History of the Self-Winding Watch 1770~1931

DC Kelley

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Mar 16, 2006
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On an off chance, I went into the used book store across form my office and found this:

The History of the Self-Winding Watch 1770~1931
By Alfred Chapus and Eugene Jaquet English Edition, 1956

First Edition with multiple tipped in illustrations (pasted in prints)

It seems to be systematic study (with lots of reprinted diagrams from diaries and patent applications) of the evolution of first "pedometer" type self winding pocket watches to the rotating mass on stem design of todays wrist watches. At $75 bucks, I think I found a rather nice text.
 
M

Mike Kearney

DC, thanks very much for providing this information. As you look through the book, any additional info you'd like to post (chapter names, number of pages, publisher, etc.) would be most appreciated.

Thanks again.

Regards,
Mike
 

Dr. Jon

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Congratulations DC you have one of the great classics. I had not looked at mine in years.

Here are the Chapters

I The Precursors
II Abrahan-Louis Perrelet
III Hubert Aarton
IV Abraham-Louis Breguet
V Louis Recordon and His Patent
VI Jaquet-Droz & Leschot, James Cox
VII Of other makers and their watches 1780-1825
VIII Pedometers
IX Self-winding watches after 1830
X The advent of the self winding wristled (yes that is how they spelled it) watch.

The pedometer section shows some winding indicator watches from the 1780's, so much for my belief that this was invented in the late 1850's.

The Breguet section has some wonderful tipped in illustrations. It has copies of Breguet's drawings several by Moinet, copies of pages from Breguet's journals and notes.

Chapter IX has some particularly nice material starting in the early 1800's, including Von Loehr, Von der Heydt, L. Leroy (1929).

The wrist watch section includes Leroy, Harwood, the wig wag, and a few pages of Rolex. The Rolex discussion is in the context of a discussion of the difficulties of self winding watches and how they solved the problems.

The photos are well done but very small.
It has contents, and indices of Illustrations, and a general index.

The book has 246 numbered pages. It was published in English in 1956 following the first French edition in 1952 by Editions Du Griffon in Neuchatel.
 

Fortunat Mueller-Maerki

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This is the classic text on the subject, one of the best covering the material buit missing the discoveries since it was published and somewhat swiss centric.

Here is full bibliographic data:

# Title: History of the Self Winding Watch
SubTitle: 1770 to 1931
# Author: Alfred Chapuis, Eugene Jaquet, xx,
# Publisher: Edition du Griffon
Other Keywords: automatic Perrelet Breguet Sarton Recordon
Language: FRE
Notes: English adaptation: R.Savare Grandvoinet
Edition: 1956 revised English Edition -- Copyright: 1952
Kind: Book
Type: Watch (general)
Geographic area: Switzerland
Topic: History
Organization: NA/other
Pages: 246 -- Height in cm: 28
Print Status: 2 (1 means in print - 2 means out of print)
BHM ID: 429

--------------------------------------

If you enjoyed the titel there is a different (but similar one by the same two authers (Two english editions and one in [original] in French)

# Title: Technique and History of the Swiss Watch
SubTitle: From the Beginnings to the Present Day
# Author: Alfred Chapuis, Eugene Jaquet
# Publisher: Urs Graf
Other Keywords: technology
Language: ENG
Notes: The standard Work on History of Swiss Watch published many times
Edition: 1953, 1st Edition -- Copyright: 1953
Kind: Book
Type: Watch (general)
Geographic area: Switzerland
Topic: History
Organization: NA/other
Pages: 272 -- Height in cm: 31
Print Status: 2 (1 means in print - 2 means out of print)
BHM ID: 78
---------------------------------------

# Title: Technique and History of the Swiss Watch
SubTitle: From the Beginnings to the Present Day
# Author: Alfred Chapuis, Eugene Jaquet
# Publisher: Hamlyn
Other Keywords: technical
Language: ENG
Notes: reprint of the standard Work on History of Swiss Watch published many times
Edition: 1970 british reprint -- Copyright: 1953
Kind: Book
Type: Watch (general)
Geographic area: Switzerland
Topic: History
Organization: NA/other
Pages: 272 -- Height in cm: 31
Print Status: 2 (1 means in print - 2 means out of print)
BHM ID: 161
_______________________________________
# Title: Technique et Histoire de la Montre Suisse
SubTitle: de ses Origines a nos Jours
# Author: Eugene Jaquet, Alfred Chapuis
# Publisher: Urs Graf
Keywords: advanced technical
Language: FRE
Notes: The standard Work on History of Swiss Watch published many times, here the original french language edition
Edition: 1945, 1st Edition -- Copyright: 1945
Kind: Book
Type: Watch (general)
Geographic area: Switzerland
Topic: History
Organization: NA/other
Pages: 272 -- Height in cm: 31
Print Status: 2 (1 means in print - 2 means out of print)
BHM ID: 2557
________________________________________

Fortunat
 

DC Kelley

Registered User
Mar 16, 2006
271
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Originally posted by Dr. Jon:
Congratulations DC you have one of the great classics. I had not looked at mine in years.
And just dumb luck to find it. I had come across Jaquet and Chapuis before, but as a "clock guy" had not paid much attention, to my own loss. The style of this text employs lots of except from some early patent applications and I am loving that. My wife is helping decode some of the French. I had been reading some early patents on self winding movements by Leon Hatot recently, and this fit nicely with that.
 
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Richard Watkins

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Fortunat added "If you enjoyed the title there is a different (but similar one by the same two authers Title: Technique and History of the Swiss Watch"

I think these two books are almost "chalk and cheese". "History of the self winding watch" is, in my opinion, excellent and should be compulsory reading.

But I find it hard to regard "Technique and History of the Swiss Watch" as more than mediocre advertising pretending to be research. My review (in my bibliography "Mechanical watches") includes:

"The lack of adequate indexing and the complete omission of a bibliography mean that “Technique and history of the swiss watch” is not a reference work; it cannot be conveniently searched for specific information." ... "I think the answer lies in the very last sentence: “We may be sure that those who have at heart the future of this magnificent industry will not fail in their duty”. If I look at this work as informative advertising, like a travel book which extols the virtues of a country to visitors, then it makes sense. Jaquet and Chapuis have written a comprehensive “travelogue” showing the beauty and greatness of the Swiss watchmaking industry. In this context the generalities, evasions, lack of references and indexing, and the orientation towards the “layman” make perfect sense and the book is good. It also explains why the “technique” of the watch is largely ignored and when mentioned it is discussed very superficially.
However, like all advertising, it has dated and the book may have lost much its purpose. Although the history is reasonable and the illustrations are nice, I feel the work is too superficial and frustrating for the serious horology student, and too long for the layman with a passing interest. "
 

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