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Vintage Wristwatches Hardcover – April 12, 2010

4.1 out of 5 stars 21 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Appraiser and media personality Reyne Haines hosts the weekly program The Art of Collecting on Houston's NBC affiliate, and has been a repeat special guest on The Early Show on CBS. She has been featured in numerous national publications including The Wall Street Journal; is heard frequently on Martha Stewart Living on Sirius; and appears regularly on the popular PBS series Antiques Roadshow. Reyne works and lives in New York City and Houston.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Krause Publications (April 12, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1440204098
  • ISBN-13: 978-1440204098
  • Product Dimensions: 10.9 x 8.5 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,544,205 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I like this book better than others on the topic for several reasons:
1. It covers the gamut of wrist watches, from luxury to "regular folks."
2. Examples are large, full-color photos with brief explanatory text and values.
3. Has both ladies' and gents wristwatches. Not many books include watches for women.
4. Covers widely known brands, plus others you may not know about.
5. At $29.95, the book is an amazing bargain!

In short, this is a gorgeous, instructive book by an author who knows her stuff. To top it off, it is a solid reference AND a teaching tool! I really like it - and I learned a lot.
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Format: Hardcover
Gorgeous photography, it must be said. This is a really amazing book for aesthetics. It's not surprising given that the author is an "appraiser and media personality". Don't add "watch appraiser" or "knowledgeable horologist" to the byline though!

Just a few of the questionable editing decisions made in the book:

Bulova (Accutron): I'm pretty sure the "skeleton" 218 Accutron on p. 35 is an aftermarket "chop" deal where they cut out the center of the dial. As far as I know this was not produced. Besides, it has gold hands, which show up poorly against the movement. If this were genuine I think Bulova would have been more thoughtful about design and color scheme.

They include a relatively non-collectible Accutron Railroad Quartz watch and list it at $800! And, keep in mind that they don't include in the book any versions of some of the iconic Accutrons like the 214 Astronaut. Not having an Astronaut is pretty unforgivable.

Gruen: They devote almost 25 pages of a 250 page book to Gruen. Now, Gruen made some great watches and it is, by far, an underappreciated brand. But 1/10 of the book? C'mon!

Hamilton: I agree with the other reviewer here about the strangeness of their selection. Granted, the women's watches are pretty, but their value is primarily in the diamond and metal content, since they are not really considered super collectible. So 6 pages? But they do photograph well!

How many Hamilton Pacers do you really need in this book? Well, they have 4, and 3 Everests, and 3 Piping Rocks that have the incorrect dates of issue. And I'm not really even a Hamilton expert! Why not an example of the "Flight", a truly iconic design? It makes no sense!

The prices are all over the map, so should be disregarded.
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Format: Hardcover
and here's why. This book, while well-intentioned, has far too many repeated pieces for a few brands (Hamilton, Breitling, Rolex) and some or none at all for other brands. There are also, in my opinion, too many jewelry pieces that don't merit inclusion in a book like this, as there are indeed women's watches in here...not tons, but still worth noting for those of interest.

The authors clearly received use of several vintage pieces through their connections or their own collections, but for instance, with Hamilton there are countless pics of what essentially amounts to the same watch, with little variation in price or appearance. This practice is repeated too often throughout the book. Also, some brand will have a page with a brand, a brief background, and absolutely no watches or examples shown. Why is this? This makes no sense at all.

Bottom line, this is a fair book, but really only a picture book and primarily for the uninitiated. I would have liked to have seen more brand diversity and watch diversity among the brands represented for it to merit a higher score. Decent, but nothing sterling here. Sadly though, there just aren't enough quality books that keep up with the times in this category, it appears.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
For the money, I guess this book is okay. However be warned that it is filled with more errors than the proverbial early Mets game (pace the late Bill Macy). Of the brands that I know rather well (Hamilton, Rolex, Omega) I spotted so many errors per page that I was actually beginning to become nauseous. I am referring to inaccurate (sometimes laughably so) companies' histories, listed dates of production, model names (if even given), and estimated value. Now, regarding the values listed for each watch, these appear to be at least 80% of the time rather off the mark, sometimes way off; I suspect that the author herself knows little about these from a collector's standpoint, and was misled either by dealers who clearly wanted to inflate the values of certain watches they often feature on their websites, or misled by inaccurate guides which tend to only list wholesale (not collectors') values (like the Shugart). Thus we get incongruities like an original Hamilton Piping Rock valued at only $1000 (a realistic collectors' value for one in excellent condition is more like $1500; dealers often charge 2000-3000); and a Rolex Skyrocket valued at $2250, about twice what it's realistically worth. Then there are the few outright fakes (like the "Rolex Tudor" with inaccurate and inappropriate "California" dial which is the bane of eBay) and poorly refinished dials included. Why, for goodness sake?

Still, for all my complaints, it is a nice coffee table book, with excellent photos and paper quality.
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