The world of guides for watches can seem a little intimidating to the uninitiated. Balance wheels, escapements and lugs can all sound like jargon-heavy foreign languages, but those who are determined to get a grip on this arcane area of interest will be rewarded with a truly illuminating experience.
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The first step is familiarising yourself with watch terms. For a quick brush-up on terminology, you can’t do better than a quick glance at this guide from online resource Hodinkee, which will quickly explain the basics of different watches and their functions.
When you’re ready to invest more time in your horological education, there are a plethora of book options on the subject. For a more technical read, look no further than this book from acclaimed horologist George Daniels. It explains in clear, straightforward terms how to construct a mechanical watch from the ground up, and includes plans for more complex complications.
For those who want to take a broader look at the history of the watch, there are also a few books that will provide an engaging read. Watch historian Matt Hranek’s collection of watch memoirs demonstrates that these timepieces can have sentimental value well beyond their monetary worth.
As an added bonus, these books can double as a gift for the discerning watch fan on your shopping list. Watch pouches, boxes and winders make for thoughtful presents, and a watch winder is particularly useful for those who own automatic models that need to be kept wound in order to maintain their accuracy.