Smart and automatic watches are viewed as the most popular categories.
About 48% and 32% of respondents expect sales of watches to remain steady or grow in 2020, according to an on-site survey conducted at the 38th edition of the Hong Kong Watch & Clock Fair by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC).
Close to 18,000 visitors from 104 countries attended the fair, according to the HKTDC.
Accordingly, most respondents view Japan, Western Europe, Taiwan and Hong Kong as the most promising mature markets in the next two years, whilst the Middle East, Mainland China and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) were seen as having the best prospects among emerging markets.
More than half (51%) of respondents predicted watches interactable with smart devices to be the most prevalent product development strategy in the coming year, followed by collections that align with current season's fashion trends (40%), mix & match watches (featuring changeable parts to match clothing) (39%), and limited edition collections (35%).
Meanwhile, respondents view smart watches (31%), automatic watches (22%), digital analogue watches (18%) and quartz analogue watches (14%) as the most popular categories for 2020.
The fair aims to provide business opportunities to both buyers and exhibitors. For example, Iran-based Dijiran CEO Ali Ahmadi placed $196,078 (US$25,000) worth of watch orders offered by Adriatica, Pierre Lannier and Toms, and also plans to buy Jacques Farel watches valued at $39,215 (US$5,000). "Through the HKTDC's business-matching service I also found six potential suppliers of smart watches and plan to buy 1,000 pieces from one of them," he added.
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