Close to 18,000 buyers visit HKTDC Hong Kong Watch & Clock Fair and Salon de TE

The 38th edition of the HKTDC Hong Kong Watch & Clock Fair and the seventh edition of the Salon de TE concluded their five-day run (3-7 September) today at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre (HKCEC). Jointly organised by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC), the Hong Kong Watch Manufacturers Association Ltd and The Federation of Hong Kong Watch Trades and Industries Ltd, the Fairs welcomed close to 18,000 buyers from 104 countries and regions. Satisfactory growth was recorded in buyer attendance from emerging markets such as Brazil, Poland, Russia, Ukraine and Vietnam, along with established markets such as Belgium and Switzerland.

The five-day Hong Kong Watch & Clock Fair and the concurrent Salon de TE (3-7 September) attracted close to 18,000 buyers, highlighting Hong Kong’s importance as a key trading platform for the global watch and clock industry.

Salon de TE featured about 140 acclaimed brands and designer collections, including 13 renowned international brands from World Brand Piazza, along with impeccable craftsmanship from Swiss Independent Watchmaking Pavilion, Academie Horlogere des Createurs Independants (AHCI) and Franceclat.

Benjamin Chau, HKTDC Deputy Executive Director, said: “Despite the continuation of the Sino-US trade friction, global exhibitors and buyers still view Hong Kong Watch & Clock Fair as a premier one-stop trading platform. The fairs attracted various renowned watch and clock brands, retailers and wholesalers such as Shiel’s from Australia, Chilli Beans from Brazil, Wenger’s of Canada, Germany’s Paul Valentine, Titan Group of India, Tous Watch from Spain, Iduna AB of Sweden, Switzerland’s West End Watch and Armitron from the United States. To assist industry players to expand their business networks and explore more business opportunities amid various challenges, we also expanded our business matching services by putting in place extra resources this year.”

Survey sees 2020 sales as steady or growing

The HKTDC commissioned an independent market research agency to conduct an on-site survey during the first three days of the fair (3-5 September), interviewing 839 buyers and exhibitors about their views on market prospects and product trends. Regarding the market outlook in 2020, respondents who expected to see the overall sales steady and growing are 48% and 32% respectively. Most respondents view Japan, Western Europe, Taiwan and Hong Kong as the most promising mature markets in the next two years, while the Middle East, Mainland China and Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) are seen as having the best prospects among emerging markets.

Smart watches remain as the upcoming trend

In terms of product trends, smart watches (31%), automatic watches (22%), digital analogue watches (18%) and quartz analogue watches (14%) are viewed as the most popular categories for 2020. Watches interactable with smart devices (51%) are predicted by respondents to be the most prevalent product development strategy in the coming year, followed by collections that align with current season’s fashion trends (40%), mix & match watches (featuring changeable parts to match clothing) (39%), limited edition collections (35%) and celebrity-endorsed watch collections (29%).

Business matching creates opportunities for buyers and exhibitors

A buyer from Iran, Ali Ahmadi, CEO of Dijiran, was making his eighth visit to the fair. This year he placed orders for US$25,000 worth of watches offered by Adriatica, Pierre Lannier and Toms, and plans to buy Jacques Farel watches valued at US$5,000. “Through the HKTDC’s business-matching service I also found six potential suppliers of smart watches and plan to buy 1,000 pieces from one of them,” he said.

Sophie Sun, CEO of the 5Lux Group from Mainland China, came to Hong Kong for sourcing. is an e-tailing platform that specialises in selling luxury products such as watches, jewellery and fashion items. Ms Sun said, “I have found a potential supplier of smart watches from Shenzhen and plan to buy Rmb200,000 worth of smart watches. I am also interested in three brands – Giorgio Fedon 1919, Tylor and Zorbello – offered by a Hong Kong company and I’ll contact their distributor in the mainland to explore cooperation opportunities. There are many new brands and business opportunities at the fair.”

Ton Cleijne, Marketing Specialist at the Weisz Group in the Netherlands, said his company has exhibited at the Watch & Clock Fair over the past decade and this was the second consecutive year to showcase two of its brands, Danish Design and Jacob Jensen at Salon de TE. “We are happy to have met with more high-quality buyers this year. Around six to seven existing distributors have placed orders for our new models at the show and we have found potential distributors from Malaysia and Singapore. We have also talked to large retailers from Australia and Indonesia. Salon de TE provides a perfect platform for us to promote our brands and to connect with buyers, especially from Southeast Asia.”