1 Sept 2006
Fun Time(HKTDC Watch & Clock, Vol 03,2006)
Ximax Enterprise Ltd
|Technologically-innovative timepieces that put the fun back into telling time are a Ximax Enterprise Ltd specialty|
Lengthy experience in the watch industry has taught Ximax Enterprise Ltd production development manager Bravo Wong and his colleagues plenty about the value of time - especially not wasting any.
Its veteran staff notwithstanding, this young company was established less than two years ago but is already recognised as a significant industry innovator with a number of unique products and a growing presence in markets worldwide.
"Our company was founded in 2005 by a group of professionals, all of whom had been working in the watch business for more than 20 years, but we already have more than 100 models," says Wong.
Ximax makes ultra-modern watches featuring technologically-innovative displays, some of which were highlights of the Hong Kong Watch and Clock Fair 2006.
Product lines include men's and ladies' wristwatches, including electronic alarm watches, chronometers, digital watches, and combined watches featuring dual analogue and digital displays.
Wong says strikingly-designed LCD and LED quartz watches are a speciality, and the company also makes a limited range of clocks. "Our team includes software and hardware engineers, electronics and mechanical engineers and designers," he adds.
Ximax is headquartered in Hong Kong but production takes place at its 4,000-square-metre factory in the Chang Cheng Industrial Zone in Zhongshan on the Chinese mainland.
"We can produce almost 300,000 pieces of electronic watches per month," Wong claims, adding that the company currently has some 180 workers and 30 more senior staff on the mainland as well as another 10 people based in Hong Kong.
"We have 20-30 people working on our R&D and six designers, two in Hong Kong and the remainder on the mainland, as developing new products is very important to us."
The company designs and manufactures its own movements using Japanese stainless steel and leather for its watch cases and straps respectively, as well as PU sourced on the mainland.
Creativity and quality are the company's watchwords and the Ximax team is committed to making world-beating products and surprising a sometimes jaded marketplace with original work.
"We make liquid crystal analogue watches, which are a new idea that nobody else is doing as far as I can see," Wong avers. "We have a strong team that can provide advanced technology, new product concepts and creative product designs for this competitive industry."
Given that manifesto, it should come as no surprise that production facilities are state-of-the-art and the Zhongshan factory enjoys ISO 9001 certification.
Delivery times vary according to whether the watches have plastic or stainless steel cases, with plastic products usually taking around 45 days while those with metal cases take approximately 60 days.
"Our minimum order for stainless steel watches is about 200 pieces while for plastic it is approximately 1,000 units," Wong explains."FOB prices run from around US$3.50-5.00 for plastic models and US$10-20 for metal cases."
In terms of styling the watches are uncompromising - thin cases, big faces, and integrated case and strap or band designs are characteristic of the hi-tech Ximax look, but it is the displays that really grab the attention.
Wong picks out a square watch with a split face and two digital LCDs, explaining that the large analogue numerals on the left give the hours and minutes, while a cascade of numbers running from the top to the bottom of the face on the right-hand side supplies the seconds.
"That was created by our team," he says before replacing it in the case and pulling out a surprisingly thin chrono-alarm model. "Usually chrono-alarms are much thicker."
Picking out a watch with a brightly illuminated face, he says, "This is an LED analogue watch - every time you press a button it will display the time, but in a different way as it always changes."
Another case is filled with thin fashion watches, yet another with brightly coloured children's watches, while a third has several asymmetrically-shaped timepieces in gold-plated cases that are intended for Japan.
"Our main markets are the US, Europe and Japan, but we want to do business all over the world," states Wong, noting that Ximax is currently working on an exclusive OEM/ODM basis. "We may look at creating and building our own brands in the future, but probably not in the next two years."
WRITTEN BY ROBERT PIERCE
Ximax Enterprise Ltd
Unit 9, 4/F, Blk A,
Hi Tech Industrial Centre,
2-21 Pak Tin Par St, Tsuen Wan,
New Territories, Hong Kong