2 Dec 2004
Stainless Steel Watches(HKTDC Watch & Clock,2004)
Smooth As Silk
For example, Gold Power Worldwide Ltd has been playing in the Premier League since 2002, when the firm began designing and manufacturing an exclusive range of fully licensed watches for world-famous Manchester United football club.
"With input from the club we design watches to commemorate sporting triumphs such as winning three major competitions in one season," says managing director Peter Tam.
Gold Power manufactures approximately 160,000 men's and ladies' watches per month at its two factories totalling 1,000 square feet in Shenzhen and Shanghai on the Chinese mainland.
"We produce watches for the medium to high-end range of the market, using high quality watch movements from Switzerland and Japan and 316L stainless steel and leather from the mainland," Tam explains. "Stainless steel watches with dome sapphire crystal lenses, see-through backs and exposed balance wheels are popular with our customers in Japan, the US and the UK."
Gold Power also produces stainless steel mechanical and quartz movement watches under its own Army Time, Leonora and SHW (Shanghai Watch Co) brand names.
"Fashion, elegance and durability are reflected by our refined design and finishing techniques," Tam says, adding that cases, bands and crowns are thoroughly checked to ensure a smooth appearance.
The OEM and ODM company can also design and manufacture negotiable minimum orders that are delivered 45 days after order confirmation.
Stainless steel watches in classic designs are also top sellers at 13-year-old Fullswing Industrial Co Ltd, which produces 20-30 new designs each year.
"Stainless steel timepieces account for nearly 90% of our total watch production," explains marketing executive Rita Wong. "Our in-house designs balance the attraction between the classical and the progressive."
Fullswing also makes titanium and radio-controlled watches on an OEM/ODM basis and markets a range of timepieces under its own Muskox brand name. "We work closely with clients to ensure that our classic designs meet market requirements," Wong says.
Approximately 100 employees at a 20,000-square-foot factory in the mainland's Guangdong Province assemble minimum orders of 100 pieces in any one style delivered 60 days after order confirmation.
"Watches are assembled in an air-conditioned, dust-free environment," Wong explains, adding that Fullswing uses advanced precision machinery including a water resistance tester and a hands-setting machine to maintain quality. "Our dial and strap printing facilities allow customers' logos to be printed on a dial or strap at short notice."
Europe is the company's main market, where mechanical and quartz movement stainless steel sports watches with steel bands and genuine leather straps are in high demand.
Precious time remains accurate to one second in a million years with Medix Quartz Industries Ltd's automatic stainless steel timepieces, according to director Steven Mok.
"Our classic multifunction chronographs featuring five or seven time zones are acknowledged as some of the finest timepieces available today," claims Mok. "We pay close attention to emerging fashion trends and lifestyles, and our products are frequently updated."
Medix's casual, dress and sports watches are popular in Japan, the US, Italy, Spain and Germany, and the 21-year-old firm also produces radio-controlled models.
According to Mok, good quality, strict compliance with a customer's instructions and prompt delivery are the keys to success. "We have built up a strong reputation for quality and flexibility," he says.
The company's 50 staff at a 300-square-metre mainland factory in Shenzhen manufacture minimum orders of 100 pieces per model for delivery 100 days after order confirmation.
Quality OEM analogue watches have been rolling off the production lines at Parture Co Ltd since the early 1980s, explains director Emily Lui. "styles include elegant fashion, young modern and attractive sporty designs," she says, adding that the company provides value at an affordable price.
"Fashion watches with changeable straps to match clothes and accessories are extremely popular," she says, noting that the trend towards the flattened square of the gents' watch and the elegant elongation of the ladies' dial contribute to a strong dress appeal.
Some 1,000 workers at a Shenzhen factory produce minimum orders of 500 pieces per style for delivery 60 days after order confirmation to the US, Japan, Europe and the Middle East, although it also markets timepieces in Japan under its own Parture brand name. "As our factory manufactures both stainless steel watch cases and metal bands, we are able to offer a large range of designs," Lui adds.
Showcasing unique designs and combinations of materials, ideas and finishes, Hong Kong stainless steel watch manufacturers are matching time with the future.
WRITTEN BY CHRIS DAVIS
Fullswing Industrial Co Ltd
Parture Co Ltd
Unicorn Time Mfg Ltd