two different worlds with the same obsession which feels like moving from one passionate team to another.

I remain a “Vacheronista” and this new exciting challenge will not sway my passion for Vacheron Constantin timepieces, nor will it end my relationship with Vacheron Constantin. The Hour Lounge is like my third child, it has given me the chance to meet many Loungers around the world, some of which have become close friends and I could not see myself stepping down as a moderator.

Therefore I shall continue responding to your questions on and offline and remain your link to Vacheron Constantin.

Looking forward to celebrating the Hour Lounge’s 10th anniversary with you in 2017 and I would like to take this opportunity to thank you all for making the Hour Lounge such a special place!

03/11/2016 - 10:52
03/12/2016 - 09:26
03/11/2016 - 12:36
03/11/2016 - 14:52
03/12/2016 - 09:28
03/12/2016 - 13:48
03/12/2016 - 23:37
03/13/2016 - 10:18
03/13/2016 - 03:36
03/13/2016 - 04:00
03/13/2016 - 10:22
03/15/2016 - 12:17
03/15/2016 - 12:35
03/15/2016 - 18:09
03/16/2016 - 04:25
03/16/2016 - 10:10
03/18/2016 - 23:00
03/20/2016 - 04:52
03/24/2016 - 09:36
Joy and Sadness my friend!
03/11/2016 - 10:14

First of all, CONGRATULATIONS on your next step and wishing you all the best in your new endeavor.  I'm sure your knowledge and passion for horology, as well as charismatic personality you do you well at Phillips!

I'm glad that you will be here with us on THL, we can't quit your presence cold turkey! 

But personally, I will miss spending all the wonderful days and nights at SIHH and W&W with you.  I guess Daisy and I will have to visit you in the Mountains from now on. smiley



Mio casa es tu casa my friend and
03/12/2016 - 09:23

Looking forward in taking you skiing :-)

There are some things which seem inseperable
03/11/2016 - 10:22

such as you and VC! For me no one represented better the spirit of our favorite brand, you are fun, courteous, knowledgable and a great host.. Phillips is gaining a great man and I'm really happy that you will remain on the Lounge.

Thanks for everything my friend

VC will always have a great place in my life as it is thanks to
03/12/2016 - 09:25

them that I made my dream come true and left my lawyering job to enter the watch industry

Re: A new chapter
03/11/2016 - 10:52
Dear Alex, Congratulations on your new appointment. Best wishes on a new and exciting future! With warmest regards, JAMES
Thank you Jame :-)
03/12/2016 - 09:26
Mixed feelings
03/11/2016 - 12:36

Dear Alex, 

I'm very happy for you if that's your choice, Congratulations on your new challenge!

Having said that, THL won't ever be the same for me but again, I really hope to have the privilege to keep in touch with you so to feel your absence here the least.

Best whishes on your new role!



Having read
03/11/2016 - 14:42

more carefully Alex' comments I feel happier, you're going to be our mod still, Hurray! cheeky


Thank you for your heart warming words Roberto and we
03/12/2016 - 09:27

Shall definitely continue seeing eachother on and off line

We're not orphans...are we?
03/11/2016 - 14:52


As a relative newcomer to haute horlogerie, your selfless help for those of us just beginning this horological path has been invaluable. Along with the others who have been attracted to The Hour Lounge, not only have you burnished the name of Vacheron Constantin, you have be a great and wise guide. Phillips Watches is indeed fortunate in having your sage wisdom, but please don't forget those of us at the Hour Lounge.

Best wishest for your future endeavor!


Re: We're not orphans...are we?
03/12/2016 - 09:16

Thank you for your kind words Bill and thank you for your trust and participation. I won't be leaving any orphans as will continue moderating :-)

Re: A big change but not a goodbye
03/11/2016 - 17:50

Congratulations, Alex. It sounds like an exciting opportunity, and I expect that you will make the best of it.

Best regards,

Tony C.

thank you Tony
03/12/2016 - 09:28
Re: A big change but not a goodbye
03/11/2016 - 19:24

Dear Alex,

it was a privilege to meet you and to share many events. You make me love Vacheron Constantin, going to create a bespoke Toledo (sharing with you each step).

You have a very good taste and knowledge in “Haute Horlogerie” and I wish you all the best in your new position.

Always a pleasure to be in contact with you and great news you will stay our contact on THL.

Warmest regards,


my dear Liger, than you for your continuous support and participation
03/12/2016 - 09:29


Re: A big change but not a goodbye
03/12/2016 - 05:51

Good Luck Alex in your new endeavour!

I am sure that you will have the same passion in Phillips Watches.smiley

thank you and yes the passion remains the same :-)
03/12/2016 - 09:30


03/12/2016 - 13:48

No doubt this is a great oportunity and it allows you to focus your passions in some ways while broadening it in others.  VC is losing a great team memeber, but I am glad you are staying around here.  I look forward to seeing you again, my friend.  And I will be seeing you around here, for sure.  Best of luck with your new endeavor.

Alex, you will be missed . . .
03/12/2016 - 15:01

Very best of luck in your new venture!  I know you'll be working with a terrific group of people at Phillips.


thenk you Bob but I'll not be far away :-)
03/13/2016 - 10:06
Congrats Alex, sounds like a fantastic opportunity
03/12/2016 - 17:08

And I'm so pleased that you will remain with us as the Godfather heart.  What does this mean for VC support of the forum?  Will we continue to see the high quality articles penned in the past?  Will we have access to serial number checks?  Are there other impacts for VCs social media platform; has Facebook made forums less attractive to the marketing plans?

Cheers, my friend, and best fortune in your new endeavor yes.

Nsothing will change my friend and VC continues supporting the Lounge and you
03/13/2016 - 10:11

can still send me numbers to check :-)

the folks at VC are smart as even though the Lounge is far far behind the VC Facebook or Instagram pages in terms of viewership the reall buyers and Vacheronistas are here! 

And if social media is defined as a platform with user generated content and engagement then the Lounge was VC's 1st social media page!

Re: A big change but not a goodbye
03/12/2016 - 18:40


Phillips Watches is gaining someone with a wonderful sense of humour, style and superior knowledge.

You've helped me gain more knowledge of horology in the past year than I'd ever imagined possible. You've also inspired me to learn watchmaking - something I'd never of dreamed of doing a year ago.  Through your postings - often detailed articles - your obvious love of horology comes through as well as your great appreciation of the amazing architecture, engineering and design of these intricate but surprisingly durable and accurate miniature worlds.

Thank you and good luck; I'm sure you'll continue to inspire.


thank you for kind words Dave and would love to read your impressions once
03/13/2016 - 10:12

you start watchmaking classes

A step from the old into the new...
03/12/2016 - 20:42

Dear Alex, thank you so much for making THL such a vibrant and interesting site. As I understand it, both yourself and Doc did an awful lot of work to create the forum as such.

The new challenge sounds very exciting and challenging. 

It would be a pleasure to see you again should you be in London or the Midlands.

Good luck, good health, good fortune and good wishes.

With sincerest best wishes



Dear Tony what I love about the Lounge is that I got to meet
03/13/2016 - 10:14

people like you.


thank you for the kind words and we shall definitely see eachother again

Congratulations on your professional move....
03/12/2016 - 20:48

I wish you much success at Phillips (I think Bacs has built up an incredible team to make Phillips an important player in the auction market).

I'm glad you're sticking around on the forum here.





thanks Bill, the team at Phillips is quite interesting as another passionate collector has
03/13/2016 - 10:16

joned the team in the US: ex VC moderator on TimeZone Paul Boutros

Alex, you have really made VC a part of my life
03/12/2016 - 21:14

so I thank you so much for that, I think you have great times ahead at Phillips - just think of all the eye-watering stuff you're going to handle on a pretty much daily basis wink Best of luck in the new venture

thank you for the warm words Ed. I have already seen some of the VCs coming
03/13/2016 - 10:17

Up for auction and be prepared for a surprise :-)

Wish you the best !
03/12/2016 - 23:37

Philipps is lucky to have you :) Enjoy every moments, see you Alex


merci mon ami :-)
03/13/2016 - 10:18


Re: A big change but not a goodbye
03/13/2016 - 01:30

Congratulations, my friend.

I wish you all the best in your new role and look forward to hearing about it on future occasions.

I hope it gives you more time to spend with your lovely partner and to fulfil all your own goals in life.

It has been a great ride and great fun. And you have contributed immensely to my own life.

Looking forward to seeing you soon.

Warm regards,


Joseph I remember the very 1st Lounge dinner where we met! Thank you for
03/13/2016 - 10:20

Your kind words and hope to see more of you now 

Sad :( and Happy :)
03/13/2016 - 03:36

Sad to see you go from VC , like Dumbledore leaving Hogwarts or Neo and the Matrix you are the glue that stuck us all together and linked us to the world of VC.

Although still very glad you'll be around here with us.

i wish you the best in your new job and all the best for the future :) 

love your references :-) thank you for your support
03/13/2016 - 10:21


Dear Alex
03/13/2016 - 04:00

I just returned from Hawai'i and a digital detox to find your news. 

The news immediately took me back to the beginning of The Hour Lounge and your personal invitation to join--a memorable day in my watch world history and my life. 

The journey and the friends THL has uncovered is nothing short of life changing, thanks to you my friend. I am sure this will be a great arrangement with Phillips and we can all give a collective sigh of relief that you are still with all of us. I must also say that the Phillips people are very, very, lucky since they are getting the best!

Hope to see you soon and take the best of care, as always. 

Best to you Sir,



On line is great but
03/13/2016 - 10:22

Getting to meet you and other Loungers in real life is what makes it special. Thank you for your support and friendship during all these years

Congratulations Buddy ! A bit sad that you will be leaving VC, but
03/13/2016 - 04:04

Extremely Excited for you as well.

You have never acted like a brand salesman - you have been critical of VC models at times and have loved other brands / independents a lot, and this honesty of yours has made THL so special - as it gave the entire experience of VC / THL a human touch. Also the experience of being able to Communicate with a Maison ("brand" does not seem term appropriate here) with the history and prestige of VC is surreal - all thanks to you. I still maintain the fact that the VC is still about the people first, and then the watches, technology, etc.  And you had a large part in creating this.

Phillips is going to be very lucky to have you, given your passion, knowledge, and love for vintage watches. You joining them will definitely make me follow the auction world, something I have never done before. So stay tuned for those numerous emails asking those annoying questions smiley I have kept asking since we first crossed paths on THL way back in 2007.

Congratulations once again !!! smileysmileysmiley

i have also learned so much from those questions:-) glad you'll start
03/13/2016 - 10:25

following the auction/vintage world....it's fascinating 

Kunal thank you for your kind words and looking forward in seeing you again soon

Re: A big change but not a goodbye
03/13/2016 - 04:58

Best wishes for your continued success!

I'm very glad to discuss here with you.





Arygato gozaymas. Thank you for your kind words and
03/13/2016 - 10:27

Support. Hope we can meet next time in Japan. I love going there

Re: A big change but not a goodbye
03/14/2016 - 08:04

Dear Alex,

I remember last year, before I pulled the trigger for my first VC, I asked a VC collector, about VC after-sales service and his replied was "If Anything goes wrong, look for The Don in THL". I was surprised by how you responded to every query (big or small) posted here.  

I wish you nothing but the best for your next journey. Thank you for all the great stories, write ups and discussions.

That's a really nice compliment and thank you for your kind words :-)
03/14/2016 - 09:50


Re: A big change but not a goodbye
03/15/2016 - 12:10

Dear Alex,


All the best for your new activities.

There is not much to add to the already written nice words which I share.


Hope to read from you also in the future




Thank you Sven :-)
03/15/2016 - 12:17


Sweet setup, Jefe!
03/15/2016 - 12:35

Congrats on your new endeavors at the auction house!

You still get to do two shifts though, lucky man. Vacheron must love and appreciate your tremendous job to keep you on THL. Positive they're gonna miss you big time at the office though.

my buddy such a treat to see you here, have missed you. thank you for your
03/15/2016 - 14:03

kind words. Sent you a few mails but they bounced, can you please email me with your new details?

Congratulations, Alex!
03/15/2016 - 18:09

I am excited for you and the new challenges ahead.  But I am also relieved and delighted that you will remain on THL. Honestly, I don't know what I would do without you! You have been enormously helpful over the years encouraging my nascent interest in Vacheron Constantin.  I can't thank you enough.  I am happy to wish you well in the new position.


Best always, my friend,


Robert, thank you for your kind words I'm glad to have helped even a little and
03/16/2016 - 10:06

good to see you here :-)

A big change indeed!!!!
03/16/2016 - 04:25

Good luck my dear friend in your new venture, it sounds very exciting!!!

You and Paul together - that's the watch industry's Dynamic Duo (and you know who Batman is...) 

Whoa, it will be soon 10 years of HL already? How quickly the time flies... I am so happy that you will stay involved. You have created something really unique. It has been harder for me to participate these last few years, but I am always lurking, and very much enjoying this forum.heart

Plus, you cannot leave until you deliver the special edition HL VC watchcool





Hi biddy good to know that you're still lurking and I'm still wortking to get the HL watch :-) maybe
03/16/2016 - 10:07

now that I will be external consultant I'll have more weight in getting it!!!

fingers crossed :-) (nt)
03/16/2016 - 14:01


Re: A big change but not a goodbye
03/16/2016 - 08:01

Thanks for everything, Alex. Good luck to you in the future. Best Regards

thank you sir :-)
03/16/2016 - 10:10


Re: A big change but not a goodbye
03/16/2016 - 08:15

Dear Alex!

It was our pleasure to meet you and to read your informative articles.

We wish you the brightest future and hope to have a privilege to see you soon.

With warmest regards,

Sergey and Katerina

tahnk you my friends and hope we see eachother again soon
03/16/2016 - 10:10


Re: A big change but not a goodbye
03/16/2016 - 20:44

Always joy and happiness dear Alex 

and I wish you my best wishes to your new adventure :-)) 


good to see you back my friend and thank you for your kind wishes
03/17/2016 - 06:00


I'm reporting this, as treason, to The Moderator!
03/18/2016 - 15:52

Well, desertion at least!

seriously, my congratulations to you and I know you will pour your passion into your new role and organisation.

i am very thankful that I have had some fantastic visits and trips in your company - I hope that will continue here and there!

All the very best - Gary

Thanks Gary, it's going to be a fun new adventure and I am certain that
03/20/2016 - 04:49

We will still have opportunities to see eachother

Arrivederci Alex!
03/18/2016 - 23:00

The Hour Lounge is your creation and so, in some ways, are we.  You will be much missed, but I hope to see you from time to time in your new role.  Paul Butros is an old friend and Aurel Bacs is a living legend of this business.  I wish you all the best!

I'm lucky to join a dream team! However I won't be too far as
03/20/2016 - 04:51

I'll continue moderating the Lounge and hope to see you in the future

Re: A big change but not a goodbye
03/19/2016 - 20:59

Just got to know you. Happy to know you are still with this forum.

Buona Fortuna in your new venture.

thank you my friend
03/20/2016 - 04:52
Re: A big change but not a goodbye
03/21/2016 - 20:30

Good luck Alex!

I'm sure your knowledge and experience will be invaluable to Phillips!

A very late reply...
03/24/2016 - 09:36

Dear Alex 

All the best in your future endeavors. 

I'd like to thank you for all the exposure and knowledge imparted for Vacheron. My enjoyment with collecting wouldn't be the same , without the hour lounge and the events i attended, organized painstakingly.

Nevertheless, all good things come to an end .  Sigh . 



Aaron my friend, it was a pleasure meeting you and sharing these moments but
03/24/2016 - 09:38

as I'm staying on THL we shall definitely stay in touch