Timeless quality on display
Hong Kong has put itself in a unique position to promote the timepiece industry across the mainland, particularly after China granted all the city's products tariff-free status under the Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement.
Last year, Hong Kong's watch and clock exports increased by 32 per cent, with the European Union and Switzerland accounting for more than 60 per cent of exports.
In view of the industry's optimistic outlook, many manufacturers use the Hong Kong Trade Development Council's (HKTDC) Hong Kong Watch & Clock Fair as a platform to develop business and increase brand awareness.
'As one of the major watch exhibitions in the world, the fair attracts many high-quality buyers from around the world,' says leading designer and exhibitor Christie Wo. 'This helps to promote our brand.'
Wo's designs, including her new Chouette Teslar range, are being featured at the fair's Brand Name Gallery. More than 110 brands from 12 countries and regions, including France, Israel, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands and Switzerland, will be on show at Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre from today until Sunday.
Another quality exhibitor this year is Z Laboratory, which is introducing the Zerone SASU Untitled collection. 'This is one of the largest world-class watch fairs where exhibitors and buyers from different countries and regions can develop business relationships and exchange the latest market intelligence,' Z Laboratory's Anthony Mok says.
'Also, the different promotions organised by HKTDC definitely provide us with a good channel to promote our brands.'
With GSSP (HK) being the exclusive distributor of German brand Neolog watches in the Asia-Pacific region, its display is one that potential buyers and timepiece admirers should not miss. GSSP (HK) sources products with a special character for its clients, and this year the eye-catching and elegant ladies' Soda timepiece promises to be a big hit. The piece has embossed mermaid patterns and is set with shimmering stones for a luxurious and classy touch. Add a slim strap and this delicate analogue watch will make a glamorous addition to an evening outfit.
The fair is the largest event of its kind in the world and welcomes more than 700 exhibitors from 12 countries and regions this year; it is a magnet for industry players seeking the latest in timepiece innovation, fashion and design. The Brand Name Gallery is again a featured highlight. New brand inclusions are Chouette, Elletime Collections, Gemtique and famous Swiss watchmaker Alexis Garin.
The World Brand Piazza, which made a successful debut last year, has expanded and welcomes A. Lange & S?hne, Audemars Piguet, Blancpain, Breguet, Chopard, Franck Muller, IWC, Jaeger-LeCoultre, Omega, Panerai, Piaget and Vacheron Constantin. The piazza is sponsored by Prince Jewellery & Watch Company. At the exhibition, visitors have a chance to view not only a dazzling watch from Vacheron Constantin with no fewer than 186 emerald-cut diamonds weighing about 160ct and worth HK$70 million, but also the world's first clamshell mobile phone with an integrated tourbillon watch, LeDIX by Celsius X VI II.
Also featured in the gallery is a 50th anniversary cocktail party in which Edwin is presenting a limited collection of Dragon and Phoenix pair watches, while designer-watch company o.d.m. has also invited British product and furniture designer Michael Young to speak at the cocktail reception tomorrow.
Visitors are urged not to miss the sharing sessions by industry experts. Watch critic and columnist Simon Shia will discuss the 'Finest watches to watch', while Wo will present a talk entitled: 'Crossover between watches and fashion'.
The gallery will present three brand watch parades from Chouette, Romago and Temporis. Romago's spokesman has been invited to participate in the parade.
Also, three on-site lucky draw sessions will be held on Sunday - Brand Name Gallery Public Day - to give visitors the chance to win special watches, including limited-edition watches.
Visitors should look out for special promotions and sales by selected exhibitors throughout the event. And not to be missed is a demonstration of Swiss watchmaking. The Pageant of Eternity will occupy more than 14,000 square metres, and is another eye-catching feature. This is the place to find extra-special complete watches - the result of impeccable craftsmanship and design - and to conduct business negotiations.
The keynote speaker for the Asian Watch Conference 2011 is Jason Martin, co-founder of the cutting-edge, award-winning United States design studio new.
The event's Hong Kong International Watch Forum is again another platform for international industry members to come together.
Date September 7-11
Venue Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre
Admission Trade visitors aged 18 or above only
(September 11: Brand Name Gallery opens to public. Visitors under 12 will not be admitted.)
Inquiries 1830 668
(Register for free admission badge through Smartphone Info Site, download HKTDC FAIRS at iPhone App Store, BlackBerry App World or Android Market, or from Mobile Info Site - hktdc.com/wap/en)
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