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Story Time, Our Favorite Books For The Watch Collector

What do you get the collector who has every watch? How about hopping online and buying the best horological books which tell tales of passion and intrigue.

By Rhonda Riche

Cyber Monday may be over, but the internet is still your friend when it comes to stocking up on things like gifts for collectors without having to brave cold weather or the mall. We’re not talking about timepieces per se, but books about watches for that person who is already satisfied with their collection but still wants to broaden their knowledge and indulge their passion for watches.

Story Time

Since Amazon started as a bookseller, we have mixed feelings about the current state of brick and mortar booksellers. With that being said, we’d recommend calling your local bookstore to check availability on these books before pulling the proverbial Amazon Prime trigger. With those goals in mind, we’ve made a list of our favorite book offerings for watch fans.

Discovering Time: Stories from a Collector Community by Richard Vinhais

Most books about watches are like a boor at a party: passionate, well-intentioned but ultimately dull. This collection of short takes on the weird and wonderful world of watch collecting, however, offers a wry and illuminating insight into the worldwide subculture of watch collecting. Vinhais travels the world to collect the stories of collectors. And there are plenty of gorgeous photos to keep you coming back to revisit the book.

A Man and His Watch: Iconic Watches and Stories from the Men Who Wore Them by Matt Hranek

Not a new book (it came out in October 2017) but that’s okay because it's more about story-telling than timekeeping anyway. This sumptuously illustrated book by Matt Hranek pairs iconic watches with some of their most passionate owners and fans.

The Watch, Thoroughly Revised by Gene Stone and Steven Pulvirant

Originally published in 2006, The Watch is one of the most popular books on vintage and contemporary mechanical watches ever written. But times have changed since the first edition published a decade ago. Audiences for timepieces have exploded! Which is why Stone teamed up with Hodinkee.com’s Stephen Pulvirent to refresh and revise the book. The new edition features new brands, new models, and the latest news about traditional brand leaders, including Rolex, Patek Philippe, Omega, and TAG Heuer.

From Seamaster to Seamaster: The First 70 Years by Philippe Lacombe

This deluxe picture book will delight obsessive fans of the Omega Seamaster. Photographer Lacombe got unparalleled access to the Omega archives to create this exhaustive overview of the evolution of this iconic watch depicts just about every model since it was first introduced in 1948.

Assouline Ultimate Collection: The Impossible Collection of Rolex by Fabienne Reybaud

At $845, you could buy a pretty nice watch for the price of this publication. But then again, it’s a book about Rolex — the most coveted, and most collected watch brand in the world. This special 196 page, 14 x 17 edition is bound in Rolex Green and includes images of exceptional models never before seen in print.

All in Good Time: Reflections of a Watchmaker by George Daniels

For a real insider look into the art of watchmaking, you can’t beat George Daniels’ autobiography. If the Englishman and inventor of the co-axial escapement was a horological superhero (and he kind of is), this would be his origin story.

Marie Antoinette's Watch: Adultery, Larceny, & Perpetual Motion by John Biggs

This 2015 tome has all the elements of a gripping thriller: Over 200 years ago, Abraham-Louis Breguet made a watch for the Queen of France. In the intervening years, this historic timepiece was the subject of political intrigue, romantic shenanigans and lots and lots of money.

Lake Success: A Novel by Gary Shteyngart

Okay, not a book about watches but Shteyngart is a watch fan himself, and the protagonist of this novel embarks on a classic American road trip with a case of vintage watches and the goal of finding personal redemption. The book is compelling, witty, and the perfect companion for your travels.

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