In this report

The fascination that wealthy Chinese and other foreign visitors have for fine mechanical timepieces offers hope that the Swiss watch industry can ride out the storms created by a strong franc, weak world economic growth and competition from smart devices

Sector ready for dismal economic outlook

Strong franc, slow global growth and smart devices all present challenges

How makers coped with rising Swiss franc

Watchmakers have taken radical action since Switzerland’s central bank abandoned its cap

A royal fortune lost and found

Pieces with provenance: Queen Nazli’s platinum and diamond necklace

The TAG Heuer Connected

A piece of Silicon Valley from Switzerland

The TAG Heuer Connected is more traditional than it seems

Daniel Riedo illustration

Craftsmanship is always in fashion

Jaeger-LeCoultre puts faith in ‘artisans and artistes’ to counter pressure from wearable technology

The Vacheron Constantin Reference 57260

Vacheron Constantin’s maths challenge

To mark its 260th anniversary, the company has created the most complicated watch in existence

Adam Craniotes

‘Not a cognac-sipping fat cat’

The founder of watch aficionado club RedBar is sought after by luxury brands’ marketing teams

Omega Speedmaster

For sale — timepiece that went into space

Top lots include a Speedmaster worn by an Apollo 17 astronaut

David Holder, president of Laduree, poses for photographer, in Conches near Geneva, Switzerland, Friday, July 30, 2015
©KEYSTONE/Anthony Anex

My favourite pieces: David Holder

The trademark rings of Ladurée’s chairman raise eyebrows in meetings

(left to right) Excalibur Spider Pocket Time Instrument, Richard Mille RM020 and the Chaumet Dandy pocket watch

Twist on tradition for modern dandies

The pocket watch offers brands an opportunity to showcase high-tech takes on an old-fashioned format

National Serviceman to master goldsmith

John Donald, who designed for Princess Margaret, dislikes the expensive side of jewellery

Hoard of pocket watches in market debut

The largest private collection known to exist goes on sale at Sotheby’s

Hublot’s Big Bang theory

The distinctively shaped wristwatch revived the company’s fortunes

Hands-on approach to the future

Patek Philippe has launched a watchmaker’s programme

An igenious chronometer

Chopard’s Ferdinand Berthoud FB1 revives the reputation of a forgotten horologist

Time travels with father of timekeeping

A museum in San Francisco explores the most important pieces created by the great Abraham-Louis Breguet

Niche brands join an exclusive club

SIHH is an international draw and will now give smaller makers the chance to mix with the big league

Women watchmakers in a man’s world

A handful of female chief executives are changing the face of the industry

British minnow takes to a life at sea

Bremont has surprised the industry with its America’s Cup partnership

High-end brands embrace digital market

Crunch time for luxury sales as ecommerce comes of age

Rise of the Brit pack powered by battery

Mechanical watches are growing in popularity

Crowdfunding gets watch industry ticking

Traditional watchmakers are turning to Kickstarter to get their models to market

Brooch that sealed a royal love affair

Items collected by India’s emperors and maharajas are on show at the V&A until March

The secret workshops hidden in Manhattan

Many legacy brands still craft their pieces close to the shopfloor

Putting a shine on store-bought baubles

Retailers are turning the spotlight on neglected areas of sales space

The Bard helps retailer sell to Hollywood

The Shakespeare effect is helping a family-owned jeweller expand beyond its roots

Forging links with the Royal Academy

Ai Weiwei exhibition marks a new departure for David Morris

Bergdorf’s and Harrods woo big spenders

Stores are opening salons to attract high-net-worth customers

My shop has become my ‘silent partner’

Small is beautiful for niche designer Jessica McCormack, who has kept her business in-house

Trust is key to in the world of gemstones

Access to exceptional stones is usually fiercely guarded

1970s vibe inspires wave of collections

Demand outstrips supply as brands dip into back catalogues to cash in

Opal fever and the dream of riches

Miners work alone and risk life and limb as they tunnel 60ft below the earth’s surface

Ice, diamonds and frostbite

Arctic exploration brings brutal cold, but the rewards are great

Annoushka Ducas — an ‘accidental jeweller’

A career that began with novelty cufflinks has become a global brand

Chaumet to explore its heritage

Social media is retelling the brand’s story

Parties and pampering for the VIPs

Brands spare no expense when it comes to wooing their top customers

Designers fight to get into the gift bag

Jewellers hope that giving away the right piece to a celebrity will help them gain wider exposure

Diamond retailer steps up to the hallmark

Graff hopes its recently opened in-house assay office in London will enhance the brand

Tough times stimulate Beirut’s designers

Jewellers are looking to Europe to develop their businesses

Baku’s flourishing retail scene

A growing wealthy middle class is luring international designers