Goal: $300, Received: $275.00 (92%) Contribute Now
Donate whatever you can or Join the 14,000 other NAWCC members for only $80 (plus $10 for hard copy publications). Check it out here.




NOTICE Notice: This is an old thread. The last post was 1428 days ago. If your post is not directly related to this discussion please consider making a new thread.
Results 1 to 2 of 2
  1. #1

    Thumbs up Review: Trueb et al: Electrifying the Wristwatch (2013)

    Bookreview by Fortunat Mueller-Maerki

    The Comprehensive History of the Electric Wristwatch  and its Technology

    Electrifying the Wristwatch, by Lucien F. Trueb, Gunther Ramm and Peter Wenzig. Edited by Christian Pfeiffer-Belli; with a preface by Estelle Fallet. Published 2013 in English, by Schiffer Publishing Ldt., Atglen PA [Originally published in 2011 in German by Ebner Verlag, Ulm as Die Elekrtifizierung der Armbanduhr]. ISBN 978-0-7643-4304-9. Hardcover, Dustjacket, 320 pages, 31 x 24 cm, 582 color illustrations, bibliography & index (with over 1000 enties). List Price $99. Available through www.amazon.com for$ 74.

    For over 500 years mankind has used waearble timepieces - i.e. watches - to know the time while on the go. For the first 450 years that meant a mechanical watch driven by a coiled spring. But today over 90% of new watches are electrically driven, a complete change of technology that happened essentially within 50 years. This fundamental change has been documented in a thorough, scholarly way for the first time in the book under review.

    Lucien Trueb is a Swiss journalist who over the course of the decades, while reporting on the Swiss watch industry, closely observed the havoc the switch to electronic timekeeping caused in the Swiss economy. Truebs first book on the subject was published in 2008 (Trueb: Kinder der Quarzrvolution. Institut LHomme et le temps, La Chaux-deFonds. ISBN 978-3-89896-351-0) and contains short profiles on 66 people who witness, were innovators or key players in this drama. This offered interesting tidbits of information, but just highlighted that lack of a comprehensive text on the subject. The only book focusing on modern wristwatches was Doernsen: History of the modern wrist watch, published in 1994, and focused as much on design as on technology; it contains a usefull catalog electrical watch calibers, but does not tell the story of how the electrical wristwatch evolved technologically.

    For the new broader book under review Trueb teamed up with Ramm and Wenzig, two German collectors of electrical wristwatches, who also supplied many of the 582 photographs in the book. The book was originally published in German in 2011 and now, two years later we finally have an English language edition by Schiffer publishing.

    The book is structured into 2 parts with a total of 15 chapters. Part1, covering the time up to 1970 has seveb chapters: 1. The First Electric Clocks; 2. Fixed Coil Wristwatch Movements (1950s); 3. Moving Coil Wristwatch Movements (incl.Hamilton Electric and Timex); 4. Transition to Electronics (mainly 1960s); 5. Wristwatches with a Tuning Fork; 6. Frequency Standards and the First Quartz Clocks; 7. The Eightfold Way to the Quartz Wristwatch (eight separate technical concepts led to working quartz prototypes in Switzerland, Japan, The USA, Germany and France between 1967 and 1970, including the legendary, but dead end Pulsar in America, but at the end one technology proved superior.

    Part 2 is made up of eight geographic chapters describing further developments in eight watchmaking countries after the common technology had emerged: 8. Switzerland, 9. Germany, 10. France, 11. Britain, 12. Japan, 13. USSR & Eastern Europe, 14. South Korea, 15. USA. These chapters vary enormously in length, from Britain (1 page) and Korea (4 pages), to USA (33 pages) and Switzerland (74 pages). Japan (with 26 pages) seems underrepresented, and unfortunately the role of mainland China is making electronic wristwatches is not covered at all..

    The 582 color photographs in this book, the vast majority of them images of movements, alone make it a valuable reference tool. This, in spite of the huge number of pictures, is not a coffee table book of pretty images, but essentially both text and images provide a thorough documentation of the history of the electronic wristwatch. Given Truebs background it is not surprising that the largest number of pictures refers to Swiss calibers (395 photos), but the coverage of Japanese made movements (69 images), and US products (64) exceeds what is found anywhere else  and where else will you find any images of eastern European quartz watch movements (16 images).

    Over the years Trueb has personally interviewed most of the key player in the electronic watch industry I all of these countries, which makes the narrative a nuanced, interesting and captivating read. If your horological interests or your watch collection includes electrical watches you definitively need to add this book to your shelf of reference book, but I would assume few people will read it cover to cover. An extensive index makes the book easy to use.

    Fortunat F. Mueller-Maerki, Sussex NJ September 2013
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Trueb ElectryfingTime 2013.jpg 
Views:	4 
Size:	173.3 KB 
ID:	194444  
    Last edited by Fortunat Mueller-Maerki; 12-14-2013 at 09:14 AM. Reason: typo
    Fortunat Mueller-Maerki, -Chair NAWCC Library Com./ Editor & Publisher of BHM
    Mem.NAWCC Mus.Coll.Com. / VP, USA Sect. Antiq.Horolog.Soc.

  2. #2
    Registered user.
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Sao Paulo
    Posts
    4

    Default Re: Review: Trueb et al: Electrifying the Wristwatch (2013) (By: Fortunat Mueller-Maerki)

    Great review! I was expecting for it. Thank you, dear Mr. Fortunat!

Similar Threads

  1. Do someone have the book "Electrifying the Wristwatch"?
    By igorschutz in forum Horological Books
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 09-03-2013, 05:29 PM
  2. Review: van Leewen & al: Going Dutch The Invention of the Pendulum Clock (2013)
    By Fortunat Mueller-Maerki in forum Horological Books
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 08-03-2013, 09:27 AM
  3. Replies: 0
    Last Post: 12-08-2012, 08:18 AM
  4. REVIEW: Treffry et al: BHI 150 A Seminar Celebrating the 150 Anniversary of the Bri
    By Fortunat Mueller-Maerki in forum Horological Books
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 09-25-2011, 06:07 AM
  5. REVIEW: Freytag et al: Highlights from the Vienna Museum of Clocks and Watches
    By Fortunat Mueller-Maerki in forum Horological Books
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 03-26-2011, 08:22 AM

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •