10 Dec 2008
Keeing Time(HKTDC Watch & Clock, Vol 01,2009)
An attractive and stylish multifunction clock is becoming an increasingly popular way of keeping track of time
Timekeeping may once have been a simple matter of tracking seconds, minutes and hours, but today's technologically savvy consumers demand so much more from their timepieces.
Multifunction clocks, such as model CD-165 from Manwa Electronics Mfg Ltd, are popular because of their wide variety of functions and sporty, modern shapes.
Made from durable ABS, it offers an LCD time display, alarm clock, snooze function, AM/FM radio, backlight, programmable memory, vertical CD player, CDR/CDRW playback, track skip, built-in, water-resistant speakers, stereo phone and DC jacks and a jumbo-sized, built-in mirror.
Water-resistant and wall-mountable, the CD-165 is also portable. "This makes it popular with young people because they can take it to a barbecue or to the beach and play music," explains company spokeswoman Tammy She.
Thirty-six-year-old Panashiba Ltd also produces innovative time instruments such as the aptly named Zoom Time projection clock model SD-02, an ABS item that provides a range of useful functions.
One of its most useful innovations is a button that when pressed for 10 seconds activates a zoom lens located on top of the machine, which projects the time onto the ceiling. "This function is ideal for telling time at night, when the user doesn't want the time displayed all the time," explains Managing Director Jacky.
Other eye-catching clocks from Panashiba include model ADSS-01, an aerodynamic sound system bedroom clock radio with a USB/SD-MMC card reader, and model USB-100, a designer MP3 clock radio with ID3 tag line and USB/SD card reader.
All these products are available on a "test drive" basis that has been instituted by Panashiba in response to the fluctuating tastes and demands of the market. "Customers can order small quantities and get to feel comfortable about them first before ordering a larger amount," Mr Jacky explains. "This is only possible because we are very confident about our products."
With a minimum order of 500 pieces, International Electrical Ltd offers an extensive range of multifunction clocks, including the novelty Helicopter Alarm Clock model IA188A.
The flying machine's tiny propellers fly off to the sound of a helicopter engine when the alarm sounds, and have to be found and reattached when the alarm stops.
"Keeping time with a sense of fun, the Helicopter Alarm Clock is popular in Europe, and with teenagers and children, as it is more like a toy," explains Sales Manageress Jady Wong.
Established in 1994, the company has its own factory, engineers and in-house design team and offers competitive prices, reliability and strict quality control. "Being in the business for so long, we understand customer needs well, and are aware that competitive prices and top quality are very important," Ms Wong claims.
Quality is also of the utmost importance to Adnexus Ltd, which produces models MMH001N and MMH005 that are made from high-quality materials and boast extra large digits, making them ideal for those with poor eyesight.
With an aluminium case and thick acrylic panel, model 001N measures 136x 511x62mm and costs US$5.75 each FOB Hong Kong, while the aluminium-cased model 005 offers a superior-quality clear LCD, measures 172x172x40 and is unit-priced at US$17.50.
"Quality is always important, but as our products go into the retail sector it's very important they are made from superior-quality materials," explains Director Wendy Chan.
Adnexus also places a "high focus" on design and uses both its in-house team and contract designers. "Our designs are unique to our company," Ms Chan adds.
Service is also another important factor, and one that is very important to Jetco Int'l Industrial Ltd, notes Sales Executive Christina Liu. "Customers tell me that they can count on us for reliable service," she says. "If any of our products should have a problem, then we take full responsibility and follow-up right away."
Founded in 2006, the company produces a range of alarm clocks including the new RT-250 model that tells time in red, green and an optional combination of four different colours.
Neatly compact, it measures 193x97x72mm and has an AM/FM alarm clock radio, snooze and sleep functions and large 1.8 inch numerals. "This makes it clearer to read than other models," Ms Liu maintains, adding that FOB Hong Kong prices start at US$5.80 depending on the market.
Time may continue to move forward, but these handy timepieces ensure that consumers worldwide are not only keeping accurate time but also enjoy a host of other functions to boot.
Text by Martine Beale