The Wristwatch Handbook A Comprehensive Guide to Mechanical Wristwatches

Front cover image

Ryan Schmidt

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ACC Art Books
Territory: World
Size: 290 mm x 245 mm
Pages: 352
Illustrations: 445 colour, 7 b&w

RRP £50.00

  • A fantastic reference work for the novice or the seasoned watch enthusiast
  • Fully illustrated with 470 colour photographs
  • Brand-Agnostic. Features a vast array of timepieces from over 90 manufacturers

"...a beautiful book, filled with captivating images and explanatory text which never gets too dry or too technical..." - Revolution

Despite the functional obsolescence of the mechanical wristwatch (our phones and computers tell more accurate time) the early 21st Century has seen a boom in the development, production, and appreciation of all things horological. Whether it is presented to the collector as an alternative investment, as a feat of micro-mechanical technology, or as a showcase of artisanal mastery, the mechanical wristwatch has never possessed more forms, functions or facets than it does today. The Wristwatch Handbook is written from the epicentre of a renaissance, a place in time between the Quartz revolution and the rise of the smart device - where the mechanical wristwatch is the antidote to the microprocessor and the permanent buzz of your inbox. From the multi-axis tourbillion, to the split-second chronograph, to the sidereal sky chart, The Wristwatch Handbook covers it all and does so with more than 470 rich illustrations from over 90 of the World's leading brands.

The book is separated into two sections. The first section provides the reader with a comprehensive understanding of the mechanical movement. Its chapters explore power, transmission, distribution and regulation illustrating the basic concepts before considering the innovation and complexity that takes place further toward the cutting edge. From the fifty-day power reserve, to the constant force mechanism, and the 1,000Hz mechanical escapement, section 1 will allow the reader to understand and appreciate what is happening beneath the dial of their watch. Section two allows the reader to take this understanding and apply it to the vast range of complications (functions) that exist in modern horology. Each chapter showcases a distinct category of complication. For example, the regatta timer, pulsometer, and monopusher chronograph join a host of others in a chapter entitled 'Recording Lapses of Time'; The power reserve indicator, dynamograph, and crown position indicator are featured in a chapter for 'Power and Performance Indication'; The moon phase indicator, annual calendar, and planetarium can be found in the 'Astronomical Complications' chapter. Once the functional categories are exhausted, the final three chapters explore whimsical complications that have little regard for practical function, novelty time indication, and the 'super-complicated' watch - a rare breed of timepiece that houses an intimidating host of complications featured throughout the book. Upon completion of The Wristwatch Handbook the reader will be able to identify even the most exotic complication from across the room, and be able to share their appreciation and understanding of what makes it so useful and compelling.

The Wristwatch Handbook is "brand agnostic", using only those watches that most aptly illustrate the given subject-matter. As a consequence the book places equal emphasis on the classic and the cutting edge, on watches produced in large volume or exclusive runs, by industry-leading technology or at the hand of a master. In doing so the book provides an unparalleled range of watches from over 90 brands, allowing the reader to determine for themselves which brands, complications, and styles they will build their collection from.

What the press have said about this book...

"The Wristwatch Handbook will not have a place on my bookshelf; it earns itself a permanent place on my work table simply because it will be referenced regularly" -- Timewerke Magazine


"I'm confident to give ★★★★★" -- The Collector's Companion (Spring 2017 Edition)


"This is the bible for serious watch lovers and collectors who want to get their head around some of the more complex mechanical

concepts without being totally overwhelmed. Ryan Schmidt's monumental book takes you from the basic principles to the most complicated

derivations of watchmaking (...) In a nutshell, Ryan Schmidt is your trusted guide to the cosmos of horology." -- Rebecca Doulton, The Jewellery Editor Magazine


"Discovering, The Wristwatch Handbook: A Comprehensive Guide to Mechanical Watches, by Ryan Schmidt, was one of the best treats of 2016. (...) A 300 page+ encyclopedia of painstakingly

accurate detail that will teach you to understand watches in a way that only a true master of clockwork mechanisms could possibly know." -- Steve Wollett, The Nerd Rage News Online

The Wristwatch Handbook was featured on Worn and Wound

Look inside the book