In the world of timepieces where heritage brands reign, a Filipino brand is making its mark on the industry.
Argos Watches, a young Filipino watch company, is capturing the attention of watch enthusiasts with its commitment to quality, unique designs, and a vision to elevate the Philippines on the watchmaking map.
Born out of a passion for watches during the COVID-19 pandemic, Argos Watches has quickly emerged as a brand to watch out for, delivering timepieces that embody reliability, durability, and flexibility.
The story of Argos Watches began when founder Ivan Jeff Soberano‘s interest in watches ignited during the pandemic. Ivan shares that he’s naturally drawn to engineering marvels, being an electrical engineer from UST with a graduate degree in business from the Ateneo de Manila University. Together with founding partner Gregory Yu, who has been a long-time watch enthusiast, they wanted to pursue selling watches as a side hustle.
However, Ivan’s passion and determination pushed him to transform this initiative into something more significant. Through diligent research, he came across a local partner with watch manufacturing expertise to help realize the dream of establishing his brand.
With a shared vision of creating timepieces that would accompany wearers through life’s significant milestones, Ivan brought together a team of talented individuals. Trish Delacruz, an HR practitioner with a knack for marketing, Nikki Columna, a seasoned entrepreneur, and Stephen Cruz, a financial specialist, came together to turn Ivan’s dream into a reality. Thus, Argos Watches was born.
Quality, unparalleled timepieces
Argos Watches is committed to providing exceptional quality timepieces backed by meticulous craftsmanship and attention to detail. The brand’s core attributes of reliability, durability, and versatility are imbued in each watch, ensuring they stand the test of time.
When it comes to materials, Argos Watches spares no expense.
“Any watch brand can simply say that their watches are reliable and durable,” Soberano says. “For us, it’s the same, but we back it up with real examples. When we went through our conceptualization and design process, we very carefully selected all the materials that will be used and made sure that the quality of materials is of the highest caliber.”
The use of top-grade stainless steel for the case guarantees durability and resistance to corrosion. The choice of sapphire glass, renowned for its clarity, and scratch-resistance, with a layer of anti-reflective coating for legibility, reflects the brand’s commitment to excellence.
Moreover, the watch movements employ the Japanese NH35, well-known for its shockproof nature and accurate timekeeping. This choice ensures precision and offers low maintenance and easy repairability.
Supporting local craftsmen
At the heart of Argos Watches lies a deep-rooted commitment to supporting and nurturing local artisans. By partnering with skilled Filipino watch technicians, the brand assembles its watches in-house, contributing to the growth of the local watchmaking industry.
“We dream of going at par with internationally renowned watch brands in terms of putting a history or a heritage in Philippine watchmaking,” Soberano explains, adding, “We would like to do this by partnering with local watch technicians, who are already assembling our watches, and collaborating with artisans and craftsmen.”
The brand is currently working with two local watch technicians with extensive experience in servicing Swiss and Japanese timepieces. Argos Watches also provides tools to have them perform better at their craft.
“Hopefully, with the future growth of the brand, we will be able to partner with more technicians and craftsmen and equip them with the knowledge to be masters in their craft,” said Soberano.
Argos Watches is named after a fictional character of the same name from Homer’s Odyssey, who is the faithful and reliable companion of the protagonist Odysseus. Thus, the flagship model was also inspired by the literature’s name, Odyssey, which means a long and eventful journey.
The Odyssey boasts a uniquely sand-pebbled dial finish, setting it apart from traditional sunburst, matte, or geometric pattern finishes commonly found in watches.
This attention to detail and commitment to innovative design elements showcases the brand’s dedication to providing timepieces that capture the imagination and evoke sentiment.
“We believe that this is a strong point for The Odyssey, and we intend to mirror these design elements of unique dials to our future plans,” Soberano mentions.
The Odyssey is priced at PhP17,999.00, an excellent deal for a watch built to last you a lifetime.
“Other watches come at a fraction of the price but are bound to possibly break in a few years,” Soberano says. “Other more established brands offer the same quality as what we have for Argos, but cost at least twice as much, if not more.”
Argos Watches promises to make watches with quality and integrity, as seen in big brands, while keeping prices fair and accessible to many. “I know quality when I see one,” Soberano says. “Argos is definitely synonymous with quality.”
By championing the skills of local artisans, Argos Watches strives to elevate the Philippines’ presence in the international watchmaking landscape.
Argos Watches has swiftly gained recognition as an excellent local brand that combines quality, design, and a vision for the greater good.
The brand delivers timepieces accompanying wearers through life’s journeys, carrying sentimental value that will carry on from generation to generation.
Now that the flagship model is out, Argos Watches is already gearing up for the next.
“We want to build something even better for Argos, something more unique yet familiar,” the founder concludes. “We are looking at a better design process and have recently strengthened our partnership with people who better understand the intricacies of watchmaking and share our vision of an established Philippine watch industry.”
The future looks promising for Argos Watches as it embarks on new horizons, refining its design process and collaborating with industry experts who share the brand’s vision.
With its dedication to delivering exceptional quality at accessible prices, Argos Watches is poised to represent the craftsmanship and ingenuity of the Filipino people.