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Hi: I've been collecting vintage watches for about a year now, and am getting more and more interested in watch repair. I know NOTHING about the field but would like to learn. I learn well from books and would like to start with one that is good for beginers. (and also hopefully in print). Should I start with De Carlo's (I think that's his name) "Practical Watch Repair" or should I start with somthing else?

Thanks!
 

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Just for the pure information from the Worlds greatest living horologist, read "Watchmaking" by George Daniels.
It won't show you how to fix anything, but it'll give you a much better appreciation of what is going on on your wrist.

cheers,
Jake.
 

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The DeCarle books are great, as are anything by Henry Fried. In my opinion, the Fried books are probably a little bit more readable, although I'd definitely suggest having both in your library.

Contrary to the above, I'd argue that Daniel's book IS a great book for learning watch repair. All of the principles explained are equally applicable both to building a watch from scratch and crafting replacement parts for an already existing watch.
 

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Re: What book should a beginner start with?

I'm not a watchmaker, but I fiddle around with new Alphas and old Hamiltons.

The el cheapo suggestion (hehe) would be the 'War Department Technical Manual TM9-1575' : TM 9-1575 – I Already Have a Watch. . I'd definitely start with this; it's fun and compact, and free.

'Practical Watch Repairing' is also on the interwebs, but more enjoyable to read (relatively speaking) as a $10 paperback. The typeface and layout is not great though; but for 10 bucks you can't complain much.

'Watchmaking' is a much nicer and more fun book to read; the publisher seems to vary which parts (if any) it makes available through 'Google Books'. Have a look and decide whether at over 60 bucks it's a good (early) Xmas gift for yourself.
 

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Re: What book should a beginner start with?

Hi ehutch01, I harbour the same ambition. I purchased a book called Amateur Watchmaking. I found it a good read, the author has passion for his subject and expresses himself well. Unlike many books out there it is a modern take on watch making with the beginer in mind. It is small book (103 pages in A3 size) and costs $50, not cheap but I thought it good value. If you want to find out more google Per's watch making.

I have not put my reading in to practice yet, but will probably do so in the near future (wish me luck!) and good luck to you.
 

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Re: What book should a beginner start with?

I'm in the same boat as you. I just received "Watchmaking" by George Daniels and it looks a little intimidating to a beginner but it looks well written. I am about to order Level 1 from Level One Toolkit With ETA 2801-2 Movement which from what I have been reading is highly recommended.
 

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Re: What book should a beginner start with?

The DeCarle books are great, and still contain valuable information regarding old watches and old methods. George Daniels' book is impressive, and a must for anyone thinking about serious watchmaking. To the same end, if you want to repair watches, and you want to really understand what is going on, I strongly recommend the WOSTEP text "Theory of Horology". At this level, however, you might just want to start thinking seriously about a watchmaking school, as this is the standard textbook, or one of them. I read DeCarle's 'Practical Watch Repairing', before I went to school, and I can say that although it is well written and illustrated, there was only so much of it I was able to absorb without formal training. IMHO, though, it is still the best book to start with, regardless of how far you want to take it, what I will add, however, is that I still learn new things every day, and my interest and passion for the trade only increases with every new thing I learn. It takes the better part of a lifetime to be a master watchmaker, and the learning never stops.
 
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