Recommended reading material

horology in general. During the week end there were some great suggestion regarding horological litterature but dispersed in various threads. Let's centralize all your suggestions under this thread which will be placed in the Recommended Threads section

Doc's best :-)
04/28/2008 - 16:08

In no particular order.

The outstanding best book, I have ever read in horology. As a matter of fact, I had to buy a new one (!), since the first fell apart ! I recommend you all, who not have it, to get it as soon as possible. It will give your whole interest an utmost kick. Entertaining, if not before, you are a WIS after reading this one

The book of the books, when it comes to the Bible of horology, and referens for everything you wonder about. Berner's

This I recommende ALL who are intersted of horlogy, what kind of watches, doesn't matter. There you have it all, And in French, German, English and Spanish, at the same time, contains 4790 horological terms !

It's a book to go back and look for different words,

a source, you don't read it.... It's rather exspensive but you buy it new from : When at the site, go to encyclopedia, then glossary and click on G.A. Berner. I don't know how many times I have used it, but it's many ! 

Marine chronometers, the most outstanding book written is, Rupert Gould's "Marine Chronometer" the ultimate , a man who dedicates his whole life just to save Harrison's timepieces,

to the world, and also writes only one book about marine chronometers,

published 1923 first time, and still there have never been need for another ! 

The concentrated and unbeaten evolution of the watch, explaining how movements works and have evolved over time.

Also how complications works in an easy understanable way.

First printed 1929, reprinted as a facsimile 1979.

No other book has during those 50 years been needed


When it comes to a certain brand Vacheron&Constantin, I think World of Vacheron Constantin, by Lambelet/Cohen, is in a class of it's own.

Fantastic atmosphere and a travel through time from 1755 up until the 1950's.

Art, music, paintings, litterture, politics and human beings, and of course VC is in it

It's a very well written book with lot of knowledge and sense for tradition.

These are my choice to a good start of a horological library, noone is cheap, but on the other hand if you buy these books,

you'll save a lot, but not buying all real lousy books I have bought, because there are quite few real good books,

and sorry to say, a great lack of knowledge among the written things.

Good luck


my contribution...
04/28/2008 - 16:26

The Secrets of Vacheron Constantin...

I haven't read it yet, so I'll leave to others to comment on it. I'll say one thing though: if only for its pictures, this book is definitely worth every penny!!

VC related
04/28/2008 - 16:42

By Kreuzer. Exists only in German the best part is the amazing info on the different calibers (vintage and modern)

By Franco Cologni: some nice photos but not very interesting (too general):

The Art of Vacheron Constantin: Antiquorum auction catalogue 1994

Antiquorum Quarter Millenium auction catalogue 2005

The 2 Antiquorum catalogues are a must have as they show the different VC styles and watches throughout time and also give interesting details and anecdotes.

04/28/2008 - 16:44

Prestegious Watches by Sophie Ann Terrisse (a choice of brands with their history and a production)

On collecting
04/28/2008 - 18:50

Re: Please put in this thread your suggestion regarding books re VC or
04/29/2008 - 02:14

Here re my recommendations, apart from the ones already displayed:

The Quest for Longitude, edited by William Andrewes.

This is a compilation of articles based on a conference which took place in Cambridge, Mass. in 1993.

There are a great many articles by different authors including David Landes and George Daniels. A fascinating book, with many illustrations.

The Art of Breguet by George Daniels, a semi-technical history of Breguet's watches and their development.

The Art of Breguet by Hapsberg Auctioneers a catalogue and biography of Breguet and profiles of many famous owners as well as splendid illustrations of some unique Breguet watches (1993)

JLC by Franco Cologni, similar to the VC "Secrets" book. Lavishly illustrated and very interesting

A. Lange & Soehne by Reinhard Meis, a history of the company and their watches, very detailed. Very difficult to find especially in English.

Audemar Piguet by G.L. Brunner, C. Pfeiffer-Belli and M.K. Wehrli, history of the company and their watches, quite rare. mine is in French.

Watchmaking by George Daniels, technical, complicated, but this man knows his stuff!

Watches and Clocks in the Sir David Solomons Collection, by George Daniels and Ohannes Markarian, a wonderful catalogue of an amazing collection including some really unbelievable automata.

Watches, by Cecil Clutton and George Daniels, an illustrated history of watch development, easy to read and very descriptive with lots of illustrations.

Girard Perregaux by Francois Chaille, a beautiful recent illustrated history of the company similar to the Cologni books

Timepieces by David Christiansen, a basic easy to read book on watches and clocks in history with great illustrations and discussions on development and function.

Horological Complications  and 250th Anniversary Masterpieces, by Vacheron Constantin, publicity books but fantastic illustrations of some of the current watches.

Last but not least is the DVD put out by Patek Philippe at their museum.

Their are 2 parts to this DVD which are worth the price... the section on the singing bird fired out a pistol and the pocket watch with automata showing moses striking the rock in the desert and water gushing out. The DVD illustrates through computer graphics how the watches work, truly amazing!


Here is one for chronograph lover's
05/19/2008 - 05:07

Chronograph Wristwatches: To Stop Time by G Lang & R Meis

Re: Recommended reading material
07/09/2011 - 23:42

Somewhat awkward to post in this thread before all else, but thought this should find its way in: 

George Daniels: Watchmaking was recently re-printed and has excellent material explaining how to build a watch from scratch and in the process allowing any person interested to find answers to a lot of "why"s and "what"s in the field. 

Hope this link lasts - Amazon: