Seasoned watch collectors or those who have just started exploring the world of timepieces would agree that horological knowledge knows no bounds. While the internet is home to copious resources, the charm of reading a well-researched and creatively illustrated book on horology is timeless!
If you’re looking to deepen your knowledge of horology, GMT India recommends the following:
Masters of Contemporary Watchmaking by Michael Clerizo
The advent of quartz technology resulted in an adverse effect on traditional watchmakers. In the 1970s, several craftsmen in Switzerland lost their jobs. The book tells the tale of how watchmakers like George Daniels, Philippe Dufour, Antoine Preziuso, and Roger Smith, and scores of craftsmen survived the crisis because of their commitment to innovation and creativity. The book has marvellous illustrations and hundreds of examples of their virtuoso work.
Watchmaking by George Daniels
George Daniels, one of the greatest watchmakers of the twentieth century, is considered a supreme master of watchmaking. From his breakthrough invention of the co-axial escapement to the creation of one of the most expensive watches ever sold at an auction, Daniels’s exemplary work and his insights into the world of horology are studied by beginners in the field. In other words, the best-selling book continues to inspire young watchmakers. The text is supported with illustrations and line drawings, making for a perfect crash course in the art of watchmaking.
A Guide to Complicated Watches by François Lecoultre
Written by François Lecoultre, a professor at the Geneva School of Watchmaking, this is considered one of the most comprehensive books about complicated watches. With meticulous attention to detail and focus on craftsmanship, A Guide to Complicated Watches by François Lecoultre is a must-read for both students of watchmaking and collectors with a passion for high complications.
Cartier the Tank Watch by Franco Cologni
When the Cartier Tank watch made its debut in 1917, it was an instant success. Created by Louis Cartier, the Tank watch has become an icon of modern watchmaking with its immediately recognisable silhouette that infuses geometry and harmony. Over the years, the brand has introduced various iterations that draw inspiration from the original design, be it the Tank Cintrée, the Tank Chinoise, the Tank Américaine or the Tank Française.
The book features extensive archival documents along with previously unpublished photographs. Franco Cologni chronicles the most significant Tank watches and their technical aspects through his charming penmanship. The book also presents portraits of the famous clients of the Maison, such as Jackie Kennedy, Brigitte Bardot, Andy Warhol, Yves Saint Laurent, and Princess Diana.
The Watch: A Twentieth-Century Style History by Alex Barter
Packed with impeccable research and illustrations, this book traces the evolution of the wristwatch in the twentieth century. Chronicling the early rise of watches, the book examines how the cataclysmic events of the 1929 Wall Street Crash unexpectedly resulted in the golden age of watch production. With detailed descriptions of specific decades and every era’s stylistic and design highlights, the book assesses the development of different genres of watches.
A Man & His Watch by Matt Hranek
Matthew Hranek is a seasoned watch collector and the editor of the men’s lifestyle magazine, WM Brown. Through interviews and deep dives into exclusive collections, he has gathered untold stories of 76 watches, complete with stunning original photography. Courtesy of Hranek’s fascinating storytelling, the timepieces become veritable time capsules that represent historical moments, pioneering achievements, heirlooms, family mementos, gifts of affection, and lifelong friendships.
Invest in Watches: The Art of Watch Collecting by Marc Montagne
When it came to investments, multiple luxury watches outperformed vintage cars, and bitcoins and other crypto currencies in 2022. Setting and breaking records at auctions, the market prices for some Rolex, Patek Philippe, and Vacheron Constantin references have more than doubled over the past two years. If you are looking for an investment guide that focuses on luxury watches, then this book is a must-have. A complete guide to watch collecting and trading, the book answers questions like what makes for a worthy investment, how to properly estimate the value of a watch, and how to sell a watch at a profit.
The Wristwatch Handbook: A Comprehensive Guide to Mechanical Wristwatches by Ryan Schmidt
The Wristwatch Handbook is a detailed chronicle of the traditional watchmaking renaissance and the quartz revolution. The book aims to cover it all with its comprehensive descriptions of mechanical complications. Each chapter showcases a distinct category of complication, from the regatta timer to the pulsometer to the monopusher chronograph. The book has more than 470 rich illustrations from over 90 leading brands.
The Millennium Watch Book by GMT Publishing
The Millennium Watch Book traces the evolution of watchmaking from 2000 to 2020, analying over two decades of horological history. Written in collaboration with 25 international experts, the book aims to cover not only the latest technologies and new materials, but also the trends and the people behind the creation of these mechanical marvels. Examining a wide array of topics from the second-hand market and the role of patents to complications like tourbillons and chronographs. The book also features an exhaustive list of all the laureates of the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève (GPHG) in all categories since it was founded in 2001 and profiles of the 80 industry figures who have each, in their own way, indelibly marked contemporary watchmaking today. The Millennium Watch Book is the ultimate reference book for both collectors and industry specialists.