The Argos vision and the creation of the brand
Wristwatches have a rich history that dates back centuries. In modern times, the Japanese and the Swiss have led the race to create watches for most walks of life. But of course, modern technologies and designs come with a hefty price-literally. Avid collectors would certainly dip their hands in tried and tested machines. Those new to the watch world, and many of us who work with a specific budget, would make do with quartz watches that are admittedly less expensive while still providing accurate timekeeping.
Friends Ivan Jeff Soberano, a budding watch enthusiast, and Gregory Yu, who has been in the hobby for some years, fueled the spark for the hobby during the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 by exchanging wants and "shopping lists" of watches. Ivan, for example, wanted to know the intricacies of watches - what makes them tick, what kind of marvels they possess, and what makes a watch "of quality." On the other hand, Greg found a friend who shared an enthusiasm for watches and was happy to share his knowledge and, in turn, grow more in the hobby.
Through this journey of light banter, they soon realized a significant gap between the affordability of a watch vis-a-vis its quality. Questions such as quality of movement, watch complications and features, and pricing mechanisms of well-known watch brands, among others, arose. This led to Ivan's research on watch microbrands around the world. Both friends wanted to understand the novelty of watch microbrands, which looked unique and offered the same quality as top-tier brands at a fraction of the cost.
This, and the drive to create something unique and of their own, led to conceptualizing a watch brand that married price and quality. The idea eventually led to looking for sources of materials, parts, and manufacturers both locally in the Philippines and overseas to see if the idea was feasible. Building a watch from scratch is no easy task, and the friends merely wanted to see it through- if the story of making our brand would end there or if it would lead to something bigger.
In a stroke of good fortune and dedication to message countless potential contacts, Ivan found a connection who could help him make the vision come true. Even lucky was that the connection Ivan found is also a local visionary with networks to watch parts manufacturers and a pool of local watchmakers and artisans. This was where Argos led: a local Philippine watch brand supporting local artisans. This is where Argos was born.