An advertising professional who worked with high-profiles agencies around the world, including Dubai, sold his watch to start his own watch empire business in the Philippines, called Makina.
Danilo Villanueva said he started collecting different types of hand-made and mechanical watches since his teenage years due to his keen interest in them.
To achieve what he truly wants in life, to be a watchmaker, he decided to quit his full-time job.
“I couldn’t even begin to start dreaming of my desired business because of the limited time I had due to working for other people’s companies. Hence, a good one year off without income must arrive,” he said in an interview with Entrepreneur Philippines.
On March 15, 2016, a day after he quit his job, Villanueva started to set up his business. His first step was to sell his prized possession, his collection of watches, to realize his dream.
Villanueva then started conceptualizing the design for his watches, and with the help of a fellow Filipino who works for a major Swiss watch brand in Hong Kong, he was able to come up with sketches, concept art, a 3D model and a 2D autocad layout.
“We handed the production work to a friend of mine who owns a small manufacturing factory in Hong Kong. It took me years to build contacts like these because over the years, I knew that I’ll start up my own watch brand someday,” he said.
Villanueva also occasionally hires freelance designers. His family, including his wife and his parents, also help him in running the business.
Makina currently has three models, Makina Uriel_I, Makina Uriel_II, and Makina Mephisto_I, which are both mechanical watches that rocked a vintage design. All three models are sold for $599 or more than P30,000.
“We only produce [the watches] in batches of 100 every time for cost management and, more importantly, for quality control,” he said.
Photo Credits: All photos were taken from Makina’s Instagram account