British Watchcase Gold and Silver Marks 1670 to 1970

Discussion in 'Horological Books' started by Tom McIntyre, Aug 20, 2018.

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  1. Tom McIntyre

    Tom McIntyre Technical Admin
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    Philip Priestly's final work had been in process for several years when Phil died unexpectedly.

    In order to honor Phil at our 75th Anniversary Celebration this year, the book was printed with on-demand publishing to be ready in time for the meeting.

    Some may be disappointed by the binding quality or other production aspects of the book. Many of the copies that were sold at out meeting have small bumps and other damage to the corners.

    The book is 500 pages and is very complete. There are no color images in the book but many of the graphics have been redone to make them more clear in black and while. Some half tone images do not look sharp, but the content and meaning is generally clear.

    I am hoping that someone more competent than I am will give the book the review it deserves. I was called in after Phil's death to do the index for the book in a very short period of time. I used indexing software to do that, so the index has a somewhat mechanical feel but I hope it is found complete and useful.
     
  2. gmorse

    gmorse Registered User
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    Hi Rich,

    I have just received some rather disappointing news from a specialist book dealer here in the UK. I had ordered a copy from him and was eagerly awaiting the arrival of copies in the UK, but he has just sent me the following:

    "Philip Priestley's new book "British Watchcase Gold & Silver Marks 1670 to 1970" finally arrived today and I have to confess to being disappointed.

    Although published by the NAWCC the book looks like a 'print on demand' production of low quality - the paper is not really good enough for acceptable reproduction of the photographs and the binding is poor such that the top & bottom of the spine are easily damaged.

    The copies I have received have been in transit for several weeks so have small bruises to most corners and the top and bottom of the spine."


    I have reluctantly cancelled the order, since although I would dearly like to have a copy, I don't feel that the quality of the publication merits the UK price of £60 (plus postage), not even at the reduced price he offered due to the bruising.

    Regards,

    Graham
     
  3. John Matthews

    John Matthews Registered User
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    Hi Graham - I expect we have both been waiting on the same dealer - this is a major disappointment. I would hope an explanation will be forthcoming.

    John
     
  4. gmorse

    gmorse Registered User
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    Hi John,

    Yes, I'm sure it's the same dealer, and I too hope for some explanation.

    Regards,

    Graham
     
  5. Tom McIntyre

    Tom McIntyre Technical Admin
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    It was felt important to have the volume ready for the 75th Anniversary meeting of the NAWCC. It was printed and delivered in record time and is in high gloss paper covers but hard bound. The books were still warm from the press when the meeting started.

    I think the book is worthwhile, but I view it as information, not an artifact. For full disclosure Phil and Jean were/are good friends of mine and I was asked, in mid April, to provide the index which I did.

    The book also contains many charts and tables as one might expect from the previous efforts. There are very good end notes n the back of the book for the chapters that provide additional organization which supplements the largely machine generated index.

    There are relatively few photographs in the book because Phil tried to display as much as possible as graphics. There are no color photographs in the book. The paper is matte finish and relatively light. I believe the intent was to keep the weight of the 500 page book within reason. It is still a bit heavy for the binding technique and that is likely what annoyed your bookseller.
     
  6. John Matthews

    John Matthews Registered User
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    Tom,

    I appreciate your reply, but I am not sure that the desire to have book ready for your meeting was a sufficient reason to produce a product that has possibly fallen short on quality.

    I have both Phil's previous books on the subject, which I refer to on a daily basis. They are definitely fail into the 'information' category, i.e. to be used as a reference. This means that the binding is of utmost importance, there is nothing worse than having a reference text that disintegrates with use. If the copies were damaged in transit to the UK, despite adequate packing. I think we might infer that, as you imply, the binding may not be appropriate for a reference text.

    John
     
  7. gmorse

    gmorse Registered User
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    Hi Tom,

    Thanks for your explanation. The fact that the books were still warm confirms to me that they were electronically printed and not from an offset press, and without seeing the product I suspect that perfect binding, (the soft covers as used on his 1720-1920 book), may have been a more practical choice than boards for this type of publication. Since I assume that there is no prospect of a reprint I shall have to reconsider my decision not to go ahead with the purchase, even at the discounted price I have been offered.

    Regards,

    Graham
     
  8. Tom McIntyre

    Tom McIntyre Technical Admin
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    I do not think you will be disappointed by the book.

    The ones that were for sale at the meeting in York also had bumped corners as does my copy. The binding is sound although not sewn. The board covers do give it a sturdier feel than the earlier volumes and it does have some new information as well as what I consider improved organization with a larger focus on each of the assay offices and centers of case making.

    I am going to move this discussion to the book review forum in a new thread. I think it is inappropriate here in a memorial thread for Philip..
     
  9. gmorse

    gmorse Registered User
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    Hi Tom,

    Yes indeed, thanks for moving it. I have reconsidered and I've now asked the bookseller to reinstate my order. This in no way diminishes my high opinion of Philip and all his works.

    Regards,

    Graham
     

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