IF time is gold then one can easily argue that a timepieces should be nothing less than valuable. And indeed, to buy a luxury watch is always part of people’s bucket lists.
The fact is proven by the success of Timeline Group in the Philippines—one of the pioneering luxury watch companies in the country that carries reputable brands such as Rado, Tissot and Frederique Constant from Switzerland and Citizen from Japan.
The Timeline Group started in 1962 as a purely wholesale business. At that time it was only focused on selling Rado, Tissot and Citizen to watch dealers all across the Philippines. But in the year 2000, Timeline decided to open its own boutique stores because of the ever changing retail landscape. They saw this as an opportunity to bring more premium pieces of Rado, Tissot and Citizen closer to watch aficionados—the kind of watches that dealers were apprehensive to carry in their own stores because of higher price points.
Ray Jacinto, Timeline president and chief operating officer—and more importantly, a self-confessed watch lover—talked to The Manila Times about the vision that led to the birth of Timeline.
“The founder of our company was a very entrepreneurial man; he saw an opportunity in the market. Watches during that time were basic accessories that everyone had to own. Business was brisk and during the 1960s people were fascinated by such complicated instruments like a watch,” Jacinto began.
Cynics may say high end brands don’t have a market in a third world country but Jacinto believes otherwise, “There is always a market for high-end timepieces anywhere you are in the world. The Philippine market has been open to it for quite some time now as travel has been more easy and affordably accessible to many Filipinos. This has definitely opened our knowledge to the existence of premium brands and how to appreciate the better things in life.”
Skepticism aside, Jacinto also pointed to the fact that luxury timepieces can actually be good investments.
“For those who know their timepieces, a high-end timepiece is treated as an investment; something that you wear today but pass onto the next generation as an heirloom. If you buy the right timepiece, in 10 to 20 years its value would appreciate,” he explained.
Thinking of buying one as an investment? Jacinto offers these figures, “The price range of the brands we carry would range from a high of P 2.5 million to a low of P7,500.”
With this, he went on to sugest particular brands for specific owning stages.
Citizen, according to Jacinto, is a good entry point watch as it is both very functional and stylish. Tissot covers the market for starting timepiece collectors with beautiful modern and classic timepieces. Rado is be geared towards the market that believes in the lasting beauty and elegance of sturdy ceramic watches. Frederique Constant is best for the serious timepiece collector as it produces timepieces in small quantities with a keen focus on craftsmanship and detail.
Zooming in on Rado, Jacinto made it clear why the brand is the perfect watch for people who want no-fuss beauty on their wrists.
“Rado patrons are simple yet sophisticated people. They know that a watch is a necessity to tell time but they have no luxury to worry about it being banged up and scratched up while on their wrists. This is the beauty of Rado as it is the pioneer in scratch-proof watches. The Rado you purchase today still looks good as new 10 or 15 years from now.”