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LEDs top improvement efforts in promotional watches

The lighting component allows nontraditional methods of performing the core function.

The inclusion of LEDs is driving R&D among China makers of promotional watches. Output of LED-equipped products is expected to hit 10 million pieces this year, or 20 percent higher than in 2010, for a total value of $30 million. Such versions were not that popular in previous years due to technological and cost limitations, but maturity in the component's industry has caused reductions in both, thereby boosting adoption.

LED watch
The AED-088 model from Acever incorporates peanut-shaped LEDs.

The LEDs of these timepieces enable nonstandard time display. One midrange model offered by Acever Gifts Industry Shenzhen Co. Ltd, for example, uses several peanut-shaped diodes. Each red bulb represents one hour, while yellow and green variants stand for one and five minutes, respectively.

LED watches come in a variety of materials. Cases, for instance, are available in zinc alloy, ABS and silicone. Steel is not in strong demand because parts made from it are $6 higher than zinc alloy products.

Straps typically utilize genuine leather, PU, nylon and silicone. Genuine leather bands go for at least 50 percent more than PU versions. Steel components are the most expensive, depending on whether solid or hollow construction is used.

Other watch types are offered in addition to LED models. They encompass uncomplicated and multifunction releases in plastic and metal.

Of these, LCD-equipped units are popular in the basic and sports categories. Such versions usually show the time, day and date, perform countdowns, and are also present in simple selections for children and women.

Low-end promotional LED watches go for $2.50 to $4. These utilize red, yellow or orange bulbs, and perform only basic time- and date-telling with regular digits. The cases are plastic while the straps are PU, nylon or synthetic leather.

Midrange units often adopt nonstandard presentation methods to augment the basic functionality. The diodes are in multiple colors, while the housings are plastic or alloy. Genuine and synthetic leather, and hollow steel links are strap options. Prices are $4.10 to $6.

High-end LED watches start at $6.10 and have more bulbs than less expensive types. They employ plastic or alloy enclosures. Bracelets are made of solid steel bracelets or genuine leather.

More innovative display methods are used in this category. In one model from Acever, for example, pressing a button causes lights to flash and drop to the exact time representation.

Low-end timepieces without LED components go for $1 to $2. These digital or analog products perform only the core function. Cases are plastic or aluminum, and straps are PVC or nylon. Logos are usually silk-screened.

Units priced between $2.10 and $5 cover basic and multifunction types. The former releases have movements from Hong Kong- or Taiwan-invested providers, plastic or alloy housings, and plastic, steel or synthetic leather straps.

Multifunction variants are often optimized for sports application, and display the time, day and date. Countdown, stopwatch and alarm capability are standard.

High-end promotional models without LEDs can exceed $50. The enclosures are solid steel or plastic, boasting water resistance of at least 3ATM. The movements are from Switzerland or Japan.

Genuine leather and solid steel are utilized for the bands. Additional functions may be incorporated.

Prices of China-made promotional watches are determined by the case and strap material, design and functions.

Quotes are expected to surge 10 to 15 percent YoY due to cost adjustments for major inputs such as steel, alloy and plastic. The rising labor outlay is another factor.

Further, the strengthening of the yuan against the dollar is impeding price stability. Values increased by about 3 percent last year, with suppliers looking at 5 percent growth in coming months.

In the analog promotional watch sector quartz-movement models dominate China's selection. The majority of these components are procured from local Hong Kong- or Taiwan-invested factories for quality, although sourcing specifications are accepted.

For price-sensitive orders, quartz movements are purchased from local privately owned companies. The cost difference among part suppliers in various areas is 5 to 10 percent.

Regardless of product type, solid steel and Italian genuine leather are among the popular materials utilized for the straps of high-end models. In the midrange, hollow steel, solid alloy, and genuine and top-drawer synthetic leather are common. Low-end timepieces often employ PU, fabric and nylon.

A number of companies offer silicone straps. They are, however, not typical components due to their unsuitability for hot locations and lack of a sweat-absorption property. The cost effectiveness is also a concern.

Various metal types are available for cases. Of these, solid steel is standard for upscale models as it provides good protection for the movement and has high perceived value. Zinc alloy is another popular material that, while not as hard, gives pleasing visual effects when electroplated. Aluminum is used for midrange and low-end timepieces with basic functions.

In addition, makers utilize plastic variants such as ABS and PE for novelty products in the same price segments.

Suppliers employ a variety of methods for logo application, including silk-screening, pad and offset printing, laser engraving, embossing and punching.

The first is the most popular and cost-effective, and is suitable for metal and plastic models in small and large quantities. It imparts sharp patterns with vivid colors and is usually conducted manually.

Pad printing, on the other hand, is done by machine. It enables even ink distribution.

Offset printing is often used for design installation when the inner dials are paper or plastic. Suitable primarily for large quantities, it allows application of multiple colors for better visual appeal.

For the surfaces of metal and hard ABS timepieces, logos can be added via laser engraving. This is the most cost-effective of all available methods.

Embossing and punching may be done to place patterns on plastic, and genuine and synthetic leather straps. These processes, however, do not permit much color variety.

Product gallery

Regular promotional watches price guide


LED watch
Product gallery

Acever Gifts Industry Shenzhen Co. Ltd

Model: AED003-04A
MOQ: 500 pieces
Delivery: 15 days
Price: $2.50
Description: LED watch; mirror cover; time and date display; PU or leather strap; logo can be silk-screened on strap or case

LED watch

Acever Gifts Industry Shenzhen Co. Ltd

Model: AED-088
MOQ: 500 pieces
Delivery: 15 days
Price: $4.95
Description: LED watch; time and date display; logo applied via silk-screening; steel case

LED watch

Acever Gifts Industry Shenzhen Co. Ltd

Model: AED11-01A
MOQ: 500 pieces
Delivery: 15 days
Price: $2.50
Description: LED watch; mirror cover; time and date display; PU or leather strap; logo can be silk-screened on strap or case; various colors available

LED watch

Acever Gifts Industry Shenzhen Co. Ltd

Model: AED12-1
MOQ: 500 pieces
Delivery: 15 days
Price: $4
Description: LED watch; time, date and day display; 3ATM water resistance; plastic case and band

Silicone watch

Fujian Ehome-Gifts Mfg Co. Ltd

Model: E-S-SW035
MOQ: 3,000 pieces
Delivery: 10 days
Price: $0.35
Description: 100% silicone; 3ATM water resistance; logo applied via silk-screening, embossing; 16cm; EN 71, CE, RoHS


Shenzhen Aiers Watch Co. Ltd

Model: ARS-0810
MOQ: 1,000 pieces
Delivery: 35 days
Description: Time, day and date display; Citizen movement; stainless steel band and case; logo applied via silk-screening; 40x200mm; CE, RoHS

Quartz watch

Zhangzhou Yingzi Watch & Clock Co. Ltd

Model: QAA0033G L
MOQ: 1,000 pieces
Delivery: 30 days
Description: Quartz watch; imported or domestic movement; PU or genuine leather strap, alloy case

Quartz watch

Zhangzhou Yingzi Watch & Clock Co. Ltd

Model: QAC0564G
MOQ: 1,000 pieces
Delivery: 30 days
Description: Quartz watch; imported or domestic movement; alloy case

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.

Disclaimer: All product images are provided by the companies interviewed and are for reference purposes only. Those product images featuring products with trademarks, brand names or logos are not intended for sale. We, our affiliates, and our affiliates' respective directors, officers, employees, representatives, agents or contractors, do not accept and will not have any responsibility or liability for product images (or any part thereof) which infringe on any intellectual property or other rights of a third party.

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