Asian Watch Conference explores latest market trends
HONG KONG, Sept 6, 2022 – (ACN Newswire) – The 41st HKTDC Hong Kong Watch & Clock Fair and 10th 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 and Industries Ltd, will run from 7 to 11 September at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre (HKCEC). The 39th Hong Kong Watch & Clock Competition, is hosted by the HKTDC Hong Kong Watch & Clock Fair 2022 Organising Committee, and co-organised by the Hong Kong Watch Manufacturers Association Ltd and The Federation of Hong Kong Watch Trades & Industries Ltd. Competition results have been officially announced and all winning and finalist entries will be on display during the Watch & Clock Fair.
|Open Group champion of the 39th Hong Kong Watch & Clock Design Competition: “Geisha”|
|The HKTDC, the Federation of Hong Kong Watch Trades & Industries Ltd and the Hong Kong Watch Manufacturers Association Ltd co-organised this year’s Hong Kong International Watch Forum, inviting watch association representatives from Mainland China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan and Switzerland to discuss trade performance in their respective regions.|
In advance of the fairs, the Hong Kong International Watch Forum was held yesterday (5 September) to help industry professionals grasp global trends and prospects. The forum invited watch association representatives from Mainland China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan and Switzerland to discuss trade performance in their respective regions and offer perspectives on the global watchmaking industry.
Hong Kong Watch & Clock Competition uncovers design talents
The 39th Hong Kong Watch & Clock Competition aims to promote innovation in the local watch and clock industry, at the same time revealing local design talents and injecting new impetus into the industry. This year’s competition was again divided into the Open Group and the Student Group, with the respective themes of “Night” and “Race Against Time”. Nearly 70 high-quality entries were received, with a judging panel of nine industry leaders and celebrities selecting winners.
The Open Group champion was won by the Ballerina Watch Company Limited design “Geisha”. The charcoal-coloured watch case features a sake glass and a geisha silhouette dial face handmade in sterling silver. Time is subtly shown in the middle of the geisha’s fan, while traditional kimono patterns are printed on the back of the strap to echo the geisha design on the surface. First runner-up in the Open Group was clinched by Tam Kwok-tung for “StarTrack”. Set against a backdrop of the night sky, the design features an “8” shape with stars telling the time at the top and an automatic winding rotor at the bottom. It is as if the complex mechanical movement of the rotor gives the stars a gravitational pull to guide it to tell the time. Meanwhile, the second runner-up spot went to Heromex Holdings Company Limited for its design “NOCTUS”. Featuring a little field mouse as the hour hand and an owl as the minute hand, the two characters tell the fable of the forest as they revolve around the dial.
In the Student Group, Yip Tsz-yan of SHAPE (DILWL) was declared champion for her design “Present”. Taking inspiration from a camera lens, the watch features a case with a mechanical design that can be opened and closed manually. Its strap is designed without a clasp and cleverly uses the elasticity of the metal to open and shut. First runner-up was Cheung Ning-yi of the Hong Kong Design Institute, whose design empowers the wearer to be the goddess in charge of her own time. Lee Kwan-ho of the Hong Kong Polytechnic University clinched the second runner-up spot with “The Moment”, whose design embodies the message: “The preciousness of time is that people learn to cherish it”.
Visitors will be able to appreciate the winners’ works and vote for the “Most Popular Award”. The awards presentation ceremony will be held on Saturday 10 September, 4pm at the Time Chamber in Hall 1 of the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre (HKCEC).
Forum offers perspectives on the global watchmaking industry
Representatives from various regions share details of the trade performance in their respective regions and offer perspectives on the global watchmaking industry at the Hong Kong International Watch Forum was held yesterday (5 September) to help industry professionals grasp the latest global trends and prospects.
Mainland China watch market trends higher since June
Citing statistics from 270 watch and clock enterprises in Mainland China, Zhang Hong-guang, Director General of the China Horologe Association, said the industry’s cumulative operating income in the first half of this year reached Rmb13.73 billion – a slight drop of 2.7% from the previous year. Operating income in April fell 13.1% year on year as a result of COVID-19 pandemic controls. During the first half, the industry recorded a loss of Rmb170 million, a decrease of 31.2% compared to the same period last year. The industry’s profits dropped 15.2% to Rmb450 million in the first half of 2022.
Mr Zhang said the mainland’s cumulative watch and clock exports showed an overall upward trend between January and July. Cumulative exports reached US$2.68 billion, up 12.1% year on year. With the exception of February, exports showed a month-on-month increase, indicating a positive outlook overall. Imports, however, showed a general downward trend. From January to July, cumulative imports were down 24.8% on the same period last year at US$2.51 billion.
He concluded that the performance of the mainland’s watch and clock industry remained steady in comparison with last year, with a 22% reduction in losses and a slight decrease in revenue from the main businesses. With the consumer market recovering gradually since June, the industry’s productivity and sales have shown a significant improvement, with an uptick in profitability, indicating the market is picking up.
Japanese watch exports boosted by demand for high-priced mechanical watches
The watch and clock industry in Japan is primarily driven by exports, particularly of watches. In the first half of this year, the industry saw a remarkable recovery, with growth almost returning to the 2019 pre-pandemic level. Citing statistics from association members, Mari Yamazaki, General Manager of the Japan Clock and Watch Association, said Japan’s domestic watch sales volume fell 3% year on year with the biggest decline in the digital quartz watches and mechanical watches.
The results were mainly attributable to decreased demand from tourists as a result of Japan’s stringent anti-pandemic entry restrictions. Despite the drop in sales quantity, overall sales rose 2% year on year as watch values rose. Sales of high-priced mechanical watches grew 34% year on year due to increased demand. Ms Yamazaki added that as various countries gradually eased their anti-pandemic restrictions, Japan’s watch exports rose 13% in quantity and 20% in value year on year, fuelled primarily by the North American market. Thanks to the satisfactory export performance, Japan’s overall watch sales increased 12% in value and 13% in quantity year on year in the first half of 2022.
In terms of clocks, while the domestic sales volume and value in Japan fell nearly 10% year on year during this period, global exports rose 8% in quantity and a remarkable 68% in value thanks to the economic recovery in overseas markets. Ms Yamazaki said overall clock quantity sold fell by 9% year on year but total sales increased 1% to 8.5 billion yen, with a downward year on year trend. This was due to weak domestic consumption in Japan.
Swiss watch exports surpass 11bn Swiss francs for first time
Global Swiss watch exports enjoyed a strong performance in the first half, led by precious-metal or steel mechanical watches. According to Thierry Dubois, Managing Director, APAC, Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry FH, the downturn driven by macroeconomic and geopolitical issues as well as the pandemic had a limited impact on Switzerland’s watch sector.
In the first six months, Swiss watch exports grew 11.9% year on year to more than 11 billion Swiss francs (US$11.23 billion). The export quantity rose to 7.2 million units, up 3% year on year. Quartz watches recorded the most noticeable growth, followed by mechanical watches, with the performance of watches priced at more than 3,000 Swiss francs showing the greatest strength. Mr Dubois noted that although Swiss watch exports had previously been sluggish, the performance had improved since last year.
He added that Asia accounted for nearly half (49%) of Swiss watch exports in the first half of this year, with Europe (30%) and the United States (19%) being the second- and third-largest markets respectively. Most markets showed clear growth in demand. The US (+31.4%) led the way, followed by France (+36.5%), the United Kingdom (+31.8%), Germany (+25.4%), Singapore (21.4%) and Japan (+19.5%). However, the market in Mainland China was significantly disrupted by anti-pandemic measures in April and May, resulting in a drop in sales (-26.3%) during the first half of this year. Hong Kong also recorded a drop (-11.5%) during this period.
Mr Dubois concluded that prospects for the Swiss watch industry remained optimistic this year, despite uncertainties in macroeconomic prospects. He predicted watches will continue to benefit from sustained demand and the appeal of luxury goods. However, challenges such as raw-material supply, rising energy and transport costs, and manpower shortages will have an impact on turnover.
The Hong Kong International Watch Forum was held as a webinar on 5 September. A recording of the full event is available on the fair websites.
Insiders reveal insights on trends and prospects at Asian Watch Conference
The annual Asian Watch Conference will be held tomorrow (8 September) under the theme “Watches Beyond – Transformation and Reinvention”. Experts including Anna Dai, Research Analyst at Euromonitor International, and Zi-Yong Ho, Co-head of Sales, International Specialist, Director, Watches at Phillips, have been invited to discuss a range of issues, including the latest development trends in the watch market, business opportunities in blockchain, transactions with blockchain technology and non-fungible tokens (NFTs). Trade professionals interested in joining the conference can register here. https://www.hktdc.com/event/hkwatchfair/en
Industry participants are also invited to join a number of seminars and forums that will bring them up to date on market trends and prospects. The “Cross-Border eCommerce: How to Win in Southeast Asia” talk on 9 September will feature Chois Choi, Strategy Consultant, Source Network Media Group Limited, who will look at how cross-border e-commerce in Southeast Asia has created unprecedented business growth through short video platforms, and how this trend can help the watch industry increase brand popularity and boost sales.
Opportunity to assess global market trends
The 41st HKTDC Hong Kong Watch & Clock Fair and 10th Salon de TE open tomorrow. The physical fairs run from 7 to 11 September at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre (HKCEC), while the online exhibition will run from 7 to 18 September, helping global watch traders explore business opportunities both in person and online. The physical fairs at the HKCEC will be open to industry buyers and also to the general public, offering watch lovers the opportunity to shop for precious timepieces.
– Hong Kong Watch & Clock Fair: https://hkwatchfair.hktdc.com
– Salon de TE: https://hkwatchfair.hktdc.com/te
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The Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) is a statutory body established in 1966 to promote, assist and develop Hong Kong’s trade. With 50 offices globally, including 13 in Mainland China, the HKTDC promotes Hong Kong as a two-way global investment and business hub. The HKTDC organises international exhibitions, conferences and business missions to create business opportunities for companies, particularly small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), in the mainland and international markets. The HKTDC also provides up-to-date market insights and product information via research reports and digital news channels. For more information, please visit: www.hktdc.com/aboutus. Follow us on Twitter @hktdc and LinkedIn
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