I was in Hong Kong recently for a work related trip and like most watch enthusiasts, I quickly researched a bit about some of the places to check out while I was there. Hong Kong is one of the largest luxury wrist watch markets being the top in 2017 for Swiss timepiece exports. So I was expecting to see a lot of watches and was not disappointed somewhat. Here’s a list of places to check out for those who are hunting for a particular piece whether vintage or new or even just window shopping like myself.
Nathan Road In Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon
If you take the subway to Tsim Sha Tsui station and exit via N5, you would be greeted with a row of watch shops on your left as your initial appetiser for what is to come. If you think that the Rolex Cosmograph Daytona is unattainable due to the long waiting list, then you can snatch a couple here which is on display outside by the window. Head on along after that to Nathan Road and you will see watch boutiques everywhere. While you’re here, go check out the popular Jenny Bakery cookies but beware of fake distributors which I’ll highlight later.
Champagne Court, Kimberley Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon
After going through Nathan Road and if you’re feeling bored with shiny new timepieces, head on to the infamous Champagne Court where you will find mostly pre-owned pieces. This building houses not many watch shops but the Union Classic Watch shop is probably something to experience. This particular shop if I’m not mistaken has a few thousand pre-owned watches in stock and plentiful on display with their price tags. You could spend a few hours just checking out all these ultra luxury watches crammed up like apples and oranges in a supermarket. Here you would find Hublots, Tudors, Rolexes, APs, Pateks and more premium brands. If you’re looking for mid-tier brands, then this is not the place for you but I did find a very reasonably priced Tudor Black Bay GMT at one of the smaller shops. Still it’s interesting to see a $80,000 watch covered in dust.
CKE Shopping Mall, Nathan Road
If the high prices are too much to bear, then maybe check out this hidden little mall at Nathan Road. Here you will find multiple smaller shops where prices seem to be slightly better. There’s also some vintage pieces in some of the shops as well. This is the type of malls I’m constantly on the lookout for as Champagne Court just have too few shops in that building. You might also see someone holding a banner claiming that Jenny Bakery is in this building. Beware and ignore as they claim to be an authorised distributor selling at a higher price when the real one is just along the corner.
Hart Avenue, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon
This little road has a few more possible shops to checkout but I was too late and it was already closed.
Causeway Bay Area
Here are mainly spanking luxurious outlets with the likes of boutique brands such as Carl F. Bucherer, Omega, Patek Philippe and I can’t remember what as I’ve seen so many.
Upper Lascar Row a.k.a. Cat Street (Flea Market)
Now this is rather unconfirmed, I saw this guy on YouTube who went to Hollywood Road where all the antique stuff are but from the video I reckon it’s more like Cat Street which is adjacent to Hollywood Road. However, I went there in the early afternoon and could not locate any vintage watch stalls at the flea market. Maybe they are open later in the evening, no luck here but from the video they had some rather interesting vintage pieces.
New Bowling Watch & Jewellery, Bute Street, Mong Kok
If you happen to be at Fa Yuen Street known for their large varieties of sneakers then you would want to head over to this small little shop nearby. Of all the shops that I’ve seen, I’m glad that there’s one that did not overwhelm potential buyers with bucketloads of watches on display. This one is curated with some of the most popular watches and in excellent condition. I was particularly drawn to a IWC 3706 going for HKD$19,800.
Ken’s Watches, Lockhart Road, Wan Chai
Before going over to Hong Kong, this was one of the shops that popped up in Google. I didn’t have time to visit this one and just merely passed the shop while on the way for lunch. They have a website that seems to be updated regularly to show which timepieces are available at a particular branch and in English. That’s something that is found wanting in the watch industry in Hong Kong where it’s mostly concentrated on the brick and mortar with not much online presence.
I’m quite sure there’s plenty of other hidden gems yet to be uncovered. Let me know below in the comments what other places do you recommend?