The Territory of Neuchatel and its Horological Heritage Many Authors. Editions de la Chatiere ISBN 987-2-940239-17-7 http://www.editions-chatiere.ch (Click on Editions) This book is a collection of articles on the nature and impact of watch making on the history of the Neuchatel region. It won’t help identify that unknown Swiss name on a fine or not so fine watch but it does provide a lot of insight into the environment that produced it. The book by its nature, a collection of articles, Is not well organized but more seriously, it lacks both a Table of Contents and an Index. It does have a notes section which provides some of these functions but is a poor substitute. The book is a long read and I skipped over some sections that I found to be of little interest but there is a lot of interesting and useful information. For the Swiss watch enthusiast who likes high grade watches or even Roskopf watches the book offers a lot of useful background. The value of the book is in its explanation of the Neuchatel watch system. The key players, the people whose names may have appeared on the cuvettes, were the etablisseurs. These people were similar to British “retailers” who functioned as contractors. They assembled the elements of a watch into its final form. The trade breakdown in Switzerland was different from England in that many functions were performed by specialty workshops that were more industrialized than the English industry. Roughly the trades were ebauche making, pallet assortment making, balance and spring making, dial making, case making, polishing and engine turning. Not mentioned but equally important were those who made hands. A very few etablisseurs became manufacturers. This differs from the American model in that the manufacturers did not bring all the parts into the factory and specialty makers continued as they do the present day. The etablisseaurs collected the parts and passed them around to these specialists. The system survived industrialization and was strongly preserved until very recently. This theme is repeated in several parts of the book. The section, The triumph of Horology” has several articles that describe in detail how the industry and factories developed. “The Concentration of Men and Machines” by Thomas Perret on the development of factories. It includes statistics on the break out or workers by factory size with most working in factories with 21 to 50 employees. Nadja Maillard has two articles, “The Manufacture of Cities” and Architects and Watchmakers” that discuss the relation between the factories and places where they were built. These indirectly point out which were the major and most influential factories. The overall organization of Swiss watch making is taken up by the section “The Direction of Horology”. The article “Feast and Famine” by Francesco Garufo. This article describes the development and nature of the cartel the Swiss formed in the period from the 1920’s to the start of Word War II. It explains all the rules involved. Among other things it explains that manufacturers were forbidden to bring into their plants significant critical items such as manufacture of balances and assortments. IN reading the book it helps to know that they use the word assortment to describe the critical items of a lever escapement. These include the escape wheel, the pallets and pallet fork (lever). Since these are the features that most critically determine the quality of a movement, it has always interested me that these are rarely made by the manufacturer. The other side of this issue is that this system allows the small etablisseur to make watches rivaling the quality of the major manufacturers. The books has other problems besides loose organization, lack of a table of contents and index. It is profusely illustrated with wonderful illustrations but often they have little to do with the text and are not always well explained. It most annoying flaw is that on page 313 in the middle of the article “Remodeled Industry” by Helene Pasquier it switches from English to French. The next article is “L’horogerie electronique”, entirely in French. With its flaws its still a book a Swiss watch enthusiast should own. Its not a reference since its too poorly organized but it is background material of much use in understanding how good Swiss watches were made. To benefit from owning the book you have to spend some time with it and go back often to refresh memory. I am sure the NAWCC Library has it but I could not find it in the electronic catalog. Simonin sells the book. I bought my copy from Craig Unruh of Crunruh books.