Continental Watchmaking History - Book Suggestions?

amilevad

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I would appreciate suggestions for excellent books on the detailed history of Continental watch making (Europe focus, not England). I’m looking for lots of details on at least the following:
  • Ebauche cottage industry
  • Face-making
  • Hands-making
  • Case-making
  • Integration into watches
  • Introduction of “American” style manufacturing
  • Economics and competitiveness with other countries
  • Technical innovations
  • Manufacturing innovations

    Thank you for your suggestions!
 

Dr. Jon

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I know of three.

A Region in Time a Socio-economic history of the Swiss valley of St Imier and the Surrounding area 1700-2007. Laurence Marti ISBN 2-9700558-1-3. Longines sponsored and subsidized it so the book is a good value

The Territory of Neuchatel and Its Horological Heritage. This is a collection of essays on this subject ISBN 13:978-2-940239-17-7. This is fairly hefty and expensive book. My copy is mostly in ENglish but a few small groups of French pages were bound into my copy. Lots of good material in here,

Paul Audemars has a nice history of the Louis Audemars Company and its successors. This is available from his web site,

If you read French or German Adolphe Chapiro wrote and excellent history or 400 years of French watch making, which also covers Swiss. Everything he wrote is superb.

The Antiquarian Horoogical Society journal ran a lot of papers by Chapiro in English. They are available on teh AHS website for download if you are member.,

Brittain's Clocks Watches and their Makers has been the standby and it has alot of good material and is widely availabelat low cost in many editions but if its history if the technology I suggest the first two are better.
 
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Rich Newman

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Swiss Timepiece Makers, 1775 - 1975 by Kathleen Pritchard (1,700 pages). But out of print and quite hard to find.
Hollandse Horloges by Cees Peeters. This is in Dutch but many great pictures of Dutch watches and one can use the web for translations.

However, members can borrow books from the NAWCC Library & Research Center, which is the largest Horological library in the world. The catalog is under the menu tab Research / Search our Catalog. I would suggest using the search by relevance option.
 
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amilevad

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Swiss Timepiece Makers, 1775 - 1975 by Kathleen Pritchard (1,700 pages). But out of print and quite hard to find.
Hollandse Horloges by Cees Peeters. This is in Dutch but many great pictures of Dutch watches and one can use the web for translations.

However, members can borrow books from the NAWCC Library & Research Center, which is the largest Horological library in the world. The catalog is under the menu tab Research / Search our Catalog. I would suggest using the search by relevance option.
Thank you!
 

Audemars

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It's very kind of Dr Jon to mention my efforts in such illustrious company.
Unfortunately my first English edition is out of print and the second, much- expanded, version was never published.
I suppose I could send a truncated ink-jet printed and wire-bound version if anyone were interested.
Paul
 

Dr. Jon

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Pritchard is an excellent reference with histories of many, many companies but it does not provide an overview and it is largely about integrators, rather than component makers except for companies that began as part makers and morphed into complete makers.

Another book with more an overview and not too hard to get is

The Watch from its Origins to the XIXth Century by Catherine Cardinale ISBN 0-55521-476-2.

The old classic is Technique and History of The Swiss Watch by Jaquet and Chapuis Published Walter LtD in Switzerland 1953 (pre ISBN) Prices for this vary a lot but tehre are a lot of copies around.

As with the other books I listed, these are available from the NAWCC library.
 

amilevad

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