1 Sept 2000
PRODUCT FEATURE(HKTDC Watch & Clock, Vol 03,2000)
Vol 3 2000
WORTHY WRIST WEAR
CLASSIC watches with elegant designs seldom go out of fashion. Basic shapes and a minimum of detail create an understated, yet timeless look, allowing such watches to become all-time favourites.
The appeal of strong masculine lines is evident in Sun Tai Watch Co Ltd's creations, notably the solid, stainless steel, rectangular La Contour and its tank-shaped Human Classic.
The tank-shaped case is curved to comfortably fit a wearer's wrist. Multifunction Japanese movements show day, date and 24-hour display. The unit sells for US$30 per piece FOB Hong Kong. La Contour is US$25 per piece and features a sophisticated layering effect along the sides.
Both are water-resistant to 30m and offer a choice of ceramic or embossed dials in white, navy blue, black or rose gold. Two-tone cases and stainless steel bracelets with three microns of gold plating are also available.
After earning ISO 9002 certification three years ago, the 14-year-old OEM manufacturer now produces 100,000 sports, water-resistant and high-quality, stainless steel watches per month. Most go to Europe and the US.
Minimum order is 500 pieces per model, with delivery taking 45 to 60 days after order confirmation.
Brightly coloured dials enhance rectangular, brushed alloy cases in Acme Watch Industries' curved, rectangular men's watches.
"We use silk-screen printing over a brass plate for colour on the dials," says Acme marketing manager Sarah Wong.
Yellow, grey, blue, white and black dials are available. The watches sell for US$4.90 per piece FOB Hong Kong, with a choice of leather straps or hollow, stainless steel bracelets.
OEM/private label orders account for 90% of the 120,000 medium-priced, quartz analog watches Acme manufactures each month for export to Europe and the US. All use Japanese movements.
A small portion of production carries the firm's Royal brand name. "We wish to increase the number of watches carrying our brand," says Wong.
Minimum order is 1,000 pieces, and delivery time is 45 days after order confirmation.
Stainless steel alarm watches from Winsky Int'l Ltd, established in 1993, have a 10-second ringer to remind wearers of important appointments. An extra button on the case sets the alarm hand.
Water-resistant to 30m, these watches contain mechanical movements from Russia. The units sell for US$16 to $19 per piece FOB Hong Kong and are available with leather straps or dials in any colour.
In addition to alarm watches, Winsky makes chronographs. Germany, Spain and Japan are major markets for the 2,000 OEM watches it produces each month. The company is an agent for the Russian brand Poljot.
"Mechanical watches are not new, but they are interesting," says Winsky director Benny Chan, noting how their popularity is again rising.
Another trend is big watches 40-42mm in diameter. "We are developing those models for sale later this year," he says.
Winsky requires a minimum order of 200 pieces. Delivery is 60 days after order confirmation.
Osirock (Hing Yip) Watch Co Ltd has a pair of slim, stainless steel watches in classic designs as its newest models. "People want something that will stay popular and in fashion for a long time," says manager S.C. Wong.
The watches come with stainless steel-plated bands or leather straps. Straps and dials can be ordered in any colour. Water-resistant to 50m, the watches sell for US$9.20 per piece FOB Hong Kong. The quartz analog movements are assembled in Asia from French Ebauche parts.
Osirock offers a diversity of watches, including some with brass, alloy or plastic cases. Wong aims to increase sales of the stainless steel models. "We think they will sell well in Europe because of the nickel-free directive," he says.
Thirty per cent of the 100,000 watches Osirock turns out each month are stainless steel.
Europe, Japan and the US are major markets. Watches with the Osirock brand are sold in the US, although the company remains primarily an OEM supplier. Minimum order is 100 pieces, with delivery 40 days after confirmation.
Project Int'l Ltd's latest models include one with a dial window to show a sun during the day and a moon at night, a curved rectangular watch and a chronograph with hours, minutes, seconds and stopwatch functions.
All have PNP-plated brass cases and a choice of leather straps or stainless steel bracelets. The design style of three quartz analog watches is simple and streamlined. The chronograph (US$20.50) and the rectangular watch (US$4.60) have Japanese movements. The sun/moon watch (US$6.50 per piece) uses Ronda Far East movements (Swiss parts assembled in Asia). All quoted prices are FOB Hong Kong.
The seven-year-old OEM manufacturer produces 120,000 watches per month, with most exports bound for Europe.
"We plan to be more aggressive in the US and Asia," says Project Int'l general manager Cesare Di Falco.
Stainless steel and alloy cases can be substituted, along with IPG, sterling silver and 18K gold plating. Minimum order is 100 pieces, with delivery 35 to 45 days after confirmation of orders.
WRITTEN BY ANDREA PAWLYNA
SILVER is ideal for making watches, as it gives an air of elegance and nobility. Hong Kong manufacturers turn out a range of silver watches for the world market, designing their own product lines and engaging in OEM.
Bonita Accessories Co produces a rich assortment of water-resistant silver bracelet watches for ladies. These are quartz analog items, and some have calendar functions.
"For production, we use stamping instead of casting. Therefore, our watches are water-resistant, and there is no problem with mass production," says manager Danny Pang.
He adds: "We use CNC techniques to make the watchcases, so the pieces fit very well together."
The timepieces consist of sterling silver from the UK, movements and hands from Japan and dials from Taiwan.
Most Bonita silver watches sell for about US$30 per unit FOB Hong Kong. Founded in 1989, the company makes 8,000-10,000 silver watches per month at its 500-worker factory in Dongguan, mainland China.
Minimum order size is 100 units. Delivery takes 60 days after order confirmation. Primary customers are importers in Europe and the US.
Art Style Enterprises Ltd's silver watches are priced from US$15 to more than $30 FOB Hong Kong per unit. The firm supplies sterling silver, quartz analog ladies' watches, featuring bracelets and dials in various styles, including round, oval and heart-shaped.
One 925 sterling silver model has a bracelet adorned with garnet beads (AS924). It sells for US$21 FOB Hong Kong.
"We have a great variety of designs and styles," marketing executive Michelle Kong says. "Now that gemstones are popular, we also use gemstones for our designs."
She notes: "Our designs are suitable for Europe and the US." The sterling silver comes from Europe.
Set up in 1991, the company makes 50,000 sterling silver watches per month at its 300-worker factory in Panyu, southern China. Its own-design lines carry the Asmigo brand.
No minimum order quantity is required. Lead time is 30 days. The company exports its silver watches worldwide, with Europe, notably the UK, as a leading market.
The silver-watch portfolio of Kam Yuen Gems Co, selling mainly to US importers and distributors, sports a ladies' watch featuring a link bracelet comprised of the Chinese characters for "good fortune" and pieces of jade (priced at US$20 FOB Hong Kong). The reason for the design? "Chinese culture is popular in the US," says production manager Chung Chi Kwong.
Another elegant style has a slim bracelet with four Roman numerals on a white, round dial (KS593), priced at US$20.50 FOB Hong Kong. A rectangular-face watch with a rhomboid-shaped link bracelet (KS3701) sells for US$21 FOB Hong Kong.
"The silver is imported from Germany, while movements are from Japan," Chung says. "The dials can be mother-of-pearl or plain. The back cases are made of stainless steel."
The company's silver watches are priced at US$9.50 to $30 FOB Hong Kong. Minimum order size is 100 units. Delivery takes 40 days.
The manufacturer, founded 20 years ago, can produce up to 12,000 silver watches a month at its 1,500-square-metre mainland factory staffed by more than 200 workers.
Four Seas Gems & Watches Co Ltd prides itself on a series of quartz analog ladies' watches characterized by silver bangles inlaid with genuine Kingman Turquoise.
"They are Indian-style, silver sterling watches with trendy looks," says manager Allen Lee. "They are economical."
Model SI-013-387, for instance, has a mother-of-pearl dial and a highly polished sterling silver bangle.
The Kingman Turquoise used in the collection comes from the US, while the sterling silver is from Germany and the movements from Japan.
The company's silver watches are priced at US$14 to $18 ex-factory in Hong Kong. Minimum order size is 50 units, with lead time being three weeks. Major markets include the US and Europe.
Established in 1974, the firm makes 10,000-20,000 watches per month. It has a factory in Hong Kong, although the main production centre is a 120-worker operation in southern China.
The silver-watch line of Limark Co Ltd features quartz analog versions with leather straps. They include antique and casual styles, with models for men and women. Some are water-resistant. Several ladies' antique models have delicate patterns decorating the watchcase rims.
"They are trendy styles," managing director William Ng remarks.
The watches incorporate Swiss or Japanese movements, 925 sterling silver from the US and Italian leather. Other materials and components are sourced from the mainland.
Some styles are date display or chronographs. "We also make mechanical analog silver watches for OEM," Ng adds.
"We use hydraulic stamping. Therefore, the silver density is high, and the polishing is good," he says.
The firm's silver watches are priced at US$20 to $300 FOB Hong Kong. Minimum order size is 500 units per model. Delivery time is 45-90 days. Major markets are Europe, Japan and the US.
"Now that the colour silver is becoming a global trend, there is a bigger market for silver watches," Ng says.
The company, which also makes stainless steel and brass watches, produces 50,000-70,000 items a month at its mainland factories.
WRITTEN BY LIZA LEE
TIME may move too rapidly for some people, but Hong Kong digital clock manufacturers do not let it pass them by. They are quick off the mark with new products for maturing clock markets.
Consider the example of Telefield Ltd, a company in the electronic and telecoms business since 1992. Telefield originally designed its radio-controlled clock, model RC802i, for the US domestic market. A version adapted for European DCF77 radio signals will be ready soon.
The time is automatically set by the relevant radio signal; signal receipt can be automatic or manual. Plastic and component materials are sourced from Taiwan, Japan and South Korea. The clock's casing is a cheerful, translucent-coloured plastic. Production takes place at the Telefield factory in Guangdong province, in mainland China. Minimum order size is 5,000 pieces per colour, and the price is US$7.60 FOB Hong Kong per piece. Delivery comes 60 days after order confirmation.
Marketing manager Florence Lee says the firm's real strength lies in product quality. "We have ISO 9001 and ISO 9002 certification," she says. In addition, Lee likes the radio-controlled clock's design. "This is compact, uses bright colours and has a large display," she adds.
The product line of Chung's Electronic Co Ltd features two hygro-thermo clocks. Both feature a date function, alarm clock and accurate temperature and humidity sensor. Model C-906 costs US$8.50 FOB Hong Kong. Model C-919, also including a touch-on backlight and weather-report function, costs US$9.80 FOB Hong Kong. Minimum order size for each model is 1,000 units.
The company produces about 400,000 LCD clocks per month at its 500-worker, 4,500-square-metre factory in Shenzhen, mainland China. The products are made with ABS casings and CMOS from Japan and Taiwan. Delivery is 40 days after order confirmation, and the company's main markets are Europe, the US and Japan.
Chung's Electronic, founded in 1980, is proud of its quality assurance. The company was awarded ISO 9002 certification in 1997. "Quality products are what make us stand out from the crowd," says marketing officer Luisa Kwan. "We also have our own unique designs, and plenty of experience in the market."
Simple, stylish, desktop clocks are among the products made by Super Hyper Ltd. The company's range includes three zinc-alloy-cased designs: a round model, D82059, priced at US$2.20; a square model, D82058, costing US$2.10; and an oval model, D82057, at US$2.20. All the prices are FOB Hong Kong.
"The feeling of weight is one of our key selling points," says general manager Monica Li. Other features are the simple designs (the company's own) and the large LCD displays. "Still, there's plenty of room for customers' logos," she adds.
Super Hyper manufactures at its 400-worker, 40,000-square-foot factory in Shenzhen, on the mainland. Minimum order value is US$3,000, while minimum quantity for each style is 500 pieces. Delivery is within 35-40 days of order confirmation. Main markets are the US, Australia, France and Germany.
Wai Fung Electronics Co Ltd has been making clock radios since 1990. Each month, 200,000 clocks per model are turned out from a 300-worker factory in Shenzhen. The company uses high-impact plastics from Taiwan and ICs from Japan.
The company's product line features a foldable, auto-scan FM receiver with a calendar and time traveller function (to check time in major international cities), model WF996, priced at US$4.50 FOB Hong Kong. A mains-operated LED alarm clock radio, model WF298, costs US$3.70 FOB Hong Kong. A desktop, auto-scan FM receiver with calendar and time traveller, model WF998C, costs US$4.50 FOB Hong Kong. Minimum order size for each model is 2,000 pieces.
Marketing manager Raymond Tsui says the company's products are designed in-house or in conjunction with clients. "We have a strong design team," he says. Delivery can be fast -- 30 days after an order is confirmed. Most customers are in Europe.
In business since 1985, Gary Electronics Co Ltd has more than a decade of experience making clock radios. The company has upgraded its mainland China plant several times, and now boasts a 1,200-operator, 250,000-square-foot factory with 12 production lines in Shenzhen.
Among the company's products is model WX991, a weather-alert, LED-display, AM/FM clock radio: weather service warnings trigger an alarm in the clock. The clock radio is built for the US market and complies with the NOAA weather system. Prices start from US$10.50 FOB Hong Kong, and minimum order is 5,000 pieces. The clock radio is the company's own design, while the IC comes from South Korea.
According to director S.K. Cheung, the company's goal is a "zero defect" quality system. "A strong quality team monitors every production line and reports directly to the marketing department," he says. "Total customer satisfaction is our goal, which we achieve as a result of our long production experience."
WRITTEN BY CAROLINE BIEBUYCK
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