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In this issue

A look at prospects for the holiday season, traditionally the industry’s most lucrative period

Gift sales a test of the times

woman wearing Moussaieff jewellery

Elizabeth Paton on prospects for the holiday season, traditionally the watch and jewellery industry’s most lucrative period

It might be prudent to mine the gap

Some groups know how to take good advantage of the quiet time between the Geneva and Basel fairs, says Robin Swithinbank

watch components

End to parts war may be in sight

Robin Swithinbank on the Swatch Group’s dispute over supply of movements to rivals

Rolex's new facility in Bienne

Groups put many millions into factories

Timothy Barber on the upshot of a shift away from external suppliers of movements

Michele Sofisti, CEO of Girard Perregaux

Strategy to reshape a heritage brand

James Shotter talks to Michele Sofisti, the new CEO of Girard Perregaux, about his plans

watchmaker fixing a timepiece

The high cost of ownership has just begun

Simon de Burton reports on the importance of maintenance, which does not come cheap

students at a watchmaking school

Difficulty finding good staff for the world’s masterpieces

Simon de Burton considers efforts to address the deficit in student watchmakers who are available to handle a fast rising workload

Rewards of a leap of faith

Robin Swithinbank reports on the calculated risks associated with extreme marketing

Richemont secures its place on Fifth Ave

Jim Shi considers the logic behind the Swiss company’s $380m acquisition of prime retail space inside the St Regis hotel

Van Cleef & Arpels' minaudiere; Anya Hindmarch's clock clutch in a box; Jaeger LeCoultre's Valextra clutch

Time for even more expensive handbags

Avril Groom reports on a craft relationship based on the days when it was considered unseemly for a woman to check her watch

What happens when famous models crowd out the rest

Houses can be confronted with the horological dilemma of their most iconic faces getting in the way of new business, writes Avril Groom

Life still to be found in mature markets

Chinese tourists spent £100m in London on Boxing Day last year but are not the only big spenders, says Robin Swithinbank

European groups bounce back in US

Jim Shi reports on a trend that has luxury watch brands reinventing their sales plans

Industry mavericks explore far fringes of product design

Timothy Barber considers the creation of a watch that will never be seen in a boutique and stands no chance of making a penny of profit

Fashionable timepieces have a role to play in style status

Fashion businesses that have moved into innovative design and watch collections are enjoying continued success, writes Jim Shi

Their finest hour

Simon de Burton wonders if it is worth buying a watch that offers a perceived ‘element of history’ or whether it is just a marketing gimmick

Latecomers plan to conquer the market with luxury lines

Eric Sylvers talks to Messrs Dolce and Gabbana about their belated foray into exclusive watches to complement their fashion range

Fierce competition for the rarest stones

Avril Groom reports on a growing specialist market that has new entrants and old desperate to find the most desirable rocks

Suppliers struggle to keep up with diamond demand

Claire Adler reports on the groups that are burning the midnight oil as they provide fancy cut gems for sophisticated Swiss watches

Confident of weathering another storm

Elizabeth Paton talks to Tiffany & Co chief Michael Kowalski about how the luxury brand is enduring the economic slowdown

Hong Kong holds its own in terms of trade

Anthony deMarco on a jewellery show that may not be glamorous but certainly does big business

Acceptable dimension to the ivory trade

Elisa Anniss on the interest in and availability of woolly mammoth tusks

Palladium: New kid on the jeweller’s block

The selling points for this virtually unknown precious material are strong, writes Maria Doulton

‘Secret’ mine set to add to India’s shine

Maria Doulton reports on Rio Tinto’s development, kept under wraps for years, of the Bunder project in Madhya Pradesh

Golconda treasures perpetuate the legend

Vivienne Becker on two rare Indian diamonds that have come up for sale within months of each other

Ali Baba to the stars

Neil Munshi considers the life and times of Munnu Kasliwal, who provided perfect pieces for the likes of Jackie Onassis and Mick Jagger

Willing buyers go begging

Scheherazade Daneshkhu considers reasons behind a lack of mergers and acquisitions activity in the world of watches and jewellery

Microscope revitalises the craft of pavé

Modern techniques elevate pieces from costume to fine category, writes Elisa Anniss

Shoppers expect a cut above

Designer diamonds have trademarked shapes to make them stand out but there is uncertainty over which will last, writes Syl Tang

Baubles with a sense of humour

Claire Adler on an eclectic and, at times, obscure show

Place in legend is secured

Simon de Burton witnesses horological history at the George Daniels sale

Most valuable clock in the world goes back on the block

Simon de Burton explores the history of the Sympathique, designed for French royalty by Breguet, which will be auctioned next month

What to look out for at the autumn sales

Simon de Burton offers his top tips on some prized pre-owned and vintage wristwatches that are about to go under the hammer

Comfort factor contributes to purchase of pieces online

As shops start to look the same, customers are discovering unique designers they might not otherwise have access to, says Claire Adler