1 June 2001
Wrist-Wear Fashion Sense(HKTDC Watch & Clock, Vol 02,2001)
Vol 2, 2001
Wrist-Wear Fashion Sense
WATCHES make a fashion statement, with people wearing different models for different occasions, including exercise, work and social functions. Therefore, Artistic Watch Mfy Ltd makes a wide range of suitable wrist-watches, from casual stainless steel models to dressy sterling silver watches set with crystals.
"Nowadays, we find people change their watches from day to day. They like fashionable watches," says Artistic marketing director Anthony Cheung.
Established in 1987, the company began in Hong Kong with 80 employees. "In 1990 we moved our factory to the Chinese mainland, and we now have 300 people in our Shenzhen factory and about 12 in our Hong Kong offices," says Cheung.
With 20 research and development engineers, Artistic creates 20 new designs per month. "We are good at tailor-made services because we manufacture both watch cases and bracelets. We don't just assemble," Cheung says.
One popular design is a sterling silver watch with a mother-of-pearl face. "Not every company can work this way with silver. It is not easy to make this kind of bracelet. It is not cast, but rather it is pressed."
Artistic sources silver from the US. Prices for its silver models are US$15-30 FOB Hong Kong. Minimum order is 50 watches per design.
All the company's watches are upmarket and elegant. An antique-like line features Swarovski crystal on the bezels, cases and bracelets in an art-deco style. Marcasite and pearls are used to achieve an antique look.
"A few years ago, Southeast Asia was our main market, but now we do the most business with Japan and the US. We also are beginning to export into northern and eastern Europe. Silver is becoming more popular in Europe so we are sending our silver watches there," Cheung says.
The firm also produces sleek, modern watches in silver-plated brass. "These range from US$7-15 FOB Hong Kong, and the minimum order is 100 per model. We work at making our watches stand out for their elegance and unique designs," notes Cheung.
Both quality and customer service are vital. "We have to keep the quality excellent so our customers come back. Always, we try to fulfil what they need and co-operate in what they want."
In Japan, the company's watches carry the Supermodel brand. "We are the licensed manufacturer for this brand," Cheung says.
Artistic also develops plastic watches for the younger market, which has strong potential because young people command considerable buying power.
"These designs will be more sporty and affordable. If we succeed in gaining the middle market in this area, we can expand our operations even more," Cheung concludes.
Artistic Watch Mfy Ltd
10/F, Unit 32, Blk B
Focal Ind Centre
21 Man Lok St, Hung Hom
Kowloon, Hong Kong
CLASSIC timepieces will always be in strong demand from buyers who appreciate good quality and timeless designs. With this in mind, Arrow Industrial (Far East) Ltd specializes in high-quality watches and clocks.
"I like mechanical watches because I'm an engineer, so we make this type of watches and clocks. We also make quartz watches," says Arrow Industrial director Alan Chan.
"In fact, we are not making so many watches now - only about 20 models," he adds, declaring that watches have become a fashion statement rather than a means to tell time.
Arrow Industrial does make watches for international brands. "We make some jewellery watches using real jewellery, such as diamonds, not crystal." The company also has its own Jens Olsen label.
Founded in 1986, Arrow Industrial now thrives on creating carriage clocks as its main product line. "I enjoy making clocks because the designs change," Chan says.
The company's carriage clocks are mechanical and made of brass with silver or gold plating. Bevelled glass is used, and most models feature glass on the sides so the movement can be seen, adding to the beauty.
"These clocks come with keys to wind them and adjust the time," Chan notes. Designs vary, with different handles and intricate stained glass patterns on the sides. The company's other timepieces include wall clocks, miniature carriage clocks, letter openers with clocks, and gift and premium items.
"We have three designers and introduce about 50 models a year," Chan says. The company's factory in Guangdong Province on the Chinese mainland employs 300 workers. Its raw materials come from Japan and Hong Kong.
"We have very strict quality control. Each department has quality control, and the end-products are subject to a final QC check," Chan says.
Prices range from US$10 FOB Hong Kong for a miniature clock to US$200 for a regular-size mechanical carriage clock. "Our market is the upper-middle range. We export mainly to the US and Europe, including the UK, Germany, France and Italy."
Arrow Industrial invested substantially in manufacturing these clocks, and that investment has paid off, Chan says.
While offering high-quality products with good designs, the company stresses customer service. "We communicate with our customers. We have reasonable prices plus good service, and we deliver on time. These things are important.
"Meanwhile, the clocks are rather traditional. These are items one buys and keeps for many years."
WRITTEN BY MELISSA G. WESTCOTT
Arrow Industrial (Far East) Ltd
7/F, Unit G, World Tech Centre
95 How Ming St, Kwun Tong
Kowloon, Hong Kong
|Hong Kong Buyers Request Form||Overseas Buyers Request Form||More Publications|