1 Dec 2003
Jumbo Clocks(HKTDC Watch & Clock, Vol 04,2003)
Ladies' Dress Watches
Hitting The Big Time
Bai Industries Ltd offers a brushed aluminium wall clock that also doubles as a weather station (left)
Astute buyers know there is only one place to go to source well designed, precision timepieces -- and jumbo clocks are no exception. These oversized timekeepers have become big business for Hong Kong producers, who enjoy an enviable reputation as the world's leading manufacturer of watches and clocks of all shapes and sizes thanks to a constant emphasis on innovation, quality and price.
Take Bai Industries Ltd, for example. It has manufacturing facilities on the Chinese mainland, and also keeps in close touch with its key US market through its New York-based product development subsidiary Bai Design Inc.
According to manager Dora Liu, this strategy enables Bai Industries to offer the best design and production to its clients in this quality-conscious market. "We source components and materials of the highest quality while using the finest craftsmanship to make our timepieces," she claims.
Bai sources from the mainland and Germany to produce 250,000 timepieces a month at its 1,600-worker mainland factory in Shenzhen. These products undergo stringent quality control measures, including a 72-hour test run, extensive drop tests and quality tests, to satisfy an ever-expanding list of customers.
Bai's 16-inch jumbo wall clocks cost US$9-10 FOB Hong Kong each for a minimum order of 1,000 units with delivery guaranteed 30-45 days after order confirmation.
Equally conscientious is Mingle Instrument Ltd, which specialises in making jumbo clocks with weather stations that feature thermometers, hygrometers and barometers.
The company, which was established in 1987, has built a loyal clientele in Europe and the US in particular and other Asian markets in general.
Marketing executive Karrie Lam explains that Mingle's strength is that "we make the sensors for the weather stations in-house. This guarantees the reliability and durability of these sensors, while keeping costs under control. Not too many makers of weather station clocks have this capability as they buy the sensors from other companies," says Lam.
Mingle's 100,000-square-foot, 800-worker factory in Shenzhen produces some one million timepieces a month, many of which are jumbo clocks manufactured on an OEM basis for many established brands in Germany and other European countries.
Featuring aluminium and other components procured mainly from the mainland, Japan and the US, Mingle's jumbo clocks cost US$7-9 FOB Hong Kong each for a minimum order of 1,000 pieces per model delivered 35 days after order confirmation.
Buyers seeking traditional designs, however, should check out the time-honoured jumbo clocks created by International Electrical Ltd (IEL). "We believe the strength of our traditional designs and strict quality norms help retain our existing customers and expand our customer reach in our main markets in the US, Europe and Japan," says manager Jady Wong. "In the US market, our models feature not only traditional designs but also reflect the latest in trendy tastes."
IEL, which is an OEM maker for several well-established brands, has a product portfolio that includes quartz and mechanical alarm clocks, wall clocks, wooden clocks and mechanical timers.
The company, which was set up nearly a decade ago, has a 4,000-square-foot factory in Guangzhou on the mainland. The 200-worker factory produces about 100,000 pieces every month, using various metals and plastics sourced from the mainland and Taiwan.
Wong says IEL, which has the flexibility to deal with orders as small as 100 pieces, gives price quotations based on a customer's order. "Delivery takes about 30 days after order confirmation," she adds.
Similarly flexible is Tonwell Int'l Ltd, whose Chinese mainland manufacturing facilities and sales office in Hong Kong take maximum advantage of a cost-effective production base supported by a highly competitive and efficient logistics network.
Tonwell's jumbo clocks and other timepieces have cornered a significant customer base in Japan and the US in the six years since the company was established, according to executive director for sales Roc Clovers.
The company, which sells under its own Guten brand name, sources ABS and other components mainly from the mainland. Its timepieces are manufactured in three factories in Dongguan by a "highly skilled and motivated workforce" of more than 10,000 workers, says Clovers.
With a monthly production of 100,000 jumbo clocks alone, the company has notched up an annual turnover of about US$29m.
FOB Hong Kong prices are available on request, but Tonwell requires a minimum order of about 500 pieces per item delivered 25-35 days after an order is received.
Given the sector's total commitment to attractive designs and unrivalled quality, it is little wonder that Hong Kong-based manufacturers of jumbo clocks are building equally big sales and market share worldwide.
WRITTEN BY ARAVIND VIDYADHARAN
Well Fung Ind Centre
58-76 Ta Chuen Ping St
Kwai Chung, New Territories
International Electrical Ltd
Flat 5, 12/F
Wah Chun Ind Centre
95 Chai Wan Kok St
Tsuen Wan, New Territories
Mingle Instrument Ltd
Unit A, 22/F
388 Castle Peak Rd
Tsuen Wan, New Territories
Splendid Mfg Ltd
760 Nathan Rd
|Hong Kong Buyers Request Form||Overseas Buyers Request Form||More Publications|