by Rex Godinez Ortega, OC

IT IS A truth universally acknowledged, that a man (or woman) in possession of a college degree must, at certain times, be in want of a watch. 

A university watch, that is.  

For an upstart logo watch company formed by three MSU-IIT alumni, giving fellow IITians the ability to wear their school pride everyday is an idea worth investing in.

And just months after the enterprising threesome starts work on a wearable timepiece that can be marketed exclusively as the Institute’s company watch, the MSU-IIT University Watch is born.

Introduced in two versions that are powered either by the Swiss Quartz Movement or the Seiko Japanese Movement, the MSU-IIT University Watch takes the campus by storm. 

It displays the Institute’s logo on the dial and features a stainless steel casing, a scratch-free sapphire crystal, and a two-year warranty. 

“It’s like compressing the Institute’s identity, history into a small thing and taking it with you wherever you go,” says Chancellor Sukarno D. Tanggol, one of the first to own an MSU-IIT University Watch.

“They also communicate a quiet confidence regarding one’s educational background,” observes Tanggol of the beautifully packaged watches that are presented in pure leather straps with butterfly clasps engraved with the MSU-IIT name. 

The watches are made available in two designs and come in four colors – silver, rose gold, rose gold with black dial, and gold with white dial.

A brainchild of MSU-IIT alumnus Eliel Barcelona, the idea comes to him last year when he was still based in London after he sees how much pride and value people place on their own college watches.

So, he comes home with this idea and forms the company called University Watches (UW) with two former high school classmates: Leo Leopoldo, an engineer working in Cebu City, and Frederick “Bojie” Flores, a businessman in Iligan City.

Barcelona, Leopoldo, and Flores all belong to Batch 1994 of MSU-IIT’s Integrated Developmental School (IDS).

The first school the trio approaches is, of course, their alma mater, which wastes no time licensing them to use the MSU-IIT logo in a Trademark License Agreement Signing Ceremony held at the Institute Boardroom last April. 

June sees them presenting the valedictorian of the graduating class with a university watch during the Institute’s 49th Commencement Ceremonies. 

From there, UW ramps up production to try to meet demands. 

They also start conducting business with other schools and universities which, understandably, are also receptive to the idea of having their own college watches.

UW’s Flores, however, assures MSU-IIT that the watches they produce for their other client-schools will be unique to those schools.

“There will absolutely be no duplication of designs,” Flores adds.

Custom manufactured or personalized watches that are imprinted with a company’s logo are a novel concept in the Philippines, and the launch of the MSU-IIT University Watch, according to Flores, is a first for university watches in the country.

“And it’s about time something like a wearable trophy for universities was made,” proud owner of two university watches, Prof. Jamail A. Kamlian, says.

For the long-time faculty member of the Institute’s Department of History, the best part about the university watch is that “you get to relive wonderful memories by just glancing at your wrist.”