Review of 2014 Hong Kong Watch & Clock Fair, China

The 33rd HKTDC Hong Kong Watch & Clock Fair, the largest event of its kind in the world, opens from 3-7 September 2014, with more than 760 exhibitors from 19 countries and regions taking part. The Watch & Clock Fair gathers leading brands and industry players from around the world for a five-day timepiece journey.

Co-organised by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC), the Hong Kong Watch Manufacturers Association Ltd and the Federation of Hong Kong Watch Trades and Industries Ltd, the Watch & Clock Fair gathers exhibitors, buyers and industry experts from around the world for five days of networking, intelligence sharing and deal making.

As the world’s largest event of its kind, the HKTDC Hong Kong Watch & Clock Fair brings together major industry players around the globe to showcase their latest and most remarkable designs. Exhibit categories include: Brand Name Gallery (Brand Name Watches & Clocks); Complete Watches & Clocks; Part & Components; Machinery/ Equipment; Packaging; Trade Services.

Hong Kong Watch & Clock Fair represents the ultimate one-stop sourcing platform with great efficiency and a range of services. From complete watches to components, timeless works of art to luxury packaging, the world’s largest event of its kind is an incomparable journey into the heart of global horology.

A pageant of time in every era, the Hong Kong Watch & Clock Fair presents the past, present and future of horology, including the latest and greatest tech and smart watches. The fair display exquisite finished timepieces, parts, accessories, packaging and everything else needed to deliver a satisfying, efficient and premier sourcing experience. Beyond the latest and greatest in European watchmaking, opportunities for sourcing are in every corner of the fairgrounds.

Exhibitors are taking full advantage of the trade fair to pitch new watch designs and timepiece technologies to the market. This includes product launches and parades by such high-profile names as MINI, Van Gogh, Longio, LOCMAN, Giorgio Fedon 1919 and MEMORIGIN. Special Zones include the Small-order Zone and Pageant of Eternity. The Small-Order Zone caters primarily to the sourcing needs of small and medium-sized enterprises, while Pageant of Eternity is dedicated to premium complete watches. Other major exhibit categories are complete watches, clocks, machinery & equipment, packaging, parts & components and trade services.

“Salon de TE”, which is organised concurrently with the Watch & Clock Fair, returns this year featuring 145 luxury brands. “Salon de TE” includes five thematic zones: World Brand Piazza, Chic & Trendy, Craft Treasure, Renaissance Moment and the inaugural Wearable Tech zone.

The World Brand Piazza features 12 leading brands: Audemars Piguet, Blancpain, Breguet, BVLGARI, Chopard, DeWitt, FRANCK MULLER, Glashütte Original, H. Moser & Cie, Jaeger-LeCoultre, Piaget and Zenith. The Wearable Tech zone makes its debut this year featuring brands that have become pioneers of smart watch innovation by incorporating smartphone technology into timepieces. On the final day of the fair (7 September), “Salon de TE” will open to the public with events including celebrity performances, watch parades, an antique clock repair demonstration, lucky draws and retail sales of selected items.

“Renaissance Moment” reveal distinguished watches from Europe. Hong Kong exhibitor Acestar Concept Limited introduce the German top watch brand Mini, derived from the famous Mini Cooper Car. Swiss-made watches authenticate the brand’s commitment to quality and finest craftsmanship. With series of colours and execution echo exactly like Mini Cooper, Mini watch determines to deliver a fashionable and irresistible icon. The German exhibitor Elysee Uhren GmbH will spotlight its SITHON series under Elysee brand. The fine high-grade stainless steel case and the domed anti-reflective mineral lens are particularly striking. SITHON is available in stainless steel and gold-plated stainless steel with fine calves’ leather.

Hong Kong exhibitor Forever Watch Co release Valentinian watches under “Craft Treasure”. It is made of Swiss mechanical and/or quartz movement. The Turn and Round series features flower dial with precious jewellery. It’s every tiny sparkling move embodies absolute femininity. Hong Kong watch brand Memorigin spotlight the first Transformers themed tourbillion watch (limited edition) with Hasbro, a well-known American toy manufacturer. Referring to the characters in the movie, Optimus Prime and Bumblebee, all elements and the aesthetics on the design are strictly controlled. Two models are available with 50 pieces each only which is invaluable to all watch supporters and movie fans.

The new “Wearable Tech” zone under “Salon de TE” present the new realm of watch with innovative technology. Connecte Device Limited, one of the Hong Kong exhibitors, introduce Cogito Classic watch series. When paired with the app, users can manage a wide range of smartphone functions such as call notifications, message alerts and social media are all at a glance directly on wrist. Another Hong Kong exhibitor Faze In Limited bring along EZIO watches with perfect manifestation of hi-tech modern living. Phone call and message notification was prompted on watch screen.

“Pageant of Eternity” house various extraordinary complete watches. Hong Kong exhibitor AWC International Limited present its Slazenger’s sport wear collections, namely Think Tank, Sugar Free, Dark Panther and Style & Pure. Another Hong Kong exhibitor Comtech Watches Company Limited introduce the clean and crisp designed Obaku watch equipped with water resistance level up to 3ATM. Its rosy-gold bracelet and brown case made by highest-grading stainless steel proves its quality.

Other major categories include “Complete Watches”, “Clocks”, “Machinery & Equipment”, “Packaging”, “Parts & Components” and “Trade Services”. Hong Kong exhibitor Banda Bracelets (HK) Ltd at “Parts & Components” zone bring along vintage leather watch straps in traditional Germany military style. It offers a maximum quality and latest fashion in exclusive selection.

Fair also includes group pavilions from the Chinese mainland, Chinese Taiwan and various overseas countries. Bergeon S.A. from Switzerland present winding machine for mechanic and automatic watches. It specialises in production of tools and equipment for watchmakers, jewellers and precision engineering. This new tool for winding watches through the crown allows controlling several functions, including winding, date setting and time setting, on movements with factory stem as well as on complete watches. The technical characteristics include 0 to 99 winding revolution; 5 to 30 Rpm torque control; and 60 to 300 Rpm revolution speed.

The show encompasses a number of important events. Watch parades take place regularly throughout the show period, displaying collections and demonstrating upcoming trends. The Product Demo & Launch Pad allows exhibitors to bring their latest products to the attention of visitors in an interactive environment.

More than 30 signature events, including networking and knowledge-sharing activities, are being staged during the fair period. They include the Hong Kong International Watch Forum (3 September), the Asian Watch Conference (4 September) and Buyers Forums (4-5 September) with experts coming together to discuss key trends and issues related to the industry.

Also under the spotlight are the prospects for specific overseas markets at events including the ASEAN Markets Networking Reception (4 September) and a seminar entitled Russian Watch Market: Past, Nowadays, Future (5 September).

To nurture the design talents, the “31st Hong Kong Watch & Clock Design Competition” return, themed as “Time Controls World” and “Smart World” for the open and student group respectively. Final entries and winning pieces of the annual Hong Kong Watch & Clock Design Competition was on display at the Watch & Clock Fair.

The 2014 Open Group champion is Leung Ho-him, with a nostalgia-inspired design entitled The Catcher, featuring a watch display that is divided into 24 time zones. In the Student Group category, Wan Nok-yiu from the School of Continuing and Professional Studies at The Chinese University of Hong Kong, was crowned champion with a smart watch design entitled Essence.

Established in 1966, the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) is a statutory body dedicated to creating opportunities for Hong Kong’s businesses. With more than 40 offices globally, including 13 on the Chinese mainland, the HKTDC promotes Hong Kong as a platform for doing business with China, Asia and the world. With 50 years of experience, the HKTDC organises international exhibitions, conferences and business missions to provide companies, particularly SMEs, with business opportunities on the mainland and in international markets, while providing information via trade publications, research reports and digital channels including the media room.