Making watches is not merely a manufacturing activity but an art which requires a high level of dedication, patience, and diligence towards the profession. While it is not possible for Nepali watchmakers to catch up with foreign watchmakers overnight, Nepal needs to focus on establishing assembly industries, which would lay the foundation for domestic watch manufacturing. In this respect, it is important to note that industrialisation of today’s Asian economic tigers such as Japan, South Korea and China started with the establishment of a wide range of assembling industries that eventually graduated as the world's leading multinational corporations in their respecting domains.
Nepal's import of watches, parts and accessories is indicative of the opportunities in establishing watch assembly plants. The current size of the watch market in Nepal, which hovers around Rs one billion with a year-on-year growth rate of 17 percent, should not be underestimated. To realise the potential of watch assembly, the tariff on spare parts of watches should be waived. Besides, the government should help domestic watch companies by supporting the training required to develop the workforce, investing in R&D activities and creating a favourable environment to attract FDI and transfer of technologies. Providing tax concessions to this industry is also essential during the incubation period. Given the substantial market opportunities present in our neighbours India and China, the government needs to formulate a proper strategy to export watches in the targeted markets.