Recommend Books on Watches
You can never learn too much about a subject. Even if you just have
your grandfathers watch, I highly recommend buying a or two books on
the subject. Many of the introductory books cost less than $30. You
will appreciate your watch more and they can save you from making
So, here is my short list of recommended books:
- "Complete Price Guide to Watches" by Cooksey Shugart, Tom
Engle and Richard Gilbert. New versions are released every year and it
can be found at many local book stores. The 1999 edition is ISBN
1-57432-130-7 . If I was forced to have only one book, this would be
it. It is the most complete and most accurate single book on watches
that I know of. That being said, it is neither complete, nor is it
error free. A good first word on the subject, but certainly not the
It contains about 100 pages of background information on watches, plus
a glossary. The other 900 pages are filled with price information on
watches, with lots of additional information mixed in.
This book is available at many local book stores, and, of course,
almost all of the online book stores.
All books have errors, this one is often criticized as being full of
errors. I think the complaints are overblown and, in part, a case of
"sour grapes" because it has become so popular. There is a list of
in the Elgin section that will give you an idea of type types of errors
you may find.
"New Collector's Guide to Pocket Watches" by Barry
S. Goldberg. This is a short book, but geared more to the beginner
than Shugart's "Complete Watches" book.
You can obtain this book at
All the books at Heart of America Press.
These books are primarily
written by Roy Ehrhardt, but often in conjunction with other people
such as Bill Meggers and George Townsend. For the most part, these
books are excerpts and reprints of original source material, rather
than distilled information and narratives. None of theses books are
subsets or duplicates of others, so you should buy all that look
remotely interesting. You get a quantity discount and you will end up
buying most of them anyway.
You can obtain these books at the
Heart of America Press website.
Like the "Complete Watches" book, there is a list of
Known Errors in the Elgin
book that will give you an idea of type types of errors you may
"Revolution in Time - Clocks and the Making of the Modern World" by
David S. Landis ISBN 0-674-76800-0 (HB). A good book on how
time keeping has changed, and how it changed the world.
Paper back versions are available at amazon.com.uk and you can still
find hard backs at places like
"American Watchmaking - A Technical History of the American Watch
Industry 1850-1930" By Michael C Harrold. This was published as a
supplement to the NAWCC Bulletin in 1984.
I'm not sure if the
still sells copies, but you can frequently find it on places like