I recently picked up a copy of Chasing Time: Vintage Wristwatches for the Discerning Collector by Alistair Gibbons. You might be familiar with Gibbons’ work; he writes articles over at Monochrome-Watches.com and he owns the popular ATG Vintage Watch Forums. I have always enjoyed Gibbons’ articles online, so I was eager to check out his hardback book.
What Does Chasing Time Explore?
In Chasing Time, you will dive deep into the history of mechanical watches from the time period spanning between 1930 and 1980. Brands the book discusses include Hamilton, Heuer, Omega, Gallet, Zodiac and many others.
For every watch, you can read a detailed description of that watch and its history. Included with each are beautiful, full-color photographs. These high-quality photos do a wonderful job showing off the details of every watch, with the writing providing context.
What is wonderful about this book is that Gibbons wrote it all from his personal experience. As a fulltime collector and dealer of vintage watches, he has written about timepieces which he has handled over the course of his work. That means that the insights you are getting into each are firsthand, accurate, and astute.
The selection of watches that he chose to cover is fantastic. I love that it includes a combination of watches which are really iconic and those which are not so well-known (but maybe should be). Some of them I had never even heard of before. A few others I had, but knew nothing much about until reading this book. The majority feature Swiss movements, though there are a few exceptions (in particular a nice Zlatoust military dive watch). A lot of chronographs, which is a definite plus. But not a single Seiko or Citizen. Alistair, seriously?
Gibbons’ passion for watch collecting and for the community shows through in every word and photo. It is clear that he put a lot of love into this project, and wanted this book to be both an enjoyable and practical addition to any watch collector’s bookshelf or coffee table.
Who is Chasing Time Recommended For?
A better question would be, who would I not recommend this book to? Honestly, I think Chasing Time: Vintage Wristwatches for the Discerning Collector is an excellent choice for just about anyone, whether they are a beginning, intermediate, or veteran collector.
Indeed, if you are a beginner, you should find that this book isn’t inaccessibly technical, but neither does it talk down to you. So, you can improve your technical knowledge without getting overwhelmed.
Moreover, even someone with only a casual interest in watches should really enjoy this book, as it offers fascinating background and gorgeous photos. I would also say that even if you just have an interest in design or engineering, you probably will love what you discover on these beautifully-printed pages.
In short, I am very glad I purchased Chasing Time: Vintage Wristwatches for the Discerning Collector. Referencing it has already helped me learn more about some of the watches I own or am interested in collecting, and I find myself enjoying the details of the photographs time and again.
Vintage Watch Inc
Dennis is the founder and editor of Vintage Watch Inc. Passionate about Soviet and Japanese vintage timepieces and a finance professional by day, he proudly wears a Seiko Pogue with his suit.