Posted 20 hours ago

Hands of Time: A Watchmaker's History

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Beautifully written and endlessly fascinating, it feels like this was a story waiting to be written. I was hoping to learn something about the details of the mechanisms, how they work, and how they have changed over time.

My only wish is that the author, Rebecca Struthers, had delved even more extensively into certain subjects, like cultural perspectives on time.Struthers does a great job of conveying the major developments in time telling while interweaving her own personal story and her perspective on what makes mechanical watches special, even in the age of atomic clocks, quartz timepieces and “smart watches.

From 44,000-year-old human artifacts to sea exploration to Mount Everest and from rigorous eighteenth-century watchmaking standards to World War I trenches, Struthers relays fascinating anecdotes along the road of the evolution of timekeeping and watches. Horology is the name for the study and measurement of time, and I learned quite a bit from this book. Hands of Time puts them into cultural and historical context, combines that with the story of Rebecca's singular career, and assembles the parts against a backdrop of the whole history of time. Struthers' unparalleled expertise and unbridled passion for preserving the legacy of watchmaking are nothing short of exhilarating. Anthropology is a subject I've only scraped the surface of in my studies so I was excited to give this book a go.Switzerland (and Japan and the United States) make appearances as supporting characters, but Struthers stays close to home, and she does it well. Struthers's uses watches that she has worked on, examples from the natural world along with art, history and more. Ebooks fulfilled through Glose cannot be printed, downloaded as PDF, or read in other digital readers (like Kindle or Nook). I'm not talking about textbook style, but if you aren't at all interested in horology, this will be absolutely horrific to read.

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