Every WIS needs to have a watch book library at home.
Whether you are a guy who’s into history or intrigued by the technical side of things, having the right books in your collection is necessary. To start with, they look good. No, I don’t mean that fill up a shelf nicely to show off. They are often large with amazingly detailed photos of watches, movements, and everything else surrounding them like a box, papers, documents, and so on. A great watch is also a good source for research. You might want to look something up or perhaps need information for a forum/blog post. This is where the right book comes into place. Lastly, books bring back something we are losing these days. Technology makes it easy for us to search, post, photograph, create on the go. With a watch book, you don’t need a phone or a tablet. Just you, the book and your favorite drink. Sounds good?
I love watch books and use them quite frequently, to be honest. Whether I need them for a backdrop when shooting images or I do research with them, I’m happy to have a rather versatile collection on my shelf. Do I use all of them equally? Absolutely not. But from time to time I’ll take one that I have not read in a while and browse through it again. I selected five watch books that I own and enjoy regularly. These are not new publications; we already featured some of them and even did reviews on them. However, I think it is worth talking about them, especially now since the Holiday Season is just around the corner. Your significant other might need gift ideas for you. That is where this article comes to place.
The Speedmaster Bible. You are no vintage watch/Speedmaster fan if you have not heard of this fantastic publication. Fun fact: during the presentation of the first edition in 2014 in Amsterdam was my first time meeting the core of Fratello Watches (at the time), RJ, Bert, and Gerard. A lot has happened since then, but the book remained my go-to-guide whenever I needed help or reassurance regarding a Speedmaster-related question. There are two volumes, and we reviewed each of them (here and here). Also, if you are into technology, Moon Watch Only has an iBook called Moonwatch Only – Speedmaster Identification Guide. Technically that’s also a book. Well, not really but you get a pass from me if you get that. To sum it up, this is something you need if you are a Speedmaster fan. Or a vintage fan in general.
An unusual title by an unusual writer. If you know the man behind this book, Kristian Haagen, you are not surprised by this though. This rugged, modern age Indiana Jones-looking Danish man is sweeter than those muffins named after his country. Kristian is not only a great journalist but a talented photographer. Hashtags and watches is an excellent combination of his texts and images, albeit the focus is on the photos. No surprise as the book, according to Kristian, “celebrates his fascination with Instagram – on print.” Clever, right? It is a printed version of Haagen’s Instagram feed. If you need inspiration for a post or perhaps you want to start doing your own product photography, hashtags and watches by @kristianhaagen is a must to have. It’s a great coffee table book and much more. Needless to say, there’s already a second edition.
Chronographs for Collectors is the ultimate guide for the vintage chronograph lovers. The book features several different brands and some of their most amazing models from the past. It’s complex, fun to read, and balances well between imagery and text in terms of content. You might have already read about the models featured in the book, but I’m sure you’ll find some facts you did not know before. The authors are collectors themselves and most (if not all) of the models are coming from their extensive collection. Furthermore, they are connected to the watch industry, so the knowledge these guys bring to the table is funded, to say the least. There is a smart feature in the book; the chart on every page that offers a quick guide to each model’s rarity, price, and technology.
We talked about a book on one specific model. We also listed a publication about a particular complication and a designated social media channel. This book (actually two books) focuses on timepieces with connection to one country’s military. Konrad Knirim is a god when it comes to military watches. His knowledge and collection are, for lack of a better word, extensive. His book on German Military Timepieces is the most comprehensive publication on this subject that I have ever come across. Mr. Knirim did not stop after one book, though. He blessed us with yet another one on British Military Timepieces. Both books are in English and German with tons of images for reference. There’s a substantial military watch community out there who I’m sure you know about this publication. For the rest of you guys, here’s a heads up: You need these books.
Probably the most featured book about watches on social media. Not a day goes by that I don’t see a photo on Instagram or Facebook with a watch and this book in the back. Since its release in 2017, it has become the go-to book for rookie watch lovers. Do you want to see a large variety of watches? Check the book. Do you want to read cool stories about style icons? Check the book. Do you want to get to know some of the faces of watch journalism? Yep, check the book. Matt Hranek’s collection of timepieces and the stories surrounding them is entertaining, easy to read, and maps the personality of Matt perfectly. A vivid guy with a ton of interests from fashion to cars and beyond. Get A Man & His Watch, find a nice chair, get a glass of Negroni (after all that’s Matt’s fav) and enjoy the read.
Again, as always, this is not a comprehensive list, just a few of the books I like. They are in no specific order either. I tried to pick books that vary in size, topic, and in-depth knowledge. Hopefully, you’ll read about one or two you did not know about. Either way, happy reading and let us know in the comments below if my suggestions were useful or not.
Balázs joined Fratello Watches in 2014 and he has been a fan of watches as long as he can remember. His passion for watches really took off in 2007 when he purchased his first fine Swiss timepiece. From 2007 up... read more