According to science, reading books is good for you. With every page we turn, researchers say, we improve memory and empathy while reducing depression and stress.
If we were to unscientifically extend the logic of this data, reading about watches has got to have even more benefits to the watch lover’s health and well-being. This is why we are recommending the following tomes about time for the book and watch lover on your list.
Andrew Grima: The Father of Modern Jewellery by William Grant
The first major monograph on Andrew Grima, this book covers the career of the most important British jewelry designer of the Swinging Sixties. Andrew Grima represents an era of daring design, and this substantial overview of his work is as opulent as his glittering creations.
Grima was at the forefront of the swinging 1960s London-based jewelry design movement, making over-the-top pieces for royals and the jet set alike. But for watch collectors, his collaborations with Omega provided the most audacious examples of his work.
In 1969, Omega commissioned Grima to design a collection called About Time. This collection’s almost free-form, sculptural shapes were a testament to the designer’s artistic impulses. These pieces also alluded to his skills as a jeweler using faceted semi-precious gemstones faceted for crystals.
After Omega, Grima went to work for Hamilton’s Pulsar division in the mid-1970s to design upscale solid gold versions of the company’s pioneering digital electronic watches. These designs emphasized a cleaner, symmetrical style.
Not only does William Grant’s book feature many lush photographs and drawings of both of these collections to illustrate how versatile Grima was as an artist, but it also provides the reader with a new appreciation for the art of watch design in general.
Time to Race: Watches and Speed. Stories of Men and Machines by Cesare Maria Mannucci and John Goldberger
Time to Race is an exhaustive work celebrating the connections between racing and watches. It’s an entertaining read for more casual racing and watches fans, but it still has plenty of insight for those whose knowledge extends beyond the TAG Heuer Monaco or the Paul Newman Daytona.
A collaboration between racing authority Cesare Maria Mannucci and influential watch collector John Goldberger (with forewords by Piero Ferrari and TK Mak), Time to Race presents the stories of the drivers, the cars they drove, and the watches they wore.
Not only is it a worthy investigation of the intersection of automotive and horological innovation between the 1930s and the ‘70s, but it’s also lavishly illustrated with new and archival photos. Mannucci and Goldberger’s passion for automobiles and timepieces lifts off the pages, and that enthusiasm is infectious.
Watches: A Guide by HODINKEE
If you are looking for a book that will appeal to both newbies and more seasoned collectors, Watches: A Guide by Hodinkee provides a fun overview of all things horological.
Hodinkee teamed up with Assouline, the esteemed publisher of oversized and glossy coffee table books, to create this tome. Breaking it down into manageable blocks of information, Watches: A Guide is helpfully composed of nine sections: “A Brief History of Time,” “Chronographs,” “The Dive Watch,” “Travel Time,” “Military Watches,” “High Complications,” “Women and Watches,” “Dress Watches,” and “Icons.” Each chapter is written by a different Hodinkee editor, so you get a lot of fresh takes on the subjects.