The streets in Geneva’s old quarter are busy with tourists enjoying some early-autumn sun. On the Grand Rue, one of the most prestigious of these streets, lies the Initium workshop where Fabiano Pericles is about to introduce me to his craft. The master horologer with an infectious passion for watch-making sets a daunting task. On the brightly lit workbench before me there is a complicated mechanical watch movement – an ETA 6497, to be precise. With only tweezers and a tiny screwdriver, it has to be disassembled. You need steady hands. Piece by intricate piece, I slowly remove the tiny screws that hold the first bridge in place, the lever, the fragile wheels, the balance spring. Nothing must be touched by hand… and that’s when the nerves start to fray. If this sounds like the task from hell, it’s time to rewind a little. Since childhood I have been fascinated by watches and curious about the mastery that goes into making them. And as a collector, watches don’t just tell the time, they also mark key moments of my life.