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‘How to Build Your Very First Watch’ by Tim Swike

by J.Edwards

Beginner WatchmakingA few weeks ago, one of our readers brought to my attention a new book that was released this past December that serves as a good primer to sourcing the necessary parts and tools to ultimately assemble your very first watch. Authored by Tim Swike, Beginner Watchmaking is a rudimentary, yet comprehensive, introduction to the basics of watchmaking. It is written simply enough that a 5th grader could understand it, while still covering enough depth and breadth on the subject that you can tell a person with an appreciable knowledge of the craft composed it. While it certainly won’t turn you into the next Philippe Dufour or George Daniels (you’ll need to master to the full blown text, Watchmaking, for that), if you have never delved into the inner workings of a mechanical timepiece before, Beginner Watchmaking is a fantastic place to start. For those already comfortable with disassembling and re-assembling a timepiece, the treasure trove of online resources for sourcing watch material is a worthwhile investment in the eBook or Kindle versions of the text alone.

The reviews it’s receiving online from watch enthusiasts to date have been nothing but positive. Here is an excerpt from one of my favourite reviews on Amazon:

“I had hoped to learn about how to disassemble watches and rebuild with custom parts. I’m happy to say that all of this information is in there in much greater detail than I could have possibly hoped for […] When you consider the subject matter it could certainly make for a boring or overly technical book. Not so in this case. The information is presented in a style I particularly enjoy; lots and lots of clear, well-done photos with a perfect ratio of text.” – Photoguy

My only major complaint about the physical book, is that it is printed in black and white. While this is compensated for somewhat by the eBook and bonus web-portal, it would have been nice to have seen the print version in full colour, as well, even if it would have added a few dollars to the retail price. That aside, for a book that weighs in at nearly 300 pages, and still manages to squeeze in at under $15 (or less than $10 for the Kindle version), Beginner Watchmaking is a steal.

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