World’s largest watch and clock trade fair opens

Officiating at today's opening of the 38th HKTDC Hong Kong Watch & Clock Fair, organised by the HKTDC, are (front row, from L): Wilson Ngan, Co-Chairman, HKTDC Hong Kong Watch & Clock Fair 2019 Organising Committee; Timothy Kao, President, The Hong Kong Watch Manufacturers Association Ltd; Enders Lam, Chairman, HKTDC Watches & Clocks Advisory Committee (2019/2020); Andrew Leung, President of the Legislative Council of Hong Kong; Margaret Fong, HKTDC Executive Director; Samson Sun, Permanent Honorary President, The Federation of Hong Kong Watch Trades & Industries Ltd; Samuel Lee, Chairman, The Federation of Hong Kong Watch Trades & Industries Ltd; and Harold Sun, Co-Chairman, HKTDC Hong Kong Watch & Clock Fair 2019 Organising Committee.

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 38th HKTDC Hong Kong Watch & Clock Fair opened at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre (HKCEC) today and runs until Saturday, 7 September.

The fair showcases complete watches, machinery and equipment, and parts and components, providing a one-stop sourcing platform for global buyers. The concurrent seventh Salon de TE features exquisite watches and designer collections and will be open, free of charge, to public visitors aged 12 or above on the last day (7 September).

The five-day Watch & Clock Fair features about 830 exhibitors from 22 countries and regions, with an exhibitor from Qatar and a brand from Indonesia making their first appearance. An opening ceremony was held this morning, with Andrew Leung, President of the Legislative Council of Hong Kong, as the guest of honour. The concurrent Salon de TE spotlights about 140 internationally acclaimed brands and designer collections at five thematic zones – World Brand Piazza, Chic & Trendy, Craft Treasure, Renaissance Moment and Wearable Tech.

World Brand Piazza showcases high-end watches

One of the highlights of the Watch & Clock Fair is World Brand Piazza, sponsored by Prince Jewellery & Watch for the 10th consecutive year. This zone features 13 renowned international brands, including Blancpain, Breguet, Chopard, CORUM, FRANCK MULLER, Glashutte Original, Jacob & Co., Jaquet Droz, Juvenia, PARMIGIANI FLEURIER, Piaget, SARCAR Geneve and ZENITH.

Classic European brands are spotlighted

The fair features many unique and eye-catching watches that showcase industry trends, including classic European brands entering Asian markets by launching new items and revamping classic designs. This year’s Renaissance Moment zone hosts a range of classic European watch brands, including 12 Swiss brands featured at the Swiss Independent Watchmaking Pavilion. These are Adriatica, Andre Mouche, Atlantic, Greco Geneve, MANAGER, Mathey-Tissot, Meccanica Grezza, Pilo & Co, SILVANA, Soprod – Swiss Movement, WATCHe and ZANEZUN.

The show also welcomes two new pavilions representing Europe’s independent watchmaking sector. One of them, organised by French watch, jewellery and tableware manufacturer association Franceclat, highlights French brands Michel Herbelin and DWYT Watch. The other, set up by the Academie Horlogere des Createurs Independants (AHCI), presents elegant watches by seven brands from France, Mainland China, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom including D. CANDAUX, LYH, JOHN-M FLAUX, Matthias Naeschke, ROBERT BRAY-SINCLAIR HARDING, TANZEHUA and Vincent Calabrese.

Crossover and limited-edition timepieces continue the momentum

The global industry has strived to launch cross-sector collaborations to develop more crossover timepieces. Dutch brand Van Gogh (booth: 3D-B14) collaborated with the Van Gogh Museum to launch a series of watches inspired by displays of the post-impressionist’s paintings back in 2013. This year the brand launches a new collection including both limited-edition mechanical watches and beginner-level varieties, allowing Van Gogh enthusiasts to carry his paintings in real life. Swiss brand DAUMIER (booth: 3D-B22) presents a limited collection inspired by Justice League heroine Wonder Woman, with only 333 pieces available worldwide. The watch features sapphire crystal glass with three layers of anti-reflective coating, a leather strap and push-button hidden clasp.

Quality watches at Pageant of Eternity

The fair’s Pageant of Eternity zone gathers about 160 exhibitors showcasing quality watches from original equipment manufacturers (OEM) and original design manufacturing (ODM) companies. Hong Kong supplier Time Industrial Manufactory’s (booth: 1B-D02) TIMEIN/8163L (Floral Lace) model features a stainless-steel case and leather straps. Inspired by 3D multilayer paper-cut flowers and lace, the watch has a see-through design and a delicate look paired with a flower-shaped surface, presenting the gentleness and brilliance of femininity. Another Hong Kong exhibitor, Winmix Hong Kong Limited (booth: 3G-B30), launches a series of Swingy pocket watches – collectible fashion items whose mechanical timepieces have transparent covers. To match buyers’ sourcing needs, the fair continues to stage the Small Order zone, located at Hall 1D-E Concourse, which features over 100 watch and clock showcases, targeting buyers looking to place orders for five to 1,000 pieces.

Eighty buying missions come for sourcing

To help exhibitors handle market challenges, the HKTDC has brought to the fair 80 buying missions, comprising nearly 4,400 buyers from 58 countries and regions, including renowned watch and clock brands, retailers and wholesalers such as Stock Watches (Australia), Chilli Beans (Brazil), Wenger’s Ltd (Canada), Paul Valentine (Germany), Titan Group (India), Tous Watch (Spain), Swatch SA (Switzerland), Armitron (United States), and Gebr. Heinemann SE & Co (Germany). Newly launched Buyer Concierge Desks are set up in Hall 1C Concourse Customer Centre, Hall 3B Concourse and Hall 3FG Entrance to provide onsite assistance as well as the Business Matching Service.

Experts examine disruptive technological revolution; Public Day on 7 September

The fair features about 30 events – including forums, seminars, networking events and watch parades – to facilitate the exchange of market information among industry players. The Hong Kong International Watch Forum held this afternoon gathered watch association representatives from France, Germany, Japan, Korea, Mainland China and Switzerland to discuss future industry trends, global directions and challenges. Tomorrow’s Asian Watch Conference (4 September) will feature Jorge Martin, Head of Fashion Research at strategic market research company Euromonitor International, to share how digitalisation and connectivity are sparking an analogue reinvention. Emil Chan, Chairman, The Association of Cloud and Mobile Computing Professionals, will examine ABCD (artificial intelligence, blockchain, cloud and data) technology solutions for wearable devices, while Philip Wong, Vice-President (Technical) at the Movado Group, will discuss new trends for smart watches.

Various brands also introduce their latest watch collections at the fair’s product launch events. Some events will feature local celebrities including Patrick Kong, Bob Lam, Elanne Kong, Oscar Siu and Wong You-nam. Renowned influencer Rick Kwan and Ming Watch Chief Editor Simon Shia will also present.

Salon de TE will open free of charge to public visitors aged 12 or above on the fair’s last day (7 September). About 80 brands will conduct retail sales, enabling watch enthusiasts to go home with their favourite timepieces. There will also be a series of sharing sessions and lucky draws for visitors to win fabulous prizes.

Design competition to promote creativity

To help raise the design standard of Hong Kong watch brands and nurture budding designers, the HKTDC, the Hong Kong Watch Manufacturers Association Ltd and The Federation of Hong Kong Watch Trades & Industries Ltd co-organised the 36th Hong Kong Watch & Clock Competition. The Open Group’s theme was “Fresh Start New Look”. The winning design, “Shuhari” by Marco Tang, draws on the Japanese Kendo concept, representing the three stages of self-improvement. In Kendo, the sword is the soul of a samurai. The piece’s Japanese sword element seeks to bring out the theme of improvement, symbolising a fresh start and a new look for the industry. The Student Group’s theme was “Abstract Wonder”. The prize went to Wong Sze-wa from the Hong Kong Design Institute for her “UKIYO-E” design, which presents a wave-like look under refracted light. To make the “wave” theme stand out, the design used handcrafted techniques and a unique case design. The winning and final entries from the competition are on display at Hall 1B Concourse during the fair, showcasing the best of Hong Kong’s creativity to international buyers.