30 Aug 2007
Exciting Extremes(HKTDC Watch & Clock, Vol 03,2007)
|Hideki Electronics Ltd's heart rate monitor checks heart rates and displays total calorie consumption and the percentage of fat burnt|
The classic dress watch will always turn heads, but these days it's rugged timepieces that are catching eyes worldwide
The sports watch has come a long way, with endless specialised functions for younger buyers and the young at heart looking for something eye-catching but robust and ready for anything.
Hong Kong manufacturers such as Twenty-C Watch Mfy Ltd keep a close eye on trends in order to sell to main markets such as the US, Australia, Japan and the UK.
"Every 2-3 months we will normally have 50 new designs for our OEM products," says sales and marketing manager Riccardo Yu. "By keeping tight with the trends of international brands, we're ensuring our products are the most up-to-date."
Twenty-C's watches are all about extremes, and one of its latest trends is digital sensor watches such as its new Quadruple Sensor, model CP1161G.
"These are specifically designed to carry a client brand - a stylish model in a robust plastic casing that's water-resistant to 5ATMs," Yu says. "They are the very latest - functional and versatile - with barometer, altimeter, temperature and digital compass."
Minimum orders of 500 pieces of model CP1161G that cost US$35 each FOB Hong Kong can be delivered 120 days after order confirmation from Twenty-C's two-floor, 300-worker factory in Shenzhen on the Chinese mainland.
Concentrating on water sports, Fullswing Industrial Co Ltd's divers' watches are extremely functional and water-resistant to 500 metres but still look classy in any company.
Fullswing's solid stainless steel diver's watch features automatic movement, sapphire crystal lens, 120-click rotating bezel and a double-gasket screw-in crown.
It also boasts a flip-lock bracelet featuring an extendable buckle for the diver's wetsuit, while double-side screws enable the bracelet length to be adjusted.
The look is traditional, strong and sporty, claims Fullswing director Donny Lau. "We always have new models, but concentrate on good, sturdy watches with a high level of water-resistance - usually 300-500 metres," he explains.
Lau says the company's watches use automatic Swiss and Japanese assemblies, and the most popular models are robust with a large visible face. "We're looking for quality, rather than something that looks fancy - we try to keep them simple and functional," he says. "Our main market is Europe, which takes about two-thirds of our products, followed by the US at about 20%."
Most Fullswing watches are priced at around US$50-100 per item FOB Hong Kong, and minimum orders of 100 pieces can be delivered 60 days after order confirmation.
Meanwhile, Time Industrial Mfy Ltd is moving into high-end watches, maintaining a product evolution that began in 1993 when it first started producing watches in the lower end of the market.
"We moved into mid-priced models after five years," recalls director Enders Lam. "In the past two years or so we have really focused on high-end products."
Buyers looking for luxury-look sports watches should check out Time Industrial's model 3929E-06 chronograph, which features a ceramic case and bracelet, Japanese movement and MOP dial in a stone-encrusted setting.
Model 3929E-O6 costs HK$1,186 per piece FOB Hong Kong and requires 200 days delivery time. "The ceramic casing is not as common as stainless steel, alloy and brass-based watches, and therefore attracts more interest," Lam explains. "They are difficult to manufacture, so delivery time is longer."
Time Industrial's model 4006G-03 is sound to a depth of 20ATMs and features turning bezel, solid stainless steel band, date, chrono second and Japanese movement.
"Our minimum order for model 4006G-03 is 500 pieces at a unit price of HK$351 per piece FOB Hong Kong, delivered 120 days after order confirmation," Lam says, adding Time Industrial welcomes ODM and OEM buyers who are looking for "something unique".
Ximax Enterprise Ltd director Bravo Wong says his company is also expecting big sales this year. "From what we have seen of the latest trends, our functional LED models should be hot items," he predicts.
Two-year-old Ximax produces a range of full dot matrix LED, LCA and LCD analogue watches; all designed in Hong Kong and manufactured at a 4,500-square-metre, 200-worker mainland factory in Zhuhai.
"Our own software and product development team can create what is possible, or even turn the impossible into a reality," Wong claims. "This strong team provides plenty of new designs in plastic or metal casings."
The 25 performance sports watches in the Ximax collection cost US$3.50-45.00 FOB Hong Kong per piece for minimum orders of 500 units. "Buyers should allow 45 days for plastic cases and 60 days for metal cases," Wong advises, adding that Ximax is working on gaining ISO 9001 certification.
Whatever the sport, there is clearly a high-quality, competitively-priced watch made in Hong Kong that will stand up to exciting extremes and still look good.
TEXT BY JOHN CHURCH
Fat Tat Lee Watch Co Ltd
750 Nathan Rd
Mong Kok, Kowloon
Twenty-C Watch Mfy Ltd
Unit D, 12/F
Hoover Ind Bldg
26-38 Kwai Cheong Rd
Kwai Chung, New Territories