Books on the beautiful history of watchmaking
In 1783, the famous watchmaker Abraham-Louis Breguet received an order. It came from the queen of France, who asked him to make a watch (gousset at the time) with all possible complications. The watchmaker and his craftsmen set to work, to make watch No. 160, with automatic winding incorporating in its gold case a complete perpetual calendar, minute repeater, a large independent second at will, a small seconds hand, a metal thermometer... But the Marie Antoinette watch was so complex that it did not leave Breguet's workshops until 1827... that is to say, 34 years after the queen's death.
This little story within the big story is one of the famous episodes in the universe of great watchmaking, as discovered in the beautiful books dedicated to it. Regarding this Breguet watch, the sequel is, moreover, just as fascinating.
Why and how did Switzerland become the country of watchmaking? Who were the pioneers of the wristwatch and later of the diving watch or the aviator watch? What happened during the quartz crisis?
The answers to all these questions, and more, can be found in beautiful books on watchmaking and how man conquered time, when not more technical works on watchmaking, movements, mythical watches. A dictionary of watchmaking, an Annual of watches, a manual of authentication of watches and so many other books line the shelves of watchmaking literature.
When the great watchmaking Houses tell their stories
Books can just as easily delve into the history of a legendary brand and its iconic timepieces. Richard Mille, Rolex, Jaeger-LeCoultre, Zenith, Tag Heuer, Montblanc and many other watchmaking Houses are honored in books that tell their stories. An intimate dive into this extraordinary world.
Iconic watches, those that have marked their time and revolutionized watchmaking, are also entitled to their own book. This is the case, for example, of the Omega Speedmaster, the watch that went to the moon, Tag Heuer's Monaco, the Chanel J12.
Just like the pieces of fine watchmaking, some books are the subject of a limited edition, which makes them rare and precious, sought after by discerning collectors too. One thing is certain, each book is an opportunity to dive into the world of detail, of those hundreds of components that the masters of watchmaking fit into "just" a case.
For Abraham-Louis Breguet, the queen asked him to fit a cathedral clock into a few square centimeters. Such a fascinating feat of the eighteenth century is perpetuated by the masters of time of the twenty-first. A mystery on which only beautiful books allow to lift the veil.