1 Dec 2006
Alarm Clocks(HKTDC Watch & Clock, Vol 01,2007)
|Switime Industrial Ltd's cute range of penguin and owl alarm clocks for children is available in LCD or quartz analogue versions|
However, alarm clocks are constantly evolving and Hong Kong manufacturers are leading the way in developing stylish timepieces that feature new materials and innovative functions.
Litech Electronic Products Ltd, for example, manufactures a wide selection of digital and analogue clocks at its 12,500-square-metre, 650-worker factory at Dongguan on the Chinese mainland.
The ISO 9001-certified plant currently produces 500,000 items per month that carry Litech's own Litech brand and are sold in such key markets as the US, the UK, Japan, Korea, the Netherlands and Russia.
Typical of the 12-year-old company's output is the 8.7x7.2x9.0cm C101 model, which features an ascending volume ringer, large digits and an LED backlight and comes in a range of colours.
The 16.5x9.0x11.7cm model E183, meanwhile, is part of Litech's new "Color in Color" series that boasts an LED that changes colour, sliding dimmer control and alarm level and can be powered by AC or batteries.
Also new is E103 (14x13.1x6.3cm), a radio-controlled alarm clock with a range of features including daylight-saving and a built-in movable antenna to ensure quality reception.
Finally, A225, a classic analogue model that measures 10.8x10.8x7.8cm and can be wall-mounted, features a snooze function that is activated by pressing the clock face.
Marketing manager Thomas Lei notes that A225 comes in a range of bright colours and face designs as well as more traditional models. "All these models are or will be a hit because customers appreciate our innovation in features and design - for example, our patented display technology, 'Color-in-Color' LED is a unique idea," he claims.
Lei adds that, unlike other clock manufacturers, Litech produces its own clock displays. "This allows us to be more flexible and innovative in terms of product design and quality control," he insists, adding that FOB Hong Kong unit prices range from US$2-15 for 1,000-piece minimum orders delivered 45 days after order confirmation.
Multifunction is also the name of the game at Global Union Industries Co Ltd, which exports its wall, alarm, table and bathroom clocks to Japan, Taiwan, Europe, the UK, the US and Australia.
New models include 2037, which measures 16.8x8.0x4.1cm and features an alarm clock on the left and a timer on the right, while 2049TH is a 11.5x15.5x5.1cm combination alarm clock that also displays the temperature and humidity.
"We believe that these models will be popular because of their multifunction capabilities and stylish design," comments general manager Danny Kong.
The 11-year-old company introduces three or four new models every six months. "It is important to consistently introduce new models that capture market trends," Kong adds.
Global Union's 10,000-square-foot, 250-worker factory in Shenzhen on the mainland is ISO 9001-certified and produces 40,000-50,000 pieces per item per month. "The minimum order is 1,000-2,000 items, depending on the model and delivery is 30-35 days after order confirmation," Kong explains.
Longtime player Herald Electronics Ltd, which was established in 1979, is also committed to adding new functions to traditional alarm clocks."There is a definite industry trend towards clocks that have multiple functions, while metallic finishes are also in demand," claims marketing executive Fiona Chan.
Herald Electronic's latest models, such as the 8.4x5.2x1.3cm, metal-plated model C212 travel alarm clock with temperature and time/month/day/week display, illustrate her point.
Other multifunction models include C196B, a 12.5x4x6.5cm alarm clock with similar features, the 13.7x7.5x4cm C217W weather alarm clock that includes a calendar, temperature and humidity features, and C218, a 7.2x1.5x4.5cm travel alarm clock with a temperature-display feature.
"We introduce 2-3 new models every six months and have built a strong reputation due to our quality products," Chan insists, adding that the average FOB Hong Kong price is US$3-4 per item.
Herald Electronics requires minimum orders of 1,000 pieces and delivers 50-60 days after order confirmation to the US, the UK, France and Italy.
Europe is also the major market for Switime Industrial Ltd, whose extensive range of table, wall, LCD, radio-controlled and AC clocks carries the Wellgain brand. "We produce about 10 new designs per year," reveals marketing manager Jennifer Ngan. "Our quartz analogue clocks use our own in-house brand movement which has developed a good reputation in the market for reliability and quality."
She maintains that the 16-year-old firm's cute animal models LD152 and BB152 (penguin) and LD151 and BB152 (owl), both of which measure 9.1x7.8x6.0cm and cost US$2 FOB Hong Kong per item, will be big sellers. "These new models will be popular because of the fancy and fun design, which is targeted at the children's market," Ngan predicts.
Switime, which manufactures its RoHS-compliant products at a 500-worker, ISO 9001-certified factory in Dongguan, delivers minimum orders of 2,000 pieces 30 days after confirmation.
Clearly there is no need for alarm when buyers join forces with Hong Kong's ever-inventive and reliable clock manufacturers to keep sales ticking over.
WRITTEN BY VICKI WILLIAMS
Herald Electronics Ltd
Unit A, 6/F
Tai Tak Ind Bldg
2-12 Kwai Fat Rd
Kwai Chung, New Territories
Team-Power Development Co Ltd
Unit 6, 5/F
Wing Hing Ind Bldg
83-93 Chai Wan Kok St
Tsuen Wan, New Territories