More than just a massive market and trading hub for watches, Hong Kong is also a centre for design and development. The annual Hong Kong Watch & Clock Design Competition encourages further innovation in timepiece design.
The winning and finalist entries from the 36th edition of the competition are on display at the HKTDC Hong Kong Watch & Clock Fair (3-7 September), demonstrating the craftsmanship and creativity of local designers to international buyers.
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 38th edition of the Watch & Clock Fair and the concurrent Salon de TE run at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre (HKCEC).
The annual competition – hosted by the HKTDC Hong Kong Watch & Clock Fair 2019 Organising Committee, and co-organised by the Hong Kong Watch Manufacturers Association Ltd and The Federation of Hong Kong Watch Trades & Industries Ltd – was divided into the Open Group and Student Group, under the respective themes of “Fresh Start New Look” and “Abstract Wonder”. The former theme suggested creating a brighter future for the industry through quality design, while the latter encouraged young designers to use their limitless imagination to create unique designs. The 2019 competition drew about 130 entries. A panel of nine judges from various sectors chose the winning entries through a rigorous selection process.
Bright future for industry
The design by Marco Tang, “Shuhari”, was named champion in the Open Group. “Shuhari” drew its inspiration from the Japanese martial art kendo, representing the three stages of self-improvement. In kendo, the sword is seen as the soul of the samurai, and the use of the sword element in the watch sought to bring out the theme of breaking through barriers to give the industry a fresh start and new look.
First runner-up was “Reborn” by Lee Cheuk-chung. A three-dimensional skull covers the watch surface, matching the domed glass and disc hands. The skull represents rebirth, a symbol for the pursuit of a new life and the interpretation of power.
“Connoisseur” by Tang Siu-hung was named second runner-up. The design uses a translucent hour plate that allows different details of the mechanical movement to be shown at every moment, creating a unique, minimalistic and intriguing design.
In the Student Group (main picture), Wong Sze-wa from the Hong Kong Design Institute won the champion prize with “UKIYO-E”; abstract waves on the watch face give a unique appearance under refracted light. The watch uses handcrafted techniques combining jewellery and shells in the design.
First runner-up was Cheung Sau-ki from the Hong Kong Design Institute. Her piece “Dream Adventure” uses different-coloured beads; each colour represents a different kind of energy. The designer believes life is like dreams in that both are unpredictable, wonderful and full of vitality, and she hopes the watch will encourage people to embrace challenges in the future.
Hatti Chan from the Technological and Higher Education Institute of Hong Kong was awarded the second runner-up prize with her piece “Reversed World”. The design is inspired by a reversed image of Hong Kong’s Victoria Harbour. When the light shines on the water, a whole new world is revealed – one that is both mysterious and adorable.
The three Open Group winners will attend a five-day study course in Japan, sponsored by the Hong Kong Japan Business Co-operation Committee. In addition, the champions of both the Open Group and Student Group will be sponsored to visit the Baselworld 2020 watch show in Switzerland in April-May, while all the winning and finalist entries are on display at the Watch & Clock Fair.
The fair, along with the seventh Salon de TE, showcases about 830 exhibitors from 22 countries and regions, spotlighting a wide variety of watches, clocks and related products and helping small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) tap the global market.
Salon de TE, a platform for leading international watch brands and designer collections, showcases about 140 brands in five thematic zones: World Brand Piazza, Chic & Trendy, Craft Treasure, Renaissance Moment and Wearable Tech.
To help exhibitors handle market challenges, the HKTDC has brought to the fair 80 buying missions, comprising nearly 4,400 buyers from 58 countries and regions, including renowned watch and clock brands, retailers and wholesalers such as Stock Watches (Australia), Chilli Beans (Brazil), Wenger’s Ltd (Canada), Paul Valentine (Germany), Titan Group (India), Tous Watch (Spain), Swatch SA (Switzerland), Armitron (United States), and Gebr. Heinemann SE & Co (Germany). Newly launched Buyer Concierge Desks are set up in the Hall 1C Concourse Customer Centre, Hall 3B Concourse and Hall 3FG Entrance to provide onsite assistance as well as the business matching service.
The fair features about 30 events – including forums, seminars, networking events and watch parades – to facilitate the exchange of market information among industry players. The Hong Kong International Watch Forum (3 September) gathered watch association representatives from France, Germany, Japan, Korea, Mainland China and Switzerland to discuss future industry trends, global directions and challenges, while the Asian Watch Conference (4 September) featured Jorge Martin, Head of Fashion Research at strategic market research company Euromonitor International, to share how digitalisation and connectivity are sparking an analogue reinvention. Emil Chan, Chairman, The Association of Cloud and Mobile Computing Professionals, examined ABCD (artificial intelligence, blockchain, cloud and data) technology solutions for wearable devices, while Philip Wong, Vice-President (Technical) at the Movado Group, discussed new trends for smart watches.
HKTDC Hong Kong Watch & Clock Fair