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Recovery, not recession, is on the lips of Swiss watchmakers as they greet visitors to BaselWorld, the industry’s bellwether event held each March on the banks of the Rhine. Brands are buoyed by the latest figures out on Swiss watch exports – the opening months of 2010 marked an end to five consecutive quarters of negative growth.

In the aspirational Hall of Dreams (home to the likes of Rolex and Patek Philippe) inside Basel’s fairgrounds, some speak of the modest upturn in hushed tones; others, meanwhile, have plenty to shout about. “We’ve had the…

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