30 May 2008
Making Time(HKTDC Enterprise, Vol 06,2008)
Watches & Clocks
Large, sparkling watches and ornate clocks are hitting the big time
They may not exactly be timeless, but clocks and oversized jewellery watches in outlandishly bold, eye-catching designs are in vogue at the moment.
Among the latest offerings from Asia is the tonneau-shaped stainless steel skeleton watch with Japanese automatic movement from Vidus Int'l Ltd.
"It's a unisex watch, and many women as well as men like it," says Director Sea Choi, adding that the simple, clean, sporty design, enhanced by a matt finish, a large 7mm-thick case and a stitched leather strap, carries a price tag of US$110 FOB Hong Kong each.
Those craving a little more glitter will be impressed by K & K Trading Co's stainless steel and ceramic watches set with diamonds. One model is a men's diamond-studded stainless steel Japanese chronograph costing US$160 FOB Hong Kong apiece. Its large case is water-resistant to 10ATM and its powdered-stone dial features prominent Roman numerals at 3, 6 and 9 o'clock, as well as a date window at 3 o'clock.
"A new trend has been to combine diamonds with chronographs. The diamonds are set on the bezel and weigh from 60 points up to 1.5 carats," explains K & K Director Henry Kang.
Another stand-out men's stainless steel watch runs on a Swiss quartz movement behind an eye-catching dial sporting blue mother-of-pearl in a black periphery, which includes a half-moon sub-dial for hour display, and a date window. Adding to the precious feel are 0.6 carats of diamonds set on the bezel and a black leather strap. This item costs US$110.
Style is also a priority for Liata Co Ltd, which is known for its quartz fashion watches and mechanical chronographs fitted with Japanese movements.
A top-selling women's model features a square case set with sparkling cubic zirconia on the bezel and a mother-of-pearl dial with hour, minute and second hands. The case comes in stainless steel, which can be gold-colour plated. An Italian leather strap provides the finishing touch.
"This model is quite dressy, but it can be worn during the day and at night because of the leather strap, which also makes the watch lightweight - women don't like heavy watches," says Sales Manager Tiffany Shih, adding that the product costs US$27 each FOB China.
A popular men's model has IP gold-colour plating over a stainless steel case and bracelet, with blue Swarovski crystal markers on the dial. "People like this watch because it is very shiny, and it sells well in Europe," says Ms Shih, quoting a unit price of US$23.
"This timepiece can also be ordered in IP-plated rose gold colour or plain stainless steel, and a women's version is available," she adds.
Just as dazzling are the high-end jewellery watches from Switzerland Ausedy Jewellery Watch Technology Co Ltd, which display diamond-studded cases contrasted with black or brown crocodile straps.
Typical is a slim European-style, rectangular model for women with a solid 18K gold case and a row of pavm diamonds down each side. Roman numerals mark the hours on the enamel dial with hour and minute hands. The watch is water-resistant to 3ATM. "We can also do 5ATM," says Director Wilson Lee, advising that the item is unit-priced at US$3,912 FOB Hong Kong.
Two other glamorous models for women sport round, 18K rose gold cases, dials and buckle guards for crocodile straps. "Rose gold is a trend now. Besides 18K gold, we can also do 9K or 14K," Mr Lee advises.
Pavm diamonds stylishly set on bezels, together with date windows at 3 o'clock, grace the watches operated by Swiss automatic movements. Differing in details such as the arrangement of pavm diamonds, the two models carry unit prices ranging from US$4,149-4,625.
Equally delightful is a desktop clock from Arrow Timepiece Ltd that boasts a sunburst design in solid stainless steel with wavy rays. "The sun can be rotated on an axis," explains Designer and Manager Alan Chan.
Standing six inches high, with classic Roman numerals gracing the dial on which sweep the hour, minute and second hands, the clock is powered by a Japanese quartz movement. Offered at US$80 FOB Hong Kong each, the timepiece has sold well in Europe and North America.
Among other popular desktop models is a range of 19th-century style, glass-encased brass carriage clocks. They can be ordered in gold-plated, PNP-plated, or two-tone gold and silver-plated versions, in sizes from 6-10 inches. "They never go out of style. They are something people can pass on to the next generation," remarks Mr Chan. Available with Japanese quartz or Chinese mechanical movements, these clocks sell for US$20-100 each.
Clearly, buyers cannot afford to lose any time in sourcing watches and clocks featuring up-to-the-minute styles from the Asian region.
TEXT BY BONNIE McGUIRE