Alice Eduardo is the President and CEO of Sta. Elena Construction and Development Corporation, one of the country’s largest construction companies. A respected leader in her field, she is also fondly called "Woman of Steel" in reference to the nature of her business.
What many people do not know is that one of the key pillars behind her success is her mastery of time. This and her love for machines are manifested in her vast collection of timepieces. Alice was gracious enough to share some of her favorite timepieces with Watch Manila. But before we take a peek at some of her watches, wouldn’t you want to find out how Alice has commanded time to be on her side?
Master of time
Most people usually struggle to achieve that elusive “work-life balance.” This is not the case with Alice. Instead of drawing a fine line between the two worlds, she strives to keep both in harmony with each other. This is how she manages the strong demands of work and family life.
Aside from being a full-time boss at Sta. Elena, Alice is a hands-on mother to her wonderful children. A dutiful daughter, she also makes sure to join her parents everyday for breakfast. Her weekends are full-blown family affairs, reserved usually for bonding with her kids, her folks, her siblings and their families.
Her close relationship with her family fuels her with positive energy. For Alice, it’s what helps her hurdle a demanding work week. It makes her laser-focused in the office and on the field—which can only lead to more success. The same success that allows her to spend more quality time with those closest to her. It’s a brilliant cycle she’s created for herself, one worth emulating, where neither work nor family is sacrificed for the other.
When the world was hit with the COVID-19 pandemic, Alice placed even greater emphasis on family bonding and quality time. She knows time is something one can never buy—which is why she makes sure to give time to people and things that really matter.
To be constantly reminded of how precious time is, Alice has steadily collected a handful of fine timepieces.
Beginnings of a collection
As with many watch collectors, Alice’s first notable and expensive watch was a Rolex Datejust in two-tone. The Datejust was the standard go-to for business leaders from the 1980s up to the 2000s. Not long after, she purchased a gold Rolex Datejust in a President bracelet. She would eventually move deeper into the world of watches, as shown by her purchase of a Patek Philippe Nautilus and a Patek Philippe Aquanaut.
The Richard Mille appeal
By the late 2000s, Alice had a notable watch collection. This is also the time she stumbled upon a then little-known brand called Richard Mille. When she first saw a Richard Mille watch in a boutique window in Singapore, she says it was “love at first sight”. Alice entered the store to try on the RM-07 which she initially expected to be heavy. To her surprise, the watch was very light. She couldn’t agree more with the brand’s tagline: it’s “a racing machine on the wrist”. Not long after, Alice purchased her first Richard Mille, the RM-07, in the brand’s boutique in Beverly Hills.
The RM-07 would soon be joined by several other Richard Mille models, including the RM-037 and the RM-067. Her love for the brand has led her to become friends with Mr. Richard Mille himself and his family. In fact, during one event Mr. Mille hosted in Paris, he told Alice the RM-023 is so "you.” Eventually and unsurprisingly, she purchased the watch.
Her other favorites
Apart from her Richard Milles, Alice’s other favorites include her Rolex Daytona, her Patek Philippe Nautilus, and Patek Philippe Aquanaut. She also has watches from other well-loved brands such as Cartier, Audemars Piguet, and Roger Dubuis, among others.
Lessons in buying watches
Considering her extensive experience in collecting watches, there are three lessons one can learn from Alice when it comes to buying a timepiece: 1. You must like the watch. 2. Buy to mark an occasion. And 3. Always remember that the most important thing the watch represents is time itself.
When you buy a watch, keep in mind that it’s you who will be using it, she says. As such, you have to make sure the watch is comfortable and is visually appealing to you. The watch you purchase will accompany you for a long time and it is important you choose a watch that you like and not what others like.
Alice is one who believes in marking certain milestones with watches. She points to several watches in her collection that represents some of the major projects she closed. You may also purchase a watch to commemorate the birth of a child or an important anniversary. At times, you do need to remind yourself of what you've achieved so far in life and a timepiece serves as a great reminder.
Lastly, Alice knows that all the watches she's accumulated are merely reminders of God's gift of time. While we can appreciate the beauty, the craftsmanship, and the complications of a timepiece, we always need to be reminded that the biggest value in watches is what it ultimately represents: time itself and how we spend it.
Alice Eduardo is a truly inspiring woman. With time on her side, she continues to work on her projects and dream even bigger. She lives by the quote "If you are willing to work hard, you can achieve anything. No structure is too grand, or task too difficult. No dream is out of reach." Alice is living proof that hard work coupled with an understanding of time pays off.