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Qzone

Hong Kong Enterprise

Vol 10, 2004


Hong Kong Brands

The NEX Generation
Frontier Labs Ltd

The Right Timing
Ka Da Watch Co Ltd

The Right Timing

Ka Da Watch Co Ltd

Ka Da Watch Co Ltd believes quality and design standards will help maintain the perfect image for its Calinda brand name

In the highly competitive global wristwatch industry, where trends and styles change on a regular basis, it is important to successfully carve a niche based on design, branding and marketing capabilities.

Ka Da Watch Co Ltd is a typical example of this approach. "We succeeded because we tried hard to understand the importance of branding," says sales and marketing manager Nicky Cheung. "The majority of our design and marketing activities focus on our Calinda brand name."

Combining the Chinese words for spirit, success and achievement formed the Calinda brand name. "In this way, the Calinda philosophy helps us to focus on quality and to develop watches that keep pace with ever-changing lifestyles," explains Cheung.

Calinda watches, he asserts, are known for their precision and reliability in addition to their aesthetic beauty. "Recently, we have increasingly merged these characteristics as they support each other and strengthen our brand image."

Furthermore, to differentiate the brand from watches made by companies on the Chinese mainland, Ka Da focuses on the mid- to high-end market.

Ka Da, which was founded in 1976, also plans to step up a marketing campaign targeting female buyers in order to capture a bigger share of the global fashion accessories market.

"We are keen to promote our brand name in emerging markets where our watches keep pace with growing demand for sophisticated lifestyle products and fashion accessories," Cheung says.

The Czech Republic and Romania are both examples of increasingly important markets. "We use marketing campaigns, on both local TV and in print media, tailored to meet the expectations of different target audiences," explains Cheung. "Our aim is to create a close relationship between consumers and the Calinda brand name."

To keep in touch with industry trends and developments, the company keeps a close eye on changing trends in the fashion industry. "We are aware that any advantage in a particular market segment can be very fleeting and that this is more true now than ever before," Cheung says.

"We are constantly carrying out in-house research while monitoring client and agency feedback," he adds.

Long-term relationships with clients and agencies are important for anticipating consumer preferences and operating an efficient production process. "We launch 10-12 new designs each year," Cheung says. "From concept to production, it takes about 3-4 months to develop a new model."

The company emphasizes quality by using quartz movements from Japan or Switzerland, while watch cases are made of brass or stainless steel from Japan or the mainland. Leather straps are sourced in Italy and the mainland, while the dials come from Taiwan and the glass and hands from Japan.

"We understand that different markets may require different specifications, so we are always happy to make modifications to suit local tastes," says Cheung. For the European market this means "chunky" watches with prominent features while the South America market prefers classic designs.

With a full range of watches to suit various tastes and budgets, and a commitment to innovation, design and quality, Ka Da hopes to continue keeping time with market requirements.

The ISO 9001-certified company carries out design work in Hong Kong and produces its watches at a 3,000-square-metre factory in Shenzhen on the mainland. It employs 12 designers in Hong Kong and has 200 staff on the mainland.

Ka Da also manufactures under private labels for international companies. "We can also make one-off designs for promotions or special occasions," says Cheung, noting that Calinda watches were presented to VIP guests at the handover ceremony in 1997 when the mainland resumed sovereignty over Hong Kong.

Cheung says the Calinda brand name continues to gain recognition and is seen on watches sold in more than 70 countries, including major markets such as South America, Eastern Europe and the Middle East. Watches made from parts already in stock can be assembled and dispatched within two weeks. Most designs are 3ATM water resistant.

"We do not insist on a minimum order requirement and orders will be fulfilled according to stock availability," Cheung says. Delivery normally takes between 40-60 days for stainless steel watches and 50-60 days for brass watches.

"To promote our Calinda brand through our clients and agents we continually look for ways to improve our products and customer service.

"Our prices are as competitive as they can be without compromising the quality of the product," says Cheung.

WRITTEN BY CHRIS DAVIS

Ka Da Watch Co Ltd

Unit B9, 4/F,
Hong Kong Industrial Centre,
489-491 Castle Peak Rd,
Kowloon, Hong Kong
Tel: 852-2741-8123
Fax 852-2785-0308
Email: Calinda@Kadawatch.com.hk
Web: www.kadawatch.com.hk

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