17 June 2004
Teenage Watches(HKTDC Watch & Clock, Vol 03,2004)
Vol 3, 2004
Fun And Funky
The latest collection of teenage watches from Che Sang Precision Ltd comes with eye-catching bracelets that make attractive watchbands
Teenagers are famously selective and critical consumers, who know exactly what they like and don't like.
That's why Hong Kong watch manufacturers such as Field Technology CxMP Ltd try to capture the imagination of the young and fashion-conscious by constantly producing a stream of new designs that are not only eye-catching but also incorporate handy features such as user-friendly PC software.
"We use innovation and customer feedback to design watches that appeal to young people," explains Field Technology CEO Peter Shum, who says the two-year-old company's ICW range (ICW001 - Instant Beam, ICW001Ex - Executive Wrist and ICW002 - Wrist Album) incorporates technology new to the watch manufacturing industry.
"Our watches do far more than show the time," claims Shum. "They display personalised pictures on a 256-colour high-resolution LCD and support the ever-growing global information network."
For example, ICW watches connect cordlessly with other hand-held electronic devices such as PDAs, pocket PCs, mobile phones and notebooks through the built-in IrDA (Infrared Data Association).
The ICW range also features an alarm, stopwatch and timer, which are displayed as icons, a choice of four changeable background colours and displays the current time in 30 world cities.
"Of course, ICW owners can beam pictures to each other and for ease of use store and update data from the SIM cards in their mobile phones," adds Shum. "The ICW Executive Wrist model also connects to Microsoft's MS Outlook."
Shum notes that his firm's watches are designed in-house and manufactured from scratch by an in-house R&D team and marketed under the CxMPTM brand name.
Field Technology also provides an ODM version, mainly for the US and European markets, providing the client is prepared to commit to a negotiated minimum order.
Key markets are the US, Europe and, increasingly, Asia. "As part of a promotion campaign, we recently introduced two Internet teenage cartoon idols that can be uploaded to our watches," Shum reveals.
Microprocessors, coloured plastics and electroplated metallic finishings are sourced in Japan for production at a 20,000-square-foot factory employing 300 workers in Guangdong Province on the Chinese mainland.
Prices range from FOB Hong Kong US$33.90 for the ICW Wrist Album model to US$42.90 for the ultra-sophisticated ICW Executive Wrist version. Field Technology requires a minimum order of 5,000 pieces for OEM orders and delivers 60-90 days following order confirmation.
Equally dedicated to appealing to young consumers is Che Sang Precision Ltd, whose range of chunky, multifunction fashion watches is designed for young consumers.
"For many teenagers a watch is not just a means of keeping track of the time, it is an accessory, a fashion statement and an extension of their personality," notes marketing executive Emily Pau.
Established in 1980, the company uses materials from Korea and the mainland to produce a range of watches featuring interchangeable straps and bracelets, decorated with bubbles and crystals.
"We use a combination of plastic and metal or PU and leather to create special effects that set us apart from our competitors," Pau adds.
"We are always developing different products and modifying existing ones to become more innovative, and creative."
The in-house design team closely follows trends in the company's main markets in Australia, Europe and the US. "We are very flexible and support our OEM developments by producing a wide range of samples that can be used to test different markets," claims Pau.
About 150 workers manufacture Che Sang's products in two dedicated factories, located in Dongguan on the mainland and Hong Kong, which boast a combined space of 10,000 square feet.
Che Sang manufactures 10,000-12,000 pieces of each style per month. FOB Hong Kong prices are available on request, but Che Sang requires a minimum order of 1,000 pieces per style delivered 30-35 days after an order is received.
A combination of functionality and modern sophistication is also a hallmark of two-year-old Urtrend Technology Ltd, which specialises in producing watches that incorporate cutting edge, PC-friendly technology.
The ISO 9000 and ISO 14000-certified company's most recent innovations include a series of USB stainless steel and plastic band watches with multifunction PC applications, including a built-in CD-ROM driver and an MP3 USB watch that supports WMA and ADPCM formats.
"Our MP3 USB watch is the world's smallest multifunction watch and MP3 player combination," claims assistant marketing manager Danny Wong. "The generic plastic band comes in two standard colours, black or white, unless a client places a minimum order of 10,000 pieces or more."
Urtrend's watches are made from the latest Japanese components by a 200-strong workforce in Shenzhen on the mainland, which produces 500-piece minimum orders at FOB Hong Kong prices available on request.
By drawing on their vast experience in predicting trends and strong desire to innovate, it's a safe bet that Hong Kong watch manufacturers will continue to surprise teenagers and invigorate their imaginations for many years to come.
WRITTEN BY CHRIS DAVIS
Joyful Commerce Co Ltd
Unit 14, 5/F, Blk A
Profit Ind Bldg
1-15 Kwai Fung Crescent
Kwai Fong, New Territories
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