9 March 2006
World Time Watches(HKTDC Watch & Clock, Vol 02,2006)
Royce Industrial Ltd's new collection of world time watches feature two or five time zones and stainless steel cases
The ever-increasing popularity of business and leisure travel has seen watches with multiple displays that show the time in different parts of the world come firmly into vogue.
As world leaders in the watch and clock business, it comes as little surprise to see that Hong Kong manufacturers have been quick to cater to this burgeoning demand for world time watches.
Royce Industrial Ltd, for instance, has launched a collection of unisex world time watches, each sporting a partial world map on the face and a black leather strap.
The line includes two time zone model GS7008 as well as the five time zone version BS7008. "They can be analogue quartz or anadigital, depending on customer specifications," manager Edmund Wong says. "The movements are from Switzerland or Japan, the stainless steel cases from the Chinese mainland and the cow leather straps are from Italy."
The company, which was established in 1999, manufactures at an 8,000-square-foot, 60-worker factory in Dongguan on the mainland that produces some 30,000 watches a month.
The company's two time zone watches sell for US$10-20 FOB Hong Kong, and five time zone models for US$50-120 FOB Hong Kong for minimum orders of 300 items shipped 60 days after order confirmation.
Wong says the high-fashion jewellery watch manufacturer's major market is the US. "It accounts for 60% of our sales," Wong admits, adding that Royce also sells to the Middle East and Europe.
Buyers seeking competitively priced gender-specific models should consider the two mechanical automatic watches with dual time displays that feature in the Tsinlien Sea Gull Co Ltd catalogue.
The "multiple round style" mechanical automatic watch for men (model 0405-SL-56) and the "lady navigator trendy" version for women (model 0506-SL-603) are priced at approximately US$35 each FOB Hong Kong.
"The woman's watch was designed by a Swiss designer and is very convenient for travellers," managing director Li Xue Gang says, adding that the company has its own Sea-Gull brand.
"The movements are made at a factory in Tianjin on the mainland owned by our parent company, the 316 stainless steel is manufactured on the mainland by Hong Kong companies and the leather straps are also sourced on the mainland."
The 20-year-old enterprise produces 500,000 watches a month at its ISO 9002-certified, 2,000-square-metre mainland plant in Shenzhen that is staffed by 100 workers.
Li notes that minimum orders of 300 units can be delivered 60-70 days after order confirmation. "About 40% of our sales come from Europe," Li says, adding that other major markets include North America and Southeast Asia. "We have a branch in Switzerland charged with marketing and customer services."
Another maker of dual-time mechanical automatic watches is Teamwise Int'l Ltd, whose catalogue includes the TS1624-SL-2L43 and TS1655-BK-2L31 models that have a pointer to indicate the date.
The stainless steel watches boast leather straps from Italy, while a brass-case model (TB1823-BK-R1-2L30) is offered with a silicon strap from the mainland.
Teamwise sources movements from the mainland but makes the cases itself, using mostly Japanese materials, producing 15,000-20,000 watches a month bearing the Teamwise brand at its 2,000-square-metre Dongguan factory.
Marketing executive Joe Wong claims that the three-year-old firm employs skilled assembly workers so it can guarantee quality. "We have experience with mechanical watches, and our management has more than 20 years' of experience in watch manufacturing," he says.
Teamwise specialises in shipping minimum orders of 300-1,000 units 45-70 days after order confirmation - depending on the model and quantity - mainly to Europe and Japan.
Hong Kong firms also supply digital world time watches, such as the range produced by Sweda Ltd for sale in the US, Europe and South America. "These watches cover 24 time zones each and have a real-time display mode and an auto calendar," assistant marketing manager Carol Chu explains.
She notes that the timepieces boast a daylight saving time (DST) function to ensure correct time in summer. "Simply press the DST button and the watch will advance an hour to match the summer time at that location," Chu explains.
The watches, which also have three daily alarms, a 20-lap chronograph with memory recall, countdown timer and EL backlight, can feature a positive or negative display. "They have been designed by our own designers, and we make the movements ourselves," Chu adds.
The range includes a square model (QRA93) with a plastic case and a PU strap while the round variety (ST65) has a stainless steel case and a PU strap; all sourced from the mainland.
The world time digital watches are offered at US$8-10 FOB Hong Kong each for minimum orders of 500 units per model. "Our prices are very competitive," Chu notes. "Delivery time is 65-70 days for models with stainless steel cases, and about 55 days for those with plastic cases."
Founded in 1978, the ISO 9001-certified company runs a 600-worker plant in Shenzhen on the mainland. "We already meet the WEEE requirements, and are moving towards RoHS compliance," Chu adds.
Illustrating yet again that when it comes to designing and producing stylish, high-quality world time watches, Hong Kong manufacturers continue to delight users all over the world.
WRITTEN BY LIZA LEE
Treasure Success Industrial Ltd
Flat 21, 8/F
Shing Win Fty Bldg
15-17 Shing Yip St
Kwun Tong, Kowloon