30 Aug 2007
Decorative Delights(HKTDC Watch & Clock, Vol 03,2007)
|Anmo Ltd combines functionality with artistic designs in these laser-engraved, MDF wall clocks with subtle patterns|
Once used for simply measuring time, today the humble wall clock has taken on an exciting new role in homes and offices worldwide
Decorative wall clocks have become a hot fashion trend worldwide, and Hong Kong manufacturers are providing a rich selection of attractive timepieces.
A typical example of Hong Kong expertise in the wall clock field is Anmo Ltd, which manufactures an extensive range of analogue clocks that bear its own Anmo brand.
The one-year-old housewares company manufactures at a factory in Shenzhen on the Chinese mainland, which produces 1,000-unit minimum order quantities delivered 45-60 days after order confirmation to customers in Europe, Australia and Japan.
"The most successful product in our range is the laser-engraved clock made of MDF - the wave design is very popular," says marketing manager Anita Pang.
She claims that it is a great success as the clock is not only functional, but is also decorative and aesthetically pleasing. "We believe home accessories should not only fulfil their inherent purpose, but also have an aesthetic value, which is the idea behind our clock design," Pang explains.
"These clocks have been well-received in western European markets as well as Japan, as our designs are tailored to the tastes of the customers in these particular markets."
Taking a similar own-brand approach is Bai Industries Ltd, which produces travel alarm clocks as well as a variety of wall clocks that bear the Bai label.
"Our most successful products are our new waterproof wall clocks, because their unique double-rubber ring design and easy-to-read dials are ideal for use indoors or out," owner and creative director Thomas Bai explains.
"We also have new products which we will launch at the New York Gift Show, including Westchester alarm clocks with retro and classic dial designs."
Established in 1999, the company produces around 600,000 pieces a month at several factories on the mainland that cover a total of 18,762 square metres, employ 1,383 workers and deliver minimum order quantities of 1,000 pieces 60 days following order confirmation.
However, Bai admits that some countries with growing economies think his company's products are too highly priced for their markets and are therefore reluctant to place orders.
"But those buyers that do try our products have discovered that their markets are indeed receptive and will pay higher prices for Bai's quality timepieces," Bai claims.
Like many Hong Kong manufacturers, Bai Industries competes on quality, not price: "We do not pay too much attention to trends, or what's hot and what's not," Bai maintains. "We prefer to set the trend and lead in designing timepieces that possess styles that are timeless - we believe in functional designs that will benefit users for a long time."
Also proud of its brand is Nextime (HK) Ltd, whose table clocks and decorative wall clocks bearing the Nextime brand grace homes and offices in Europe, the US and Japan.
"We have so many successful products it is hard to pick just one, but probably the 2610 metal wall clock is one of the most popular," sales and marketing manager Michelle Tsui says.
She believes the success of this model is probably due to its simplicity, and claims that its neutral style fits all environments. "Our principal market is Europe, where we have been doing business for more than 30 years," Tsui adds, noting that minimum order quantities of 500-1,000 pieces can be delivered 40-60 days after order confirmation.
Telesonic is the highly successful brand name of Shinfuku Electronics (HK) Ltd, which manufactures quartz wall and table alarm clocks, LCD and LED clocks and LCD modules at an ISO 9001-certified mainland factory in Guangzhou.
Minimum order quantities of 500 pieces per item and 1,000 units per shipment are delivered within 35-45 days to clients in the US, Japan, Asia and Europe, manager Josephine Chan explains.
"We are successful because of the high quality of our clocks and our low defect rate," she claims. "The current trend is towards simple but special designs."
OEM manufacturer Yee Cheong (Home Decor) Co Ltd manufactures an extensive range of metal wall clocks made from metal and polyresin at its 150,000-square-foot, 600-worker mainland factory.
The ISO 9001-certified plant delivers US$5,000 minimum order values approximately 50 days after order confirmation to US and European markets.
"Our products are generally very trendy and therefore very popular," claims manager Ricky Woo. "The US is our most successful market as our products are more suited to the larger homes found in North America."
The market is clearly very competitive, but Hong Kong manufacturers are obviously running fast and keeping time on their side when it comes to producing decorative and functional wall clocks.
TEXT BY JEFF HESELWOOD