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Description

Product Description

The first and most comprehensive step-by-step guide on the subject, Watchmaking has become a classic in its own right. This new edition is updated to include a new section which discusses and illustrates a variety of the author’s own watches. The author''s principal aim in writing this book has been to inspire and encourage the art of watchmaking, especially among a new generation of enthusiasts. The making of the precision timekeeper is described, step by step, and is illustrated at each stage with line drawings and brief explanatory captions. Great care has been taken to ensure the text is easy to follow and to avoid complicated technical descriptions.

Review

""A new edition of one of the definitive texts on horology... this book continues to inspire and encourage the art of watchmaking , especially among new generations of enthusiasts and Daniels'' advice is constantly sought by both student and watch repairers, his understanding of the problems that can beset the would-be watchmaker, especially in an age of mass production, and his expert knowledge of the history of watchmaking being second to none... the text is easy to follow and care has been taken to avoid complicated technical descriptions."" - QP Magazine

""Dr Daniels...stated his principal aim in writing this book as being ''to inspire and encourage the art of watchmaking'', an aim which the book meets very well indeed. [...] Some of the photographs of Daniels'' watches and their components are new and all are stunning; those of his workshop inspire awe and the drawings, which are mainly by David Penney, are superb. [...] Over the last thirty years this book has been steadily improved. This latest edition is the best yet and I have no hesitation in recommending it."" - Colin Fergusson MBHI, Horological

''This classic handbook will be indispensable to generations of watchmakers and repairers, who will not only be able to admire the superb craftsmanship of a fine watch but will also learn and understand the mechanics and make-up of this art form.'' - International Watch Magazine

About the Author

George Daniels (1926-2011) was a British horologist and watchmaker.

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Customer reviews

4.8 out of 54.8 out of 5
376 global ratings

Top reviews from the United States

Jack D. Morris
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
If you could only have one book on watchmaking, this would be it.
Reviewed in the United States on April 17, 2021
George Daniels wanted to write a book about hand made high quality watches and how to build them. This book covers every aspect of that process. If you could only have one book on the subject, this would be it. The mechanical drawings, some in color, plus the... See more
George Daniels wanted to write a book about hand made high quality watches and how to build them. This book covers every aspect of that process. If you could only have one book on the subject, this would be it. The mechanical drawings, some in color, plus the photographic plates of assembled and disassembled watches are excellent. Another aspect of this book deals with the watchmaker''s workshop and what tools, machines and skills are needed to accomplish this difficult, to say the least, task.

Clearly Daniels was a master of this craft and he also had a world view of the watchmaking industry. You learn that the expensive high quality mechanical watches from Switzerland are still made in batches (series) where the parts are mass produced. Daniels'' approach reverts to the one of a kind, hand made watch where every part is produced by hand. There is no mass production.

Concerning the various subsystems that make up a watch, Daniels goes through all of them, explaining how they work and their advantages and disadvantages. On the topic of movements (escapements) he starts with the primitive verge escapement and takes it from there through the standard lever designs to his modern invention known as the coaxial escapement. He provides much detail in how these movements actually work. Daniels clearly had a great knowledge of the past great watchmakers such a Breguet and Arnold to name a few. And it is also clear that Daniels was guided but not a copier of these classic mechanical watch designs. He completely understood their mechanisms and used that knowledge to innovate and make significant design improvements and breakthroughs such as his coaxial escapement.

Daniels understands the interplay between the watch consumer and the watchmaker/watchmaking industry. The fact that we still have a thriving industry in mechanical watches in a world were an electronic quartz watch can be more accurate and cost much less, shows that there is still a viable market for those who value a high quality, high priced, mechanical timepieces.

Daniels'' timepieces required thousands of hours to complete and because of their quality and function, he was able to keep this art form alive appealing to connoisseurs who are willing to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars to own one of these unique timepieces.

I think that Daniels wrote this book because he wanted to leave a legacy to future generations about his work and unique accomplishments that might otherwise be forgotten as the world continues to move from a real representation of things to a digitally contrived artificial representation. Hopefully, the fascination and appreciation of fine mechanical timepieces will continue and this book will continue to be a source for building or at least deciphering them.
5 people found this helpful
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Eureka
4.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Esoteric
Reviewed in the United States on September 2, 2019
It depends what you want. I only made it about 90 pages before I stopped reading it. He goes into extreme detail about every tool that has been out of use for the last 150 years. The book is almost worth getting just for the diagrams and pictures on every page.
10 people found this helpful
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A. B.
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Truly one of the great texts on watchmaking
Reviewed in the United States on June 8, 2016
Truly one of the great texts on watchmaking. As an amateur, I don''t deign myself proficient enough to truly take advantage of the majority of the knowledge here. However, Daniels was nothing if not a great teacher, if this book is any indication. Being smart or extremely... See more
Truly one of the great texts on watchmaking. As an amateur, I don''t deign myself proficient enough to truly take advantage of the majority of the knowledge here. However, Daniels was nothing if not a great teacher, if this book is any indication. Being smart or extremely proficient in a subject does not at all have any bearing on your ability to pass that knowledge to another. Often, I''d argue, those that operate on the highest levels become incapable of explaining things to those on their way up. Any of you who have taken more advanced specialized physics/math/science classes will know exactly what I mean - that professor who was a genius but clearly was not capable of phrasing things in a way you were able to comprehend. Daniels clearly has no such problems and almost seems to remove the veil of complexity that surrounds many of the advanced watchmaking topics. His ability to teach is immediately apparent from the get-go.

Daniels makes things beyond simple, despite their apparent complexity. While I am far from putting, as I said, the majority of the book into practice, I understand conceptually how every single thing in this book works on a mechanical level after about 3 complete reads. I have put a lot of what I''ve learned into use in my own watchmaking, and it shows. Daniels truly is one of the most important figures ever to touch the art of horology. Even just as a casual coffee table book, this one is a gem. The diagrams and explanations are beyond compare. If you are an engineer or mechanically inclined person of any field, you will delight in reading this. One of the best books I have ever had the privilege of reading.
31 people found this helpful
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M1K3 FR0M D3TR01TTop Contributor: Guitars
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Making, not assembling!
Reviewed in the United States on August 22, 2021
This book is about making watches, out of parts you also make, with many tools-some of which you also make. The author was one of the greatest horologists in the past 250 years and even he made "only" 27 fully self-created watches. One of them sold for over $4... See more
This book is about making watches, out of parts you also make, with many tools-some of which you also make.

The author was one of the greatest horologists in the past 250 years and even he made "only" 27 fully self-created watches. One of them sold for over $4 million dollars. He invented also the coaxial escapement.

Yes, you will need an entire tool shop to follow everything in this book. Look up the site "Adventures in Watchmaking" for someone doing just that. He makes it look easy: decide on a part to make; make a bunch of tooling; plan it out; make the part and harden and polish it.

This is making a watch from a pile of brass bars and rods. The best maker on the world (the author) made 27 in a lifetime. If you''re starting from scratch it might take you a couple years to gather the basic tools:

8mm watchmakers lathe with collet sets
Larger lathe and tooling
Milling attachment or milling machine with tooling
Jacot tool
Staking tool
Jeweling tool
Depthing tool
Metal cutting bandsaw
Bench block
Hairspring vibrating tool
Blueing setup with alcohol lamp
Stakes, pushers, stumps, hammers, files, cutting broaches, punches, tweezers, loupes, hand vises, pin vises
Micro taps and dies
Jewelers burrs
Calipers, micrometers, depth gauges
Scribes, compass, feeler gauges
Gear cutters and dividing head attachment

Then use these tools to make more specialized tools as the pre-work so you can then make a single part.

Also note that tiny amd high quality and precision tools for watchmaking cost WAY more than the usual versions of the same tools. For example some watchmakers files for shaping metal are $80 each! You will need many of them in different shapes.

So yeah, building a copy of a $4Million watch isn''t cheap or easy or fast. This is similar to a book on yacht repair I found at a garage sale: I don''t have a yacht but i learned wood working and repairs, plumbing, electrical, diesel engine maintenance, canvas sewing, etc. This is a lot more focused but it''s neat to see such precision work and techniques.

Good luck to you,
Mike from Detroit
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Jeff Chart
4.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Not likely That You Would Complete
Reviewed in the United States on May 10, 2019
It does what it says, it shows you how to make your own pocket watch. Except you will need a metal lathe, drill mill, Jacots tool, threading HSS cutters. If you are going all in it will cost you several thousand to build that watch. So not very likely.
7 people found this helpful
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Reinaldo “sin llorar “
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
The love of watch making
Reviewed in the United States on September 9, 2020
This book is a reference in watchmaking, is about the love and passion for watch building. The author is the last person to bring a meaningful change in the last 200 years to the escapement system.
3 people found this helpful
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F. Patton
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
The best, but skip if you own the Third Edition
Reviewed in the United States on January 11, 2012
This is arguably the last word in watchmaking, generously and clearly written and illustrated to provide just about every practical piece of information you need. I have owned the Third Edition for some time, and was very excited to see an update, especially in... See more
This is arguably the last word in watchmaking, generously and clearly written and illustrated to provide just about every practical piece of information you need.

I have owned the Third Edition for some time, and was very excited to see an update, especially in the wake of Mr. Daniels'' passing in October 2011. I was disappointed to find that the only updates seem to be two color photos of Mr. Daniels, eight small photos of his shop from 2010, and the changing of "fifty years" to "sixty years" in the Acknowledgements. The Preface is still called "Preface to the Third Edition." The table of contents and index are also identical.

So, if you are one of those lucky ones who already own the Third Edition, you''re probably better off saving your money. If you weren''t able to obtain one, and are somehow living without this amazing tome, you owe it to yourself to buy it now.
35 people found this helpful
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Lawrence
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
A fantastically detailed classic. A must for the professional.
Reviewed in the United States on December 17, 2017
An absolute masterpiece! One of the finest books I have seen on watchmaking. A true work of art. I can''t say enough good things about this book. If you are a watchmaker, collector or enthusiast, you must have this book. Extremely detailed. For the professional, it... See more
An absolute masterpiece! One of the finest books I have seen on watchmaking. A true work of art. I can''t say enough good things about this book. If you are a watchmaker, collector or enthusiast, you must have this book. Extremely detailed. For the professional, it needs to be on your shelf right next to Archie Perkins book on lathe work. By the way, the cost of this book on Amazon is a true bargain.
4 people found this helpful
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Top reviews from other countries

customer
3.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Not for the layman!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on September 22, 2020
This is THE bible on watchmaking. There is simply no other book on the planet that covers the traditional techniques and craft of watchmaking to this level of breath and detail written by none other than the master himself. So why not 5 stars? A few reasons, the aspiring...See more
This is THE bible on watchmaking. There is simply no other book on the planet that covers the traditional techniques and craft of watchmaking to this level of breath and detail written by none other than the master himself. So why not 5 stars? A few reasons, the aspiring watchmaker who is seriously considering entering the watchmaking profession and knows anything about the industry will not be reading reviews on Amazon for this George Daniels book, it''s simply a must, no two ways and will have already bought it. My review is geared more towards the watch/horology enthusiast who has no intention of becoming a full time watchmaker but is curious on the history of movements, high level traditional watchmaking techniques and pros and cons of the technicals of various movements, maybe likes to tinker with watch movements etc. It''s apt to mention that I have a masters in mechanical engineering and a keen watch enthusiast. I am no stranger to reading technical journals and consider myself a nerd. However, for me, this book was unreadable. It assumes already a high level of knowledge of watchmaking and dives straight into amplitude calculations, frictional coefficients etc pages and pages of dry technical language that is borderline incomprehensible unless you''re literally following along with making the part/drafting the technical drawing. For example, I was at least expecting some sort of diagram of a conventional mechanical watch, a diagram for tourbillon etc labelling each component, what it does etc, but this is assumed knowledge. It''s not something that can be read at leisure, it''s more like a reference manual. So to conclude it''s the best of it''s kind, but it''s a book that get blindly recommended simply because of the George Daniels name by people who I suspect haven''t properly read the book. It''s not a book for everyone, or even most. If you''re reading this review, chances are it''s not for you. If you''re interested in the development of movements through time, diagrams, uses in watches, history etc I highly recommend The Wristwatch Handbook
26 people found this helpful
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Norbzilla
4.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Must have for watchmakers
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on September 23, 2017
This book is for you if: You are at the verge of making your own watch Want to know how a watch is made You''re a watch nerd and everything that has the word ''watch '' in it, needs to be bought. On the serious note, this book is fantastically detailed and a good source of...See more
This book is for you if: You are at the verge of making your own watch Want to know how a watch is made You''re a watch nerd and everything that has the word ''watch '' in it, needs to be bought. On the serious note, this book is fantastically detailed and a good source of knowledge when it comes to watch making and the tools you''ll need to do so. So, if this is what you want to know. The work and knowledge behind watch making, then this book is a must have. But, if your looking for a book talking about the history of the movements and how a mechanical watch and its different complications work in detail. Then this book is not for you.
12 people found this helpful
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Harry Lime
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
This is the book for beginners to watch making and repair.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on February 13, 2020
There is nothing to dislike about this book. It’s chockablock block full of diagrams, Photos and information to help and assist the beginner to watch making/repair. Worth every penny.
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Alex D
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
A masterpiece!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on January 7, 2014
This is a really good book, documenting the process by which each part of a hand made automatic watch is produced. In an age of mass production, CNC, Spark erosion, drum polishing etc, this book captures a fading art: the true craftsman making a top quality watch from metal...See more
This is a really good book, documenting the process by which each part of a hand made automatic watch is produced. In an age of mass production, CNC, Spark erosion, drum polishing etc, this book captures a fading art: the true craftsman making a top quality watch from metal bar. Model makers and those involved in small machines can learn so much from this book.
12 people found this helpful
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Oldsirhippy
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
A great workshop manual for the watchmaker and even the non watchmaker
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on September 6, 2017
Mr Daniels is no longer with us but he has left a rich legacy in this book. I am not a watchmaker but Mr Daniels explains many workshop techniques and practice that can be used by anyone with a workshop. It is an expensive book but well worth the price.
2 people found this helpful
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