Watch Auctions Specialist
Virginie is Associate Specialist and Cataloguer at Phillips in Association with Bacs & Russo. She was part of the initial group that started the department back in 2014. Before joining Phillips, she worked in the international auction business for 2 years and in a Swiss Watch Manufacture for over 7 years where she discovered her passion for watches and complicated mechanisms. Born in Switzerland, she studied visual art and graduated in Human Resources. She is the happy owner of an OMEGA Speedmaster ref. 145.012-67 retailed by Meister.
1. Do you remember your first watch?
My grandparents offered me a tiny BUCHERER lady’s wristwatch when I turned 10 years old. Then for my 20th birthday, I received my first OMEGA, a bicolor Seamaster with blue dial that I wore exclusively for almost 10 years. It was a great diving companion when I was living in Australia.
2. The 3 most iconic watch models?
ROLEX GMT ref. 6542 with bakelite bezel, PATEK PHILIPPE Nautilus ref. 3700/1A and OMEGA Speedmaster ref. 105.012.
3. A noteworthy anecdote with one of your watches?
I have a JAEGER LECOULTRE Memovox from the 60s which is a great watch except when the alarm goes on in the middle of your boss’s speech when an entire room is listening. And at that time, I didn’t know that you could stop it by pulling the crown so I just waited for the mechanism to unwind!
4. Are you more modern or vintage?
100% vintage for sure! Not only because of the history that lies behind every watch but also because you have to deserve the watch you get. It then becomes your personal watch, not just an accessory.
5. I love Speedmasters because …
Because of its story of course. I love the way a watch that was first advertised “For Men Who Reckon Time in Seconds… for scientists, engineers, TV and movie directors….” turned out to go to the Moon and became the icon of the era.
6. Your favorite Speedmaster?
ST 105.012, the reference worn by both Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong during the Apollo 11 Mission.
7. A single personal item you would take with you for a long stay on the Moon?
One of my watches, I’m not going anywhere without one!
8. You just won the lottery. Do you first buy a sports car or call a financial advisor?
A sports car, as long as it is a classic one. I love both vintage watches and classic cars.
9. Where would you spend the next 24 hours if you had a teleporter?
In the exhibition just before an auction, it’s so fulfilling and interesting to speak about watches with collectors, to learn from each other and share our passion. That would be my destination for the first 12 hours but then I would be happy to spend the remaining time relaxing on a white sand island.
10. How many times a day do you watch … your watch?
It depends on the watch I’m wearing. I very often look at my watch during the day, but must admit that it is most often not to read the time!
11. The last watch you bought?
A UNIVERSAL GENEVE Compax ref 884.485 from the 90s. It has a beautiful Burgundy bezel and subdials that perfectly match its cordovan pilot strap. I love it.
12. What’s on your wrist today?
An anonymous chronograph with beautiful black glossy dial and gilt printed telemeter scale. No name can be just as desirable as the big players!