Watches. Hong Kong.
It is virtually impossible to go anywhere in this city without bumping into a watch shop of some description, whether it’s one of the many branches of City Chain, the plethora of shops in Central, TST and Causeway Bay, or a brand boutique (kudos to Vacheron, Omega and Franck Muller in Causeway Bay for being open at 11pm on New Years Eve).
The city loves its watches, whether it’s haute or hot pink.
When a watchnerd/ WIS visits Hong Kong, one question seems to always pop up – where are the pre-owned and vintage watch shops? Google searches and going through watch fora and blogs only brings up a dozen or so places so I thought, on my recent trip there, that I’d try to compile as comprehensive a list as possible as a resource.
In all cases I visited each place to verify its existence, but I ran into problems with one or two places which a) had no opening hours; b) were never open when I walked past, even when I made repeated attempts at random times of the day. They did seem to exist in the sense of there being signage, and in one case, an online presence.
There are also a number of places that I have chosen not to include – the businesses which are ADs for a varying number of brands, but which seemed, inevitably, to have the anomaly of a small section of a window with Panerais and often Rolexes as well, but which do not appear to be ADs of either brand.
I have only purchased from two of these listed places over the years, and I will identify them and give my personal experience. You will find certain brands dominating (Rolex, Panerai, Patek, Omega, Cartier), and the vintage/ modern quantity and proportions variable. For all of these dealers, the usual caveat emptor applies.
There are almost 40 shops listed, so hopefully you can find something of interest in at least one of them.
Po Wan Loi Watch
G/F, 468 Lockhart Rd.
Open : Noon – 9pm
Tse’s Collection (website given as http://www.tsescollection.com but it does not work)
Shop A1, G/F, 441 Lockhart Rd.
Ching Kwok Watch Service
G/F, 63A Electric Rd.
(Tin Hau MTR)
I tried to visit this place twice, but it was closed on both occasions.
Shop B5, G/F, 88 Lockhart Rd
(Wanchai MTR Exit C)
Two attempts to visit Ken’s, but it was closed on each occasion.
Shop 30, Central Building (linked to Landmark Building)
1-5 Peddar St.
Memory Watch & Accessories
Shop C2D3, G/F, China Insurance Group Building
141 Des Voeux Rd.
(Sheung Wan MTR Station Exit E3)
G/F, 180 Queen’s Rd.
TSIM SHA TSUI (TST)
4 Middle Rd.
(TST MTR Exit L1)
Far East Mansion (Arcade)
5-6 Middle Rd.
This arcade has three dealers, including the following, which I’d recommend visiting after 4pm, as he tends to open at around that time, and close around 11pm – midnight. The owner is John Lee and he is always up for a chat.
Shop 32, G/F, Far East Mansion.
4 Ichang St.
Basement One – Holiday Inn Golden Mile Hotel
50 Nathan Rd.
G/F., 41 Haiphong Rd.
Room 804A, Lee Wai Commercial Building
1-3A Hart Ave.
(TST MTR Exit A2. Go to Humphreys Ave, turn into Hart Ave)
G/ F, 8-12E Carnarvon Rd.
Nice Watch Co.
Two doors down from HMS
Watch Bank Ookura
G/F, Shop 11, CFC Tower
22-28 Mody Rd.
(opp K11 shopping mall)
16 Kimberley Rd.
There are half a dozen dealers here, including Ricky Antique Shop at Shop 9B, Union Watch, and Kwaiyan Watches. There are also a large number of camera shops (mostly vintage).
40 Dundas St.
(Mongkok MTR Exit E2)
Shop G5, G/F, CTMA Centre
1 Sai Yeung Choi St. South
(Mongkok MTR Exit E2)
582-592 Nathan Rd.
There are a number of dealers here, and some shops selling new (low to mid range) watches as well. Mostly colourful fashion pieces. The pre-owned dealers :
a) Noble Watch & Jewellery – Shop G12
b) Char Sam & Co. – Shop G9
c) Wahyan Watch – Shop G23 (open 2.30pm – 9pm) : NB this dealer was rather aggressive when I asked for his business card, demanding to know why I wanted it.
d) My Watch – Shop G30
Winfast Watch & Jewellery
G/F, 109 Sai Yee St.
336 Portland St.
I have purchased watches from Berne Horology and Ricky Antique Shop. Each of the three bought from Berne (one for myself, two as gifts) required work (more than just servicing). I have a friend who speaks well of Pak Lee and House Co and another friend who has purchased from 9Maiali with no difficulties. Other than that, I can’t give any concrete opinions about any of the others.
Prices are not necessarily cheap, and there are definitely duplicates (even triplicates or more) across the shops, so it pays to shop around, and to have an idea of how much you are prepared to pay.
The dealers have been grouped geographically and in an order such that you can visit one after the other without having to go around in circles/ backtrack.
It’s probably best to spend at least two days wandering around these shops. One for the Hong Kong side, and one for the Kowloon side.
If I were to suggest how best to plan visits to these places, I’d probably suggest that in terms of the Kowloon side shops (TST/ Mongkok), start at Mongkok and then do TST in the afternoon – the Mongkok places seem to open at more regular hours than the TST ones, so you are unlikely to encounter the disappointment of late opening shops.
If there are any dealers (and I’m sure that there must be) that I have left out, please leave their details in the ‘comments’ section and I’ll add them to the list.
23 Dec 2011 – If you’re in Melbourne, here are some pre-owned watch shops you might wish to visit.