Published on : Thursday, September 15, 2016
The 35th edition of the Hong Kong Watch & Clock Fair ended its five-day run yesterday at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre . Jointly organised by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council, Hong Kong Watch Manufacturers Association Ltd and The Federation of Hong Kong Watch Trades and Industries Ltd.
the fair welcomed more than 20,000 buyers, up 2.4 per cent over the previous year. The fair saw good growth in buyer numbers from Asian markets such as India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, the Philippines and Thailand, while growth from other regions including Australia, Sweden, Russia, Canada, the USA and Iran was also recorded.
“Amidst the economic downturn, demand for luxury watches and clocks remains weak. We can see that the industry is shifting from traditional luxury brands to more mid-market brands, independent brands and even new smart watches in the market,” said HKTDC Deputy Executive Director Benjamin Chau. “Since the smart and light-smart watch market is booming, more and more traditional watch companies are seeking to gain a share in the sector. I believe more varieties will be introduced into the market and offer more choices to buyers.”
To match market demand trends, the fair this year introduced a new OEM Smart Watches zone to showcase the latest OEM watch designs. One of the exhibitors, Montrichard (HK) Ltd, has switched from manufacturing traditional watches to light-smart watches by adding smart features to traditional products over the past two years. Christine Pan, Product Manager of the company, noticed that fair exhibitors offering smart watches attracted many potential buyers from Europe and Asia. She believes that light-smart watches will be popular in 2017 and user-friendliness will be a major consideration for customers.
The growing smart watch market attracted watch brands to develop that market segment. Matthieu Boileve, General Sales Manager of the local exhibitor Brasport HK Limited, said that in view of strong demand for smart watches and wearables, they had opened factories on the Chinese mainland and their sales of smart watch components doubled compared to two years ago and keeps growing fast. It is their second time to take part in the event. Mr Boileve believes that it is an international fair attended by buyers from all over the world, which helps to raise brand awareness and showcase their products. The company regards visitors to the fair as high-quality buyers, as about 60-70 per cent of their contacts are new.
On the other hand, buyers were also eager to source smart watches. Franck Boudrie, President of Nouveaux Bijoutiers, which represents 170 retailers from France, was particularly interested in the brand Ringclock, which was exhibited at Salon de TE, as well as branded watches and smart watches. He foresees that half of the French population will be using smart watches, especially quartz watches with smart features in the next five to 10 years.
International brands take advantage of the Hong Kong platform
As the world’s largest timepiece trade fair, the Hong Kong Watch & Clock Fair attracts buyers from all over the world every year. To match Asian customers’ demand for top-quality Swiss watch brands, the Swiss Eminence at Salon de TE returned to the fair to showcase six premium Swiss brands. The Swiss Independent Watchmaking Pavilion (SIWP) also brought seven watch brands with exceptional craftsmanship. In total, Salon de TE featured close to 40 Swiss brands this year.