Marking Time: Collecting Watches and Thinking about Time

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Watches are not just workaday products of human ingenuity; the finest can be both intricate feats of engineering and breathtaking works of art. Not surprisingly, all sorts of people-from kings to commuters-have collected them, paying a small fortune for something truly unique (a 1933 Patek Philippe pocket watch with 25 "complications" sold for over $11 million) or only a few dollars for a new model from a favorite contemporary maker. Whatever ...
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Overview

Watches are not just workaday products of human ingenuity; the finest can be both intricate feats of engineering and breathtaking works of art. Not surprisingly, all sorts of people-from kings to commuters-have collected them, paying a small fortune for something truly unique (a 1933 Patek Philippe pocket watch with 25 "complications" sold for over $11 million) or only a few dollars for a new model from a favorite contemporary maker. Whatever the object, desire is at the heart of collecting.

A longtime collector of vintage pocket watches, Michael Korda shares his passion in this lively excursion into the realm of timekeeping and timepieces. Marking Time is filled with history, anecdotes, and practical information about watches and watch collecting: how timekeeping became standardized, how historical and cultural change led to innovations and refinements in the timepieces themselves, and how the premier watchmakers (Breguet, Patek Philippe, Cartier, for example) turned a craft into an art and industry. Along the way, he introduces some extraordinary collectors and their even more unusual custom-made watches.

For would-be collectors, Korda offers useful pointers-things to consider before you even begin: choosing an appropriate area or theme, the "vintage" versus the "collectible" market, learning from auction catalogs, dealing with dealers, trends to be aware of and traps to beware of, how experienced watch collectors decide what to buy (and what not to buy), makes and models of watches that may be under appreciated, and the watch as an investment and as a fashion accessory. He also includes tips on wearing and caring for a vintage watch.

Michael Korda is editor in chief of Simon and Schuster and the author of more than a dozen books, including Charmed Lives, Country Matters, Horse People, and the bestsellers Power and Queenie.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780760735763
  • Publisher: Barnes & Noble
  • Publication date: 4/29/2004
  • Pages: 198
  • Product dimensions: 5.62 (w) x 7.96 (h) x 0.82 (d)

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