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Sparkling Style(HKTDC Watch & Clock, Vol 02,2008)

Jewellery Watches

The ultimate adornment for men or women, a watch is frequently the major piece of jewellery in these times of self-expression

Styles may come and go, but consumers the world over know that there is only one manufacturing centre when it comes to watches that make truly personal statements.

As an internationally recognised trendsetter in both the jewellery and watch sectors, Hong Kong is naturally the first choice for buyers of jewellery watches keen to stock up on sure-fire sellers.

One of the leading producers of fashionable jewellery watches in Hong Kong is QPF Ltd, claims Managing Director L.C. Siu. "We are extremely successful in markets such as Germany and the US, where our Ingot watch series with unbreakable mineral glass is popular," he says.

As the name reflects, the Ingot series consists of pure gold and platinum ingots that are used on the face to create a classic-style watch that looks as good as it works.

The innovative series has proven popular in many countries, although Mr Siu admits that Eastern Europe and Russia are difficult markets to penetrate.

Overall, however, he is confident that the jewellery-watch sector will remain buoyant for the foreseeable future. "The industry trend is towards good quality at a higher price," Mr Siu observes.

Focusing more on the younger generation is Shuffle Industrial Co, which is a major manufacturer of what the company describes as "fashion watches".

Both eye-catching and functional, these PU and alloy watches feature Japanese movements and are especially popular in Europe. "In fact, 60% of our sales are to European countries," Managing Director Ken Ng says. "European markets favour our watches because we offer a large range of items, and release new models each month."

However, he admits that the mid-sized firm's Shuffle brand is not popular on the Chinese mainland. "The mainland market is difficult to penetrate because China likes big-brand watches," Mr Ng believes. "However, I believe the trend for fashionable watches will continue, and may unite with other jewellery or fashion items."

Beautifully designed, high-quality ladies' jewellery watches, many featuring tiny stones, are the forte′ of New Mind Co. "Our most popular models are the ladies' stainless steel watch collections," confirms Marketing Manager Janet Yan. "All our products are our own design, and Europe is our most successful market."

New Mind has its own Jarc brand, which Ms Yan believes will make its mark in new markets in future, notably Asia. "Within the next 12 months, I believe both Japan and Korea will open up to luxury jewellery watches and we will be taking this sector seriously," Ms Yan predicts.

A relative sector newcomer is five-year-old Prador Ltd, which is already making quite a name for its innovative creations. "The Chip and Fashion designed for consumers aged 25-40 is our most popular model," says Managing Director Christy Pei.

She believes the firm's success is due to its "strong sense" of taste and style, reflected in its lead- and nickel-free watches. "North America is currently our most successful market, where we are strong in fashion watches," Ms Pei observes.

She says Prador is cost-effective and consumer-friendly, but anticipates increasing competition in future. "Higher quality-standard requirements will intensify the competition," Ms Pei admits.

Crystal Electronic Enterprises Co Ltd offers a number of attractive fashion watches, including model 8R65BKBKK30 - an IPG analogue ladies' watch with a stainless steel and ceramic band featuring Swarovski crystals on the bezel, an MOP dial, and a double-pusher butterfly buckle.

"We specialise in sophisticated mechanical watches," says spokeswoman Doris Lee, adding that the movements come from China and are of "extremely good" quality.

She believes the demand for watches as fashion accessories is fuelled by the ubiquitous use of mobile phones. "The time is always available on the mobile phone," Ms Lee observes. "But if a lady wants to make more of a fashion statement, she will choose a watch with an elegant, trendy design."

Crystal Electronic's most popular models feature Swarovski stones, as well as extensive use of ceramics. "Our biggest market is undoubtedly the US, although parts of Europe are also good," Ms Lee adds.

Imitation jewellery watches are the speciality of Wealthy Industrial Co, whose M1851 bracelet model is its most popular line according to Marketing Manager Angela Yeung. "The design is simple but it is a typical jewellery watch," she avers.

The brass watches are particularly popular in the US, but Ms Yeung insists that Wealthy Industrial isn't resting on its laurels and continues to develop new lines. "A new slim white model with more small stones will be developed in the next 12 months," Ms Yeung promises.

There is clearly strong demand for fashion watches in the US and Europe, and Hong Kong jewellery watch manufacturers should therefore be the only stop for busy buyers seeking the sparkling styles that are sure-fire sellers worldwide.

TEXT BY JEFF HESELWOOD

FAST FACTS

Crystal Electronic Enterprises Co Ltd
7/F
Chung Shun Knitting Centre
1-3 Wing Yip St
Kwai Chung, New Territories
Hong Kong
Tel: 852-2428-4681
Fax: 852-2480-4588
Email:
watch@crystalhk.com
Web: www.crystalhk.com

Year Established: 1980
Major Product Categories: analogue quartz watches and automatic/mechanical watches
Brands & Certificates: -
Minimum Order: 300-500 pieces
Monthly Production: -
Delivery Time: -
Factory Size & Location: Dongguan
Workforce: 500

   

New Mind Co
Rm 1107
Apec Plaza
49 Hoi Yuen Rd
Kwun Tong, Kowloon
Hong Kong
Tel: 852-3158-3666
Fax: 852-3579-2231
Email:
info@newmindco.com
Web: www.newmindco.com

Year Established: 2006
Major Product Categories: stainless steel jewellery watches
Brands & Certificates: Jarc
Minimum Order: 500 pieces per model
Monthly Production: around 5,000 pieces
Delivery Time: 90 days
Factory Size & Location: China
Workforce: 100

   

Prador Ltd
Rm 14D
Vulcan House
21 Leighton Rd
Causeway Bay
Hong Kong
Tel: 852-2407-7255
Fax: 852-2812-2033
Email:
watch@prador.com
Web: www.prador.com

Year Established: 2003
Major Product Categories: watches
Brands & Certificates: CTNY, Prador
Minimum Order: 300 pieces
Monthly Production: 20,000 pieces
Delivery Time: 45 days
Factory Size & Location: Shenzhen, Guangzhou
Workforce: 30

   

QPF Ltd
Rms 2205-6
Fook Yip Bldg
53-57 Kwai Fung Crescent
Kwai Chung, New Territories
Hong Kong
Tel: 852-2420-3191
Fax: 852-2619-9332
Email:
sales@qpf.com.hk
Web: www.qpf.com.hk

Year Established: 1994
Major Product Categories: ingot watches, karat gold watches, steel watches, OEM project
Brands & Certificates: Louis Carmani
Minimum Order: 50 pieces (karat gold watches), 200 pieces (ingot watches), 500 pieces (brass and steel watches)
Monthly Production: 150,000 pieces
Delivery Time: 65-90 days
Factory Size & Location: Shenzhen
Workforce: 100

   

Shuffle Industrial Co
Flat D, 21/F
Roxy Ind Centre
58-66 Tai Lin Pai Rd
Kwai Chung, New Territories
Hong Kong
Tel: 852-2427-7386
Fax: 852-2489-2739
Email:
shuffle@shuffleco.com
Web: www.shuffleco.com

Year Established: 2005
Major Product Categories: watches
Brands & Certificates: Shuffle
Minimum Order: 500 pieces
Monthly Production: -
Delivery Time: 50 days
Factory Size & Location: -
Workforce: 40

   

Wealthy Industrial Co
Flat 10, 5/F
Wah Shing Centre
11-13 Shing Yip St
Kwun Tong, Kowloon
Hong Kong
Tel: 852-3403-4299
Fax: 852-3403-4277
Email:
wealthy88@netvigator.com
Web: -

Year Established: 2000
Major Product Categories: imitation jewellery watches
Brands & Certificates: -
Minimum Order: 100 pieces per item
Monthly Production: 15,000 pieces
Delivery Time: 40-55 days
Factory Size & Location: 1,000 square metres-
Workforce: 120