YOU can tell what status in life a man has with the kind of watch he is wearing. Watches have been a status symbol since the day they were invented. In 1750, if you pulled a pocket watch out of your coat, you were, without a doubt, a very important person.
Nowadays, in the world of watches, there are upper range timepieces that focus on design, quality and complexity that command a fortune, but there are also watches that are appropriate for specific situations.
“Sometimes, age dictates what kind of watch you wear,” explains John Ortiga, a third-generation Ortiga scion (after his father Teddy and grandfather Tony) who now manages the family’s watch and jewelry chain, Alexis. Alexis falls under the family’s flagship La Estrella del Norte Co.
According to Ortiga, the watch you wear should change as you age. “The watches you’re wearing when you’re still young—from your 20s to your 30s—are sometimes trendy and fashionable because there’s a tendency to follow what’s in and you’re still experimenting. Then comes your 40s when you already established your identity and you already know what you want. Age 50 and above, you usually buy watches as an investment and this is also the age that says you’re already ‘made’.”
Ortiga notes that every successful Chinese businessman owns a Rolex. “It’s a sign that you’ve already achieved a lot when you own a Rolex watch.”
But these days, Ortiga believes many Filipinos tend to be very practical.
“With all the gadgets available in the market, Filipinos would think twice in buying high-end watches,” he explains.
That’s why La Estrella del Norte Co. offers two options: Alexis Jewelry Inc. and Parklane Jewellers Inc.
“Alexis offers medium-priced watches while Parklane pushes for luxury watches,” Ortiga explains.
Alexis started in the jewelry business 35 years ago with a store in Glorietta. Now the company has expanded to seven branches all over Metro Manila as a retailer of both fine jewelry and luxury watches.
“We’re one of the few watch and jewelry stores in the country,” says the young Ortiga who went to school at the Gemological Institute of America in in New York.
But Ortiga believes that though most Filipinos would like to pass on jewelry to the next generation, there is a different mindset altogether for watches.
“They don’t really want to buy a very, very expensive piece and people now are very, very practical. They buy something that they can use for a certain period of time and then they want to change it,” Ortiga explains.
To cater to this need, Ortiga proudly states that Alexis carries “A” watches that convey what you think of yourself and how you want to be perceived.
“Alexis distribute more than 20 brands,” he explains. Among them are Arbutus New York, Chronoforce, Concord, Gucci, Louis Erard, Hegner, Catorex, Mini, Saint Honore, Carbon, Bertolucci, Caterpillar, Ebel, Ballast, Charles Jourdan, Sta Barbara Polo and Racquet Club, Metal CH, and NBA.
Meanwhile, Parklane Jewellers Inc. carries the high-end watches like Welder Watches and the newly launched Aviator and Offshore Limited, among others.
With all these offerings, Ortiga promised, “Our commitment is to bring value to your time and express this by providing you an exclusive timepiece in our store.”
With Christmas fast approaching, Alexis launched Aerowatch and Gucci Interlocking Timepiece Collection while Parklane offers Aviator and Offshore Limited.
Artisian Harlogers Timepieces
The Aerowatch is on top of mind for affordable Swiss luxury timepieces. Creative, unique and timeless, the all-new watch brand is an independent family-owned company that has been producing famous high-quality Swiss made timepieces since 1910.
Originally a company purely dedicated to the production of pocket watches and pendants, the brand in 2004 decided to diversify into creating wristwatches by remaining faithful to the classic lines of vintage models. Besides this, they equipped their new wristwatches with renowned mechanical hand-wound and self-winding movements.
Today, Aerowatch continues its successful Grande Squelette Skeletoncollection by developing the all new Renaissance Fir Tree. This new creation unites the venerable craft of piercing with 21st-century aesthetics. Rooted in regional construction traditions, the ornamental “style sapin” brings the eloquence of art nouveau to the realm of watchmaking artistry.
Meanwhile, for the head of the family, Aviator would is another good option for gift giving. The Swiss brand pays tribute to the history of aviation, embodying watches within history. Each family of watches within Aviator represents a different era in the development of aviation.
Like in their aircrafts, the Bristol Bulldog collection from Aviator comes as a new edition arising from an earlier phenomenal launch of Bristol F2B model. Since 2011 Aviator watches have been developed and manufactured in Switzerland’s Canton of Jura—home of the watchmaking industry.
The Interlocking Collection
Designed by Creative Director Frida Giannini, the Interlocking Timepiece Collection features one of the most notable icons of the Gucci Maison: the famed interlocked double “G” first used in the ‘60s and representing the initials of the house founder, Guccio Gucci.
After embellishing handbags, scarves, belts, jewelry, and more, this distinguished Gucci icon can now be admired as a Gucci timepiece, in a variety of materials and versions.
Creative and unconventional, Offshore Limited timepieces truly represents an urban youth generation whose at the cutting edge of fashion. For its revamped and latest 2015 collection, the company has created some original designs that now incorporate wristwatches with materials such as silicone rubber packaged on titanium watch cases with 100 percent Swiss Quartz chronograph movements. Some have double or even triple time zones while positioning the collection amongst one of the entry-level price point brands in the oversize XL watch field.