Interview: Panerai’s Alessandro Ficarelli On Sustainable Watches, COVID-19, and Panerai’s Future

Watch Manila had a chance to get the thoughts of Alessandro Ficarelli, Panerai’s Product Director, on what’s ahead for Panerai.

Recently, Panerai has gone to a direction which only a handful of watch brands went: the direction of sustainability. In the 2021 Watches and Wonders (W&W), Panerai unveiled watches which were largely made up from recycled and eco-friendly materials. Along with that, Panerai has continued to churn out innovations which make their watches more accurate.

Here’s the full interview with Mr. Ficarelli:

How has Panerai coped with the COVID-19 pandemic?

Alessandro Ficarelli: The pandemic really took us by surprise because, even though we were aware of what was happening in China, we never imagined that it would arrive so quickly in the rest of the world. The first priority was to ensure that our organisation was safe. There have been cases of COVID-19 in all the places where we have a presence. Initially, it was a nightmare to handle because there were different regulations and protocols on lockdowns and partial lockdowns in different countries and cities. The goal was to maintain business continuity, despite warehouses being closed.

Panerai Boutique in the Philippines.

How important is Philippines as a market for Panerai? 

AF: Philippines, which is part of the Southeast Asia Oceania region, plays an important role for us, not strictly in terms of sales, but mainly for the general interest shown in Panerai by the local press.

Our clients in the Philippines are very active, we are proud of the community that was born there and we will keep boosting it.

Can you share with us how the digital landscape is evolving in relation to the watch industry and business?

The watchmaking industry has always been very traditional and linked to the past, but due to COVID-19 all the brands had to reshape their strategy and think about future customers’ needs. Social media represents an important touchpoint for us and during the previous months we organized several IG Live in order to keep alive our relationship with the audience, but at the same time we decided to organize also e-commerce exclusive watch launches.

PamCast- Panerai’s digital program to keep in touch with clients.

How important is your online presence both through your website and social media, and through the online media? 

AF: Online channels played an important role during the past two years, as they allowed us to stay in touch with our customers and to keep the dialogue running. In order to do this, we launched PamCast, a digital program that represents a journey through Panerai’s fascinating history to curated travel guides to the world’s most inspiring places. Of course, has been very important for us, as it was the only sale channel and this forced us to invest more energy on it.

You’ve had a big year this 2021 especially with your releases in Watches and Wonders. Can you walk us through the biggest highlights from Panerai?

Despite the negative aspects of the pandemic, we are really proud of 2021. During W&W, we decided to broaden our chronograph product line, reaffirming Panerai’s role in the sphere of chronography and providing the right timepiece to ensure a long-lasting accuracy in every moment of life. The introduction of the Piccolo Due corresponds to a versatile and eclectic expression of Italian taste, enhancing its emblematic identity through an unusual interpretation tinged with a charge of unexpected femininity. Another milestone is then represented by the Submersible eLAB-ID, a rule-breaking masterpiece in Panerai history, which emphasizes the deep concern of Panerai towards the status of global environmental crisis, as well as the Luminor Marina eSteel. Last but not least, the Submersible Bronzo Blu Abisso, a key element in Panerai’s history.

One of the biggest introductions of Panerai this year was its usage of recycled materials (up to 98.6%) for 1 model. Can you tell us more about this path of Panerai to promote the eco- friendly approach of watchmaking?

AF: To co-create this model, Panerai has partnered with 10 suppliers coming from different industries, all eager to work toward creating a more sustainable future based on a circular use of natural resources. The main difficulties came up because some suppliers never worked with a watch brand before and we all wanted to find out the best and most suitable materials, which are also durable and appropriate for a watch.

Will the eco-friendly approach of watchmaking find its way to all models or will it be for select releases only?

: Panerai’s goal is to have more sustainable products, reaching 30% of the models made of sustainable materials by 2025.In the next years, we will keep working with our R&D team and will constantly implement our product line with recycled or upcycled elements.

How are the preferences of people in Southeast Asia different or similar from those in Europe, US, and other markets?

All the markets are very different from each other. Usually our Asian customers look for smaller cases and are highly interested in having watches with precious materials, such as GoldtechTM, while in the US people buy sporty and bulky timepieces.

Panerai Piccolo Due PAM 1280

Panerai initially has appealed to a more masculine population. We’ve also seen the introduction of the 38mm Piccolo Due. Do you plan to expand your offerings which are a bit more inclined to the female population? Is Panerai exploring smaller sizes?

AF: During W&W 2021, Panerai introduced the Piccolo Due line, known for its 38mm case, and it has been positively welcomed by our female customers. At the moment, our goal is to broaden the Piccolo Due collection with new features and elements, and not to create a smaller line, but we will see in the future.

Has the watch industry recovered from the effects of COVID- 19?

AF: The effects of Covid-19 are slowly disappearing, but it will take more time to go back to our old habits. In the past two years, the watch industry, as all the others, learned to cope with this situation and slightly changed its attitude, giving more importance to online channels.

How do you think the watch industry will look like once the COVID-19 restrictions have been lowered?

: The pandemic forced us to question ourselves, taking on new issues. For many brands product and supply chain sustainability will be more important, introducing recycled or upcycled products or components in their collections. At the same time, all the brands can’t wait to start organizing physical and live events, interacting with their customers, so some aspects won’t change that much.

What can we expect from your brand in 2022 and in the future? 

AF: 2022 will be an important year for Panerai, as we will open new boutiques with a brand-new concept and design. This will be then followed by the organization of Panerai Experiences, which will be at the core of our strategy for the next year.

You may visit Panerai at their boutique in Greenbelt 5, Ayala Center, Makati City, Philippines. You may get in touch with them at +(63)277290392

Alessandro Ficarelli has been the Product Director for Panerai since 2011.

The interview has slightly been condensed and reorganized.

Patek Philippe Releases Three New Chronographs

Patek Philippe has already had quite a year. It seems as though they are not yet finished. Earlier in the year, we witnessed the discontinuation of the sought-after Nautilus 5711 with blue dial and the introduction of the new Nautilus 5711 with green dial. The latter performed exceptionally well in auction as it sold for EUR 416,000. Aside from the 5711, Patek has introduced several new variants in many of its model lines including the Aquanaut, Calatrava, Twenty-4, and Grand Complications.

In the new releases for Patek, there are two noteworthy matters, among others: the introduction of another watch in stainless steel bracelet and the doubling down on the “Green” theme.

Ref. 5905/1A-001

The new 5905 boasts of a flyback chronograph and an annual calendar, which means you only have to make one correction on the date per year (on March 1). This watch features an integrated stainless steel bracelet and a sunburst olive green dial. The watch measures 42mm in diameter and has a self-winding mechanism with a power reserve of up to 55 hours. The SRP for the watch is P3,000,000.

Ref. 5204/R

The new 5204 is a grand complication watch which packs with it a split-seconds chronograph and a perpetual calendar. Aside from the two highlights, the watch features a moon phase indicator, a leap year indicator, day and date, and small seconds. The case size is 40mm and is made of 18k rose gold. The watch features a manual winding mechanism with a power reserve of up to 65 hours. The SRP for the watch is P15,720,000.

Ref. 5930/P

The new 5930 is a beautiful world time watch in platinum and in green. Aside from the world time, the watch features a flyback chronograph. The case of the watch measures 39.5mm. Previously, the 5930 was available in white gold and in blue accents. The SRP of the watch is P5,100,000.

Rolex issues statement on the scarcity of its watches

Rolex is known to be a very private company. It rarely issues statements in response to certain issues. However, Rolex issued a statement recently in response to Yahoo Finance’s article “Why the Rolex watch shortage is a ‘perfect storm'”. Essentially, the issue involved is why it is very hard to get a Rolex watch from your authorized dealer these days.

Rolex pushed back on the rumors that the company is controlling the production numbers in order for the demand to grow and for the aftermarket prices to increase.

The following is the full text of Rolex’ statement:

“The scarcity of our products is not a strategy on our part. Our current production cannot meet the existing demand in an exhaustive way, at least not without reducing the quality of our watches – something we refuse to do as the quality of our products must never be compromised. This level of excellence requires time, and as we have always done, we will continue to take the necessary time to ensure that all our watches not only comply with our standards of excellence, but also meet the expectations of our customers in terms of quality, reliability and robustness. Rolex does not compromise on what it takes to produce exceptional watches.

All Rolex watches are developed and produced in-house at our four sites in Switzerland. They are assembled by hand, with extreme care, to meet the brand’s unique and high-quality standards of quality, performance and aesthetics. Understandably, this naturally restricts our production capacities – which we continue to increase as much as possible and always according to our quality criteria.

Finally, it should be noted that Rolex watches are available exclusively from official retailers, who independently manage the allocation of watches to customers.”

—end of statement—

Based from the statement of Rolex, it appears that the scarcity of the watches is due to the high demand and due to the limitations on the current production of Rolex. Further, Rolex emphasized that each watch is made with the highest quality in mind. As such, if they increase production haphazardly, quality might suffer. As a final note, Rolex took a shade against the gray market as it reiterated that the availability of their watches are only with the official retailers.

Many people have grown frustrated over the difficulty to get certain Rolex models at authorized dealers. This situation has opened the floodgates for non authorized dealers to price Rolex models at sky high prices.

It is still to be seen how long certain Rolex models will remain difficult to get at authorized dealers.

6 Uncommon Watches Worn by Business Leaders

In the sea of Rolexes, Patek Philippes, and Richard Milles, we take a look at some business leaders who choose to be different by wearing watches which are not too common in the boardroom.

Manny Osmeña and his Franck Muller Long Island

Manny Osmeña is the President and CEO of the Manny O Group which has interests in hotels, restaurants, and airline support services. Franck Muller is known as a watchmaker which produces complicated timepieces with unique designs. The Long Island watch on the wrist of Manny Osmeña is an interesting piece as the size of the watch begs for your attention, yet the watch is only known to those with deep knowledge in watches.

Ernest Cu and his Jaquet Droz Grande Seconde

Ernest Cu is the President and CEO of Globe Telecom, Inc. Jaquet Droz watches have been popular with serious collectors for a period now. The Grande Seconde Ivory in gold fits well with the corporate attire of Ernest Cu as the watch model is in its plain and purest form.

Lance Gokongwei and his Ball Fireman Night Train

Lance Gokongwei is the President and CEO of JG Summit Holdings, Inc. He is the only son of the late business tycoon John Gokongwei. The Gokongweis are known to be frugal and simple notwithstanding their financial standing. The Ball Fireman Night Train is a good sight to see on the wrist of Lance Gokongwei as it is a well-built watch for a price of well below P100,000. Ball as a brand is known best for its involvement in providing uniform timekeeping in railroads.

Jacques Branellec and his Breitling Aerospace Evo

Jacques Branellec is one of the leaders of well-known international luxury brand Jewelmer. The Breitling Aerospace Evo provides Jacques Branellec with both function and style. The Aerospace line was launched In 1985 and it notably features a multifunction chronograph.

Wick Veloso and his Patek Philippe Calatrava 6006G

Wick Veloso is the President and CEO of Philippine National Bank. As one of the most prominent bankers in the Philippines, it is only fitting for Wick to rely on his Patek Philippe Calatrava. With the wave of people jumping on Patek just because of the Nautilus, it is quite refreshing to know that people like Wick still use these equally beautiful Patek models.

Amb. Jose “Joey” E. B. Antonio and his F.P. Journe Octa

Amb. Joey Antonio is the Founder and Chairman of Century Properties Group. His company has grown to be one of the largest real estate corporations in the Philippines. Given that Amb. Antonio is known for his fine tastes in art, it is not surprising that he wears an F.P. Journe Octa. F.P. Journe is one of the most sought-after independent watchmaking brands due to the quality and due to the extremely limited production of its watches.

To learn more about the other watches of the business leaders in the Philippines, click here.

Professionals and their Watches: Charm de Leon (Entrepreneur and Vlogger) and Jet Luga (Writer and Vlogger)

A Professional and his Watch is a section where Watch Manila features individuals in certain specific fields and their watches which help them in their specific fields of work.

Newly engaged couple Charm de Leon and Jet Luga both followed paths which are not often taken. Instead of going for “regular” jobs, Charm and Jet opted to pursue their respective passions. The decision to take the road less traveled has paid off for both of them as they are experiencing success in their respective endeavors.

Charm is the founder of the hit YouTube channel Ready2Adult PH

Charm de Leon

Charm de Leon is known by many for her hit personal finance YouTube channel called “Ready2Adult PH” wherein she makes videos mainly about investing and being smart with your money. Aside from her channel, Charm has also invested in a handful of other businesses.

Charm wearing her Omega

According to Charm, she only got into watches when she met her boyfriend, Jet. In an effort to connect with him better, Charm learned more about watches and asked her father about it. Her father had an Omega from the 1970s which was given to him by Charm’s mother as an engagement gift. Aside from the Omega, the father of Charm also had a Rolex Datejust from the late 1980s or early 1990s. Both the Omega and Rolex were handed down to Charm. 

As Charm is expanding her career, businesses, and investments, she is trying to improve her time management skills. She believes that a watch is more than just a tool. It also represents your hopes and dreams and everything you aspire to be.

Being a financial literacy advocate, Charm believes that aside from the sentimental value which timepieces may have, there are some watches which actually retain monetary value good enough to be considered as investments.

Jet is a writer and a co-host of Fiction Friends podcast

Jet Luga

Jet Luga is a writer and a co-host of Fiction Friends podcast. Jet also recently started his YouTube channel which focuses on productivity, tech, and wellness. According to Jet, he’s already had an affinity for watches when he first started working as a writer. After climbing his way up in the industry, Jet was able to purchase a timepiece with his own earnings. The watch he first purchased was the IWC Pilot’s Watch Chrono Le Petit Prince Edition. The IWC is special to him as the watch is a tribute edition to one of his favorite books and it also constantly reminds him of how far his writing can take him. In the same year, Jet, a self-confessed James Bond fan, purchased an Omega Seamaster 300 due to the versatility of the watch and due to Omega’s affiliation with James Bond. He describes the Omega as a perfect watch from “beach to boardroom”.

Jet wearing his Omega Seamaster 300

According to Jet, time has always been important to him as he is obsessed with productivity and efficiency. More than that, the watches of Jet always reminds him of what his focus and hard work can accomplish.

The watches of Charm and Jet (from top to bottom): Omega Automatic, Omega Seamaster 300, IWC Pilot’s Watch Chrono Le Petit Prince Edition, and Rolex Datejust.

Charm and Jet are only at the starting line. With the early success experienced by this beautiful couple, there is no denying that the future is bright for them. Clearly, when passion is pursued with hard work and efficient time management, anything is possible.

You may follow Charm’s popular channel Ready2Adult PH here. You may also follow Jet Luga’s YouTube Channel here. If you’re interested in books, you may listen to Fiction Friends podcast, co-hosted by Jet on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, and other streaming services.

Watch You Wearing: Alice Eduardo

Alice Eduardo: Master of Time

A respected leader in business, Alice Eduardo is the President and CEO of one of the largest construction companies Sta. Elena Construction and Development Corporation. She is also fondly called as the “Woman of Steel” in reference to her involvement in the construction industry.

What many people do not know is that one of the key pillars behind her success is her mastery of time. This mastery of time and her love for machines is manifested through her vast collection of timepieces. Alice was gracious enough to share with Watch Manila some of her favorite timepieces. 

Before we take a peek at some of her watches, let us first understand how Alice has commanded time to be on her side.

Master of Time

Most of the people usually deal with the struggle of work-life balance. This, however, is not the case with Alice. Instead of drawing a fine line between work and life, Alice strives to harmonize both. This is how she manages to exceed both the strong demands of work and family life. 

Alice Eduardo with her children (standing) and her parents (sitting). Image from Alice Eduardo.

Aside from being a full-time boss at Sta. Elena, Alice is likewise a hands-on mother to her wonderful children. Furthermore, Alice makes sure to have breakfast daily with her parents. Weekends are usually reserved for bonding with her children, her parents, and her siblings with their families. 

Her close relationship with her family fuels her with positive energy to hurdle her work throughout the week. This is why Alice is laser-focused when she’s working, resulting to success. Her business success, in turn, allows her to spend more quality time with her family. The cycle which Alice has created is one worth emulating as both work and family do not sacrifice for each other. 

When the world was hit with the COVID-19 pandemic, Alice gave an even greater emphasis on family bonding and quality time. Alice knows that time is something which you can never buy. And this is why she makes sure to give time and prioritize the people and the things that really matter in life.

To be constantly reminded of how precious time is, Alice has steadily collected a handful of fine timepieces.  

Beginnings of her Collection

Alice’s first notable watch was a Rolex Datejust similar to this.

As with many watch collectors, Alice Eduardo’s first notable and expensive watch was a Rolex Datejust in two-tone. The Datejust was the standard go-to watch for business leaders from the 1980s up to the 2000s. Not long after, Alice purchased a gold Rolex Datejust in a President bracelet. Next, Alice moved deeper into the world of watches as she purchased a Patek Philippe Nautilus and a Patek Philippe Aquanaut.

Richard Mille

Alice with one of her Richard Mille RM-07 watches and an image of a similar Richard Mille watch.

By the late 2000s, Alice’s watch collection was already notable. This is the time when she stumbled upon a then little-known brand called Richard Mille. Alice recalls that when she first saw a Richard Mille watch in a boutique window in Singapore it was “love at first sight”. She describes the watch design with the brand’s tagline “a racing machine on the wrist”. Alice then entered the store to try on the RM-07 which she initially expected to be heavy. To her surprise, the watch was very light. Not long after she visited Singapore, Alice purchased her first Richard Mille, the RM-07, in the brand’s boutique in Beverly Hills.

Some of Alice’s Richard Mille models: RM-067 (L) and RM-037 (R). Below the two watches is a dedication written by Mr. Richard Mille to Alice.
Alice’s RM-023.

The RM-07 would soon be joined by several other Richard Mille models, including the RM-037 and the RM-067. Her love for the Richard Mille watch brand has led her to become friends with Mr. Richard Mille himself and his family. In fact, during one event which Mr. Mille hosted in Paris, he confided to Alice that the RM-023 is so “you”. Eventually and unsurprisingly, Alice purchased the watch.

Other Watches

From left to right: Rolex Daytona with diamonds, Rolex Daytona (Panda dial), Patek Philippe Aquanaut ref. 5167R.

Alice also adores her other watches aside from Richard Mille. Among her other favorites are her Rolex Daytona, Patek Philippe Nautilus, and Patek Philippe Aquanaut. She also has watches from other well-loved brands such as Cartier, Audemars Piguet, and Roger Dubuis, among others. 

Lessons in Buying Watches

Alice Eduardo with Watch Manila Founder Sieg Suarez

Considering her extensive experience in collecting watches, there are three lessons which everyone can learn from Alice when buying a watch: 1. You must like the watch; 2. Buy to commemorate; and 3. Always remember that the most important thing the watch represents is time itself.

When you buy a watch, you have to keep in mind that you will be the one using it. As such, you have to make sure that the watch is comfortable and is visually appealing to you. The watch you purchase will accompany you for a long time and it is important that you choose a watch which you like and not what others like.

Alice is one who believes in commemorating certain milestones with watches. She points out to several watches in her collection which represented some of the major projects which she closed. You may also purchase a watch to commemorate the birth of a child or an important anniversary milestone. At times, you do need to remind yourself of what you’ve achieved so far in life and a timepiece serves as a great reminder.

Lastly, Alice knows that all the watches she’s accumulated are merely reminders of God’s gift of time. While we can appreciate the beauty, the craftsmanship, and the complications of a timepiece, we always need to be reminded that the biggest value in watches is what it ultimately represents: time itself and how we spend it.

Alice Eduardo is a truly inspiring woman. With time on her side, Alice continues to work on her projects and dream even bigger. Alice lives by the quote “if you are willing to work hard, you can achieve anything. No structure is too grand, or task too difficult. No dream is out of reach.” Alice is living proof that hard work coupled with the understanding of time pays off.

A version of this story was published by ABS-CBN.

Hands On: Stefano Ricci Octagon Diamond Lux Edition

When you hear “luxury timepiece or watch”, you are likely to think of Rolex or Patek Philippe. But one brand which aims to make a noise in the watch segment is Stefano Ricci. Just what or who is Stefano Ricci?

For starters, Stefano Ricci is a luxury lifestyle brand, named after himself. The brand, which is based in Florence, Italy, is known for their menswear, home, and lifestyle pieces. In the Philippines, Stefano Ricci is present through their standalone boutique in Solaire Resort & Casino located at the Entertainment City in Metro Manila.

While the brand has been around since 1972, it was only in last year when Stefano Ricci entered the world of high horology with their SR Octagon watch line. Locally, the Philippine boutique has a stock of the SR Octagon Chronograph Diamond Lux Edition which is limited to 10 pieces worldwide. 

SR Octagon Chronograph Diamond Lux Edition


One of the inspirations for the watch design: the octagonal dome of Santa Maria del Fiore in Florence, Italy.

The design of the watch is definitely unique and a little polarizing even. The first thing that might come to mind for people is that the watch is either inspired primarily by Chinese beliefs or the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak due to its octagonal shape. But this is not the case. According to Mr. Stefano Ricci, the main inspiration for the watch springs from his hometown. Further, the reference to the octagonal shape of the watch is from the notable structures in Florence: Battistero di San Giovanni, the Dome of Santa Maria del Fiore, and the Tribuna of the Uffizi. Mr. Ricci intends for the watch to be an entire tribute to Florence. 

On the left, you will see the intricate cover of the casebook. On the right, once you flip open the cover, you will see the movement.

The case of the SR Octagon Chronograph Diamond Lux is made of 18K white gold and it has a watch face diameter measuring 45.5mm and a thickness of 14.8mm. The dial is in a deep blue shade and features the chronograph function and a date window, aside from the time. This Diamond Lux model has 88 diamonds, totaling to over 8 carats, throughout the watch set with the ancient a battuta method wherein the metal is hammered around the precious stones before being polished. When you flip the watch to see the back side, you will be amazed with the intricate hand-etched caseback cover. The cover can be flipped open to reveal the beautiful movement powering the watch.

The SR Octagon Chronograph Diamond Lux on the wrist of Watch Manila’s Atty. Sieg Suarez. On both images, you will observe how large the watch actually is on the wrist. On the picture on the right, you will notice that there are diamonds set on the side of the case aside from those set on the bezel and on the clasp.

The SR Octagon wears big and will definitely suit those with large wrists. The heft of the watch is really evident from all angles. Further, as with any other watch in gold and with diamonds, the watch naturally wears heavy on the wrist.

The clasp, like the bezel, is octagonal in shape and features 24 diamonds.

Despite the size and the heft, the strap of the watch feels comfortable as it is made from alligator leather. Notably, the watch clasp is also octagonal in shape and features 24 diamonds.


The SR Octagon Chronograph features a self-winding mechanism with a power reserve of 42 to 50 hours depending on the usage of the chronograph function. The base of the movement is by watch manufacturer Parmigiani Fleurier (PF331) combined with a Dubois-Dépraz Chronograph module. As a chronograph, the watch indicates sub-dials for small seconds (at 3), chronograph hours (at 6), and chronograph minutes (at 9). 


The SR Octagon watch line was created in order to expand the Stefano Ricci lifestyle to fine watches. 

The design of the watch is definitely a conversation-starter. Stefano Ricci will definitely have the watch industry talking. As to whether the watch design will be embraced or rejected, this is yet to be seen. 

Going beyond the design, you will realize that the watch is really well-made. To their credit, Stefano Ricci really tried to put together a watch with the best possible case, material, and movement. While the brand cannot boast of centuries of watchmaking heritage, their maiden attempt at watches is respectable from a quality standpoint.

The SR Octagon Chronograph Diamond Lux watch retails for just a little over P13,000,000.00.

You may visit Stefano Ricci at its boutique located at The Shoppes at Solaire Resort and Casino. You may also contact them at: +63 2 9754369 and

A Professional and his Watch: Marion Teruel, Doctor

A Professional and his Watch is a section where Watch Manila features individuals in certain specific fields and their watches which help them in their specific fields of work.

Dr. Marion Teruel is a pediatrician for a government hospital. Instead of holding clinic in a private institution like his other peers, Dr. Teruel chose to serve the public and the needy. According to him, he finds a tremendous sense of fulfillment in helping those who really need medical assistance but are unable to afford the adequate care.

Dr. Teruel has been collecting watches for a long time already.

The watch which gets a lot of wrist time is his Rolex Submariner.

According to Dr. Teruel, having a reliable timepiece is critical in his work as it helps him craft a proper medical management plan for each of his patients. He also relies on his Rolex Submariner to give him accurate measurements of vital signs and respiratory rates. Finally, being a doctor requires that you’re on top of things 24/7. His watch ensures that he can always monitor his patients at the correct intervals and administer medicines during the proper schedules.

Thank you for the service, Dr. Teruel.

Apple Watch is not a watch

Ask the buyers of the Apple Watch on the reason why they bought it. How many people bought it primarily to tell time? The answer you will get will probably be close to zero.

Clearly, the Apple Watch is not a watch. Despite this, I’m not saying that the Apple Watch is not good. In fact, the Apple Watch brings to the table a lot of features which may be useful for your daily life.

It can be said that the Apple Watch is a portable media device with a watch display as its main background. As with other Apple products, the Apple Watch has so many varied functions such as calling, messaging, fitness tracking, location services and GPS positioning, and music controls, among others. After considering the features, you realize that the watch portion of the device is simply the standby display.

The Apple Watch is firstly an extension and a miniature version of the iPhone, and secondly a display which shows the time. 

Where does the Apple Watch fit?

Apple has done well in selling the Apple Watch to: 1) existing Apple users who do not wear a watch/fitness tracker; 2) fitness and exercise buffs, and 3) those who are curious simply because it’s an Apple.

Having said the above, the Apple Watch has no dramatic effect on the mechanical and luxury watch industry. Six years into its life, clearly it will not have the same effect as Quartz when it threatened the Swiss watch industry in 1970s. Many analysts have put out figures showing that the Apple Watch has “outsold” the major watch players. What these analysts failed to consider is that the Apple Watch does not fully fall in the category as a “watch”. The Apple Watch has eaten some of the market for watches and some of the market for wearables. As a product, it could be seen as an in-between. Really, the biggest impact of the Apple Watch is more on the digital/electronic wearables sphere. Apple has brilliantly created a demand for a portable device disguised as a watch.

Image from Bloomberg.

Watch industry remains strong

With Apple taking a different market, the Swiss watch industry can breathe better now. Swiss watch sales have been strong and solid in the past few years. 

People who collect and appreciate timepieces know that the watches are not only instruments in telling time, but are also artworks. Timepieces stand the test of time and are usually passed down from generation to generation. The Apple Watch is not an artwork which you can collect and pass down. Further the Apple Watch falls into the same trap like other consumer electronics as it will be replaced by a newer model sooner than later.

The victory of the Apple Watch as an electronic device is also its downfall as a timepiece. While the Apple Watch may be functional as an electronic device, it will never outlast your ever reliable watch.

Dr. Yong Larrazabal, President of CebuDoc Group of Hospitals, wears an Apple Watch on his right wrist and a Rolex Day-Date on his left wrist. Image from Dr. Larrazabal’s Instagram @yonglarrazabal

Apple Watch in the Future

The Apple Watch has found a purpose: an additional personal accessory which Apple will market to the people. Apple has done a great job with it by incorporating key features such as the ECG and the SOS functions. In this regard the Apple Watch has revolutionized the wearables industry as it has slowly made people wear an additional electronic device. In fact, there is an increasing population within the watch collecting community who wears the Apple Watch on one wrist and a timepiece of their choice on the other. The Apple watch has slowly found itself co-existing well with traditional watches.

But as to whether Apple will be able to convert people to dump their Seikos, Omegas, Rolexes, and Pateks, it just won’t happen en masse. Regardless of what functions they add to the Apple Watch, it will never replace a proper timepiece.

Father’s Day: The Best Luxury Watches For Every Type of Dad

The Best Luxury Watches to give for Father’s Day

Father’s Day is just around the corner. Watches are always a good idea to give to your father. More than the watch itself, a watch is symbolic of time. I have always said that when you give someone a watch, you promise him or her a part of your time forever. Check out these luxury watches which are perfect as gifts for every type of dad:

For the sporty

Breitling Super Chronomat B01

Case:                           44mm

Movement:                 Automatic, up to 70hrs power reserve

Material:                     Stainless Steel

Water resistance:      200m

SRP:                             P609,000

The Breitling Chronomat is a classic. You can confidently do anything while wearing it on your wrist. For 2021, Breitling has come out with refreshed models of the Chronomat, including the model featured here.

For the businessman

Vacheron Constantin Patrimony

Case:                           36mm

Movement:                 Automatic, up to 43hrs power reserve

Material:                     18k Pink Gold

SRP:                             P1,410,000

Vacheron Constantin completes the “Holy Trinity of Watchmaking” alongside Patek Philippe and Audemars Piguet. It is the least known among the three. Notwithstanding the lack of popularity, Vacheron Constantin produces watches which are of equal, or even greater, quality with the other Swiss watch manufacturers. The Patrimony is Vacheron Constantin’s answer to the minimalist formal wristwatch. Aside from the beauty of the Patrimony, it is also powered by a movement which carries the Geneva Seal. This watch definitely commands respect in the boardroom.

For the traveller

IWC Pilot’s Watch Timezoner Chronograph

Case:                           46mm

Movement:                 Automatic, up to 68hrs power reserve

Material:                     Stainless Steel

Water resistance:     60m

SRP:                             $11,900

Known more for the traditional Pilot’s watches, IWC also produces watches for other purposes. The Timezoner is essentially a Pilot’s watch with a multiple time-zone display. IWC has done a great job with sticking to its roots and incorporating other mechanisms which make this watch beautiful and functional at the same time. The Timezoner is perfect for the dad who loves to travel and see the world.

For the adventurer

Tudor Black Bay Fifty-Eight 925

Case:                           39mm

Movement:                 Automatic, up to 70hrs power reserve

Material:                     Silver

Water resistance:      200m

SRP:                             P214,000

Tudor has had a magnificent 2021 so far. Most of their watches have been met with general praise from the watch community. One of their standout watches is this Tudor Black Bay Fifty-Eight 925. To most, it looks like the ordinary Black Bay Fifty-Eight. However, this watch is made from silver and not stainless steel. This watch absolutely stuns in all aspects from its looks down to its movement. Any father will be happy to wear this to any adventure.

For the dad who loves the beach

Omega Planet Ocean 600m

Case:                            45.5mm

Movement:                 Automatic, up to 60hrs power reserve

Material:                      Stainless Steel

Water resistance:  600m

SRP:                               EUR6,400

Omega needs no introduction. Aside from the quality which Omega is known for, this Planet Ocean carries with it a very beautiful and vibrant mood. While no dad will probably dive with this watch to 600m (which it is capable of), most dads would love to be accompanied by this watch to the beach.

For your grandfather

Rolex Cellini Time

Case:                            39mm

Movement:               Automatic, up to 43hrs power reserve

Material:                    18ct Everose Gold

Water resistance:   50m

SRP:                              P816,000

Grandfathers are often known to be people who love the classics and who have substance and style. The Rolex Cellini is the perfect embodiment of such traits. You may never be able to reciprocate the love given by your grandfather, but you can always give a watch which will always remind him of the strong bond you two have for each other.

If these watches are too much for the pocket, you may also check out Sieg Suarez’ selections for watches which won’t break the bank at ABS-CBN in the following link: