Looking for complication repair books

Discussion in 'Horological Books' started by USforest, Mar 11, 2010.

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  1. USforest

    USforest Registered User

    Aug 9, 2009
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    Hello, what could be the best 5 watch complications repair books that are into repeaters, tourbillion only. I understand humbert has a couple of books, what are the other good books ?

    And beside george daniel's watchmaking book, which books teach the making of a watch from scratch. From usually not made parts like hairspring, mainspring, cases to normal wheel cuttings, dial making etc. Book that teaches the arrangement of the lathe for gear cutting ?
     
  2. Dr. Jon

    Dr. Jon Moderator
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    The current standard is by Lecoultre and it is

    widely available.

    A Guide to Complicated Watches by Francois LeCoultre - 288175001X
    LeCoultre's A Guide to Complicated Watches is considered by many to the best work available on complications. It addresses striking mechanisms, astronomical work, chronographs, jumping seconds, quarter repeaters, perpetual calendars, equation work, and more. The direct writing style and excellent illustrations provide the novice reader with a good understanding of the topics at hand. The more experienced craftsman will refer to it frequently

    This is from Craig Unruh's site who sells it.

    http://www.crunruh.com/c=RYmEQHmV1ERsHSrNVDj8HOm4V/category/9/?s=20&p=1
     
  3. Fortunat Mueller-Maerki

    Fortunat Mueller-Maerki National Library Chair
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    The book Jon mentions is the book that is considered the standard textbook on the subject. It was first published in French:

    # Title: Montres [Les…] compliquées
    # Author: Francois Lecoultre
    # Publisher: Rohr, Charles
    Keywords: complication
    Language: FRE
    Notes: french language book version of course on complicated watches in 1915-1935 at Geneva school of watchmaking
    Edition: 1945 ca. -- Copyright: 1945
    Kind: Book
    Type: Watch (general)
    Geographic area: Switzerland
    Topic: Repair
    Organization: NA/other
    Pages: 258 -- Height in cm: 21
    Print Status: 2 (1 means in print - 2 means out of print)
    BHM ID: 3171


    But soon an English edition followed:

    # Title: Guide [A…] to Complicated Watches
    # Author: Francois Lecoultre
    # Publisher: Rohr, Charles
    Keywords: complication advanced
    Language: ENG
    Notes: book version of course on complicated watches in 1950 at Geneva school of watchmaking
    Edition: 1952 -- Copyright: 1953
    Kind: Book
    Type: Watch (general)
    Geographic area: Switzerland
    Topic: Reference
    Organization: NA/other
    Pages: 220 -- Height in cm: 21
    Print Status: 2 (1 means in print - 2 means out of print)
    BHM ID: 1289


    And eventually also a German translation:


    # Title: Komplizierte Taschenuhren
    SubTitle: [originally french: Les Montres compliquées]
    # Author: Francois Lecoultre, Richard Daners
    # Publisher: Simonin
    Keywords: complication advanced
    Language: GER
    Notes: The clasiic text (originally french) on complicated pocket watches, in a 1985 translation into german
    Edition: 2nd edition 1993 -- Copyright: 1985
    Kind: Book
    Type: Pocket Watch
    Geographic area: Switzerland
    Topic: Repair
    Organization: NA/other
    Pages: 258 -- Height in cm: 21
    Print Status: 1 (1 means in print - 2 means out of print)
    BHM ID: 5844


    Depending on which language you are most comfortable in, any edition is worth having.
     
  4. Dr. Jon

    Dr. Jon Moderator
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    #4 Dr. Jon, Mar 12, 2010
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2010
    Great information. The edition currently in print is dated 2004 and now published by Simonin. While this is not a cheap book, it can repay its cost many times over if it prevents a problem when working on a complicated watch.

    Another book which is Ok but not as good IMHO is

    Donald Decarle Complicated Watches and Their Repair which is also in print. There are more but the others I have seen are remarkably worse.

    So far as I can find Humbert has written a book on chronographs which is very good and one on calender watches which I have not seen. If you want toubillons and repeaters the field is pretty well limtied to LeCoultre and DeCarle. There are a few cheap pamphlets. Most of what they say can be summarized as

    1) Don't do this unless you know what your doing (So why buy a book)
    2) Be very careful
    3) Clean your bench of everything else before you start.

    Its good advice but not a lot of help on the details.
     
  5. USforest

    USforest Registered User

    Aug 9, 2009
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    I find Humbert books are an excellent source of working on complications. And currently I am reading on his chronographs book. This is great, I have not yet seen Donald Decarle complication book but had read some other books by him too. I am wishing there were more complication repair books published in the 21th century with good pictures. That will be fantastic.


     

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