Innovation — a watch firm's journey to success

SHENZHEN, China, Nov. 7, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — A news report from Shenzhen Daily: 

In the Chinese timepiece industry, there is a saying that “Shenzhen watch companies stand out among Chinese peers, while the best timepiece companies gather in Guangming District.”

In March, the China Horologe Association announced the country’s top 10 enterprises in the industry. Eight Shenzhen companies made the list (with four companies tied for 10th place).

Geya is one of them.

‘A commendable decision’

In 2017, Geya made its home at Time Valley in Guangming District. The location serves as a premier hub for China’s timepiece industry, bringing together over 10 prominent enterprises and fostering the growth of the entire industry supply chain.

Sha Linkai, general manager of Geya, believes that the establishment of Time Valley is a commendable decision for the local government.

“We have gathered industry leaders here and formed a complete chain, which is currently very successful,” Sha told Shenzhen Daily. “The entire industry is here, and the market share is here,” he said.

After decades of development, Shenzhen’s timepiece industry has represented the highest level of watch manufacturing in China.

According to data from the China Horologe Association, there are more than 1,500 watch and clock enterprises in Shenzhen, with an annual output value of 68 billion yuan (US$9.29 billion). Of the figure, the output value of traditional watches is 38 billion yuan, and the output value of intelligent wearable products is 22 billion yuan. Shenzhen watch brands account for over 70% of the country’s retail sales.

A leading enterprise

In 1993, Sha’s family started their own watch brand in Wenzhou, Zhejiang Province.

During the growth of the enterprise, they noticed that the upstream and downstream industrial chains of watch parts in China are mostly concentrated in Shenzhen and nearby areas. In 2005, Geya moved to Shenzhen.

From the late 1990s to the beginning of this century, imported brands have entered the Chinese mainland market with great influence, and the entire Chinese watch industry was in a deep predicament. Geya management realized that it was very hard for the company to face rising challenges without innovation and a clear development positioning.

Since then, Geya has positioned itself as a leisure and fashion brand. In recent years, Geya has further embarked on a path of innovative development, creating a unique Chinese style series of watches.

During its six years in Guangming, Geya has been dedicated to incorporating cutting-edge global design concepts while upholding the rich heritage of traditional watchmaking. By blending modern precision craftsmanship with classic techniques, the company merges oriental aesthetics and fashion innovation into the essence of its timepiece creations.

Nowadays, Geya boasts nearly 3,000 sales outlets worldwide, and its products are exported to over 30 countries and regions.

It has established R&D and design centers worldwide, including a R&D center in Biel, Switzerland, which is known for its watchmaking industry.

“The watch industry, being a fashion industry, necessitates substantial investment in R&D,” Sha said, adding that the company invests around 10% of its sales revenue in R&D.

“We have obtained nearly 90 patents,” Sha added.

Geya also has a CNAS-certified lab, which is a sign of excellence, meaning the company has earned accreditation from the China National Accreditation Service for Conformity Assessment (CNAS).

However, the industry, which suffered a heavy blow during the COVID-19 pandemic, is facing unprecedented challenges and reshuffles.

“During the pandemic, people no longer went to shopping malls, so we switched to online sales channels,” he said.

Geya seized the opportunity to sell their products via livestreaming, and it has since established its own livestreaming team, achieving excellent results.

“We have recently launched a series of fashion products that embody traditional Chinese elements, which have become top-selling watches on Douyin [China’s top short-video platform],” Sha said.

Government support

Geya has gained government support at all levels during its development.

“The governments provide subsidies for our technology research and development. Relevant departments often encourage us to participate in overseas exhibitions and they provide us financial support for this,” Sha said.

The first floor of Geya Building has also been chosen as a subvenue of the China (Shenzhen) International Cultural Industries Fair (ICIF).

“This helps a lot in promoting the internationalization of our industry,” he said.

Original link from Shenzhen Daily:

Cision View original content:–a-watch-firms-journey-to-success-301979649.html

SOURCE Shenzhen Daily

Leave a Comment