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“In the end, there was no tsunami,” says Franco Cologni. “We’ve been in turbulent seas but the waters are subsiding.” The chairman of the Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie, the invitation-only watch fair held in Geneva every January, is telling whoever will listen that the industry has seen off the worst of the crisis.

Indeed, after a difficult 2009, when Swiss watch exports slid by almost a quarter, good news ushered in this year’s event as the opening day saw luxury group Richemont, which owns 12 of the 19 brands in this show, report a…

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