Watch Guides

Coffee Table Books & Theory: The 10 Best Horology Books In 2023 (Reddit Upvoted)


If you want to see what other books Reddit users upvoted, give our detailed list a look! The best book about watches is Mastery of Time.

Are you looking for books to help you improve your horological knowledge? Or are you looking for a guide to help you start exploring the diverse world of watch collecting?

If you are, then you probably have searched through the various threads on to find some suggestions.

To help, we have compiled a selection of the most useful books based on Reddit users to help you understand the exciting world of horology and watch collecting.

All of these books are carefully crafted by horologists to help you understand all of the latest innovations and technical details in the watch industry.

Lastly, to save you some time, the best overall book according to our research is Mastery of Time by Dominique Flechon.

If you want to see what other books Reddit users upvoted, give our detailed list a look!

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Best Watch BooksAuthor(s)Type
The Mastery of TimeDominique FlechonInformational, Coffee Table
The Impossible Collection of WatchesNick FoulkesReference, Coffee Table
Rolex: The Impossible CollectionFabienne Reybaud Reference, Coffee Table
WristwatchesPaolo De Vecchi and Alberto UgliettiInformational, Coffee Table
Watches: A Guide By HodinkeeBenjamin Clymer and Joe ThompsonInformational
The Watch BookGisbert BrunnerInformational
The Wristwatch HandbookRyan SchmidtInformational
WatchmakingGeorge Daniels Informational
The Magic of WatchesLouis NardinInformational
Chasing Time: Vintage WristwatchesAlistair GibbonsInformational

What To Learn About Watches – Key Items Reddit Users Want To Know

After our team spent hundreds of hours scrolling and researching on Reddit, here are the key items people seem to care about when trying to understand watches.

Watch Brands

Most watch collectors consider the brand of the watch they are buying to improve their watch collection. For them, brand value is more than status symbols. It also conveys the quality and precise mechanics of movement, craftsmanship, and materials used in creating iconic models.

Moreover, most legendary watches come from these popular brands, such as the vintage Rolex Daytona of the legendary actor Paul Newman or the Omega Speedmaster, the first mechanical wristwatches ever worn on the moon.

Watch Styles

Timepiece veterans and novices alike consider the watch style and design in buying a new watch they want to wear. This is because the wristwatch we wear reflects our overall style and personality.

Because watches come in various shapes, sizes, and colors, it is essential for us to know what wristwatch will perfectly fit our lifestyle and appearance.

Watch Features

Just like the style of the wristwatch, the watch features are also essential points to consider in a watch. Before buying a new timepiece, most Reddit users decide first on what they will be using the wristwatch for.

For example, deep-sea explorers prefer to use dive watches to accompany them in their exploration and hobby. These watches have mechanical movement and features designed to withstand water and pressure that can’t be seen on current models of dress watches.

Watch Prices

Of course, many people consider the budget they have to spend on buying a new wristwatch. And sometimes, the price tag of a timepiece is the first thing that most Reddit users consider when getting a new wristwatch they want to wear.

Price becomes even more important when investing in watches for profit.

How To Fix Watches

“My watch suddenly stops working. How to fix this?” is another common question that you can see on Reddit. It is not unusual for Reddit users to ask for help, especially since some of us know that sometimes, bringing them to a professional technician can cost you a lot of dollars.

But remember, if you are unsure of what you are doing, fixing complicated watches on your own can make it worse and cost you more. That is why we always recommend asking for professional help in restoring wristwatches. 

Best Books About Watches By Reddit Users – Our Detailed List

And now, to show you the must-have watch books for beginners and experienced watch collectors, here are the most recommended books according to Reddit users.

#10. Chasing Time: Vintage Wristwatches – Alistair Gibbons

Check Current Price | Type: Informational

Chasing Time: Vintage Wristwatches - Alistair Gibbons

Our Experience With Chasing Time: Vintage Wristwatches

This book is a detailed twentieth-century vintage watch guide written by one of the most famous watch collectors in the world today. It features over 100 vintage timepieces with stunning pictures and stories that represent historical moments of the last century.

It also showcases some of the most fascinating retro watches ever created, such as the Rolex Submariner, Zenith’s De Luca, and Gallet MultiChron. 

It was written in a very easy-to-understand manner that even a newbie watch collector can easily understand, making it an accessible and go-to informational material for vintage watch collectors.

#9. The Magic of Watches – Louis Nardin

Check Current Price | Type: Informational

The Magic of Watches - Louis Nardin

Our Experience With The Magic of Watches

A comprehensive guide that dwells on the basic concepts of timekeeping, from the water clock in the earliest days to the classic pocket watches of the twentieth century and the modern mechanical watches on our wrists.

It also offers a brief discussion of some of the important watches of today.

The Magic of Watches also serves as a glossary of watch-related nomenclature to give its readers a better understanding and knowledge about the watchmaking industry, perfect for a new watch collector.

It is an exciting watch guide to read up to the last page.

#8. Watchmaking – George Daniels 

Check Current Price | Type: Informational

Watchmaking - George Daniels 

Our Experience With Watchmaking

One of the best-selling books on this list is Watchmaking. Written by Dr. George Daniels, the inventor of the co-axial escapement and the man considered the finest, most decorated horologist in the world for the past century.

As the title suggests, this book offers step-by-step methods of wristwatch-making and things you need to learn about the watch. With Dr. Daniels’ knowledge and expertise, this classic handbook is still an influential reference used by other expert watchmakers and collectors.

A guide that every watchmaker and watch-collecting aficionado needs to complete their horological library.

#7. The Wristwatch Handbook – Ryan Schmidt

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The Wristwatch Handbook - Ryan Schmidt

Our Experience With The Wristwatch Handbook

A book separated into two sections, the first section of Ryan Schmidt’s Wristwatch Handbook is written to describe and inform its reader about how mechanical movement works beneath the dial of every watch.

The second section allows every reader of this book to have an understanding of the vast range of remarkable breakthroughs in the complications or functions of the modern wristwatch, such as the monopusher chronograph, regatta timer, pulsometer, and many more.

It is an informational handbook written in the most accessible language possible, making it a perfect watch guide for amateurs or experienced watch enthusiasts.

A great book to have as a genuine watch lover.

#6. The Watch Book – Gisbert Brunner

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The Watch Book - Gisbert Brunner

Our Experience With The Watch Book

Watches are more than just timepieces that measure time. They are masterpieces made of precise movements, innovations, unparalleled craftsmanship, and fine materials. And those are what The Watch Book of Gisbert Brunner is all about.

This book helps us to fully understand the importance of timepieces with its detailed descriptions of the pictured watch and well-documented chronicle of the horological icons, including the watches from Rolex, Patek Philippe, Audemars Piguet, and Cartier.

A watch guide that can definitely inspire a beginner in the watch-collecting hobby to continue their passion for improving their personal collection.

#5. Watches: A Guide By Hodinkee – Benjamin Clymer and Joe Thompson

Check Current Price | Type: Informational

Watches: A Guide By Hodinkee - Benjamin Clymer and Joe Thompson

Our Experience With Watches: A Guide By Hodinkee

After a few years of hard work and incredible knowledge in collecting watches, Hodinkee has cemented its place as one of the most trusted online resources for watch fans.

And to celebrate a decade milestone since their online blog was founded, they released a physical print of their knowledge and expertise on watches.

An impressive book for watch lovers like you, Watches: A Guide by Hodinkee is a compilation of chapters breaking down different chronographs, luxurious watches, and iconic timepieces of all time. This watch guide is a connoisseur’s compendium for everyone who loves watches.

#4. Wristwatches – Paolo De Vecchi and Alberto Uglietti

Check Current Price | Type: Informational, Coffee Table

Wristwatches - Paolo De Vecchi and Alberto Uglietti

Our Experience With Wristwatches

Since the start of the 1900s, wristwatches have grown in popularity and have become a necessary device for many gentlemen since then. But how does this time-telling device develop into the modern watches we use today?

These questions can be answered in Paolo De Vecchi and Alberto Uglietti’s book – Wristwatches.

This book narrates the birth and the impact of the progressive development of 55 of the most notable watchmakers, such as the Rolex, Patek Philippe, Jaeger LeCoultre, and many more.

With intimate accounts and 800 photos of the twentieth-century style history of watches, this book is an ideal informational guide for beginners and a great coffee table book for adept watch enthusiasts.

#3. Rolex: The Impossible Collection – Fabienne Reybaud 

Check Current Price | Type: Reference, Coffee Table 

Rolex: The Impossible Collection - Fabienne Reybaud 

Our Experience With Rolex: The Impossible Collection

For more than a century, Rolex has become the leading luxury watch manufacturer in the world. More than a simple time-telling device, Rolex timepieces connote the history of quality, creativity, and the triumph of the brand and every man that wears one.

This is the only book on this list that solely focuses on the story of the most legendary and famous watchmaking brand. It also narrates an exhaustive appraisal of every Rolex watch, from the classics to the modern models we see today.

Moreover, it teaches its readers how to spot fake Rolexes and what is not. An excellent reference for aspiring Rolex collectors out there.

A great book to read that every expert horologist has on their coffee table.

#2. The Impossible Collection of Watches – Nick Foulkes

Check Current Price | Type: Reference, Coffee Table

The Impossible Collection of Watches - Nick Foulkes

Our Experience With The Impossible Collection of Watches

If you want to add a sensational book to your coffee table, you can never go wrong with Assouline’s The Impossible Collection of Watches. A book which was written by the veteran journalist Nick Foulkes.

It offers an informative and insightful read with stunning images of the iconic wristwatches of the past century from the best watch manufacturers in the world, making it a helpful reference material for watch lovers to rely on.

It is an updated book of timepieces that even features modern legendary watches, such as the Tiffany Blue Patek Philippe Nautilus and some Richard Mille breakthrough timepieces.

#1. The Mastery of Time – Dominique Flechon

Check Current Price | Type: Informative, Coffee Table

The Mastery of Time - Dominique Flechon

Our Experience With The Mastery of Time

Informative yet entertaining to read, The Mastery of time by Dominique Flechon is undoubtedly a must-have book for watch enthusiasts.

It helps us explore, understand, and appreciate the art and science behind these magnificent ways of measuring time, from the ancient astronomical observatories to the atomic clocks and gorgeous timepieces on our wrists today.

It is a book that narrates the history of time in the context of how human beings used their genius mind for a long and hard conquest to achieve the accuracy of telling time that benefits every aspect of our modern life.

Best for beginners and hard-core watch collectors. Definitely a great book we recommend to have in your book collection.

Watch Vocabulary You Should Know

Now that we know the best books to have, it’s now time to learn some of the most common terms used in horology and the watch community. Knowing these terms can help you better understand the books we listed above.

  • Accuracy: The term accuracy in horology refers to the measurement of how closely a watch keeps time.
  • Analog: The term analog refers to an analog watch that uses hour and minute hands to show the time of the day, unlike a digital watch that displays time using a digital display.
  • Automatic: A term that refers to an automatic watch that uses automatic-winding mechanisms and a rotor to recharge the movement through the natural motion of the wearer’s wrist.
  • Balance Spring: A balance spring or hairspring is a very fine spring that ticks at the center of mechanical watch movement that causes the recoil of the balance wheel.
  • Balance Wheel: The balance wheel can be found at the heart of the mechanical watch movement. It oscillates at a constant rate to move the gears, which allows the watch hands to move forward to ensure the accuracy of the wristwatch in telling time.
  • Brushed: Also known as the satin finish, it is a hand technique to give the watch case a matte finish. It also provides the watch case with a three-dimensional finish.
  • Buckle: This term refers to a metal pin designed to secure the watch strap to the wrist.
  • Calibre: A synonym or other term for a watch’s movement. It refers to the assortment of small parts of a timepiece combined to create an internal mechanism to make the watch work.
  • Case Back: The backside of a watch case that can be removed to access the inside of a wristwatch.
  • Chronograph: Chronograph watches are a type of timepiece enhanced with a stopwatch function.
  • Chronometer: A watch certified for its accuracy by Contrôle Officiel Suisse des Chronomètres (COSC), the official Swiss Chronometer Testing Institute.
  • Clasp: A clasp is a folding mechanism that secures the watch to the wrist of the wearer.
  • Complete Calendar: A term used by luxury watch brands that indicate watches that display the date, the weekday, and the month. These types of timepieces need to be adjusted in months with less than 31 days.
  • Complication: A term to describe a timepiece function beyond telling the precise time and offers additional benefits, such as the chronograph function or displaying the time in another time zone.
  • Crown: A button on the side of the watch that is used to set the time. It is also used to wind mechanical wristwatches.
  • Dial: A term used to indicate the watch face. It is a plate with a metal base visible through a crystal cover that protects it from above.
  • Diver’s Watch: A diver’s watch refers to a timepiece with water-resistance features and the ability to resist underwater pressure up to 200 meters deep.
  • Escapement: The escapement is an internal piece that facilitates the transfer of energy from the power source to the counting mechanism of the watch.
  • Finishing: It refers to the conclusive manufacturing procedure for watches in which the movement is refined by skilled craftsmen using special finishing techniques.
  • Frequency: Refers to the speed or number of oscillations conducted by the balance wheel.
  • Flyback: A chronograph watch with flyback functions allows its wearer to record the time multiple times in quick succession, which is extremely valuable for pilots.
  • GMT: An abbreviation for Greenwich Mean Time. It also refers to a watch that displays two different time zones simultaneously.
  • Guilloché: An engraving technique used for decoration of the watch dial.
  • Hand Wound: Refers to a mechanical watch that does not automatically wind. Watches like this are powered by manually rotating the crown.
  • Jewel: Jewels or sometimes referred to as stones. They are synthetic sapphires and rubies that are used to hold moving parts of mechanical watches to minimize friction.
  • Mainspring: Refers to a tightly wound metal coil where the energy of a mechanical watch is stored.
  • Mechanical Watch: A mechanical watch has a traditional movement that is not powered by a battery. The mainspring of these watches requires regular winding for it to work proficiently.
  • Minute Repeater: Refers to a watch with a high-end complication. It can strike out the hours, quarters, and minutes on request. It is a helpful function for people that are visually impaired.
  • Moonphase: A feature in a watch face that displays in which phase the moon currently is.
  • Movement: Also called calibre, the term movement refers to the entire mechanism of a timepiece that makes it work to indicate the time.
  • Perpetual Calendar: The perpetual calendar is a watch complication that can keep track of the date even in leap years. Watch with this function can display the day, date, month, and year.
  • Quartz: A watch with quartz movement uses battery-powered mechanisms to accurately tell the time of the day. Watches like this are considerably less expensive compared to mechanical watches.
  • Retrograde: An indicator on the dial of the watch that displays functions such as the time, date, and even power reserve. Retrograde watches are also known as watches that can run counterclockwise.
  • Servicing: Servicing involves cleaning and relubricating the internal mechanism of the watch to maintain its accuracy.
  • Skeletonization: A watch with no dial. This type of watch shows off the inner workings and mechanics of the timepiece.
  • Tachymeter: A built-in function in a wristwatch that can measure and calculate the speed.
  • Tourbillon: A type of escapement in the rotating cage that is utilized to negate the damaging effects of gravity on the movement of a watch.
  • Ultra-Thin: Ultra-thin is a term that refers to a slim and lightweight watch. In the watchmaking industry, slimness is often considered a complication.
  • Water Resistance: The capability of a watch to be submerged underwater and withstand the water pressure without damaging its movements.

Best Watch Subreddits To Subscribe To

If you need more advice or other thoughts about the best books for watch collectors in the market today, here are some subreddits you can always check on:

  • r/Watches – A subreddit for discussion of wristwatches and pocket watches.
  • r/Rolex – Reddit’s go-to source for news and discussion about Rolex watches. 
  • r/VintageWatches – A subreddit community to discuss different vintage watches.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the study of horology?

Horology is the study of time and the art of making timepieces.

What is a watch aficionado called?

People who are interested in watches and horology are called horologists.

Who is the best living watchmaker?

The best living watchmaker in the whole world today is Philippe Dufour.

Best Books About Watches – Summary

And that is our honest review of some of the best watch books based on Reddit. We hope that you enjoyed our article and learned something new about this.

And to give you a short recap of our list of watch guides to read, here are our top 10 recommended books for you:

#1. The Mastery of Time by Dominique Flechon

#2. The Impossible Collection of Watches by Nick Foulkes

#3. Rolex: The Impossible Collection by Fabienne Reybaud

#4. Wristwatches by Paolo De Vecchi and Alberto Uglietti

#5. Watches: A Guide By Hodinkee by Benjamin Clymer and Joe Thompson

#6. The Watch Book by Gisbert Brunner

#7. The Wristwatch Handbook by Ryan Schmidt

#8. Watchmaking by George Daniels

#9. The Magic of Watches by Louis Nardin

#10. Chasing Time: Vintage Wristwatches by Alistair Gibbons

If you are an aspiring watch collector but don’t know where to start, read our article about watch collecting for beginners and where to start today. Enjoy!

Ethan Hunt is the executive editor of, a luxury lifestyle website. With a background in education, he has a keen interest in educating readers on the finer things in life, particularly in the realm of fashion and luxury style. His love for these topics has led him to pursue a career in editorial work and he continues to share his knowledge with readers around the world.

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