In the first part of this article I have focused more on Hong Kong as a city; in this part we will have a look at the watchfair itself. In my opinion as a seller, everyone should visit such fair at least once in a lifetime, but is that truth also from a point of view of visitor, who only comes to look at nice watches? Let’s find the answer in the text below.
After the arrival to the fair, each visitor needs to register. It is not a slightest problem, as all employees are ready to help, I would even say they will rather drag you and show what and where to do. In Hong Kong, English is the second official language, so if you can speak English, you won’t have any problems. It could happen that some of hongkong's citizens understand you worse, but even if no one understands you at all, surely, there will be someone close who will understand you perfectly. I couldn’t say how it would be in case of German speaking visitors. I suppose, much worse.
Let’s visit the first hall. I am curious. At the entrance of each hall, charming Asians scan the code on visitor tag. Managers so have a perfect view of flow and movement of visitors. And maybe that served more prosaic reason – to prevent unregistered people to enter. Who knows...
One hall could be, based on my estimation, about 100 m long and 40 m wide, two such halls were used for exhibition. The third hall had a square layout and held a competition fair called Saloon de TE. This one was surely the most interesting as there were the most prestigious brands.
In the first hall, there were mainly Chinese manufacturers, but a small part was reserved to manufacturers from Taiwan, India, Italy and other countries. What did not make me happy was a restricted attendance of real Swiss, as I counted only thirteen of them. I tried to walk systematically from aisle to aisle, not to miss anything. Mainly there were exhibitors of watch accessories such as leather straps, watch extensors, boxes etc.
We all know that Chinese goods do not have a good reputation here. But I have to defend them as well, as many of them performed very nice quality, and I dare to say, even comparable to Swiss one. And naturally, they require a completely different evaluation. On the pictures below you can see leather straps in a very nice design and high quality, what could not be said about my pictures, as I took them all with my phone.
The same is truth about watch brands. Many of them have a perfect workmanship and design such as these:
So.. apart that reversely set strap (upside down). Similar mishaps were not really rare :-)
Many booths had rich flower decoration. For Chinese, flowers symbolize many meanings, such as success, prosperity, etc. That intoxicating fragrance played it role, that’s for sure.
Only few opt for artificial flowers.
This man demonstrated his art of leather straps sewing. And he was very good at it. And please notice that a mentioned flower bouquet could not be missing.
I took a break for a small snack and then I continued to the second hall. Immediately I liked the perfect diving watch of unknown brand called 2CAN. I had an opportunity to weight them up and I have to admit, that the quality was really good (for Chinese conditions).
I stopped by shining lunettes and dials. Ultraviolet light gave life to Superluminova.
I didn’t even realize that and it was time to leave, as the closing time came. Never mind, tomorrow is another day. As it was quite early, I decided to do some sightseeing. My target – Victoria peak, the highest peak in Hong Kong, with stunning views. With aching legs, I didn’t have other choice but to opt for a bus that took us to the very top (my smart phone informed me that it was my life performance – 20 km in not very comfy shoes :)
I already sat in a bus. You surely noticed that the driver sits on the right side. It’s the remains of English domination. Hong Kong used to be rented out to Englishmen for 99 years. This privilege expired in 1997 and since when it functions as an independent autonomy. For sure, it wouldn’t be possible that highly capitalistic Hong Kong fell under typical Chinese authoritative regime, and this was obvious also in Peking. That’s why a rule “one state, two systems”, is true for Hong Kong. If you want to get from Hong Kong to China, you will need visa which you get very easily for a small fee. I suppose that to get visa to get from China to Hong Kong won’t be that easy. But as I don’t have a personal experience, I cannot confirm it.
The bus driver has my full admiration and respect. What a regular bus driver needs to go through in a common traffic in Hong Kong really is nerves harrowing. I didn’t even have enough time to take a picture of narrow and winding roads leading to Victoria Peak. Many times the driver had to stop to let the opposite going car pass by. Next to the winding roads, haciendas of nouveau rich could be seen. They have to be really rich, as the real estates are unbelievably expensive, considering the limited building places. The common prices down in the city are around 30 thousand EUR for a square meter! And they say, the higher in Hong Kong you live, the more rich you are. The values of real estates up there move somewhere around tens of millions... And so we are here, that beautiful Victoria Peak about which you read everywhere. There are some shops at the top and a magnificent building, to which roof one can climb to, to enhance your experience.
Down there are some shops and restaurants. To the right, there is a narrow path with a magnificent view. Have a look
And so that you have an idea who talks to you from behind the screen, I have asked one of the tourists to take a picture of me. So I also have some memories. I could have removed that tag from the fair :)
Interesting thing is, that if you come at the right time (I think it’s at about 8 PM), the city will reward you with beautiful light show. Many of the buildings synchronously lighten up and pulse and play with many different colors. Victoria peak really met my expectations and is worth its reputation.
On my way back, I managed to take a picture of probably the most beautiful building in Hong Kong known as Bank of China Tower, named according to a bank which has its seat there.
Finally I get back to my hotel, to get new energy for the next day.
It’s the following morning, let’s go. On my way to fair, I saw a skyscraper with bamboo scaffolding. Chinese are said to like bamboo a lot, as its easy and cheap, so why to spend money on expensive metal constructions..?
Again I enter the fair. Today, from the other side.
Today, I finally enjoy Salon de TE. When I enter the hall, there is a very nice music playing.
Right next to the entrance, there were small fashion shows, focusing the attention to watch brands presented in the fair.
Right to the left, there is a bigger stand called World Brand Piazza, with the most luxurious watch brands.
Unfortunately, I found out they were not the manufacturers of brands, but just a Hong Kong seller, who promoted them. These are brands such as Chopard, Zenith, Piaget, Jaeger LeCoultre, Corum and others. Let’s see some of them.
I was really glad to see some of „my“ brands, such as Squale a Dwiss. I met their owners, who told me some news they are planning. Dwiss will introduce a new model Emme very soon, which dial will attract all who enjoy atypical technical solutions.
You can the model itself see at the poster on the left.
My next stop was in the Kairos workshop. The brand attracted with a combination of mechanical and electronic, so called smart watch.
I am sure they are awaiting a bright future, but for now they need to fight with high, 17 mm case and not fully transparent glass.
My next stop was a booth of Memorigin brand. This Chinese manufacturer specializes in watches with tourbillion, for very good prices. Once I thought about importing them to our market, however complications with the subsequent service and general skepticism against watches made in China, discouraged me.
Another interesting stands, were for example Seagull (Chinese manufacturer of clockworks), Fyita and many others. Naturally, I am not able to mention all 700 exhibitors in this blog; therefore I attach some more pictures. Afterwards, they sometimes tell more than thousand words.
I believe I have managed to bring you at least a little bit of that fair atmosphere. If you were not able to find the answer to my initial question, which was if it’s worth to visit this fair, I can reply directly. If you are a seller, yes, for sure. You can find new business partners, as well as other business opportunities. If you are a final consumer, probably no. Because when I take into consideration that you need to invest about 800 EUR into air ticket, I would advise you to buy some nice watch instead or to visit BaselWorld in Swiss Basel, where you find what you are looking for. It’s considerably bigger with considerably bigger amount of fair brands.
At the end, I say good bye with a view of the highest building in Hong Kong - International Commerce Center.