Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Summer Reading List!

Well, we are now unofficially into Summer, and with it my annual summer reading list suggestions.

First up this year is Watches I Have Known -

I personally have known several watch makers, and a good one is right up there with a tailor and dentist - you hold onto them for dear life!  But in all my time in and amongst the great (and not-so-great) in the industry, I have rarely encountered someone with the same enthusiasm and care for craft and customers that Mr. Marcus's words express.

To be fair, there are a lot of photo heavy coffee table books out there about watches - I'm personally working on one right now ; )  But when you really talk about passion, and commitment, and what makes a watch special?  There is really only one book for you to check out this summer -

Watches I Have Known.

The layout of the book is interesting, because it is essentially a series of anecdotes about customers and their watches.  Some of them brief, some quite nuanced and detailed - all of them thoughtful. And it very accurately underscores the delicate balance between customer and service provider.  We own a lot of things in our lives that will require service - homes, cars, etc.  but when it comes to watches that might be family heirlooms, they take one even more significance and can attach even greater anxiety to the service process.  

In a day and age where service has become one of the most impersonal aspects of the watch ownership experience, it is a revelation to read the care, thought and energy that Mr. Marcus put into his life's work.  This book was truly a labor of love, the stories from a lifetime at the bench, carefully recorded with the help of his daughter Julie Campisi.

Some of the most interesting stories are related to the "resolution of unsolvable problems".  As you can imagine, in a career that started well before the days of SWATCH and super groups, there were frequently times when the parts you needed just weren't available.  So this meant  not necessarily being able to simply order the needed part online.  It meant putting on your thinking cap, rolling up your sleeves and making the necessary part yourself.  These are the stories of a true watch maker, so do yourself a favor and pick up this book!

Watches I Have Known at Amazon

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