Watch & Clock Vol 2, 2010: Supplier Spotlight: Pocket Watches
The watch business is as cyclical as the fashion industry, so could the time-honoured pocket watch be swinging back into favour among international trendsetters?
Winmix HK Ltd Marketing Manager Irene Kwong certainly hopes so as her company has specialised in pocket watches for many years and is now developing new models with a more contemporary look.
“We do all sorts of designs, but particularly pocket watches — a field in which we specialise and which accounts for about 60% of our production,” she explains, with the remaining 40% ladies’ pendant watches and wrist watches for both sexes.
The company has built a large portfolio of different designs, particularly pocket watches, both for customers and its own Swingy and Winmix brands. “Our Swingy brand started in 1988, but Winmix began in 2003,” Ms Kwong explains.
Both brands sell all over the world but are particularly strong in Germany and the US. “We are looking to do more business with chain stores because we are currently dealing with importers and would like to deal with the stores directly,” Ms Kwong adds.
Winmix’s pocket watches are usually classic in design, but the company also offers stainless steel models with a contemporary sporty look.
“We see a trend towards more modern pocket watches, which make excellent gift items,” Ms Kwong maintains.
Other lines the company has developed include money clips, ladies’ brooch, outdoor clip and nurses’ watches, while a small number of plastic-strap timepieces also feature in a catalogue that offers something for old and young alike.
“The men’s and ladies’ wrist watches are elegant and classic and at the middleto- top-of-the range, while the fashion watches are more low-to-middle end,” Ms Kwong says.
Own brands make up about 30% of Winmix’s production and the balance is ODM and OEM.
“We have our R&D and design operations in Hong Kong — though sometimes we use freelance designers,” Ms Kwong adds.
“We want to develop more styles for wrist watches and do more ODM wrist watches as well.”
Winmix’s products are predominantly medium to high-end, with FOB prices beginning at US$4 for watches with Japanese quartz movements but rising to US$60 for sophisticated models with Swiss quartz movements.
The company accepts orders from 200 units up, and the 45-employee factory in Panyu on the Chinese mainland can produce some 50,000 items per month, with delivery in 40-45 days.
Winmix’s strategy for the immediate future involves building its overseas customer base through a combination of print advertising and participating in important trade shows such as the HKTDC Hong Kong Gifts and Premium Fair and the HKTDC Hong Kong Watch & Clock Fair.
“We are very quality-conscious,” she insists. “We deliver quality products and services and have been able to retain many of our customers for many years because they like dealing with a family business — they know we are reliable,” Ms Kwong concludes.
Text by Tony Henderson
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