It`s about time - Chamberlain

Discussion in 'Horological Books' started by astonvilla, Jun 17, 2011.

  1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
  1. astonvilla

    astonvilla Registered User

    Jun 3, 2001
    Country Flag:
    This is my favourite book on Horolgy , but I think it is strange that there is so little iformation about Lecoultre in it.
    Lecoultre were one of the finest watchmaker in Switzerland and (like Audemars) prodused some very fine and complicated movements for Patek Phillippe , IWC etc....
    Did Chamberlain forget Lecoultre ? :confused:
  2. Dr. Jon

    Dr. Jon Moderator
    NAWCC Member

    Dec 14, 2001
    Aerospace Engineer
    New Hampshire
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    Hard to say but when Chamberlain was active LeCoultre did mostly wholesale business and did not have prominent spokes person. The makers he tended to emphasize were run by famous horologists or their descendants and he did not do much with the more "corporate" types.

    I am assuming you mean LeCoultre of Jaeger LeCoultre and not the small LeCoultre house in Geneva, which was pretty well gone by the time Chamberlain was touring Europe.
  3. Larry Treiman

    Larry Treiman Registered User

    Jan 18, 2009
    Tired and retired!
    So. Calif.
    When Major Paul M. Chamberlain decided to do the book in January, 1940, it was never intended to br a comprehensive book on horology or the watch industry. It was intended to be a compilation of articles that he had written for various trade publications over the previous 25+ years, and that is what it is. Many of the articles had been published in "Horology" and in "Jewelers' Circular-Keystone" magazines.

    Unfortunately, Maj. Chamberlain died in May, 1940, while the book was still in preliminary stages of planning, but his widow, Margaret Graham Chamberlain, decided to bring to book to publication with the generous help of many of his good friends. This information is condensed from the preface to "It's About Time". The preface was written by his widow, and I think that if you read it, along with the introduction by Dr. W. Barclay Stephens, and "An Appreciation" by Jean Louis Roehrich, you will better understand what Maj. Chamberlain was like and the goals of the book.

    As Dr. Jon pointed out, Maj. Chamberlain ".... did not do much with the more 'corporate' types." It wasn't just LeCoultre, but most of the big names such as Francillon and Longines, and Brandt and Omega, and many, many others that weren't discussed.

    Frankly, I feel quite uncomfortable, even presumptuous, attempting to discuss what might have motivated this esteemed horologist who died just a few months after I was born and whose name (and book) I first encountered about 30 years later.

    Larry Treiman
  4. Clint Geller

    Clint Geller Registered User
    Gibbs Literary Award NAWCC Fellow NAWCC Member

    Jul 12, 2002
    Semi-retired materials physicist
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    As a minor footnote to Larry's interesting post, I knew Jean Louis Roehrich's son Roland, who lived in Pittsburgh, where I live. Roland's academic training was in theoretical mechanics, but when I knew him he worked as a strategic planner for the Westinghouse Electric Corporation. He had exquisite taste in watches. On one occasion, Roland showed me a minute repeater signed by his father, which he had made as a final exam project in watchmaking school. It was a most impressive timepiece.

    An amusing anecdote about Jean Louis which his daughter-in-law, Mary, told me is that he once had an opportunity to buy a complete, functioning Breguet Montre Sympathique. He ultimately turned the item down because the owner smoked a cigar and was too brusque for Jean Louis' liking!
  5. Mark Lambert

    Mark Lambert New Member

    Aug 19, 2011
    Commercial insurance agent.
    Battle Creek, Michigan
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    I am a rare bookseller, with more than 400 rare and out-of-print books on horology. As I was cataloging this recent acquisition, I came across a copy of this book (It's About Time) that was owned by a "Mrs. Lee." In it were four warm, personal letters, written to her by Paul Chamberlain, as well as three Chamberlain Christmas cards, two of which featured unique black and white photos of Mr. & Mrs. Chamberlain. I'm trying to find out who "Mrs. Lee" was. Any clues?
  6. Tom McIntyre

    Tom McIntyre Technical Admin
    Staff Member NAWCC Star Fellow NAWCC Ruby Member Sponsor

    Aug 24, 2000
    retired SW dev
    Country Flag:
    Region Flag:
    George E. Lee of White Pigeon MI was member 891 He would have been in the NAWCC before 1951 and might have known Major Chamberlain. I don't have any other information on him. There are no other Lees that are that early in the association.

Share This Page