The Jacintos are zeitgeist masters. Ernesto Jacinto started his company, Ercinto, as a distributor for Rado and Citizen watches back in 1963, with its headquarters situated in Echague Quiapo, Manila.
His son Ray took over and launched Wizer Industries eventually. The younger entrepreneur had the ability to read the pulse of the market when it was the moment to move from a traditional enterprise and expand to a more modern retail model. During this time, he added Tissot, Frédérique Constant, Alpina, and Tommy Hilfiger to the company’s portfolio.
Together with Rainier Jacinto, Ray’s son, Wizer Industries once again transitions its business to cater to the digital native customers without alienating its current clientele. To introduce its new brand, the company held a virtual event entitled “Ahead of its Time: The Story to Watch in 2021,” last December 14, 2020.
“For my generation, I have to continue opening more physical stores. But at the same time, we are establishing our e-commerce sites as well,” said Wizer Industries marketing service manager Rainier Jacinto.
He continued, “About three years ago, we started with Zalora because they were only doing authentic brands at that time, which is something that we value most. A big part of what we’re striving to do for each brand in our portfolio is to build [each brand] in the Philippine setting. And then of course, if you will see these lovely men and women on the screen, they have very large followings on social media.”
Rainier was, of course, referring to Tissot ambassadors entrepreneur Mikka Padua, social media personality Aliza Apostol, and photographer Hideo Muraoka; Frédérique Constant timepieces with businessman Marco Lobregat; and Tommy Hilfiger watches with models Sam Ajdani and Jessica Yang.
“That’s when we were knew that we could go into e-commerce, because we had the influence of wonderful gentlemen and ladies,” he said. “In order to convert interest into sales, one must spark interest. Once they see Sam or Jessica post something on their Instagram accounts, we gain a stronger online presence.”
Swiss brand Tissot is a heritage watchmaker with a history of world firsts, including pioneering pocketwatches, dual times, and antimagnetic timepieces. Alpina is fast gaining ground in the sportwatch section, suitable for outdoor adventures by land, sea, air. The industry’s new kid on the block, Frédérique Constant, revolves around sophisticated luxury watches with sensible price points. And for the trendy and casual style savants, there’s Tommy Hilfiger watches.
Moment in Time
This year has been one for the books, as some would say. And for most, this may well be one of the greatest pause moments in our lifetime. The ambassadors took time to reflect on the lessons to be learned from it.
“I just want to say 2020 has been tough, but I learned so much during 2020,” Jessica Yang shared. “I appreciate life more because every time I spend, I know it’s precious, but it really gets me and makes me learn to enjoy every moment. But I am super excited for 2021 because I have a feeling it’s going to be great.”
Lobregat the sportsman took a hard look at his life, resulting in him moving to Batangas during the lockdown. “To be honest, it’s been a tough year like everyone says, so I also didn’t want to go spending too much. I was looking for a watch that was actually very sensible in price. I found that in terms of quality and price ratio, Frédérique Constant is a winner.”
Leave it to Rainier to find the silver lining in any situation. “Like most people, our clients were not able to travel. They saved a lot of money. But they still had this desire to want to buy products that they normally would buy when they travel. For us, in terms of web sales for the last quarter, it’s been very surprisingly good,” he shared. “We’re in the business of selling timepieces. Our belief is to take everything one step at a time. We’re actually very hopeful because as long as there’s time there’s hope. Merry Christmas to everyone, and wishing you a better 2021!”