14 Sept 2005
Ladies' Jewellery Watches(HKTDC Watch & Clock, Vol 04,2005)
Typical of this commitment to jewellery watches is 33-year-old, family-run Legend Silver Jewellery & Watch Mfy Ltd that produces about 20,000 watches per month, 99% of which are ladies' watches.
"We have a number of clients who request jewellery pieces to match their watches," says business development manager Yvonne Lai.
She estimates these pieces account for about 15% of overall production at the company's 30,000-square-foot factory in Dongguan on the Chinese mainland, which employs 200 workers. "Working closely with our customers means we understand their requirements and ensures we keep up with the latest trends."
Legend caters for all tastes in major markets in the US, Canada and Europe with a range of watches featuring semiprecious stones, natural gemstones and BC-grade jade.
FOB Hong Kong unit prices depend on the base material and number of stones used, with alloy watches with semiprecious stones ranging from US$4-15 while silver watches with natural gemstones are in the US$20-40 bracket.
The company recently introduced a new line of silver watches using diamonds. They cost about US$65 each, depending on the number of stones and the weight of the silver.
Legend accepts minimum orders of 1,000 pieces for alloy watches, 500 for brass and 200 for sterling silver; all of which can be delivered 40 days after order confirmation.
Another company that feels the time is right to launch a line of diamond watches this year is Crystal Jewellery & Watches Ltd, which has been in the business since 1993.
"Since then, we have built a strong reputation for our jewellery watches using both Swarovski crystals and Czech stones," explains marketing executive Rita Lo. "We also have lines that feature CZ, sourced from the mainland."
The company produces about 50,000 Crystal-brand jewellery watches per month for customers worldwide, though its major markets are Europe and the Middle East. These are produced by 280 workers at Crystal's 10,000-square-metre mainland factory in Shenzhen, using brass from Japan as the base material.
Crystal's jewellery watches range from US$10-35 per item FOB Hong Kong each for minimum orders of 100 pieces per model delivered 45-60 days after order confirmation.
Winning Time Creations Co Ltd director Ricky Mok is another diamond specialist who sees a definite trend emerging in his business. "White diamonds are still very strong, but yellow, black and pink diamonds are growing ever more popular," Mok observes.
The stones are sourced from India, Israel and Belgium and set at the company's Shenzhen factory, where 180 workers produce 10,000 quality pieces per month for customers in the US and Canada.
Winning Time has earned a reputation for top quality timepieces that bear such labels as Jacob, Aqua Master and Ice Man and use Swiss movements, some featuring five time-zones. "If a customer is going to invest in a diamond watch, they want to know that it's backed by a solid mechanism," Mok explains.
The company works closely with its OEM customers, providing an in-house designer or working from customers' own designs to produce its timepieces.
Jewellery watches account for 95% of production (with 80% of that being gent's timepieces). Prices range from US$50-400 FOB Hong Kong for minimum orders of 500 pieces per model that must contain at least 200 pieces per dial colour.
Diamonds and semiprecious stones feature equally prominently at Ariel Watch & Jewelry Ltd, which produces a wide range of gents' and ladies' watches that carry its Ariel brand.
"Our most popular items are a sterling silver watch and a brass and alloy watch, both with semiprecious stones," reveals director Yvonne Ng. "Our workers are highly skilled in stone-setting, and it shows in the quality of our products."
The nine-year-old company produces some 30,000 watches per month at its 20,000-square-foot factory in Shenzhen that employs 1,500 workers.
Ladies' watches account for 98% of production, Ng says, adding that different geographical sectors demand different styles. "We see a preference for semiprecious stones in the US and Japan, while our European customers prefer diamonds," she explains. "We have three in-house designers, but customers can come to us with their own designs."
Gemstones are sourced mostly in India, Thailand and on the mainland, while the brass, alloy, stainless steel and silver all come from the mainland.
Ariel's unit prices range from US$6-50 for watches with semiprecious stones to US$25-300 for items featuring precious stones, all FOB Hong Kong. Minimum orders are 500 pieces per model with delivery 60 days after receipt of purchase order.
With so much glitter on offer, the Hong Kong jewellery watch sector will obviously continue to dazzle consumers worldwide for many years to come.
WRITTEN BY SUSANNE PADILHA
Ariel Watch & Jewelry Ltd
Crystal Electronic Enterprises Co Ltd
Crystal Jewellery & Watches Ltd
Legend Silver Jewellery & Watch Mfy Ltd
Winning Time Creations Co Ltd