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The Definitive Guidebook to Watches is Here

The Wristwatch Handbook
Image used with permission by copyright holder
This is not an average book about watches. “Comprehensive” is an understatement. In fact, The Wristwatch Handbook: A Comprehensive Guide to Mechanical Watches, by Ryan Schmidt, makes the case that it is the definitive guide to analog timepieces.

This is a heavy, 200-page+ encyclopedia uncovering every possible mechanic of fine watches. At every turn, it’s clear Schmidt carefully researched the subject with painstakingly accurate detail.

Unless you’re a major watch collector/enthusiast, it’s more information than you would ever need to know. However, it’s an incredibly handsome book and the images alone make it a worthy addition to any coffee table lineup. Just perusing through to enjoy the clean lines of traditional diving and nautical watches is a real treat. The following section about world time zone pieces reveals some incredible colors and complications not seen outside luxury settings.

The Wristwatch Handbook
Image used with permission by copyright holder

As I was reading, I found myself picking and re-picking dream watches I’d love to own (or at least wear once). I eventually settled on the Hublot Big Bang Unico Bi-Retrograde Chrono King Gold Carbon. Specially designed for the 2014 FIFA World Cup, it has a two-level display for keeping track of both halves of a soccer match and any extra time. It’s limited to 200 pieces, costs more than my car, and is an absolute stunner.

Another fascinating concept is a section about analog alarms known as “chiming complications”. In our modern world of digital smartphone reminders, it’s easy to forget there are still a number of manufacturers creating alarms set by hand. An incredible picture breakdown of how the mechanism works starts the chapter followed by more first-class examples (including the Girard-Perregaux Opera 2, which has four hammers and four gongs that can be set separately).

Even just a casual skim through the book will have you ready to jump into collecting. The Handbook is a dedication to the art of timepieces and illustrates a level of appreciation any major enthusiast in any hobby could understand.

Invest in your copy here.

Editors' Recommendations

Geoff Nudelman
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Geoff is a former contributor to The Manual. He's a native Oregonian who’s always up for a good challenge and a great hike…
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