Watchmakers are taking aim at the fashion-conscious as the economy recovers, banking on consumers' willingness to spend on the latest designs. Exhibits at the annual Hong Kong Watch and Clock Fair, which opened yesterday, display a bewildering array of designs, many featuring logos of prominent brands. 'As the market is recovering and getting better, more investors are willing to spend money to develop new designs and new graphics,' said Arrow Lee Kwan-keung, production manager of watch and clock maker A2Z. Mr Lee said designs with crossover ideas and fashion elements would be fashionable next year. 'Graphics involving different brands, such as labels for beer, shoes, cars and even rock bands will be merged into the designs of clocks and watches,' he said, holding a clock with a picture of an American car. Patrick Chau Cham-wong, chairman of watchmakers Peace Mark, also said fashion has played an increasingly large role in production and sale of timepieces. 'Branded watches with new designs every season will be the leaders,' Mr Chau said. 'Let's say red is hippest this year, and black is the trend next season.' The five-day watch and clock fair at the Exhibition and Convention Centre has a record number of 807 exhibitors this year, 5 per cent up on last year. Ken Man Chi-lai, managing director of Star Union Watch, was upbeat about the outlook for the industry and believed his business would benefit from the thriving global economy. 'Our sales should increase by 20 per cent this year,' Mr Man said. Tommy Leung Yung, president of the Hong Kong Watch Manufacturers Association, expected the number of visitors to the exhibition to rise by 10 per cent over last year. He said the increase in oil prices would have only a minor impact on the industry.