New timepieces are still high on utility, executing about five tasks for fitness or diving.
Multifunctionality continues to be the R&D priority of sports watch companies in China even as manufacturing costs increase.
Rates for digital modules climbed 10 percent in the past six months, while stainless steel went up 14 percent from August 2010. But since demand for timepieces that can perform several tasks remains strong, makers are unable to simplify designs as a means of reducing production expenses. To keep prices stable, they are improving efficiency and management systems instead.
The latest releases incorporate three to five features, with some having up to 10. Fitness styles include a calories burned calculator, pedometer, pulsimeter and heart rate monitor. Diving models are also gaining popularity.
To make the dial easy to read amid the numerous display elements, businesses are employing large indexes and luminous hands. Contrasting colors are utilized.
A few suppliers, however, had to raise quotes by 5 to 8 percent. Further upward adjustments are not planned in the next six months to maintain buyer interest.
Taking these factors into consideration, the industry is optimistic exports will still thrive after posting 10 percent YoY growth in 2010.
Sports watches from China may have mechanical, QA or digital clockwork. The last accounts for the majority share of overseas shipments. Analog-digital types compose the second-largest category.
OEM and ODM orders each account for 40 percent of foreign sales. The rest comprises OBM products, which go mostly to South America and the Middle East. In-house designs are generally simpler to process because of few modifications from customers.
Prices start at $0.30 and can exceed $6. The movement or module and the functions these have are the main factors affecting quotes, contributing at least 30 percent to outlay. The band, case and other components represent 20 percent.
Low-end timepieces reach $3 and are fitted with domestic or Japan-made digital modules or quartz movements. Locally sourced batteries dominate the range. They often last less than 1.5 years. The typical features include an LCD for the hour, minute, second, month, day and week stamp.
Many have daily alarm, 12/24-hour format, hourly chime and 1/100s stopwatch with split functions. Designs withstand water to 3ATM.
Midrange releases are between $3.50 and $6. Apart from the functions in less expensive models, products boast a calendar, calorie calculator and heart rate monitor settings. Their water-resistance rating is from 3 to 5ATM.
The high-end selection includes sailing designs with an electronic compass, moon phase indicator and barometer. RC watches and diving versions that work at temperatures between -20 and 60 C also fall under this segment.
Note:This article was originally published by Global Sources, a leading business-to-business media company and a primary facilitator of trade with China manufacturers and India suppliers, providing essential sourcing information to volume buyers through our e-magazines, trade shows and industry research.
All price quotes in this report are in US dollars unless otherwise specified. FOB prices were provided by the companies interviewed only as reference prices at the time of interview and may have changed.
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