A History of the Hong Kong Watch Industry ...

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joerattz
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A History of the Hong Kong Watch Industry ...

Post by joerattz » Tue Jan 24, 2006 7:59 pm

and its relationship to Christopher Ward.

From Christopher Ward:

In fact one (perhaps 30) of the major reason/s I am in the watch business is because of what happened in the Hong Kong watch industry some 30 years ago.

30 years ago, the Federation de Horologe Suisse decided themselves that Hong Kong a growing manufacturing hub could be an important source for cheaper production should the Swiss watch making industry need to develop cheaper products to fight off the growing threat from Japanese quartz movements. So they embarked on a 4 year programme training 8 Hong Kong students per year in the art of Swiss watch making in Switzerland. A total of 32 students took the two year course.

A good friend of mine for 28 years …Woody…was one such guy….each of these guys then spent a number of years learning their trade in Switzerland working for the top brands that have sponsored forums on timezone.

Woody after a very short spell went back to HK and earned his first few million in HK and Taiwan manufacturing watches for himself together with Tommy who supplied him with components and earned his stripes in Vacheron.

James and Philip came back after working at Breguet and Jaeger le-Coutre to set up their own manufacturing in Hong Kong, and then others followed from ISA, Ronda and ETA, to set up their own businesses in movement brokering. These 32 guys, sadly now are only 30…and only 8 exist in the far east, others are main board directors within Cartier and Gold Pfeil etc around the world……..only 8 are left in HK but all 30 meet regularly at reunions. These 30 guys were instrumental in building up what is now the Hong Kong watch and jewellery industry…in fact it’s the reason the Swiss pulled the plug on the programme and have ever since been trying to restrict the sale of movements to HK down to a few models…but the draw is great on the component side for them.

Of the 8 in Hong Kong …. 6 are connected with our business, and another advises us on diamonds. From the supply of movements to the assembly of our watches based on Swiss methodologies we have been given access to the best manufacturing and watch making knowledge there is in the far east. Because of our long standing relationships with these people we buy as competitively as any of the big companies out there.

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Post by Kostya » Thu Jan 26, 2006 1:01 am

What an excellent post! Thanks to Chris and joerattz for sharing this very interesting information with us.

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Post by MYND » Fri Jan 27, 2006 2:47 am

Yes, i really enjoyed reading these interesting posts! Keep them coming :D

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Re: A History of the Hong Kong Watch Industry ...

Post by President » Sun Dec 16, 2007 8:56 pm

This deserves a bump. I hope you don't mind.

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