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Masters of Contemporary Watchmaking [Hardcover]

Michael Clerizo
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
RRP: £55.00
Price: £42.07 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

26 Oct 2009
Is a watch ever a work of art? Is a watchmaker ever an artist? To answer these questions and many more, Michael Clerizo spent months listening to eleven of the worlds most renowned watchmakers. From the Isle of Man to the Left Bank of the Seine, from Barcelona to Dresden, from the Jura Mountains to Lake Geneva, these extraordinary individuals told their stories.We hear of lives heavily laced with setbacks but sustained by an all conquering passion and suffused with the sweet satisfaction of mastering the skills of mechanical watchmaking, and crowned with the invigorating success of finding others willing to buy and treasure their work. Few books have such a safe, captive and targeted audience as this one; and few are so revealing of the supreme heights of ingenuity and perfection that exist in a high-tech era.

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Frequently Bought Together

Masters of Contemporary Watchmaking + Watchmaking + All in Good Time: Reflections of a Watchmaker
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Product details

  • Hardcover: 292 pages
  • Publisher: Thames & Hudson; 1st ed edition (26 Oct 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0500514852
  • ISBN-13: 978-0500514856
  • Product Dimensions: 3.3 x 30.5 x 30.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 461,028 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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'The author's literary portraits of these watchmakers are intimate and appealing - but equally compelling are the photographs of the mechanical marvels that these engineer-artists have designed' --The Wall Street Journal

'A long overdue book ... an excellent record of the superb and independent work of some remarkable individuals ... both inspires and amazes' --Horological Journal

'This book should - and will - become the reference work on independent contemporary watchmakers ... a magnificent showcase ... my book of the year'
--QP Magazine

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Masters of Contemporary Watchmaking 19 Feb 2011
By Paul
An excellent introduction to high end watches, the colour plates are superb and are on very high quality gloss paper. However the text is white on a gold background with frequent "watermark" drawings in the background making reading very difficult. For this book or indeed any book this is a major problem and should not have got past a preliminary proof reading. There is a well proven reason for black text on white paper, the editors would do well to revisit this in a reprint.

I cannot give an unreserved recommendation to this book in this condition as being unable to read it easily does tend to decrease the enjoyment of the purchase. Simple black text on white paper would give an unreserved 5* recommendation, not to mention a severe health warning to your credit card!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The art of watchmaking 7 Nov 2009
The foundations of this highly recommended and lavishly illustrated book are interviews with eleven eminent contemporary watchmakers. Each watchmaker is an artist with a passion for mechanical watches and they are rightly proud of their products and achievements. During the seventies the mass produced quartz watches wiped the mechanical watch industry in Switzerland almost out and most of these watchmakers had a difficult time, but their love and persistence resulted in a renaissance of the high end watch market for the happy few, watches seen as works of art, made by artists in their own right. The book gives many examples of their beautiful made products as well as products of a further 18 independent contemporary watchmakers in a section named "Other master watchmakers". My favorite quote is from the watch designer Silberstein; "The first thing you must understand is that a watch is not an ordinary product like a kettle or a lamp. No, the watch is something very intimate, because it measures the most intimate thing we have, which is time".
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Great watches are usually the end of a story rather than the story itself. It is how the watch came into being; the thought process; the trials and tribulations of the man - and up until now it has usually been a man - behind the watch that provides the raison d'être of the watch itself. Giant leaps in technology have less impact without the human touch: sending a probe to Mars is impressive, but landing a man on the moon was breathtaking.

Watchmaking is no different. To understand sublime timepieces you have to understand something of great watchmakers; however, that isn't always easy. Master watchmakers tend to either work for large brands, where their roles are hidden under layers of marketing fluff, or as independents, where they likely to have little or marketing presence at all. And in both cases, when we do manage to learn a little in an article or press release, it is often too shallow and product orientated to reveal much of the watchmaker himself.

Masters of Contemporary Watchmaking provides an in-depth insight into 12 great watchmakers - George Daniels, Svend Andersen, Vincent Calabrese, Philippe Dufour, Antoine Preziuse, Franck Muller, Aniceto Pita, Alain Silberstein, Marco Lang, Vianney Halter and Roger Smith- through revealing interviews and lots of photographs, many of which are published for the first time in this book, that would by itself make the book a must have for any watch aficionado, but there's more . . .
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