September is here, the air is crisp, the leaves are starting to change, and that can only mean one thing — it’s time for the Hong Kong Watch & Clock Fair and Salon de TE. Since 1966, the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) has been working to promote and develop trade in Hong Kong, with the annual Hong Kong Watch & Clock Fair acting as its showcase event for the watch industry. This year marks the 42nd running of this annual event and the 11th for Salon de TE. Whether you attend in person or join online, there’s something for everyone, from individual consumers to aspiring watchmakers to established brands and retailers. This year’s fair will run virtually from August 29 to September 16, 2023, with the physical events taking place September 5-9 (Hong Kong Watch & Clock Fair) and September 8-9 open to the public (Salon de TE).
The Hong Kong Watch & Clock Fair is an absolutely massive event, playing host to more than 700 global exhibitors from 17 countries and regions. The magnitude of the event should come as no surprise to those familiar with the Hong Kong watch industry. As Sophia Chong, HKTDC’s Deputy Executive Director notes, “Last year, Hong Kong’s total export value of watches and clocks reached almost HK$54.8 billion (US$7 billion). From January to July this year, the export value amounted to HK$31.62 billion. Meanwhile, Hong Kong remains the world’s largest wristwatch import market and the second-largest wristwatch export market, following Switzerland. The watch and clock export index has risen from 47.5 in the first quarter to 48.8 in the second quarter, indicating improved sentiment among Hong Kong’s watch and clock exporters.” In other words, no one should be sleeping on Hong Kong.
For 2023, the fair is embracing “Guo Chao.” Translated as “national wave” or “national trend,” Guo Chao can be viewed as a movement to revive Chinese culture by combining traditional elements with modern style and execution. In this spirit, the Hong Kong Watch & Clock Fair will host several renowned watch- and clockmakers from mainland China, including Ma XuShu (who will be presenting his Starry Night wristwatch) and Wei Guang Wen (who will showcase his classic Guangzhou clocks).
The Hong Kong Watch & Clock Fair is very much a global event. In the Swiss Independent Watchmaking Pavilion, you’ll find an array of Swiss and international brands, including H992, Pilo & Co, Adriatica, Epos, and Ollivier Saveo. Meanwhile, in the World Brand Piazza, you’ll find a host of brands including Bovet, Carl F. Bucherer, Corum, CVSTOS, DeWitt, Franck Muller, Jacob & Co., Kerbedanz, Parmigiani Fleurier, and Sarcar Geneve.
In addition to traditional watchmaking, Salon de TE has tripled its Wearable Tech Zone exhibition area over the past three years, focusing on smartwatches and the latest from technology brands, including first-time exhibitor King-Wear from Mainland China, which will be displaying a watch with one-touch Bluetooth pairing for calls, built-in music and video playback, body identification sensors, and more than 100 sports modes.
While we all love seeing new watches, the other critical role the Hong Kong Watch & Clock Fair plays is connecting brands with manufacturers of complete watches and components, as well as all the behind-the-scenes people and businesses that are needed to bring a watch to market, including packaging and trade services.
The Hong Kong Watch & Clock Fair is making it easy for everyone to connect, whether in person or online, using the new function “Scan2Match” of EXHIBITION+. The digital platform makes it easy to find exhibitors during the fair, find product information, and chat during or after the exhibition.
In addition to the watches themselves, there’s plenty to do and see at the Hong Kong Watch & Clock Fair, including seminars on this year’s theme, Shaping the Future Watch: The Next Design Trends, hosted by Zhang Jianmin, the founder of CIGA Design, and Ollivier Savelli, a Swiss independent watchmaker. Or head on over to hear collectors and experts discuss topics such as affordable luxury.
The fair culminates with the 40th Hong Kong Watch & Clock Design competition with two categories — The Beauty of Perspective for the Open Group and Game Code for the Student Group. Award-winning works will all be on display during the event, with the ceremony taking place on September 9.
For those attending Salon de TE on September 8 and 9, you’ll have the chance to view watch parades, painting demonstrations, embroidery watch crafts, and product watches, and you’ll have the chance to win prizes, including luxury watches, fashion accessories, dining vouchers and much more. There will also be a Smart Bidding event, with starting bids at as low as 10% off retail. If that’s not enough, Asia’s premier fashion event, CENTRESTAGE, will take place from September 6-9.
Again, the 42nd annual Hong Kong Watch & Clock Fair and the 11th annual Salon de TE will run in person from September 5-9, 2023 at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre, and the virtual event will be held from August 29 to September 16. For more information, please visit the event websites: Hong Kong Watch & Clock Fair and Salon de TE.
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