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The Mastery of Time: A History of Timekeeping, from the Sundial to the Wristwatch: Discoveries, Inventions, and Advances in Master Watchmaking Hardcover – January 10, 2012

ISBN-13: 978-2080200808 ISBN-10: 2080200801 Edition: 0th

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The Mastery of Time: A History of Timekeeping, from the Sundial to the Wristwatch: Discoveries, Inventions, and Advances in Master Watchmaking + The History of Watches + Wristwatch Annual 2013: The Catalog of Producers, Prices, Models, and Specifications
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 456 pages
  • Publisher: Flammarion (January 10, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 2080200801
  • ISBN-13: 978-2080200808
  • Product Dimensions: 1.7 x 9.5 x 11 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #744,106 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"In a handsome, expensive new book from Flammarion, historian and watchmaking expert Dominique Flechon takes readers on an illustrated journey through the history of timepieces..." ~Publishers Weekly

"...will delight anyone interested in understanding the origins of horology...But this book is also beautifully designed, well illustrated, and a pleasure to hold and to look at. It could justifiably be called a work of art..." ~Watch Journal

About the Author

Dominique Fléchon is a historian and expert in fine watchmaking. Franco Cologni is chairman of the Cultural Council of the Fondation de la Haute Horlogerie. He has contributed to Montblanc: Writing Time, The Cartier Collection: Jewelry, and The Cartier Collection: Timepieces.

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By INTFP92 on March 24, 2012
Format: Hardcover
I received this book as a gift and I found myself drawn to reading every page. It's a marvelous history of how time has been perceived and measured over the years, with a particular emphasis on the mechanical details of both clocks and watches. If this is a subject that fascinates you - then this is the book to read.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Fortunat Mueller-maerki on September 9, 2013
Format: Hardcover
This is a nicely produced book where no cost was spared to locate the right pictures to illustrate the history of timekeeping and produce a thorough overview of timekeeping instruments throughoput the ages. It was an expensive production and resulted in a high quality book.

But a potential purchaser should be aware that the publication of this book was financed by the "Fondation de la Haute Horlogerie" a Swiss based not for profit entity that is funded and financed by the high grade / luxury watchmaking companies of Switzerland. The author, Dominque Flechon, is a recognized writer and horological journalist whose earlier booklength works were brand histories, coffee table books describing a specific brand. The first half of the book (dealing with timekeepers up to the end end of the eighteenth century), is the only recent thorough, global perspective, high publication value publication summarizing horological history including all all recent discoveries and insights. The book is worth buying for that part (and for its gorgeous illustrations ) alone.

The second half is slightly more problematic, the closer we get to the present the more the author's perspective seems to narrow both geographically and regarding types of timekeepers covered. The focus gradually shifts to the - objectivly very significant - Swiss contributions to timekeeping history, and to the luxury/high quality segment of timekeepers. Contributions from other countries (like the introduction of interchangable parts in horology by Terry, or the importance of early machine made watches by e.g. Waltham) are not ignored, but in the opinion of this reviewer are not covered in as much detail as they deserve.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Sinohey TOP 1000 REVIEWER on March 8, 2013
Format: Hardcover
The book begins "Some 13.5 billion years ago....." and proceeds to lay out the progression of the development of time keeping through the ages until the present.
It is a monumental work based on vast research by one of the leading experts on horology. The book is well organized in six sections, each composed of several chapters. In the opening section <Horlogy, A child of Astronomy> it sequentially describes the evolution of chronology from the need of early Homo Sapiens to understand the annual cycles, to the massive stone calendars of the Ancient civilizations, to the sundial and ultimately to the mechanical devices.
The next section <From Clock to Watch> spans two centuries when mechanical clocks became more sophisticated, and with the advent of the spring mechanism, shrunk down to a size easily carried in a pocket.
In the section <Achieving Precision>, Flechon delves into the minutiae of technical progress and artistic styles of watchmaking until the beginning of the 19th century. A paragraph is included about the Englishman John Harrison and his work on the Primary Meridian and Longitude lines that helped mariners sail the seven seas.
The remaining half of the book from the chapter<During the Industrial Revolution 1790-1918> to the final chapter < Precious and Technical Fine Watchmaking from 2000 to the Present Day> is dedicated to the watchmaker's craft, describing in details with illustrations and photographs simple mechanisms to Quartz precision and the rebirth of highly sophisticated and complicated (and very expensive) watches.
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