In an industry focused on time, there’s a surprising degree of panic about the downturn in the Swiss watch industry. While pessimists wait for the sky to fall, the major watch companies, which have experienced much more severe problems in recent decades, are getting on with business, developing new models and styles and working harder than ever to get your attention. The slowdown hasn’t reached our shores, where the Australian appetite for timepieces continues to grow unabated – imports of Swiss watches rising by 11 per cent in the past two years. Unless you have shares in the heavy-hitters, the real impact to watch out for is on your wrist. In troubled times, companies feel nostalgic for what has worked in the past, and this is true today. Tiffany & Co. is looking to the future under the guardianship of Nicola Andreatta, developing its watch business with historically influenced styles such as the ‘CT60’, which looks back to the Roosevelt era (p156). Piaget is playing it safe by reviving the iconic ’80s favourite ‘Polo’ series in stainless steel with the Piaget ‘Polo S’ (p168), and many of the best new watches released at Baselworld 2016, are classically cool. If anything, the contemplative mood has toned down some of the look-at-me bravado of brands that seemed geared towards an aggressive Asian market. Now we have an international approach bordering on restraint, with a hefty dose of elegance, exemplified by thinner and smaller pieces. Stop looking at the sky and start thinking of it as the slowdown we had to have, especially when it comes to style.