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Pair-fect Choices(HKTDC Watch & Clock, Vol 02,2002)

Vol 2, 2002
Product Features
HK Enterprise Internet

Product Features

Pair-fect Choices
Paired Watches

Full-Feature Attractions
Sports Watches

The Novelty Factor
Digital Clocks

Pair-fect Choices

Paired Watches

These stainless steel watches from Win Creations Watch Ltd find ready markets in Europe, the US and the Middle East.

THE variety of designs and materials that Hong Kong companies use in creating paired watches allows the most stylish couples to have their choice of matching his-and-hers watches. Buyers and brands will also find a wide selection of quality and prices to suit all needs.

Nicole Electronics Ltd has grown steadily since its establishment in 1983, manufacturing watches and mini clocks that are "simple and elegant", according to director Kwok Wing Fai.

"We have to stay competitive and find new solutions," says Kwok, adding that the company works hard to ensure it remains fully competitive in all areas, including quality, style, service and cost.

Prices depend on the quantity and design. Watches with leather straps and stainless steel cases each typically sell for US$9-10 FOB Hong Kong. Stainless steel-band watches are a little more expensive at US$13.

Orders for watches with stainless steel bands take 60 days to ship, while those for leather-strapped watches take 45 days. Minimum orders are negotiable.

The company produces under the Nicole brand but does most of its business under OEM terms. Designs depend on the customer's choice.

Each month Nicole Electronics manufactures about 200,000 units at its 400-square-metre factory on the Chinese mainland.

Vaki Ltd takes an innovative approach to finding unique designs to impress its clients. "We manufacture watch cases and then find other samples for components like straps, movement and faces. In this way, we can have a couple of different designs to present to our customers," explains sales manager Alex Chiu.

Vaki specializes in classic watch designs for customers in Europe. "We constantly refer to design magazines from Japan and Europe for inspiration," says Chiu.

The results are stylish watches, like model FV72 with its distinctive blue face, slim design, solid stainless steel band and stainless steel case water-resistant to 3ATM. This model sells for US$13 FOB Hong Kong per piece, based on a minimum order of 200 pieces.

Other watches are priced at US$3-25 FOB Hong Kong. Orders are shipped within 75 days from Vaki's 120-worker factory in Dongguan on the Chinese mainland.

"I think the assurance of good service is seen in the fact that our customers return to us," says Chiu.

Classical styles are also popular for Ka Da Watch Co Ltd, which makes medium-to-higher-end quartz analog watches for markets in Europe, the US, the Middle East and South America. "We have been in this industry for longer than 20 years with clients in more than 70 nations," says manager Sanjo Yu.

Model KQ-10691CB, featuring a brass case and brass band, is gold-plated to three microns and waterproof to 3ATM. The unit price is US$24.20 FOB Hong Kong. The ladies' version, model KQL-10691CB, costs US$21.60.

A similar watch with a stainless steel case, KQ/KQL-10706SSWCB, costs US$22.20 per unit for men's or women's styles.

Along with quality materials for casings and straps, Ka Da uses "better-quality components", says Yu. These include "Swiss movements assembled in Switzerland or in the Far East with original Swiss parts".

Ka Da produces under the Calinda brand or on OEM terms at its ISO 9001-certified factory in Hong Kong. The watches are shipped within 75 days, and there are no minimum-order requirements.

Carich Time Ltd director Jeffrey Chan explains how best to ensure competitive prices: "While other companies usually just assemble the watches, we make everything ourselves, including the casing, the band, the dial, everything."

FOB Hong Kong prices range from US$2.50 for alloy watches to US$4.50 for stainless steel watches with leather or stainless steel straps.

Along with cost-effective manufacturing, Carich takes pride in matching designs to customers' needs. Chan says stainless steel is popular because it lasts well whereas analog models find favour due to falling prices. The company's watches are waterproof to 10ATM.

From its ISO 9002-certified factory on the Chinese mainland, Carich produces up to one million pieces per month under OEM terms for well-known companies.

Minimum order is 300 pieces for alloy models and 100 pieces for stainless steel watches. Shipment is after about 30 days for alloy watches or 60 days for stainless steel versions.

WRITTEN BY ANDREW DOIG

Contact Details

Carich Time Ltd
Rms 1204-1207, Hewlett Centre
54 Hoi Yuen Rd, Kwun Tong
Kowloon, Hong Kong
Tel: 852-2796-8939
Fax: 852-2799-9634
E-mail: carich@carich.com

Hanville Co Ltd
Rms 2201-2202, Fook Yip Bldg
53-57 Kwai Fung Crescent
Kwai Chung
New Territories, Hong Kong
Tel: 852-2425-7338
Fax: 852-2489-0964
E-mail: info@hanville.com.hk

Ka Da Watch Co Ltd
4/F, Unit B9
Hong Kong Industrial Centre
489-491 Castle Peak Rd
Kowloon, Hong Kong
Tel: 852-2741-8123
Fax: 852-2785-0308
E-mail: calinda@kadawatch.com.hk

Nicole Electronics Ltd
1625 Well Fung Ind Centre
68 Ta Chuen Ping St
Kwai Chung
New Territories, Hong Kong
Tel: 852-2423-2000
Fax: 852-2489-8428
E-mail: nicolehk@netvigator.com

Vaki Ltd
14/F, Flat F, Gold King Ind Bldg
35-41 Tai Lin Pai Rd, Kwai Chung
New Territories, Hong Kong
Tel: 852-2487-8087
Fax: 852-2481-7003
E-mail: vaki9832@netvigator.com

Win Creations Watch Ltd
Rms 1017-1019, Tower A
Regent Centre
63 Wo Yi Hop Rd, Kwai Chung
New Territories, Hong Kong
Tel: 852-2487-8068
Fax: 852-2487-8352
E-mail: win@wincreation.com


Full-Feature Attractions

Sports Watches

The Youngs range by Youngs Watch Co Ltd always gives sports enthusiasts a little extra. Some models function as calculators (right).

WHILE there is no escaping the march of time, multiple-feature sports watches can add stylish vim and youthful vigor as time flies. New models from Hong Kong suppliers demonstrate the point.

Wing On Cheong Watch Industries Int'l Ltd achieves success by relying on attractive watches in the mid-price range. Since beginning in 1984, this manufacturer has become adept at custom designs.

"We are dedicated to developing and producing watches using desirable features that suit customers' preferences," says project manager Simon Law.

Ana-digit watches with multiple functions are the most popular because "customers vary in their preferences for different features".

The styles on offer include classic designs with a twist and modern looks with a retro-edge. Square and rectangular shapes join the classic rounds. OEM orders are on the rise.

Europe is the main export market, and Wing On Cheong is familiar with all requisite safety standards. Capacity at the company's 350-worker factory in Dongguan on the Chinese mainland is about 800,000 units per month.

Looking to the long term, "we concentrate on product designs and features while also focusing on service and marketing," Law says. Wing On Cheong will soon expand in the Chinese mainland market.

At Sweda Ltd, the focus is on simple, modular styles with a fresh interpretation of hi-tech looks.

This 24-year-old company employs dedicated research and design teams, along with industrial designers, to create clean, uncluttered styles. "We prefer simpler designs that deliver more action in terms of functions," says assistant marketing manager Frank Lam.

In 1999, Sweda initiated its own brand called o.d.m., an acronym reflecting total commitment to "originality, dynamism, and minimalist design".

Sweda operates a six-storey, 700-worker factory in Shenzhen on the Chinese mainland. The company takes premium and retail orders, producing 2-3 million pieces annually.

"We distribute our digital models in 25 countries and want agents to expand to a truly global market," Lam says.

"Our unique and tasteful designs with multi-function features are geared to fashion-conscious customers 16-30 years old.

"We focus on the entire unit from overall design to strap, features and colour. The result is a total fashion-forward look."

Youngs Watch Co Ltd stresses quality in materials and processes while drawing on decades of experience, says marketing manager Casal Yeung. Although the company began only in 1999, its director has engaged in the watch industry for more than 20 years.

Using high-quality materials inside and out allows the company to focus on simple designs with basic functions.

"The watches are innovative, fashionable and high quality. Our plastic digital collection has models water-resistant to 50 metres," Yeung says.

Customer-driven designs are a specialty. "Custom designs are more popular than in-house designs because they involve client concepts and ideas, which reflect particular market trends and preferences," says Yeung.

One model has a functioning calculator. Another is regarded as high-fashion. Some have large numbers. The straps are in soft, pliable materials.

Raw materials include ABS, acrylics, PU and PVC. The company's 700-worker factory in Shenzhen produces 36 million units per year. Prices start at US$2.50 FOB Hong Kong for shipment 30-45 days after order confirmation. Major markets are South America, France, the UK and Japan. There are plans to expand into the US.

OEM projects are welcome. Minimum order is 500 pieces per model.

"Multiple functions" is a slogan at Latitude Ltd, a 12-year-old company specializing in digital sports watches designed by an in-house team. The products have various sensor functions, such as altimeters, barometers and readers for temperature, wind-speed or gamma-radiation.

The highest priorities are price, service and quality. "We make basic outdoor sports watches with many features at very reasonable prices," says business development director Ricky Law.

Some designs call for gradated-colour bands. The raw materials include PU, PVC, PC, ABS and acrylics.

Latitude's 560-worker factory in Bao'An on the Chinese mainland makes three million pieces annually. Shipment is 45-60 days after order confirmation. Unit prices range from US$2-150 FOB Hong Kong. Most sales are to Europe, Asia and the US.

WRITTEN BY CLAUDIA LAWDER

Contact Details

Gainfast Investment Ltd
Rm 1305, Blk A
Sea View Estate
2-8 Watson Rd
North Point, Hong Kong
Tel: 852-2566-3308
Fax: 852-2806-8544
E-mail: gainfast@sinaman.com

Latitude Ltd
11/F, Hoi Hung Ind Bldg
25-27 Lam Tin St, Kwai Chung
New Territories, Hong Kong
Tel: 852-2410-0338
Fax: 852-2494-0993
E-mail: mkt@latitude.com.hk

M n'D Ltd
9/F, Units 5-6
Hung Tat Ind Bldg
43 Hung To Rd, Kwun Tong
Kowloon, Hong Kong
Tel: 852-2389-9313
Fax: 852-2357-1877
E-mail: mnd@netvigator.com

Sweda Ltd
8/F, Cheung Lung Ind Bldg
10 Cheung Yee St
Cheung Sha Wan
Kowloon, Hong Kong
Tel: 852-2260-7113
Fax: 852-2745-8511
E-mail: franklam@sweda.com.hk

Wing On Cheong Watch Industries Int'l Ltd
24/F, Wing On Cheong Bldg
5 Wing Lok St
Central, Hong Kong
Tel: 852-2543-0303
Fax: 852-2850-4145
E-mail: wocwatch@netvigator.com

Youngs Watch Co Ltd
5/F, Rm 23
Kam Hon Ind Bldg
8 Wang Kwun Rd, Kowloon Bay
Kowloon, Hong Kong
Tel: 852-2243-2787
Fax: 852-2243-2757
E-mail: mktg@youngswatch.com.hk


The Novelty Factor

Digital Clocks

C & L Elegance Mfy Ltd produces unique items like helmet and chair-shaped clocks complete with alarm and calculator functions.

EVERYONE seems to own at least one LCD digital clock. Lightweight, dependable and economical, these timepieces have performed for years as global favourites. New models from Hong Kong manufacturers demonstrate why digital clocks remain in high demand.

C & L Elegance Mfy Ltd specializes in novelty LCD digital clocks, mainly for premiums, under its Galason brand. A racing-helmet model (CL/1912) gives hourly time announcements in a choice of eight languages. There is also a choice among three alarm sounds: beeper, cuckoo or rooster. A handy stick-on attachment design allows the clock to be mounted on any smooth surface, like a car dashboard.

Another model, shaped like an office chair, is also a working calculator with the clock and extra features (calendar, countdown timer, world time and alarm-sound selection) displayed on the chair's back.

Three hundred workers at the company's factory in Shanwei on the Chinese mainland produce not only clocks, but also watches, timers and calculators. C & L's biggest export market is the US, followed by Europe, the Middle East and Asia. Its digital clocks each sell for US$1-4.50 FOB Hong Kong, with a minimum order of 5,000 pieces. Shipment time is 30 days after order confirmation.

Ausbon Industrial Ltd's newest LCD projector alarm clock with temperature display (Celsius/Farenheit) has an optional autoscan FM radio.

"This product is quite popular," says marketing manager Amanda Chan. The model (AB0568-2A) sells for US$4.20 FOB Hong Kong per piece.

Another strong seller is a space age-style LCD projector clock, a special favourite in Japan. The clock (AB0560) chimes every hour and is unit priced at US$2.95 FOB Hong Kong.

Ausbon Industrial makes its digital clocks with ABS housing, usually in silver or black. Customers may specify the colour they want.

Premiums account for about 80% of the seven-year-old company's business, while mail orders comprise the remainder.

In addition to 50,000 digital clocks per month, Ausbon Industrial manufactures calculators, currency converters and touch-screen data banks. Digital clocks represent about 30% of total production. The company's 25 models include digital travel clocks, wall clocks and table clocks at US$3-4.20 FOB Hong Kong per unit.

Europe is the primary export market, followed by the US and Japan. Minimum order is 3,000 pieces per model. Shipment date is 30-45 days after order confirmation.

Innovative designs and user-friendly functions are a hallmark of Hiromori Int'l Ltd's digital clocks. The company's Hong Kong operation handles production and distribution. Its 20 designers are based in Tokyo.

"We try to develop multifunction items: clocks combined with calendars, hygrometers or torches. This is an important part of our business," says general manager Samuel Ling.

The Memorable Clock (DFO 175) combines an LCD alarm clock with a metal photo frame in aluminium housing. A jumbo numerical display has a count up/count down function and shows remaining days to a specific date.

Use of non-standard materials like aluminium and wood sets the Silver Alarm Clock (DFO 190) apart from rival models. It features a snooze function and an easy-to-scroll full calendar from 1900 to 2050 showing year, month, date, day of the year and day of the week. It can be ordered with an FM autoscan radio.

About 70% of Hiromori's monthly output of 30,000-50,000 digital clocks is for premium sub-contracts. Manufacturing takes place at factories on the Chinese mainland.

The 16-year-old company exports to the US, Europe and Japan. Retail shops also carry Hiromori's digital clocks. Unless customers request otherwise, all products carry the company's Design Factory brand. Minimum order is 1,000 pieces for shipment 45 days after order confirmation.

Candy-coloured LCD digital alarm clocks in transparent plastic are popular for 27-year-old Lee Handerson (HK) Ltd. Unit priced at US$1.70 FOB Hong Kong, model AC228T has time and alarm functions, a stand at the back and front space for a company logo.

"We have standard colours, but customers can choose any colour they want," says marketing executive Carol Lee.

The company's new silver-toned temperature/calendar alarm clock (AC222MT) is edged with bright transparent colours and sells for US$3.20 FOB Hong Kong per piece. "This is more of a bedside clock," Lee adds.

Lee Handerson offers LCD digital clocks in more than 100 models each priced at US$0.80-4.00 FOB Hong Kong. Its factory in Shenzhen on the Chinese mainland has 800-1,000 workers making one million digital clocks, calculators, currency converters, data banks and phone diallers each month.

The US and Europe are main markets for Lee Handerson's premium and retail sales. Minimum order is 1,000 pieces for shipment 30 days after order confirmation.

WRITTEN BY ANDREA PAWLYNA

Contact Details

Ausbon Industrial Ltd
Unit 2, Block B
Hoi Luen Ind Centre
55 Hoi Yuen Rd, Kwun Tong
Kowloon, Hong Kong
Tel: 852-2343-2899
Fax: 852-2357-5860
E-mail: ausbon@ausbon.com.hk

C & L Elegance Mfy Ltd
Flats A1-A2, G/F
Tai Cheong Fty Bldg
3 Wing Ming St
Kowloon, Hong Kong
Tel: 852-2307-1717
Fax: 852-2785-5211
E-mail: info@cnl-elegance.com

Chartrick Industries Ltd
Flat N, 3/F, Block 3
Campelpaint Bldg
60 Hoi Yuen Rd, Kwun Tong
Kowloon, Hong Kong
Tel: 852-2790-8249
Fax: 852-2341-3271
E-mail: chartric@netvigator.com

Europe Supplies Ltd
A3, 12/F, Kailey Ind Centre
12 Fung Yip St
Chai Wan, Hong Kong
Tel: 852-2557-8066
Fax: 852-2505-6676
E-mail: icy@eslhk.com

Hiromori Int'l Ltd
11/F, Kaiseng Commercial Centre
4-6 Hankow Rd, Tsim Sha Tsui
Kowloon, Hong Kong
Tel: 852-2311-3665
Fax: 852-2367-9465
E-mail: dfexport@hiromori.com.hk

Lee Handerson (HK) Ltd
20B, Roxy Ind Centre
58-66 Tai Lin Pai Rd
Kwai Chung
Kowloon, Hong Kong
Tel: 852-2423-9760
Fax: 852-2480-4494
E-mail: sales1@leehanderson.com


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