Special Feature about Our History
1841November 13, 1841
Hong Kong is opened as a free port.
The Hong Kong Dispensary is founded in Hong Kong.
1858November 16, 1858
Alexander Skirving Watson, a British pharmacist, joins the company as Manager.
1869June 10, 1869
Hong Kong Dispensary is appointed the chemist of the Hong Kong Governor and the Duke of Edinburgh.
1870sNovember 16, 1870
A.S. Watson sets up scholarship to support local medical school. Dr Sun Yat–sen, the renowned politician and revolutionist in China, is also one of the beneficiaries under the scholarship scheme.
1871November 16, 1871
The Hong Kong Dispensary begins trading under the name A.S. Watson & Company.
1886November 16, 1886
A.S. Watson becomes the fifteenth company registered on Hong Kong Company Registry
1903November 16, 1903
Watsons Water is established to provide pure water in Hong Kong and Mainland China.
1941November 16, 1941
A.S. Watson celebrates its centenary just before the Japanese force attack on 13th December.
Hong Kong is occupied by Japan on 25 December 1941, starting the “3 years 8 months” Japanese occupation era.
1972November 16, 1972
The Cross-Harbour Tunnel, the first underwater tunnel in HK, is opened.
A.S. Watson establishes PARKnSHOP supermarkets.
1980s-1990sNovember 16, 1980
Watsons expands to Taiwan, Macau, Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand. It also reopens in China in 1989.
1981November 16, 1981
A.S. Watson becomes a fully-owned subsidiary of Hutchison Group (forerunner of CK Hutchison Holdings Limited). At the time we have 75 stores.
1990November 16, 1990
FORTRESS joins the A.S. Watson Group.
1998November 23, 1998
Watsons Wine opens its first store.
Hong Kong International Airport opens at Chek Lap Kok on Lantau Island.
2000November 16, 2000
A.S. Watson enters European market by acquiring the Savers health & beauty retail chain in the UK.
2002November 23, 2002
The Tsueng Kwan O MTR line begins operating.
Watsons Water launches its signature bottle design.
2003November 16, 2003
Watsons Water celebrates its 100th anniversary of purity & persistence.
2006November 23, 2006
Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index rises above 20,000 mark for the first time ever.
2007November 16, 2007
A.S. Watson launches MoneyBack loyalty programme in Hong Kong.
2008November 23, 2008
Hong Kong hosts 2008 Beijing Olympics and Paralympics Equestrian events.
2010November 23, 2010
Hong Kong Certificate of Education Examination is discontinued.
Watsons membership card reaches 15 million members in Asia.
2012November 23, 2012
Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education (HKDSE) is held for the first time; last HK A-Level exams for school candidates.
Watsons undergoes a major rebranding exercise to modernize the customer experience.
2013November 16, 2013
A.S. Watson opens its 10,000th store worldwide.
2014November 16, 2014
Hutchison Whampoa Limited (forerunner of CK Hutchison) forms a strategic alliance with Temasek.
2015November 16, 2015
A.S. Watson opens its 12,000th store worldwide in Causeway Bay, Hong Kong.
2016January 5, 2016
- A.S. Watson Group celebrates its 175th anniversary.
2018October 10, 2018
- A.S. Watson Group, Yonghui and Tencent announce a joint venture to create the largest grocery retailer in Guangdong
- Official launch of Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge, as an important infrastructure of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area
- A.S. Watson continues to expand and reaches 14,500 stores, operating 12 international retail brands in 24 markets across Asia and Europe
- Watsons China exceeds 3,400 stores
- A.S. Watson global loyalty member reaches 130 million