You are currently viewing Four + One: The Stylish And Subtle Watches Of Clara Kessi, Phillips' Next Big Thing

Four + One: The Stylish And Subtle Watches Of Clara Kessi, Phillips' Next Big Thing

Clara Kessi, 29, has worn quite a lot of hats since she began at Phillips 5 years in the past, together with Govt Assistant to Aurel Bacs. You may most certainly acknowledge her from her current time spent as an auctioneer internet hosting Phillips’ gross sales in Geneva and New York.

Kessi has lengthy been fascinated with the artwork of auctioneering, the way to direct the stream of a sale whereas standing in entrance of a packed room. Not everyone seems to be reduce out to be an auctioneer, however it’s one thing Kessi’s discovered intriguing for many of her life.

Clara Kessi

“I used to be a bizarre child; I needed to be an auctioneer since I used to be 12 years outdated,” she mentioned. “I noticed One thing’s Gotta Give, with Jack Nicholson, and there was a wine auctioneer in that film. I believed it was a reasonably cool job. A little bit later, I learn an interview in a Swiss newspaper with a feminine auctioneer the place she described her job and it ticked all of the containers for me. I did not know I’d be a watch auctioneer, however I adore it – it is superior.”

The chance to leap on the podium got here throughout summer season 2020, after Phillips pivoted from internet hosting an in-person Geneva sale in Could to an online-only sale in June. Bacs was involved a couple of alternative in case he turned sick or needed to quarantine – so he opened up the ground to any Phillips worker concerned with studying the way to be an auctioneer. Naturally, Kessi mentioned sure.

Clara Kessi

Picture, James Okay./@waitlisted

After a couple of months of observe, Kessi made her debut at The Geneva Watch Public sale XII, in November 2020. (Her first lot was a Vacheron Constantin 222, in case you’re curious.) At each Swiss-based dwell public sale since, Kessi has taken the lead for about 20 tons or so, alongside a pair of different younger Phillips specialists (Tiffany To, Marcello de Marco) who additionally took up Bacs’ provide for coaching.

Phillips New York Watch Public sale: SIX is presently underway, and Kessi will hit the podium later at present, so I figured it was the proper time to meet up with her and see what watches make up her assortment.

Clara Kessi

“I do not take into account myself a collector,” she says. “I’ve watches that I like and revel in sporting. I’ve some as a result of I like them, and others as a result of they comprise reminiscences, they seem to be a reference to the previous.”

You can too discover her featured within the “Ones To Watch” part in HODINKEE Journal, Quantity 10.

The 4

A 31mm Rolex Datejust In Metal With A Silver Dial

Kessi obtained her first watch as a present earlier than leaving her dwelling in Switzerland to attend the College of Glasgow, the place she finally earned an MA in Artwork Historical past with a specialty in Asian modern artwork. This was lengthy earlier than she knew she’d find yourself working within the watch world.

“I used to be very fortunate, my mother and father gave me a 31mm stainless-steel Datejust, with Roman numerals and a silver dial, for my 18th birthday,” she says. “I nonetheless put on it very often. It is engraved avec amour mamma & papa  – with love, mother and pa – on the caseback. It is a watch I am going to by no means half with; in the future when I’ve youngsters of my very own, I wish to give it to them after they’re 18.”

An F.P. Journe Élégante 40mm

We first noticed Kessi sporting her Journe throughout final December’s Phillips New York Watch Public sale: 5, however she’s owned it for a couple of years now.

FP Journe Elegante 40

“I first noticed it at SIHH 2018, and I believed, ‘What a cool watch,'” she says. “It is Francois-Paul Journe’s tackle horology for girls, however once I take a look at it, I do not consider it as a ladies’s watch. It is very sporty and tremendous light-weight. It goes with who I’m, my persona. I can put on it wherever.”

The Élégante options Journe’s proprietary quartz motion, which has a singular attribute that continues to fascinate Kessi.

FP Journe Elegante

Picture, James Okay./@waitlisted

“I like that it has a tortue case, which jogs my memory of Louis Cartier’s designs within the early 1900s,” she says. “However what I like is the mechanism. At evening, once I take it off, after 35 minutes, the palms cease. Once I get up within the morning, the palms mechanically flip again to the proper time. It is the spotlight of my day. It is wonderful.”

A Two-Tone Rolex Daytona Ref. 116503

“That is the primary watch I purchased whereas working at Phillips,” Kessi says. “I actually needed a Daytona, however the metal one is inaccessible, the ready lists are so lengthy. Simply because I work at Phillips doesn’t suggest I get quick access to watches. So I put my title on the waitlist for a steel-and-gold instance at my supplier within the mountains.”

Rolex Daytona Two Tone

Just a few months handed by and Kessi continued to verify in along with her retailer by cellphone. Sooner or later, in 2020, she obtained a name saying her watch had arrived. She ended up buying the watch along with her fiancé, they usually break up time sporting it – she prefers it on the two-tone bracelet, whereas her fiancé likes to put on it on a leather-based strap.

“I at all times put on the Daytona now once I’m on the podium,” she says. “The burden actually grounds me and offers me confidence.”

A Furlan Marri ‘Tasti Tondi’ Ref. 1011A

Kessi is not the one Phillips workforce member who has fallen for the classic allure of Furlan Marri’s mecaquartz-powered chronographs prior to now 12 months – I noticed plenty of specialists sporting the model’s watches once I was in Geneva final month.

Furlan Marri Tasti Tondi

“It is such a gorgeous watch,” Kessi says. “It is a fashionable tackle one of the crucial collectible classic Patek Philippe chronographs, the ref. 1463. It has a bigger diameter, 38mm, which is wonderful on the wrist. I like the bigger pushers, the crown, it even has the stepped case and downturned lugs! The polygonal caseback is a reference to the unique waterproof Taubert case design. I am unable to afford a 1463, however I like having the ability to personal this with out having to fret about sporting a $100,000 watch.”

The One

A Miniature Gavel Commemorating The 2 hundredth Anniversary Of Phillips

“As an auctioneer, I see myself because the conductor of an orchestra, however as an alternative of a baton, I’ve a gavel in my hand,” Kessi says, about auctioneering. “Nonetheless, I am not telling folks what to do. The musicians are the bidders within the room; they make the opera occur. I am simply attempting to maintain the tempo.”

Phillips Gavel

So it is a good factor she has a miniature gavel at dwelling to observe – and this one is especially particular for her. It was a present from her soon-to-be father-in-law final summer season, who occurs to be a mergers and acquisitions lawyer who labored on the 2001 sale of Phillips to Bonhams from LVMH.

Phillips Gavel

“Every of the protagonists of the sale on the Bonhams facet obtained one in every of these gavels, though they weren’t produced for that event,” she says. “It was really made to  commemorate the 2 hundredth anniversary of Phillips, and it says ‘1796 – 1996’ on the facet. It is very particular to me. When I’ve a gavel in my hand, I really feel like a sure authority, of equity and stability. It represents the neighborhood, the fervour I’ve, and the adrenaline I really feel on the rostrum. And it additionally represents household for me. I used to be very touched once I obtained it.”

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