‘Vintage Wristwatches’ arrives just in time

Vintage Wristwatches by Reyne Haines is one of those books that doubles as a valuable reference guide and a keepsake you want to covet as an actual part of your collection. A book like this, however, will be difficult to keep in mint condition.

Author Reyne Haines’ research spans more than 200 years, although most of the wristwatches she lays out for us focus on those produced in the last century. She neatly sums up the history of the wrist-worn watch and explains with an expert’s background and a layman’s approach why the market likes some watches and not others. I found her guide to buying expensive wristwatches online to be particularly helpful. It’s a checklist no one should skip if they are considering making a large purchase without seeing the item in person.

As her introductory material helps explain the hobby and how one can build a stellar collection, Haines’ passion for the wristwatch as an art form gleams on page after page of high-quality photographs of the greatest watches man has ever made.

vintage wristwatches
For more watch collecting information, pick up Vintage Wristwatches by Reyne Haines.

Available at shop.collect.com.

The book offers crisp examples of rare watches made by obscure makers. Gratefully, it also devotes additional space to those American firms we’ve all come to associate with the wristwatch: Elgin, Hamilton, Bulova. This is helpful since it’s watches by these makers most collectors will find in their search and most dealers will sell in higher quantity.

Leading off each entry on the makers, Haines offers a brief summary of the company, perhaps a photo of the founder, and important dates that defined each firm’s approach to the wristwatch. The styles and values presented for each maker are broad. Haines deftly presents a $750 Omega stainless steel watch from the 1960s next to a $17,500 Patek Philippe & Cie heirloom watch. You can’t do that if you didn’t love the topic you are writing about.

Haines’ passion for the art of the wristwatch is evident on every single page of Vintage Wristwatches. Once finished, you’ll catch yourself glancing at your wrist wondering when Vol. II will be published. ?

Vintage Wristwatches by Reyne Haines, Krause Publications, 2010. Hardcover with dust jacket, 255 pages, $29.99. shop.collect.com.