29 Nov 2005
Chronographs(HKTDC Watch & Clock, Vol 01,2006)
Stainless Steel Watches
Rich Blossom Watch Mfy Ltd produces its own Blossom brand of chronographs, like this stylish, leather-strapped selection
Their needs are being met by Hong Kong's large army of watch manufacturers, who have developed a reputation for innovation and efficiency that has made the city one of the world's leading timepiece export centres.
Established OEM/ODM producer Rich Blossom Watch Mfy Ltd, for example, has its own Blossom brand of stylish, contemporary chronographs powered by either Swiss or Japanese movements.
The 10-year-old company's 3,200-square-metre factory in Dongguan on the Chinese mainland employs 200 workers who can produce up to 10,000 stainless steel chronographs a month.
Manager Jessie Yip explains that Rich Blossom, which produces automatic and brass watches in both stainless steel and brass, introduces new models "four or five" times a year.
"We are currently working on a range of mechanical watches designed to appeal to consumers in the 18-30-year-old age group, as well as a model displaying a skeleton movement which should prove popular in our main markets - Europe, the Middle East, Japan and the US," Yip reports. "The new model will be available in our standard minimum order quantities of 300 items delivered 60-75 days after order confirmation."
Medix Quartz Industries Ltd, meanwhile, specialises in crafting complicated quartz chronographs, some of which are capable of simultaneously displaying up to seven different time zones.
Company spokeswoman Candy Wong says that although Medix sells its own Medix and Cirkel brands, the 21-year-old company's quartz and automatic watch designs are normally customer-driven.
Models such as the stainless steel chronograph model number S6612 with Miyota OS10 movement are water resistant up to 10ATM or 330 feet, well in excess of the minimum standard of 3ATM, and can be supplied with either a steel bracelet or a hand-stitched Italian leather strap.
"Our main export markets are Japan, North America and Europe," she advises, adding that Medix's 450-square-metre mainland plant in Shenzhen can produce up to 50,000 watches a month. "We supply minimum orders of 100 pieces 100 days after order confirmation."
Good design is equally important to Unicorn Time Mfg Ltd director Alan Chan, who personally heads up the team handling all aspects of OEM, ODM and private-label production.
"There is a trend towards jewellery watches as many companies are producing similar styles," Chan observes, adding that Unicorn Time has more than 100 models in production and introduces new designs every month.
Together with the steel chronograph model S-3112 that features a Citizen multifunction movement, new models are manufactured at a 100-worker factory on the mainland for export to Western Europe.
FOB Hong Kong prices range from US$6 for a three-hand steel watch to US$60 for a steel diver's timepiece water-resistant to a depth of 20ATM. "We deliver minimum orders of 500 pieces 45-65 days after order confirmation," Chan adds.
Another company that sees a trend towards simple, yet elegant timepieces is two-year-old Kola Time Ltd, whose product range includes multifunction chronographs, basic analogue, digital, hybrid anadigi and special movement watches.
"We have broad knowledge in mechanical and electronic watches; and our working relationship with suppliers from Japan, Taiwan, the mainland and Europe have helped us form a strong foundation to create innovative yet economic timepieces," spokeswoman Queenie Lee proclaims.
A monthly production capacity of 100,000 units allows the company to offer a full range of watches water-resistant to 5ATM and available at prices ranging from US$15 FOB Hong Kong for the best-selling KL066 chronograph with stainless steel case and band to US$23 for the multifunction world timer.
"Buyers should allow 60-90 days for delivery from the date of ordering a minimum quantity of at least 500 pieces," Lee advises.
Slightly more unusual are the titanium and aluminium quartz analogue chronographs offered by Sun Tai Watch Co Ltd, which are also available in stainless steel.
The 19-year-old company's 200-worker factory in Dongguan produces stylish models such as a stainless steel, 20ATM model with rotating bezel, stainless steel band, Miyota OS10 movement and luminous dial.
"We deliver minimum orders of 500 pieces per model 65-90 days after confirmation," says Sun Tai spokeswoman Mandy Tam, adding that Western Europe, Japan, the US, Australia and the UAE are major export markets.
Stainless steel also figures prominently in the chronograph range offered by Omitofo Int'l Ltd, whose 800-square-metre, 100-worker factory in Dongguan can produce up to 60,000 watches per month.
"Our in-house design team welcomes customer input on design and aims to introduce new models every six months," sales manager Chris Ha advises, noting that Omitofo can supply European and US buyers with minimum orders of 300 pieces 40-60 days after order confirmation.
Illustrating yet again that Hong Kong watch manufacturers are extremely accurate when it comes to producing high-quality, competitively-priced chronographs for customers worldwide.
WRITTEN BY DAVID MOORE
Kola Time Ltd
Rms B-C, 13/F, Phase 2
41-43 Wong Chuk Hang Rd
Medix Quartz Industries Ltd
2/F, Blk B-7
HK Ind Centre
489-491 Castle Peak Rd
Unicorn Time Mfg Ltd
Flat 5, 22/F
South China Ind Bldg
1 Chun Pin St, Lei Muk Rd
Kwai Chung, New Territories
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