14 Sept 2005
Leather Watchstraps(HKTDC Watch & Clock, Vol 04,2005)
Take, for example, Hing Yip Watchstraps Mfg Ltd, which has been in operation for more than 30 years and places strong emphasis on design. "Our company has an R&D team that continually develops new styles and acquires new materials," claims secretary Sophia Cheung.
Hing Yip's 1,500-worker factory in Shantou on the Chinese mainland has a monthly output of two million straps, using leather imported from Italy.
Minimum orders of 100 straps at "varying" FOB Hong Kong prices are shipped 35 days after order confirmation to the US, Europe, the Middle East and Asia.
The US and Europe are also key markets for Wing Sun Industrial Co, which was founded in 1982 and operates a 12,000-square-foot, 100-worker factory in Shantou.
Wing Sun's factory boasts a monthly production of 300,000 straps comprising 20 different models, made with genuine leather from Italy, the US, Argentina and Hong Kong.
Available at FOB Hong Kong unit prices ranging from US$0.20-3.00 for minimum orders of 1,000 pieces, they are exported to the US, Europe, East Asia and Africa. "We always try our very best to meet clients' needs," adds director Yu Wing Ming.
Source Parfaite Ltd is another manufacturer that obtains leather from Italy, Argentina, Brazil and the mainland to produce a wide range of straps, including oily leather, embossed calf leather and plain calf varieties.
Just two years old, Source Parfaite has already established its own SPL brand that is manufactured at a 300-worker mainland factory in Dongguan, along with stainless steel and plastic watchbands. "Our monthly output is 400,000 pieces," explains marketing director Connie Soon.
Minimum orders of 100 pieces per colour per style are shipped to markets in Western Europe 45 days after order confirmation. "Unlike other markets that change quickly, classic design is a constant in Western Europe," Soon maintains, noting that Source Parfaite has diversified into Eastern European markets like Poland, which have a huge demand for inexpensive watchstraps. "No matter where the markets are, it is quality that wins the day."
While Source Parfaite diversifies into new markets, Orient Profit Industrial Ltd has expanded into different materials, including imitation leather, denim, cloth and canvas.
Orient Profit, however, remains most proud of its wide array of leather watchstraps. "We are among the few manufacturers that use genuine leather to make self-fastening, bracelet-style watchbands," says production director Frank Lai. "Fashion watchstraps are where our strength lies."
The 15-year-old company's 3,000-square-metre, 170-worker mainland factory in Zhongshan produces 250,000 straps a month, which are available in minimum order quantities of 500 straps.
FOB Hong Kong unit prices range from US$0.60-2.00 for genuine leather straps that are delivered to major markets like the US, Spain, Switzerland, Germany, Russia and Iran 30 days after order confirmation. "The market keeps changing," Lai observes, "but we always tailor our production to the client's needs."
Hoders Co Ltd also focuses strongly on market trends, having developed a wide range of fashion watchstraps since it was founded in 1971, including curved-end, dragonlink, exotic, plain, grain and embossed patterns and a variety of other styles.
"We have a very comprehensive product collection that ranges from simple classic flat straps to unique and exotic padded straps," says sales manager Winnie Tam.
The company manufactures 800,000 straps a month at its 300,000-square-foot, 700-worker, ISO 9001-certified factory near Shenzhen, using genuine leather sourced mainly from Italy.
"Our watchstraps are sold under our own Hoders brand or client names," adds Tam. "We have a design team that explores new designs and an R&D team that turns those designs into reality."
FOB Hong Kong unit prices for genuine leather straps range from US$1-12 for minimum orders of 300 straps per size per colour, delivered 35 days after order confirmation to key markets such as Europe and the US.
"About 70% of our products go overseas and 30% to local watchmakers," Tam explains. "We have sales agents in many countries such as Belgium, Canada, Greece, Turkey and Scandinavia, and our brand name and logo are registered in more than 18 countries."
Fashionable design, good quality, competitive prices and timely delivery - no wonder smart buyers are always watching out for Hong Kong watchstraps.
WRITTEN BY RACHEL LEUNG
Wing Sun Industrial Co