Business Leaders and their Watches (Most Liked Posts)

For the past year, Watch Manila has been identifying the watches of the men and women who lead Philippine business scene. We look back at the most liked posts of business leaders and their watches.

Jaime Augusto Zobel De Ayala

Jaime Augusto Zobel De Ayala (Rolex Explorer and IWC Portuguese)

Jaime Augusto Zobel De Ayala has just recently relinquished his post as the President and CEO of Ayala Corporation, one of the largest and oldest conglomerates in the Philippines and in Southeast Asia. Currently, he has stepped back to a more relaxed role as Chairman of Ayala Corporation.

Jaime has been seen wearing different watches. So far, Watch Manila has identified a Rolex Explorer 39mm (Mk I), Rolex Air-King, an IWC Portuguese, and an Audemars Piguet Royal Oak.

The first ever post of Watch Manila features Jaime Augusto Zobel De Ayala wearing his Audemars Piguet Royal Oak.

Fernando Zobel De Ayala

Fernando Zobel De Ayala and his Patek Philippe Nautilus

Fernando Zobel De Ayala ascended to the position of President and CEO of Ayala Corporation on April 2021 after his older brother Jaime Augusto Zobel De Ayala stepped down. Ayala Corporation has business interests in real estate, banking, telecoms, energy, and infrastructure among others.

In the image, Fernando is seen wearing the much coveted Patek Philippe Nautilus. The current iteration of the plain steel Nautilus (ref. 5711) has been discontinued earlier this year. A limited run of green ref. 5711s have been introduced at the recently concluded Watches and Wonders.

Felix Ang

Felix Ang and his IWC Portuguese Perpetual Calendar

Felix Ang is the President of Auto Nation Group, the general importer and distributor of Mercedes Benz vehicles, parts, and accessories in the Philippines. Aside from this, Felix is also responsible for the presence in the Philippines of Jaguar, Land Rover, Dodge, Chrysler, Jeep, Harley-Davidson, among others.

Felix has been seen wearing an IWC Portuguese Perpetual Calendar IW5021. The IWC features a moonphase, date, month, day, and a perpetual calendar which doesn’t need to be adjusted until the year 2100.

Carmen Jimenez-Ong

Carmen Jimenez-Ong and her Patek Philippe Aquanaut

Carmen Jimenez-Ong is the CEO and Founder of Menarco Development Corporation. Her first project, the Menarco Tower, is known as the healthiest building in Southeast Asia and is certified gold in both LEED and WELL. Carmen is the daughter of one of the owners of GMA Network, Menardo Jimenez.

Carmen is seen wearing one of the earlier versions of the Patek Philippe Aquanaut. The Aquanaut was launched by Patek Philippe in 1997. The case was inspired by that of the Nautilus.

Alice Eduardo

Alice Eduardo and her Rolex Daytona

Alice Eduardo is the President and CEO of Sta. Elena Construction. Alice is often referred to as the “Woman of Steel”. Her company is responsible for the foundations of several landmarks in the Philippines such as the SM Mall of Asia, Solaire Resort and Casino, City of Dreams Manila, among others.

Alice has been seen wearing a Rolex Daytona and a Richard Mille RM07. The Rolex of Alice in the image above is the so-called Rolex Daytona “Panda” due to the design which resembles in some way the color scheme of a panda. This is one of the most difficult models to get from Rolex.

Why Everyone Should Have a Seiko

Alongside Rolex, Seiko is a watch brand which is loved by both casual and serious watch collectors. Like many Swiss brands, Seiko has been around since the late 1800s. It is also notable that most people who have very expensive and rare Swiss watches in their collections also have Seikos. What’s with Seiko and why do most people love it? Why should everyone have a Seiko?

The following are the reasons why everyone should have a Seiko:

  1. Superb watch quality
  2. Affordability and range
  3. Functionality
  4. Widely available to men and women
  5. Highly respected brand

Superb watch quality

Seiko watches are built with tremendous quality. You hear it time and again: “Seiko watches never break down.”. Generally, it remains true up to today. You can buy a Seiko watch and you can wear it everyday and it will not give you major problems.

In recent years, there has been a surge in interest for Seiko watches, both new and vintage. The primary reasons for the existence of this growing community of Seiko lovers are because the vintage Seikos still work well and Seikos, in general, have timeless designs.

It is almost a certainty that your Seiko will likely outlive you.

Affordability and range

Grand Seiko SBGA211 “Snowflake”

To put it simply, there is a Seiko for every price range. What is amazing is that, for the most part, you really get what you pay for in every price range. A Seiko will always be a bang for your buck.

Aside from dominating the entry-level watch market, Seiko has started to pour more attention to its premier Grand Seiko brand. While the Grand Seikos have not yet reached the status of Rolex and other Swiss watch manufacturers in terms of popularity, the quality of the Grand Seiko watches are arguably on par. There are even some people who will argue that Grand Seiko watches are perhaps better than many other Swiss brands.

This range of Seiko watches demonstrates Seiko’s understanding and mastery of watch manufacturing from the bottom to the top.

Functionality and design

Seiko SKX007

Seiko watches are built for different purposes. The most famous Seiko line is its diver’s watch line (most of these are under Seiko 5 and Prospex). Seiko has done a great job with ensuring that the watch can do its task and at the same time be presentable. It can be noted that Seiko watches often have very simple and minimalist designs. It’s rare that you will find an outrageously designed Seiko.

The other known model lines of Seiko are the Presage and Astron.

Widely available for men and women

Seiko Lukia SPB141J1

Seiko has expanded to accommodate both men and women. While Seiko is really known for its men’s watches, the women’s watches are also created equally beautiful. Seiko applies the same approach to women’s watches as they do in men’s.

Seiko watches are very much accessible as they are sold not only in Seiko boutiques but also in most department stores here in the Philippines and globally.

Highly respected

Seiko Presage SRPD37J1

Globally, Seiko watches are regarded as some of the best quality watches which you can purchase. Seiko is one of the brands which transcends language and cultural barriers. A Seiko is as respected in the Philippines as it is in Japan. It also helps to know that when you wear a Seiko, you are wearing a piece of watchmaking heritage.

The Watch That Every Serious Collector Should Have

Currently, it can be said that the most sought-after watches are the Patek Philippe Nautilus ref. 5711, Audemars Piguet Royal Oak, and the Rolex Daytona. Some may have a longer list, but globally, the three watches are some of the hardest to get. The three watches have made their contentions on why the watch collecting world wants them. However, there is one watch which I believe many people are missing out on. I’m talking about the Vacheron Constantin Overseas.

Vacheron Constantin ref. 222. Image from Phillips Auctions.

The story of the Overseas started in 1977 with the launch of the sports watch Vacheron Constantin ref. 222. The reference is in relation to Vacheron Constantin’s 222nd anniversary. The watch was designed by then 24 year old Jorg Hysek. The 222 was produced in a limited run of 500 pieces in all metal and dial variations. One of the highlights of the 222 is that it features a small Maltese cross (the logo of Vacheron Constantin) near the 5 o’clock marker, outside of the bezel.

The first Vacheron Constantin bearing the model name “Overseas”. This had a production run from 1996-2004.

In 1996, Vacheron Constantin launched the Overseas. This watch was the successor to the 222. It was more refined and it was the first model which had hints of the Maltese cross on its bezel. Noticeable in this model is that the bracelet looks like an ordinary watch bracelet, without any unique design. Internally, it still did not feature an in-house movement.

Vacheron Constantin Overseas from 2004-2016. Image from Monochrome Watches.

In 2004, the Overseas was updated again. Aesthetic improvements include the newer bracelet and a stronger accent of the Maltese cross on the bezel. The 2004 update features for the first time the middle part of the bracelet having some design elements of the Vacheron Constantin logo integrated in it. At this point, mechanisms are still modified movements of other brands, including Jaeger-LeCoultre.

The current Vacheron Constantin Overseas ref. 4500V/110A-B128

The current iteration of the Vacheron Constantin Overseas was launched in 2016. The model has perfected the integration of tradition with modernity. The current Overseas models range from the simple self-winding ones up to the complicated models with tourbillons, perpetual calendars, moon phases, and more. The Overseas now feature in-house movements. All the movements feature the Hallmark of Geneva, or the “Geneva Seal”. Watches given the Geneva Seal have been thoroughly tested for quality.

Some of the gold models of the Overseas.

Commonalities of the Royal Oak, Nautilus, and Overseas

It is important to note that the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak, the Patek Philippe Nautilus, and the Vacheron Constantin Overseas (previously 222) shared three notable things: decade of launch, base of movement, and unibody design.

All three watches were launched in the 1970s, during the time when quartz seriously threatened the Swiss watch industry.

All three watches used movements based on Jaeger-LeCoultre’s caliber 920.

Lastly, the Nautilus, Royal Oak, and the Overseas all had a unibody design wherein the metal bracelet was integrated to the watch case.

Why should every serious watch collector have a Vacheron Constantin Overseas?

Made by Vacheron Constantin

Anything made by Vacheron Constantin is guaranteed to be of the highest standards. Vacheron Constantin leaves no aspect undone, both externally and internally. The materials used in the case and the bracelet are solid and are of quality. The movement, as mentioned earlier, features the coveted Geneva Seal.

Versatile

You receive a metal bracelet, a rubber strap, and a leather strap when you purchase an Overseas.

When you purchase the Overseas, you get a metal band (steel or gold), a rubber strap, and a leather strap. Switching is made easy through a quick change mechanism. The best part of it all is that the Overseas looks good in all of the bands. With the inclusion of the three bands, you have a watch which can adapt to any situation.

Unique

Despite the long lines for the Patek Philippe Nautilus, Audemars Piguet Royal Oak, and the Rolex Daytona, these watches can be seen all over the place. There’s just an irony that it is unavailable but then many people have it. Due to the increasing prices brought about by speculation, these watches have lost some intrinsic value as they have become commodities and trading items for some. The Overseas does not suffer from the problem of long lines and price speculation. You will be able to purchase and obtain an Overseas in a similar time as you would with any Vacheron Constantin piece. You will also be secured in knowing that there are not much people who purchase and flip the Overseas for a higher price. And lastly, you will be happy to know that you will likely be the only person wearing the Overseas in a room at any given time.

People are asking why the Overseas has not reached the same level of cult-like following as with the Nautilus, Royal Oak, and the Daytona.

The easiest answer would be that Vacheron Constantin is not as aggressive in marketing the watch. Another answer is that there are much fewer celebrities and known personalities wearing the watch.

But then again, does Vacheron Constantin really want that attention? I would say that the attention is not needed. Watchmaking perfection is not dependent on the attention a watch gets. Watchmaking perfection depends on the craftsmanship of the watch combined with the appreciation of a person. Given this, I can say that the Overseas is truly a masterpiece and it remains a watch reserved for those with greater discernment in watches. There is absolutely no need for a cult-like following to understand that the Overseas is an absolute treasure.

Vacheron Constantin Overseas is available through its boutique. Starting price of the quartz model (33mm) is at P770,000. Starting price of the self-winding models are at P1,050,000. (37mm) and P1,130,000 (41mm).