HONG KONG—The world’s biggest timepiece event returned to Hong Kong this week: the 42nd Hong Kong Watch & Clock Fair and 11th Salon de TE, organized by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC), Hong Kong Watch Manufacturers Association Ltd and The Federation of Hong Kong Watch Trades & Industries Ltd.
More than 700 exhibitors from 17 countries converged on the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre (HKCEC) for five days beginning September 5, with Salon de TE opening to the general public for the final two days. The hybrid portion of the exhibitions will continue until September 16.
Much has changed since the last Hong Kong Watch & Clock Fair, and organizers have fully embraced that evolution through the theme of “Guo Chao,” (meaning “national wave”) — a movement to combine traditional elements with modern style and execution.
In addition to traditional watchmaking, Salon de TE has tripled the size of its Wearable Tech Zone exhibition from 2019, focusing on smart watches with cutting-edge features such as one-touch Bluetooth pairing for calls and built-in music and video playback. One sports watch making its debut at the show includes more than 100 sports modes and training programs. These offerings are juxtaposed with classic designs by watchmakers from around the globe, including the largest Swiss pavilion in the show’s history. Topping off the week are a program of forums, seminars and networking events and the 40th Hong Kong Watch Design Competition.
The last two days of Salon de TE are open to the public and include fun activities such as watch parades, a watch and painting demonstration, raffles and an auction.
The high-profile pair of shows is an important step in Hong Kong’s efforts to reclaim its place on the world stage since lifting its COVID quarantines and fully reopening to visitors earlier this year. Once Asia’s premier finance and tourism hub, the city is banking on the return of major conventions such as this and high-profile events such as Art Basel, which took place in March.
The fairs are being held concurrently with another show, CENTRESTAGE, featuring fashion brands and designer collections from around the world. Combined, attendees have the opportunity to explore the latest products from more than 370 watch and fashion brands under one roof.
Hong Kong is the world’s largest wristwatch import market and second-largest wristwatch export market after Switzerland. “Last year, Hong Kong’s total export value of watches and clocks reached almost HK$54.8 billion (US$7 billion),” Sophia Chong, HKTDC Deputy Executive Director, said. “From January to July this year, the export value amounted to HK$31.62 billion.”
Reach Sophia Chong at +8521830668