What book should a begginer start with?

Thread: What book should a begginer start with?

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  1. #1
    Member ehutch01's Avatar
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    Aug 2011

    What book should a begginer start with?

    Hi: I've been collecting vintage watches for about a year now, and am getting more and more interested in watch repair. I know NOTHING about the field but would like to learn. I learn well from books and would like to start with one that is good for beginers. (and also hopefully in print). Should I start with De Carlo's (I think that's his name) "Practical Watch Repair" or should I start with somthing else?

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  2. #2
    Member Spit161's Avatar
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    Oct 2009
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    Re: What book should a begginer start with?

    Just for the pure information from the Worlds greatest living horologist, read "Watchmaking" by George Daniels.
    It won't show you how to fix anything, but it'll give you a much better appreciation of what is going on on your wrist.

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  3. #3
    Vintage & NAWCC Forum moderator Ben_hutcherson's Avatar
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    Aug 2011
    Kentucky, USA

    Re: What book should a begginer start with?

    The DeCarle books are great, as are anything by Henry Fried. In my opinion, the Fried books are probably a little bit more readable, although I'd definitely suggest having both in your library.

    Contrary to the above, I'd argue that Daniel's book IS a great book for learning watch repair. All of the principles explained are equally applicable both to building a watch from scratch and crafting replacement parts for an already existing watch.

  4. #4
    Member LCheapo's Avatar
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    Jul 2010

    Re: What book should a beginner start with?

    I'm not a watchmaker, but I fiddle around with new Alphas and old Hamiltons.

    The el cheapo suggestion (hehe) would be the 'War Department Technical Manual TM9-1575' : TM 9-1575 – I Already Have a Watch. . I'd definitely start with this; it's fun and compact, and free.

    'Practical Watch Repairing' is also on the interwebs, but more enjoyable to read (relatively speaking) as a $10 paperback. The typeface and layout is not great though; but for 10 bucks you can't complain much.

    'Watchmaking' is a much nicer and more fun book to read; the publisher seems to vary which parts (if any) it makes available through 'Google Books'. Have a look and decide whether at over 60 bucks it's a good (early) Xmas gift for yourself.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2011

    Re: What book should a beginner start with?

    Hi ehutch01, I harbour the same ambition. I purchased a book called Amateur Watchmaking. I found it a good read, the author has passion for his subject and expresses himself well. Unlike many books out there it is a modern take on watch making with the beginer in mind. It is small book (103 pages in A3 size) and costs $50, not cheap but I thought it good value. If you want to find out more google Per's watch making.

    I have not put my reading in to practice yet, but will probably do so in the near future (wish me luck!) and good luck to you.
    Last edited by Vanauto; September 2nd, 2011 at 13:40.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2007

    Re: What book should a beginner start with?

    I'm in the same boat as you. I just received "Watchmaking" by George Daniels and it looks a little intimidating to a beginner but it looks well written. I am about to order Level 1 from Level One Toolkit With ETA 2801-2 Movement which from what I have been reading is highly recommended.
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  7. #7
    Member Outta Time's Avatar
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    Feb 2010
    Port Colborne, Ontario

    Re: What book should a beginner start with?

    The DeCarle books are great, and still contain valuable information regarding old watches and old methods. George Daniels' book is impressive, and a must for anyone thinking about serious watchmaking. To the same end, if you want to repair watches, and you want to really understand what is going on, I strongly recommend the WOSTEP text "Theory of Horology". At this level, however, you might just want to start thinking seriously about a watchmaking school, as this is the standard textbook, or one of them. I read DeCarle's 'Practical Watch Repairing', before I went to school, and I can say that although it is well written and illustrated, there was only so much of it I was able to absorb without formal training. IMHO, though, it is still the best book to start with, regardless of how far you want to take it, what I will add, however, is that I still learn new things every day, and my interest and passion for the trade only increases with every new thing I learn. It takes the better part of a lifetime to be a master watchmaker, and the learning never stops.

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