September 3, 2015
by David Bredan
2015 marks the 34th Hong Kong Watch & Clock Fair and – on a personal note – my second year in a row that I get to visit this unique exhibition. Last year, prior to my first trip to Hong Kong, I only had a blunt idea on what to expect as far as the range of watches on display was concerned – and the fact that over 750 exhibitors were reported to be present made me wonder even more about what exactly I was going to see there. Held between September 8 and 12, 2015, this year’s event will host some 780 exhibitors in the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre and we’ll be there once again – let’s see what are some of the more notable points of discussion.
You may find my detailed report from the Hong Kong Watch & Clock Fair of 2014 here – in a nutshell, though, what you need to know is that this fair is almost exclusively reserved for the watch industry, with just one open day for the public. That means that this is a major event where from the smaller workshops all the way to hugely capable manufactures, as well as from totally new brands to more internationally successful ones, a vast selection of industry participants are present.
Furthermore, while the influence of the economic super power China needs no introduction to anyone, the PRC’s (and hence, of course, also Hong Kong’s) influence on the luxury watch industry is a much less defined element, especially so if we consider these two locations not as markets, but as suppliers. The Hong Kong Watch & Clock Fair, in my experience, is much more about China-based suppliers and watch brands finding customers, than it is about others (e.g. the Swiss manufacturers or brands) selling to them. Trust me on this, on the endless aisles of the halls of the exhibition center you’ll find entrepreneurs looking to launch their own new brand just as well as representatives of luxury watch brands – looking for suppliers to help keep their “Swiss Made” labeled watches more affordable (and profitable).
Also, with the recently reported economic slowdown (or at least consolidation) in the growth of China, I am genuinely looking forward to once again attending the invitation-only forums where the respective presidents of the watch industry federations of a number of major markets discuss these and other issues. I will find out how concerned they are about these trends and how much they feel they affect the watch industry – and will report on this and further economic analysis on the performance of the global watch industry during the past 12 months.
Last but definitely not least, for a few days I will be exploring at least some of the five exhibition halls – with a total area of a whopping 53,292 m² – inside the rather amazing Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre; in an effort to find some the most interesting, notable, crazy or just downright outrageous watches of the fair… I expect to see plenty from all categories. Make sure you follow us as @ablogtowatch on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and all other social media channels as we’ll be sharing live updates from the 2015 Hong Kong Watch & Clock Fair – and we’ll get back with a full report a bit after the event. hktdc.com