PART 2: Most Notable Watches Auctioned in November 2021

Click here for Part 1 of this Article.

In this two-part article, Watch Manila highlights some of the notable watches auctioned off in November 2021. While the Patek Philippe x Tiffany & Co. Nautilus dominated the headlines in the last few weeks, it is important to note that watch afficionados still appreciate the watchmaking landscape beyond any hype.

Here are some of the other watches which have achieved success during the Geneva auctions last month:

9. Rolex Daytona in Platinum 

Auction House: Christie’s

Estimated Price: CHF70,000-170,000 (P3.8M-9.2M)

Price Sold: CHF200,000 (P10.09M)

Clearly, the fan favorite for the Daytona is the stainless steel variation with a “panda” dial. But Watch Manila notes that the prices of platinum Rolex watches have started to increase dramatically. There is an increased demand for this precious metal. The Rolex quality combined with the rarity of platinum has propelled this watch’s price above the estimates.

10. Rolex Day-Date “Rainbow” Ref. 18058

Auction House: Phillips

Estimated Price: CHF150,000-300,000 (P8.2M-16.4M)

Price Sold: CHF792,300 (P43.3M)

In today’s watch market, the “Rainbow” Daytona is very much sought after. Around 30 years before the Rainbow Daytona, Rolex released a possibly unique piece with “rainbow” colored precious stones on the bezel for a Day-Date. This “Rainbow” Day-Date is perhaps one of Rolex’ first rainbow inspired watches.

11. Rolex Oysterquartz Day-Date Perpetual Calendar

Auction House: Christie’s

Estimated Price: CHF100,000-200,000 (P5.4M-10.8M)

Price Sold: CHF250,000 (Almost P13.6M)

There are approximately 11 pieces made of this prototype Rolex. This Rolex Day-Date Oysterquartz does not appear visually different from the other Oysterquartz. However, an inspection of the movement reveals a more complex mechanism. Rolex tried to make a perpetual calendar which can be operated through the same crown used to adjust the time. This watch is incredible as it is one of the prototypes wherein the movement is fully functional.

12. Rolex Deepsea Special

Auction House: Christie’s

Estimated Price: CHF2,000,000-4,000,000 (P109M-218M)

Price Sold: CHF1,890,000 (Almost P103M)

Unlike other watches in our list wherein the sale price exceeded the estimate, this one was slight below. However, it is worth taking a look at. Both Phillips and Christie’s offered Deep Sea Specials for the November auctions, However, the one being offered by Phillips is a commemorative edition made for the displays of the Rolex boutiques. This one offered by Christie’s was said to be used in the dive by Jacques Piccard’s bathyscaphe “Trieste” to 3,700 meters.

As Christie’s put it “This extraordinary watch can be considered as the most important Rolex diver’s watch to remain in private hands and without doubt one of the most desirable Rolex watches in the world.” 

There are only 7 known pieces of the Deep Sea Special. This piece is No.1. 

13. Philippe Dufour Grande and Petite Sonnerie 

Auction House: Phillips

Estimated Price: CHF1,000,000-2,000,000 (P54.5M-109M)

Price Sold: CHF4,749,000 (Almost P258.9M)

Philippe Dufour has clearly emerged as a leading independent watch maker. Its creations are sought after as the brand has demonstrated a near-perfection in crafting watches. The appeal of this watch is due to the fact that it is the first Philippe Dufour watch and the world’s first Grande & Petite Sonnerie wristwatch ever made.

Last time, Watch Manila featured another Philippe Dufour watch called “Simplicity” as it has no major complications. Despite the absence of complications, the Simplicity managed to do incredible as well in the auction.

14. F.P. Journe Chronometre a Resonance  “Souscription”

Auction House: Phillips

Estimated Price: CHF200,000-400,000 (P10.9M-21.8M)

Price Sold: CHF3,902,000 (Almost P212.7M)

F.P. Journe is one of the most recognized independent watchmakers in recent times. The watch shown here features resonating escapements and is the first out of a limited run of 20 pieces. The watch features a combination of platinum and pink gold case. It has been said that the Resonance of F.P. Journe was most likely inspired by A.L. Breguet.

15. Omega Speedmaster Broadarrow

Auction House: Phillips

Estimated Price: CHF80,000-120,000 (P4.3M-6.5M)

Price Sold: CHF3,115,500 (Almost P170M)

This is the most expensive Omega sold at an auction ever. This Omega carried the reference 2915-1 which makes it part of one of the first production runs of the historic Speedmaster. The dial features a tropical color which has aged. As a note, none of the preview ads of the auction even mentioned this lot. Most of the people were surprised at the result of this lot.

16. Richard Mille RM27-04 Rafael Nadal

Auction House: Phillips

Estimated Price: CHF800,000-1,600,000 (P43M-87M)

Price Sold: CHF1,663,500 (P90.7M)

Richard Mille continues to be polarizing. Nevertheless, it has established itself as a strong brand in terms of value. This RM027-04 was built to withstand the shocks during professional tennis matches of up to 12,000 Gs. And yes, it has a tourbillon. 

To visit part 1 of this article, click here.

Images are courtesy of the auction houses: Antiquorum, Christie’s, Phillips, and Sotheby’s.

Most Notable Watches Auctioned in November 2021

Last month, major global auction houses Antiquorum, Christie’s, Phillips, and Sotheby’s held watch auctions which saw notable movements within the watch industry. Records were broken and trends emerged. Watch Manila breaks down some of the notable pieces sold in this two-part special.

Clearly, Rolex still emerged as the strongest brand in the auction month. Patek Philippe and Audemars Piguet also continued to deliver solid numbers. Aside from the said brands, it can be observed that there are winners across the board. Cartier, Omega, and Vacheron Constantin are some of the other winners. The watch market continues to display strength despite the pandemic.

Let’s look into some of the interesting watches sold during the November auctions. 

  1. Cartier Crash

Auction House: Sotheby’s

Estimated Price: CHF200,000-300,000 (P10.9M-16.4M)

Price Sold: CHF806,500 (P44.1M)

The Crash has been produced by Cartier sporadically and in limited numbers. This said model was one of the first ones ever produced. There is a rumor that says that the design of the Crash was brought about by a damaged and melted Cartier Baignoire from a crash. The watch was recently brought to the spotlight by Jay-Z and Kanye West.

2. Vacheron Constantin Ref. 222

Auction House: Christie’s

Estimated Price: CHF20,000-40,000 (P1.09M-2.18M)

Price Sold: CHF93,750 (P5.12M)

The Vacheron Constantin Ref. 222 is the ancestor of the Overseas. The 222 was released in 1977 to commemorate Vacheron’s 222nd anniversary. This watch and the Overseas have long been overlooked by collectors. In the 2010s, watch collectors became obsessed with the stainless steel-unibody watches especially from Patek Philippe (Nautilus) and Audemars Piguet (Royal Oak). As supply of Patek and AP became difficult, collectors started to realize the true value and beauty of Vacheron Constantin. With more people collecting the Overseas, the demand for the 222 has also increased. Watch Manila was one of the publications which recognized that the Overseas was a hidden treasure in the watch world.

3. Vacheron Constantin Ref. 4261 Minute Repeater

Auction House: Antiquorum

Estimated Price: CHF100,000-200,000 (P5.4M-10.9M)

Price Sold: CHF287,500 (P15.7M)

Watch Manila has observed that the watch industry in the 2010s has been dominated by a shift towards simple watches in stainless steel. With the demand heavy on the said watch class, the demand for fine watches with complications dropped. Watch Manila believes that as more collectors mature and get over the hype stage, the same crowd will start to go for undervalued fine timepieces. This Vacheron Constantin Minute Repeater in gold is a watch which could symbolize the potential up and coming resurgence of fine timepieces with complications.

4. Rolex Daytona “John Player Special Paul Newman” Ref. 6264

Auction House: Sotheby’s

Estimated Price: CHF800,000-1,200,000 (P43.7M-65.6M)

Price Sold: CHF891,200 (P48.7M)

The Rolex Daytona “John Player Special” label originated from the 1970s when John Player & Sons sponsored the Lotus F1 team. According to collectors, the JPS Daytonas are reminiscent of the design of John Player & Sons. Sotheby’s noted that most of the Ref. 6264 Daytonas were made in stainless steel. There are approximately only ten known pieces in yellow gold. From the ten, there are even fewer Daytonas fitted with the JPS dial. 

5. Rolex Daytona “John Player Special Paul Newman” Ref. 6241

Auction House: Phillips

Estimated Price: HKD4,650,000-9,400,000 (P30.1M-60.8M)

Price Sold: HKD13,560,000 (P87.8M)

In addition to the details mentioned in the previous item, it is worth noting that this is the third most expensive Rolex Daytona sold in auction. With many people being fascinated with Paul Newman Daytonas, collectors are zeroing in on John Player Specials since they are rare as well.

6. Rolex Day-Date in Stainless Steel 

Auction House: Phillips

Estimated Price: CHF50,000-100,000 (P2.7M-5.4M)

Price Sold: CHF113,400 (P6.2M)

When the Day-Date was launched in 1956, it became the ultimate Rolex watch. The Day-Date was only available in precious metals: gold and platinum. This notwithstanding, the watch sold at the recent Phillips auction was one of a few Day-Date prototypes produced by Rolex in stainless steel.

7. Steel Rolex GMTs

a.) Rolex GMT-Master II “Pepsi” Ref. 126710BLRO

Auction House: Christie’s

Estimated Price: CHF12,000-18,000 (P656k-984k)

Price Sold: CHF25,000 (P1.36M)

b.) Rolex GMT-Master II “Batgirl” Ref. 126710BLNR

Auction House: Christie’s

Estimated Price: CHF12,000-18,000 (P656k-1.094M)

Price Sold: CHF27,500 (P1.5M)

These watches do not need an introduction. The two watches are two of the hottest Rolexes in the market. In their current iteration, they retail for around P517,500. But it is almost impossible to pick one up at your authorized dealer. What’s important to note is that these watches still have strong demands as they both sold for more than double their retail price. The hunt for the steel Rolex watches continues to be tough.

8. Philippe Dufour Simplicity

Auction House: Phillips

Estimated Price: CHF250,000-500,000 (P13.6M-27.3M)

Price Sold: CHF792,300 (P41.3M)

Philippe Dufour is one of the most sought-after independent watch brands. Its pieces command high prices due to the limited production and due to the high quality of watchmaking. The watch which was recently sold doesn’t feature any major complication and doesn’t even feature a date. However, this watch is an example of how Philippe Dufour perfected the “simple” watch. What is amazing is that the winning bidder paid a mind-blowing P41.3M for the said watch.

Stay tuned for part 2 of the notable watches in the recently concluded November auctions.

Images are courtesy of the auction houses: Antiquorum, Christie’s, Phillips, and Sotheby’s.

Panerai Releases Two New Watches

Panerai has released two new watches in the Chrono Complicazioni segment, a watch family characterized by a combination of high-tech materials, complex calibers, and small quantities. The two new watches will both be limited.

PAM01298

The first watch is the Luminor Chrono Flyback Ceramica (PAM 01298). It will have a run of 500 pieces. The Flyback Ceramica features a 44mm black ceramic case. The watch is lightweight and highly scratch resistant. It is powered by an automatic movement with a power reserve of up to three days. The watch is paired with a black alligator strap.

PAM01296

The next watch is the Luminor Chrono Flyback Verde Militare (PAM 01296). This watch will be exclusively sold through e-commerce on Panerai.com. The Verde Militare will be limited to 110 pieces only. The 44mm watch is made from stainless steel. It runs on the same P.9100 calibre as the Flyback Ceramica which features an automatic movement with a three day power reserve. The strap is an alligator military green leather.

Both watches have the flyback function and a nautical tachymeter scale present on their dials.

Watch You Wearing: Gerry “Mr. Freeze” Santos

“Success is not about money. Success is what you have done and accomplished.” These are the words Gerry Santos lives by. The founder and CEO of the highly successful Mr. Freeze Tube Ice Inc., Gerry has never equated success with financial gain. For him, it’s all about community building, helping out, and pursuing one’s passion. Money, he says, will come naturally.

Gerry was not born with the proverbial silver spoon in his mouth. He worked for his father, an ice distributor, while studying in college and right after graduation. After several years working for his dad’s business, the younger Santos resigned and decided to put up GJS Cars, an automotive buy and sell business. Cars were a passion for Gerry, and he was able to grow his business to a considerable degree. 

After a while, he took a look back at his father’s business and saw that it’s gone stagnant. He saw this as an opportunity to go back to the ice biz. This time, however, in order to assure growth in the industry, he came back as an ice manufacturer. Armed with some capital saved from his automotive business and with a bank loan, he put up the first Mr. Freeze ice plant in 2005. The rest, as they say, is history.

One can assume having several ice plants is the most impressive aspect about Mr. Freeze. But looking beyond the business side, the most impressive thing is Gerry’s effort to involve and grow entire communities surrounding his ice plants. For him, the growth of the business won’t mean a lot if the community around it will not feel the positive effects of the plants. 

Gerry seeks to uplift the quality of living around the areas of his ice plants through partnerships, creation of jobs, and through projects. The man truly is passionate not just with his business but with the positive impact it creates with the people he partners with.

Outside of his passion for work, Gerry is well known for his passion for cars. But what many are not aware of is that Gerry also loves to collect watches—which he feels are just apt for his lifestyle. The watches are his companions and are witnesses to his community-building. The watches—and cars—are also constant reminders for him that hard work and selflessness pay off big time.

Gerry was kind enough to allow Watch Manila a peek into his watch collection.

Gerry’s first watch is similar to this Rolex Datejust.

Similar to construction magnate Alice Eduardo and numerous others, Gerry’s first substantial watch was a Rolex Datejust in stainless steel and yellow gold. The Datejust is the most popular Rolex within the business community, especially prior to the 2010s. Not long after, Gerry purchased a steel Rolex Datejust in white face.

Gerry’s Rolex Submariner.

As Gerry started to get deep into watches, he explored more models from Rolex other than the Datejust. Gerry purchased a Rolex Submariner with reference number 14060. This watch is a famous diving tool for professionals and was also known as the watch of James Bond.

Gerry’s GMT-Master II Watches.

Aside from the Submariner, Gerry has two Rolex GMT-Masters. He has the models with the black and blue bezel and the golden brown and black bezel, respectively known in the watch collecting community as the “Batman” and the “Rootbeer”. Gerry loves the Batman as it has a relation to the character of “Mr. Freeze”. The Batman also has the subtle design elements which are most associated with the brand. The GMT-Master was developed initially for Pan-Am Airlines pilots who needed watches which could show the time in two different timezones simultaneously.

Gerry’s Rolex Daytona.

Gerry also keeps in his collection one of the most sought-after watches today, the Rolex Daytona with the ceramic bezel. The version which Gerry has is called the “Panda”—due to the contrast of the black and the white which makes it resemble the colorway of a panda. This is the latest iteration of the classic Rolex Daytona. This model has a waitlist time of over several years with authorized dealers. The watch is popular on the racing circuits as it has the ability to track lap times.

Gerry’s Omega Seamaster.

Apart from Rolex, Gerry collects from other brands. One of his more memorable watches is his Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra. He vividly remembers that during one of the golf tournaments he joined, the second prize for the raffle was the Omega and he whispered to himself that he would win it. As luck and fate would have it, his name was called as the winner of the Omega. He considers this as one of his lucky watches.

Gerry’s Hublot Big Bang Ferrari.

Gerry also has a Hublot Big Bang Ferrari which is limited to 1,000 pieces. He loves the design of the watch and always pairs it with the appropriate car in his stable. The watch looks very sporty and is made of ceramic and titanium.

The watches in Gerry’s collection are reminders of his life’s most valuable lessons. Here they are: 

1. Be content.

One of the keys to happiness is to appreciate what you have in life rather than than what you have yet to possess. There will always be people who will have more than you and less than you. Gerry is never pressured to buy a watch simply because “the other guy has it.” He buys a watch when he likes it. He understands there will be people with nicer watches than he does,  and that’s totally fine. Gerry is happy with his collection and happy for the collection of others. For him, turn any envy into a motivation to achieve what one wants. One day, with hard work, you will be able to reach your goals as well.

2. Learn how to enjoy the fruits of your labor.

Gerry believes that the success you’re experiencing is because of your hardwork. Learn how to enjoy the benefits which come with the success. Gerry is a firm believer that having money doesn’t mean you have to live large. But he also believes that, occasionally, you should spend some of your hard-earned money on things which you are passionate about. For him, he loves spending on cars and watches, among others.

3. Give back.

Everyone regards Gerry as a very generous person. The guy believes that those who are truly blessed are those who share the most. For him, financial success is meant to be shared and not kept to oneself. No matter how big or small, when you share, it goes back to you a hundredfold.  

4. Treat everyone with respect regardless of their status in life.

Gerry believes the world has been so kind to him because he’s treated everyone with high respect. His success has never made him arrogant. For this businessman, everyone plays an important role in society, regardless of your occupation or status in life.

Unlike the Mr. Freeze in Batman who was a villain, this Mr. Freeze, Gerry Santos, is a hero in the communities he builds. He’s gone beyond business in order to make an impact in society. Going further, he has already involved his children in Mr. Freeze to instill in them the importance of giving back to society. Now that’s one truly timeless legacy one can pass on to the next generation.

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

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?


AF:
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, Panerai.com 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?


AF:
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?


AF
: 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?


AF:
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?


AF
: 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.