Books about the switzerland clock industrie

cucoclock

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Hello,

There are a interesting book about the german clock industrie:

LEXIKON DER DEUTSCHES UHRENINDUSTRIE 1850 - 1980.

This book is a usefull guide about german clock marks from that period of time.

I would like to know if there are a similar book about the SWITZERLAND CLOCK INDUSTRIE.

Thank you in advance.

Kind regards,
Miguel
 

Fortunat Mueller-Maerki

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Yes there is a similar Swiss book, it has been reviewed in this forum before (years ago), but for your enefit here is the review again:



Book Review by Fortunat Mueller-Maerki

Swiss Timepiece Makers 1775-1975

By Kathleen H. Pritchard, published in 1997, for the National Association of Watch and Clock Collectors, by Phoenix Publishing. ISBN 0-914659-79-0, approx. 1800 pages, 2 Volumes, hardcover, in cassette, approx. 16x24 cm. Available at NAWCC (for North America) or Antoine Simonin, Neuchatel – Switzerland (for Europe), US$ 125.

Numerous b&w illustrations reproducing trademarks and advertisements, Bibliography, Foreword by Henry B. Fried.

“Swiss Timepiece Makers, 1775 – 1975” is destined to become a “must-have” reference book on the shelf of any serious collector of watches and the dedicated student of horological history. The two encyclopedic volumes list -- in strictly alphabetical order – detailed entries for about 2000 Swiss based makers of timepieces, covering a 200 year timespan. The entries are fully cross-referenced covering individuals, companies, brand- and model-names, trademarks, as well as names of the US importers that often appeared on the dials. A typical entry will include name, location, dates active, personal or corporate history, logos and brand names used, model names, types of timepieces produced, as well as bibliographical references. The majority of entries, of course, are cross-references from brand-, trade- and model-names to each maker’s main entry. Most main entries are about a dozen lines long, but they range from the the short, such as e.g. “Patenoste, Jean: Geneva, Master watchmaker, 1775-1792”, to a 25 page monograph on e.g. “Patek, Philippe & Co”, which includes 8 variations of their corporate name, a list of 30 model names, its own two page bibliography and an extensive history of the maker, including the names of key executives and craftsman.

This book is the result of a 30-year labor of love by one of the most knowledgeable and diligent scholars of the history of Swiss horology. Kathleen Pritchard is a well-known author and researcher in U.S horological circles; she is a Star Fellow of the NAWCC, and a longtime former Trustee of the NAWCC museum. Ms. Pritchard is clearly aware that the broadness of her topic is such that the listings are not complete – they never can be complete, one can always find one more source, one more name. But after assembling this information for several decades she felt that the time was ripe to share her data with her fellow horological enthusiasts. She states in the introduction that she intends to continue her reading of the horological literature, to correct, update and expand the book (incorporating readers' suggestions) in the future. Given today’s computer technology there is no longer any need for the big print-runs that used to cause decades to pass between successive editions of such specialized books.

It is my impression that the book in its current form is more thorough on the watch side than regarding clocks, which, given the smaller production runs and how little has been published on them, are a lot more difficult to research bibliographically. The physical presentation of the books is good and solid: These are not flashy volumes for the coffee table, but serious reference and research tools, which are sturdily bound (the 2 volumes held in an attractive cassette), using small typeface, and jam packed with useful information, logically presented.

Pritchards’ Swiss Timepiece Makers are destined to become a perennial classic on the researcher’s bookshelf, a tool nobody will want to miss, taking their well deserved space of honor besides -- and complementing – such classics as Britten, Baille, Loomes, and Kochmann.

Book review by Fortunat Mueller-Maerki, Sussex, NJ, USA- 1997
 

Fortunat Mueller-Maerki

National Library Chair
NAWCC Star Fellow
NAWCC Life Member
NAWCC Member
Aug 25, 2000
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Sussex New Jersey USA
www.hsn161.com
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In addition to the book by Pritschard mentioned in my last post which deals with all Timepiece makers, but focusses mainly on watchmakers, which of course vastly outnumber clockmakers.

But there is also a directory kind of book only on the CLOCKMAKERS of Switzerland.

It however is NOT in English, but rather a bilingual French/German text.

A bookreview follows:

Bookreview

The Clockmakers of German speaking Switzerland (14th to 19th century) and their oeuvre


Deutschweizer Uhrmacher und ihre Werke vom 14. bis 19. Jahrhundert / Les horlogers de Suisse alémanique et leurs oeuvres du 14e au 19e siècle. By George von Holtey, Ursula Bischof-Scherer & Albert Kägi. Published 2006 (in lieu of the Winter 2006 issue of their Journal) by Chronometrophilia, Swiss Association for the History of Timekeeping, La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland; Hardcover, 250x175mm; 257 pages. Numerous illustrations in the text, Bibliography on Swiss clock making with 117 entries, name index, geographic index. No ISBN. Available through Editions Simonin, Neuchâtel (Switzerland), (www.booksimonin.ch) for SwF 50 (ca. US&40) plus postage.

Switzerland is a country with an immense horological tradition and a long horological history. Nevertheless, there exists only one directory listing the names of people who practiced the craft over the centuries: Kathleen Pritchard’s 1997, Two-Volume “Swiss Timepiece Makers, 1775 – 1975. That book is invaluable, but it has limitations imposed by its genesis. Ms. Pritchard was primarily a watch enthusiast and not a clock expert, and as a trained librarian she was primarily a “paper based” researcher. Her great achievement was to painstaking recording of all the watchmakers and horological establishments mentioned in the contemporary Swiss records (address books, magazine advertisements, patent records, etc). The result is most comprehensive regarding watchmakers and the French speaking part of the country (where most watches were and are made). The Pritchard books never attempted to systematically record all clockmakers in Swiss history.

That void has now been filled: Dr. Georg von Holtey, building on some earlier, partial efforts of Ursula Bischof-Scherer and Albert Kägi, has spent the last several years recording and researching the biographies and oeuvres of any clockmakers of the pre-industrial era in German speaking Switzerland he could identify. The book reviewed here is thus the first comprehensive listing of alemannic Swiss clockmakers, and deserves a space on the “reference book shelf” of any horological library. The book records just about every clock by a Swiss maker that is in a Swiss museum, as well as in many of the more important private collections.

Chronometrophilia, the Swiss association on the history of timekeeping, well aware that publishing such a specialized horological title is unattractive as a commercial venture, stepped up to the plate, and decided to publish this 257-page, hardcover book in lieu of the winter issue of its semestrial scholarly journal, assuring instant distribution with horological enthusiasts throughout Switzerland. Because their journal is always bi-lingual, this had the added benefit that all the general regional texts appear in both German and in French (although the detailed individual listings are in German only).

The book opens with a ten page section of vignettes from Swiss clock making history, followed by 14 regional chapters of greatly varying length (4 to 46 pages each). Chapters start with a (bi-lingual) general description of the clock making history of the region, followed by a chronological listing of the various clockmakers or clockmaker dynasties. Where available, biographic data (dates of birth and death, addresses, date admitted to the guild etc) is given, followed by one sentence descriptions of known clocks by that maker (70 of them with photographs, some in color). The chosen structure for the text allows the reader to study the history of clock making for a given region or a family of clockmakers, while access as a “quick lookup reference book” remains easy thanks to the comprehensive indices by name and by location that conclude the book. More than 900 clockmakers are listed, over 1000 clocks are described, 70 makers signatures or marks are illustrated). Given that the geographic area covered is only about half the size of the state of Connecticut, that seems to indicate quite a comprehensive coverage. A bibliography of 117 entries (monographs and articles) dealing with clock making in alemannic Switzerland is also included.

In spite of the fact that clocks made by individual, preindustrial clockmakers in Europe (with the possible exception of the well known masters in England in France) are generally outside the scope of interest of the vast majority of horological collectors around the world, I consider this book an important addition to the horological literature. It covers its subject area well, and is easy to use (if you read some French or German). Chronometrophilia and the authors deserve the gratitude of horological scholars around the world to have made this text available.

Fortunat Mueller-Maerki, Sussex, New Jersey (USA)
January 11, 2007
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cucoclock

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Jul 17, 2005
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Hello Mr. Mueller-Maerki,

Thank you very much for your answer.

I will try to find this books.

I´m an antiques clocks collector and restorer, and it´s very interesting to me to identifie antiques clocks.

Kind regards,
Miguel
 

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