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Christmas gifts - Watch books to go under the Christmas tree

Christmas gifts Watch books to go under the Christmas tree

WorldTempus presents a selection of the best watch books of the year, featuring history, vintage timepieces and some curiosities, perfect for browsing in front of a roaring fire.

Omega Seamaster Vintage 

Les livres horlogers à (se) mettre sous le sapin

This book looks at the most iconic models with the highest water resistance, with one additional section that is dedicated to chronographs and military models. They are all « Vintage » models that are at least 25 years old. Variants and models have evolved and overlapped. Time has dictated shapes and materials. Omega has given us ingenuity and good taste, and the result is that today its production is sought after by collectors and enthusiasts, who appreciate and have fallen in love with cases and dials that time has rendered unique.

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Le magicien des Maillardet : the first horolo-historical investigation!

Les livres horlogers à (se) mettre sous le sapin

This book looks into the mysterious origins of a very unusual object: the “Magician automaton”. The story begins at the international museum of watchmaking in La Chaux-de-Fonds, where the Magician arrived in 1907. Over the course of several months, the automaton was restored. Today, we have no information on its original state, or what restoration work was carried out at the time. 

Then, in 2006, something amazing happened: an almost identical Magician came to light at an auction. It is currently being restored, offering a rare opportunity to shed light on the first automaton through the second, and to delve into the history of their creators, the Maillardet family. Although these mechanical horologists were known to have worked for Jaquet-Droz, very few pieces actually feature the “Maillardet” signature. What makes things even more complex is that three generations of Maillardet watchmakers lived between 1760 and 1850, with branches of the family active in London, China and India. The author offers an exclusive and fascinating investigation into the history of this exceptional piece and its illustrious creators.

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Moonwatch Only  

Les livres horlogers à (se) mettre sous le sapin

Another guide for the Moonwatch ? Not only. The Speedmaster is a timeless watch icon that has significantly evolved since its creation in 1957, a fact that sometimes makes it hard to identify certain models, particularly older ones. After several years of research and observation, the authors have created a technical, systematically and attractive book intended to become the reference work for this model. The major focus of this work concerns the identification of historical Speedmaster models from standard production, in an era when there were often variations in the constituent parts of a watch. Having observed that these numerous evolutions could occur independently of a change in reference number, the authors established an original nomenclature for this entire set of elements. Classifying and describing them represented a fundamental prior step toward providing a comprehensive and detailed presentation of the models.

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The dial: a pure objet d’art

Les livres horlogers à (se) mettre sous le sapin

So near and yet so far away: the dial is a supremely mysterious object. We see them every day, and yet they have never been studied in such great depth. This work by horological luminary Dr Helmut Crott comprises almost 400 pages and 600 illustrations, and is devoted entirely to the dials of 20th century wristwatches. It recounts the history of the famous Geneva dial manufacturer, Stern. Another section explains the different manufacturing methods for dials, from the simple silvered finish with printed markers to the complex and unique dials made from cloisonné and champlevé enamel. Finally, a selection of iconic vintage watch dials are given a comprehensive analysis. An invaluable reference.

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Chronographs for Collectors : the ultimate reference

Les livres horlogers à (se) mettre sous le sapin

Sébastien Chaulmontet is well known in the watch valley for being one of the most expert of chronographs. With Joël Pynson, he signs an original reference work that traces the history of chronographs which have made their mark on the 20th century. In the course of 30 detailed chapters, and lavishly illustrated with 450 previously unpublished photographs, the watches are described in detail, compared and evaluated.

Legendary chronographs such as the Omega Speedmaster, Heuer Carrera, Rolex Daytona, Longines 13 ZN, Universal Tri-Compax, Breitling Navitimer, Zénith El Primero and more can be found between its covers together with their principal variants. And there are numerous other, often overlooked, classics: for example, the Mido Multi-Centerchrono, Minerva 13/20, Excelsior Park 4, Index-Mobile of Dubey & Schaldenbrand, Eberhard Contodat, Enicar Jet Graph and many others. You can even find details about those rare pearls such as the Invicta Chrono-Sport, Blancpain Air Command and Angélus Chrono-Datoluxe.

The work gives the amateur the chance to discover all the richness and variety of collectable chronographs. To the expert collector it gives valuable advice that will refine their knowledge and lead to pastures new.

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