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Patek journey with Lucerne

A Journey of a Lifetime with Lucerne and Patek Philippe

Lucerne, the premier purveyor of Swiss luxury timepieces in the Philippines, was established by Yao E Chiu in 1982 in Ali Mall, Cubao. It began as a small watch shop, but has since expanded to several stores, including two stand-alone boutiques of Patek Philippe.

Emerson Yao, one of Yao E Chiu’s sons who took over the business in 1988, says that the turning point for the company was when he and his brother, Ivan Yao, decided to open a boutique in Makati in the early 1990s.

They had decided that to differentiate themselves from other local watch retailers, they would focus on Swiss luxury timepieces that were yet to become available to the Philippine market. Their expansion to Makati was a strategic move, because back then, it was the only place in the country where luxury goods could be found.

One of the brands the brothers knew they had to bring in to be taken seriously in this segment of the market was Patek Philippe.   And in 1998, they introduced the manufacture to the Philippines.

After a decade, Lucerne and Patek Philippe opened the watch manufacture’s first stand-alone boutique in the country. Located in Makati’s Greenbelt 5, it was among the manufacture’s first independent boutiques throughout the Asia-Pacific region.

A front shot of the Patek Philippe boutique in Greenbelt 5, Makati.

A waiting area where clients may sit and discuss with the staff.
Patek Philippe’s first stand-alone boutique in the Philippines.



Lucerne managing directors Emerson and Ivan Yao with Patek Philippe president Thierry Stern and honorary president Philippe Stern.
(Left to right) Lucerne managing director Emerson Yao, Patek Philippe honorary president Philippe Stern, Patek Philippe president Thierry Stern, and Lucerne managing editor Ivan Yao at the 175th anniversary celebration of the manufacture in Singapore (2014). 

A few years after the launch of its first boutique, Patek Philippe opened its second one in Shangri-La Plaza, which was a testament to its growing following in the country. 

Emerson and Ivan Yao with Patek SEA General Deepa Chatrath and Swiss Ambassador Andrea Reichlin.
(Left to right) Lucerne managing director Emerson Yao, Patek Philippe Southeast Asia General Manager Deepa Chatrath, Swiss Ambassador Andrea Reichlin and Lucerne managing director Ivan Yao at the Patek Philippe boutique opening in Shangri-La Plaza in 2016.

By 2017, women had become a notable part of the Manufacture’s local clientele. Together with Lucerne, they hosted an intimate event called the Mechanical Art for Ladies.

Patek Philippe Southeast Asia General Manager Deepa Chatrath delivered a presentation to attendees, discussing Patek Philippe’s longstanding history of catering to the tastes of discerning women. She also emphasized how they had always made sure their women’s timepieces were crafted independently from that of the men’s, as opposed to the more common practice of simply shrinking the dimensions of men’s watches.

During the exclusive ladies event, bags of designer Bea Valdes, who made a name for herself by incorporating traditional Filipino craftmanship into her work, were also on display. It was a fitting venue to display the work because similar to how Patek Philippe strives to keep Genevan decorative skills alive in their workshops, she aims to preserve Filipino artisanal skills.

Those at the event had the opportunity to take a closer look at the creations of Ms. Valdes, as well as the extensive women’s collections of Patek Philippe.

Ivan Yao with Deepa Chatrath, Filipina bag designer Bea Valdes and Patek Philippe regional sales manager David Chan.
(Left to right) Lucerne managing director Ivan Yao, Patek Philippe Southeast Asia General Manager Deepa Chatrath, Filipina designer Bea Valdes and Patek Philippe regional sales manager David Chan at the Mechanical Art For Ladies event held at Shangri-La At The Fort.

In 2018, Patek and Lucerne delighted watch enthusiasts yet again with the launch of a knowledge series about the perpetual calendar. The Manufacture’s full collection of timepieces featuring the grand complication, including models that were yet to be released, were put on display, while an expert watchmaker gave participants a chance to examine a perpetual calendar’s inner workings.

Ms. Chatrath presented the grand complication’s technical aspects; the various ways in which it can be displayed on a dial; and the Maison’s history of producing movements with perpetual calendars and the meticulously decorated cases that have housed them. 


Patek Philippe perpetual calendar timepieces.
A few of the Patek Philippe Perpetual Calendar timepieces on display at the knowledge series event.


A man observing the parts of a Patek Philippe complication.
A participant of Patek Philippe’s perpetual calendar workshop examines the components used in the complication.

Now in their 21st year of partnership, Lucerne looks forward to helping sustain and increase Patek Philippe’s local following. Among the plans the two have for the near future is relocating the boutique in Greenbelt to occupy a larger space.

Patek Philippe and Lucerne continue to pride themselves in being family-run businesses with haute horology at the center of what they do. And in the years to come Philippine watch enthusiasts can rest assured that the partners will remain uncompromising when it comes to delivering only the finest of timepieces. Whether it be in this generation, or the next.

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