A diamond-studded watch valued at HK$76.8 million is the glittering highlight of the annual Hong Kong Clock and Watch Fair that opened yesterday. Made by Vacheron Constantin, the Kallania watch is made with 186 emerald-cut diamonds across the bracelet, case and dial. While it won the best jewellery watch award at the 2009 Vogue Jewels Awards in Madrid, soaring prices for it and other top timepieces featured at the fair are prompting people to look for something a little simpler. Watch critic and columnist Simon Shia likened the surge in watch values to property prices. 'They're becoming more and more unaffordable,' he said. 'Now there is a demand for the simpler and more practical style of watches.' However he said the quality of today's watches was not as good as in the past. 'With mechanisation of watches becoming more sophisticated these days, the quality of watch craftsmanship can only decline,' he said. 'If you want to buy watches, do it now. The earlier, the better.' The 30th edition of the Watch and Clock Fair - the largest of its kind in the world - is being held at the Convention and Exhibition Centre and features 700 exhibitors from 12 countries and regions. Other highlights include a 1947 edition mechanical watch by Tonino Lamborghini. Watches designed by winners of the 28th Hong Kong Watch and Clock Design Competition are also on display. Fok Yiu-chor, 23, of the Hong Kong Design Institute, won the student category for his 'globe watch' that comes in handy for travellers. A green-and-orange dial is divided into two parts to indicate two time zones so travellers do not need to make adjustments themselves. 'The watch design industry is actually very active in Hong Kong,' Fok said. There were more opportunities in the business as watch factories, which used to only produce watches for brands, were looking to create their own designs.