On our Bookshelf: Books for the Watch Connoisseur
To quote the polymath, politician, and founding father of the United States, “the person who deserves most pity is a lonesome one on a rainy day who doesn’t know how to read.”
Having faced the wrath of Storm Dudley, Eunice, and Franklin in mighty quick succession, never has a quotation seemed more appropriate. As bins flew past windows, trees toppled to the ground, and aeroplanes wobbled nervously back down to earth, one of the sole sources of calm could be found bound by leather.
Books have long allowed people to escape reality or obtain knowledge in boundless quantities. With each new chapter, each page turned, the reader is exposed to novelties. Facts and figures spill off the page. Storylines develop, inciting spontaneous, uncontrollable reactions.
Fortunately for all you horologists, there are a number of incredible pieces of prose that we can’t recommend enough. Adding the following titles to your collection will not only serve as invaluable timepiece tuition, but should inspire and introduce you to different understandings of the value of watches.
The first title we want to shine a light on is Matt Hranek’s veritable classic, A Man and His Watch. Across 217 pages, Hranek delves deep into the relationships some of modern history’s most influential men have had with their timepieces. From global leaders and heavyweight political figures to artistic geniuses and popular cultural icons, each story reflects how watches played a role in accomplishing astonishing feats and featured during influential moments that defined modern history.
Featuring accompanying photography of these timeless watches, Hranek’s scribings illustrates how the pieces in question are far more than just status symbols and timepieces. Rather, they are representative of their owners, historical artefacts, heirlooms, and family mementoes.
Next up, Gisbert L. Brunner’s The Watch Book Rolex takes readers on a journey through the storied history of one of the world’s great brands. Synonymous with luxury, heritage, and unparalleled levels of craftsmanship, Brunner’s passionate and detailed prose offers more than a simple chronological account of Rolex’s history.
Exploring technological developments and state of the art design found embedded in each piece, as well as focusing on revolutionary models such as the imperious “Oyster,” “Datejust”, or “Submariner”, Brunner’s infallible knowledge examines every detail. Once you’ve put this down for the final time, you will be sure to understand why the Rolex brand has achieved so greatly.
Our final selection comes from the American journalist, author, and timepiece specialist, Roberta Naas. In her fascinating Jewels of Time: The World of Women’s Watches, Naas ventures back through time to investigate how art, architecture, and fashion have inspired the design of women’s watches.
Alongside her aesthetical examination, Naas’ poetic authorship also provides a portal into the symbiotic growth of women’s roles in society and wristwatches throughout the 20th century. Featuring beautiful photography to accompany the fascinating historical analysis and highly insightful interviews with truly influential women, Naas’ title is an essential for any true horologist.