Time Scout | Hong Kong Watch & Clock Fair, Salon de TE attract nearly 15,000 buyers | Smartwatches remain at the top of the product-trend list
HONG KONG (via ACN Newswire) – The physical exhibitions of the 42nd HKTDC Hong Kong Watch & Clock Fair and 11th Salon de TE, organised by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC), Hong Kong Watch Manufacturers Association Ltd and The Federation of Hong Kong Watch Trades & Industries Ltd, concluded successfully yesterday. Despite the interruption caused by the extreme weather conditions on Friday (8 September), the four-day physical fairs welcomed nearly 15,000 buyers from 95 countries and regions, bringing brisk trade to the fairgrounds. Under the EXHIBITION+ hybrid model, online exhibitions will continue until 16 September, providing additional opportunities for buyers to browse products and conduct business exchanges.
HKTDC Deputy Executive Director Sophia Chong said: “As the world’s leading watch and clock fair, we are delighted to see more than 700 exhibitors attended our first watch and clock fairs since Hong Kong reopened. Many exhibitors even received orders on the spot. Buyers who attended the fairs were very international. There has been a satisfactory increase in attendance from Mainland China, Middle East and ASEAN countries which added to the fairs’ vibrancy.”
Exhibitors came from 17 countries and regions; the Swiss Independent Watchmaking Pavilion (SIWP) and Franceclat returned to the fairs while the International Luxury Group (ILG) made its debut. Together they showcased a variety of Swiss and international watch brands. ILG Chief Operating Officer Chavadi M.S said Salon de TE was an excellent platform for identifying business partners and OEM suppliers. “We have achieved very satisfactory results at the exhibition that far exceeded our expectations. We have identified Asia-Pacific retailers and distributors as potential business partners. The Hong Kong Watch & Clock Fair and Salon de TE are truly international. We will return next year.”
The debut ‘Guo Chao’ theme attracted much attention. A number of heavyweight Chinese watchmakers showcased timepieces that blend Chinese cultural elements with exquisite craftsmanship.
Survey: Respondents expect overall sales to grow in coming 2 years
To gauge watch and clock industry trends for next year, the HKTDC conducted an on-site survey during the fairs, interviewing about 900 exhibitors and buyers for their views on topics such as market outlook and product trends. The survey found nearly 60% of respondents expect overall sales to grow in the next two years. Most respondents consider South Korea, Australia & Pacific Islands, North America and Japan to offer the best growth prospects among traditional markets, while India, the Middle East, Mainland China and ASEAN countries are the most promising among emerging markets.
Smartwatches remain as top trend
In terms of product trends, 26% of respondents expected smartwatches to continue as the most popular watch category, followed by mechanical watches (22%), automatic watches (16%), and quartz analogue watches (14%). They consider fashion watches (34%), smartwatches (32%), and leisure type watches (23%) to have the highest growth potential in future.
Hong Kong’s Dayton Industrial Co., Ltd. has been in the watch business for more than 60 years and is a world-class smart analogue watch developer and manufacturer. Dayton Industrial Director Paul Anthony Yuen said the Hong Kong Watch & Clock Fair and Salon de TE are the world’s largest marketplaces for watches and clocks as well as parts and components. “The Wearable Tech Zone inside Salon de TE provides an important platform for us to promote our smartwatches and look for cooperation opportunities. We have connected with new buyers from France, Germany, Iran, Mainland China, Russia, Sweden and Turkey who are interested in our OEM and ODM services. We are also going to collaborate with a famous horologist to produce innovative hybrid smartwatches.”
All-new Scan2Match offered alongside Click2Match fosters business opportunities
Augmenting EXHIBITION+, the fairs launched the Scan2Match function, enabling buyers at the physical exhibition who scan the exhibitors’ QR codes with the HKTDC Marketplace app to bookmark their favourite exhibitors, browse product information and e-floor plans, make product enquiries and continue discussions online even after physical fair, extending the interactions from offline to online platforms.
Swiss exhibitor Ribawatch (Suisse) Sarl has participated in the Hong Kong Watch & Clock Fair since 2008. Marketing Manager Rami Taher said: “Due to COVID-19, we were unable to attend the physical fair last year. We are happy to be coming back this year and have high expectations. The HKTDC’s Click2Match service has helped us set up six business matching meetings. We have found a Turkish buyer who is interested in our OEM services and two buyers from France and India who want to be distributors of our Rama and RSW brands, respectively. I am confident in securing new orders through this fair. I expect the fair will generate US$1 million in sales for our company.”
Naouras Dabaan, COO of the Dabaan Group Co., a watch manufacturer and distributor in the United Arab Emirates, noted that he had visited the Hong Kong Watch & Clock Fair more than 10 times. “At this year’s fair, I have met with six new suppliers and 11 existing suppliers. So far, I have placed orders worth US$400,000 in total, with five watch suppliers. I am also going to place two new orders for complete watches worth US$100,000 as well as purchase US$25,000 worth of watch displays. The HKTDC’s Click2Match service is very useful, and the brand-new Scan2Match function provides the perfect means for me to collect exhibitor information.”
Following these two fairs, the HKTDC will hold the Hong Kong Electronics Fair (Autumn Edition) and electronicAsia from 13 to 16 October. Both fairs will also adopt the EXHIBITION+ hybrid model to help SMEs expand their businesses and capture business opportunities.