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Books by Christopher Barrow

richiec

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Feb 24, 2007
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Can anyone shine some light on his books, are they comprehensive, worth reading. I am interested in his book on the english fusee. Appreciate any input.
 

richiec

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Thanks, Graham, not being well versed in fusees I just thought I would try to find some good reading, any suggestions?
 

gmorse

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Jan 7, 2011
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Hi Richie,
...not being well versed in fusees I just thought I would try to find some good reading, any suggestions?
I think you'd be much better off if you read the three Archie B. Perkins volumes on Antique Watch Restoration, but I'm afraid they're rather costly, so if you can borrow volume 1 to see how you get on with his style, so much the better. He writes from sound practical experience at the bench.

Regards,

Graham
 

Bernhard J.

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Jan 10, 2022
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Hi, it really depends on where you are starting from. I recently ordered the Barrow book on the english fusee lever watch, because it was for very little money. Today it arrived and I must say from my personal view that indeed, as Graham suggests, the investment would have better been in a tasty pizza or so.

But. If this book had been available 40 years ago when I started collecting watches, then knowing virtually nothing about English watches (nowadays at least a little bit, I hope) and the various lever escapements, then this book would have been a nice and informative read. In particular since in those time there was no alternative to books and magazines for gaining knowledge.

So I would not condemn the book to the ground, because as an introduction to this particular area of horology it seems to me quite suitable and does not discourage newcomers to go deeper into the matter as time goes by.

Make just a simple test and ask yourself how a Massey IV looks. I you shake your head about such a simple question, then you should for sure walk away from this book. Alone because, if I did not overlook it, Massey IV is not even mentioned (in contrast to the others).

Cheers, Bernhard
 

gmorse

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Hi Bernhard,

I'm afraid I must beg to differ on this gentleman. I doubt if he's even used some of the tools he casually mentions, such as the Jacot, because if he had, surely he would have explained their use. Some of his recommendations could result in damage, or would at the very least encourage bad practices.

There are many more reliable sources dating back long before this author, such as Max Cutmore, (an experienced collector and researcher), and Bill Gazeley and Donald de Carle, both with years of practical experience at the bench.

Regards,

Graham
 

Allan C. Purcell

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Feb 9, 2013
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Can anyone shine some light on his books, are they comprehensive, worth reading. I am interested in his book on the english fusee. Appreciate any input.


Me too, if you need a book to learn about the mechanics of pocket watches, I would recommend the 1952 copy of Claudius Saunier´s book.
Saunier´s Treatise on Modern Horology" it´s in English. The book was first published in 1861, and later it was serialised in Watchmaker, Jewellers, Silver Smiths, & Opticians Journal. (the Late 1800s) Not expensive, there were thousands of copies and reprints


Enjoy

Allan.
 

Bernhard J.

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Jan 10, 2022
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I have in the meanwhile received and read (completely) the Barrow book and provide my comments.

When I was an absolute beginner in knowledge about English fusee watches, this book would have been a nice read for learning the essentials of the relevant technical features. This means to understand how these watches work in detail.

The repair section is rather less useful and in some instances even strange. E.g. replacement of a ruined tooth of a wheel is dealt with in a few sentences, cut out a recess in the wheel where a new tooth shall be fitted, make the new tooth with a tooth base and solder the tooth base into the recess. Sounds easy going :D I indeed believe that the author never has attempted to carry out such repair ... :cool:.

In summary: nice for a newbie, easy read, easy to understand how what works. But not of particular use, if repairs are attempted. Then other literature is much more helpful. One cannot complain about the price (which I paid for a new book, something around 15 €)
 

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