Books on American Watches

Discussion in 'Horological Books' started by Dr. Jon, May 24, 2004.

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  1. Dr. Jon

    Dr. Jon Registered User
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    I just received a copy of Audemars Piguet by Brunner, Pfeiffer Belli and Wehrli which is a gorgeous Book. Zantke has written a master work on Louis Benjamin Audemars. Similarly there are several books on Patek Phillipe, Vacheron and Constantin, expensive but not so good books on Breguet but no similar book on any American Watch Company.

    I think part of this is the poor ability of print to capture damaskeening but I have seen some really great photographs such as Jon H's Waltham Poster.

    How do we change this and get something really nice on one of the great American Watch companies written.
     
  2. Dr. Jon

    Dr. Jon Registered User
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    I just received a copy of Audemars Piguet by Brunner, Pfeiffer Belli and Wehrli which is a gorgeous Book. Zantke has written a master work on Louis Benjamin Audemars. Similarly there are several books on Patek Phillipe, Vacheron and Constantin, expensive but not so good books on Breguet but no similar book on any American Watch Company.

    I think part of this is the poor ability of print to capture damaskeening but I have seen some really great photographs such as Jon H's Waltham Poster.

    How do we change this and get something really nice on one of the great American Watch companies written.
     
  3. Tom McIntyre

    Tom McIntyre Technical Admin
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    Doc Jon,

    I think the Marion book by Muir & Krause is on a par with the European books put out by and about the big Swiss houses. It differs in that the company is gone. When accompanied by the Hanson/Ehrhardt price guide and listings it represents a pretty comprehensive view with many fine photographs.

    Unless we develop our own Vaudrey Mercer, I don't know where the equivalent of the Mercer books would come from.
     
  4. Jon Hanson

    Jon Hanson Registered User
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    Tom,

    Slight correction:

    The book on Marion I did was not intended to be a price guide--rather a reconstruction and serial number list of US and Marion movements. And, I must here apologize for the horrible photos in the book. Roy actually tooks these pictures in the Twin Towers hotel (Fla. regional one year) parking lot in direct sunlight on the hood of a car with a 35 mm camera!:mad: (Roy is not known for going the "expensive"* route! :biggrin: )

    Jon, defrocked member and past moderator who advocates "Buy The Book Before the Watch (or Clock)!

    *Thanks Harvey M.
     
  5. Fortunat Mueller-Maerki

    Fortunat Mueller-Maerki National Library Chair
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    Have been traveling in Europe for the last few weeks and yes the printing quality is much higher here.

    Interestingly the Zahnke book on LB Audemars is considered here a great book content wise but many consider the shartpness of some of the photography (reproduced from auction catalogs) unadequate for such a book.

    Different standards and expectations I guess.

    :frown:
     
  6. 4thdimension

    4thdimension Registered User

    Oct 18, 2001
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    Jon,
    Are you planning "the" book, or are you going
    to wait and let Sotheby's or Christie's give it a go?
    I apologize for the obviously rude statement
    but, I hope, you will understand my intention
    is to encourage you to consider creating the
    tome which Dr. Jon is looking for.
    There is no GREAT book on American watches
    and, frankly, that is a bit embarassing. A work that would would cover the history of each co. and detail the contribution our watch
    industries provided to science and the economy
    is overdue (imagine Crossman 2005,corrected and expanded to several volumes). What would help it sell would be the resource of your fine collection and the contributions of the wise folks on this board.
    There is no great American watch book but, there should be!
    -Cort
    also: I'd be happy to help on the Addison section. :p
     
  7. Jon Hanson

    Jon Hanson Registered User
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    I thought you knew!

    What does everyone think I have been working on for decades? However, 1. I shall not compete with myself (WAM syndrome) 2. I'll complete when I am good and ready :)biggrin:) 3. judging by the "heat" and "abuse" I get on these MBs, maybe I WON"T do it! :eek:

    Seriously, a pictorial "Crossman" update has been in the planning stages for nearly a year; however, publication of the WGC might cause even more snide remarks!:rolleyes:

    Jon

    book advocator

    book collector

    book writer (?) :biggrin:

    and defrocked MB member :mad:

    PS Actually Bill Tapp and I have done (3-4 years ago) one copy of The American Horologe Company house organ, "THE FINAL WORD!"
     
  8. Fortunat Mueller-Maerki

    Fortunat Mueller-Maerki National Library Chair
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    Cort says:
    There is no great American watch book but, there should be!
    -Cort

    I do not Agree with the satement in its absolute form.

    In a way one of the greatest book onb AMKerican pocket watches is the repective volume of the TIme Museum Catalogm scholarly, well presented, well illustrated, but admittedly less than a comprehensive monograph on the subject ... and probably out of print.

    Fortunat
     
  9. Jon Hanson

    Jon Hanson Registered User
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    Huh? WHAT?? :rolleyes:

    FMM,

    I beg to differ. The book you note is riddled with errors, "thousands" of them--even the case sizes and case metal content is INCORRECT, pretty basic stuff, as well as being quite incomplete and really non historical! This book is referred to in early American watch circles as the "H... the JOKE book!"

    There are plenty of rare, recased items with colored pictures out of round and in an odd size and this is what might mislead non experts. The book basically is a picture book, and a difficult one to follow at that.

    PA actually wanted me to rewrite a second, fully corrected version but the principles lost interest in the M. so nothing was done.

    The descriptions basically are a disgrace! It was a good idea that FLOPPED miserably! Too bad, as it could/should have been a winner but the wrong people made a very bad and incorrect decision!
     
  10. Dr. Jon

    Dr. Jon Registered User
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    I also have two of the Time museum catalogs and while I like them more than Jon H does (I don't know enough to be able to see all the error he does) I find them a pale shadow of the Randall and Goode Catalog of Chronometers in the British Museum.

    BTW has anyone seen the Catalog of French watches in teh Tiem Museum rumored to have been written by Adolphe Chapiro (Who did a great one in Lepine, when Roland says a book is good I buy it if I can)

    Even if they were of a similar quality and depth, what I want to see are watch house books on Waltham, Howard, Elgin to show the magificence of what they did. These would be organized like the books Brunner Pfeiffer-Belli and Zantke have done, each devoted to a great house.
     
  11. Jon Hanson

    Jon Hanson Registered User
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    Dr J.,

    I have my plan!!!
     
  12. 4thdimension

    4thdimension Registered User

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    Jon,
    Well ain't that a kick in the head! I like the idea of using Crossman, but substituting
    color plates of the same watches depicted as
    cuts in the original. On the other hand, and despite Crossman being closer to primary source
    material, there is SO much needing improvement.
    I'd guess you'll tap Tapp for photos and more.
    Anything you need on Gold or Addison you got
    ('tho the Addis are probably late for you).
    Fortunat,
    I like the Hoke book too but frankly, the subject of American watches does deserve more royal treatment. When it was published I was
    convinced it was THE book. Despite the oft
    mentioned problems, I got a lot out of it including the whereabouts of the third known
    John T. Gold associated watch. Looking through
    the book now, I have to confess, all I can think is- killer auction catalogue. :redface:
    -Cort
     
  13. Fortunat Mueller-Maerki

    Fortunat Mueller-Maerki National Library Chair
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    >>>Looking through the book now, I have to confess, it makes a killer auction catalogue.
    -Cort

    I guess we can expect you to be in New York in October then?

    Fortunat
     
  14. 4thdimension

    4thdimension Registered User

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    Fortunat,
    Brother I sure hope so. Its unlikely I could
    bid on anything but I suspect this will be more of a Broadway show than a circus.
    -Cort
     
  15. Jon Hanson

    Jon Hanson Registered User
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    Cort,

    An illustrated Crossman is not a substitute--never was intented to be! BUT, it is a necessity and an improvement, plus has been requested and mentioned by just about everybody knowing ANYTHING about the Crossman book.

    Please send me your completed Addison histories; will you be able to supply scans?

    Thanks.

    Jon
     

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