Hongkong International Coin & Watch Convention

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A New Chapter for the Historic HICC

HICC Coin Show

The HongKong International Coin Convention and Antique Watch Fair (HICC) is the first coin fair in Hong Kong’s history. Its founder Mr. Ma Tak Wo is a signature icon in the local collectible coin industry. Upon his retirement, he has announced the baton of his lifetime business is passed to a new team with young but experienced members, Mr. Sam Hung, Mr. Simon Wong and Mr. Wayne Wong.

Over the years, Mr. Ma has occasionally been approached by parties interested in buying HICC’s management rights. But there has been no deal until Sam, Simon and Wayne closed it. As its flagship The Hong Kong Watch Guild Show booms and grows during recent years, the team is now expanding its business to the collectible coin market. How did the team impress Mr. Ma and become the “chosen one”?

Sam answered with a serious look, “Surely it’s because of our sincerity.” He explained that long before the transfer of HICC’s management rights, they have established a deep relationship with Mr. Ma. It started when Mr. Ma generously shared his rich knowledge and experience with them when Sam and his partners began holding watch auctions 7 years ago. “We basically learned everything about holding an auction from Mr. Ma, he was even the auctioneer for our first auction. When we started the Hong Kong Watch Guild Show later on, Mr. Ma has provided us with valuable suggestions and guidance.”

The Hong Kong Watch Guild Show has gained enormous popularity among international dealers and collectors since its establishment a few years ago. The display cabinets of the show have increased rapidly from dozens to more than 300, while the visitors from around a hundred to more than a thousand. “We earned Mr. Ma’s confidence as he witnessed us starting from scratch and developing the watch guild show into its present state. In addition, we have promised Mr. Ma that we are going to make every effort to ensure the development of HICC, and we are confident that we will not let him down.”

While being asked about how the members became business partners, Sam said that the three have indeed known each other since the early years as all of their fathers have worked in the pawn business. Yet they have different focuses on their careers– Sam founded a watch company 15 years ago, Wayne moved from Macau to Hong Kong 10 years ago to help his father expand his pre-owned watch business, while Simon worked as an IT consultant in the U.S. After Simon returned from the U.S. and settled in Hong Kong, he decided to start a watch business after a few years of rest. Finally, the three came up with the idea of holding watch auctions, and later on co-founded the Hong Kong Watch Guild Show.

As for the reason of taking over HICC, they said that it’s because they see the urge to preserve the historic and significant platform. Simon remarked, “HICC is not just a famous exhibition in the local collectible coin industry, but also a collective memory for the community. It is historic and symbolic. I believe that for a lot of people from the industry, like myself, HICC was the first time we could participate as an exhibitor. The convention is really full of memories for every one of us. It would be such a pity if it came to an end.” He added, “We would also like to express our gratitude to Mr. Ma for his teaching and support by continuing HICC and helping it thrive.”

They expect that HICC will attract more exhibitors, dealers and collectors from around the world to connect and trade in Hong Kong. “The most outstanding feature of HICC is not just it’s tax-free, but the fact that it locates in Hong Kong where goods such as exhibits for trade fair undergo a customs clearance process that is simpler than other regions. It is more convenient for dealers and exhibitors. Especially while Chinese collectible coins being so popular and valuable in the international market, Hong Kong surely benefits from China’s complicated tariff system.”

The team also hopes that the exhibition would help promote coin collecting in Hong Kong so that more people could enjoy the hobby. “Coin collecting is a way of exploring history and culture as well as a nice investment, particularly for young people.”

They would like to thank all exhibitors, dealers and visitors for their continued support. Apart from striving to preserve the characteristics of HICC, the team emphasises that they would also add modern elements to the convention, especially in the management, operational and promotion aspects in order to elevate the brand to new heights and deliver a refreshing experience to every participant.