Friday, September 16, 2016

Book Review: Omega Watches - by John Goldberger

***Apprentice Corner

This week, I'm reviewing 'Omega Watches' by John Goldberger. The book is a simple one - the title says it all really. There's no story to be had. Over 240 watches are featured, each with their own page spread accompanied by a short description. If you're looking for the history behind the brand and pieces you'll have to look elsewhere.

Then what makes it so special?: The author himself.

John Goldberger is an author of five books on watches and one of the most accomplished watch collectors on the planet. In fact, I'm at a loss to think of any other on his level.
He's been at it for over 40 years now and has established himself as the go-to guy for the experts themselves. There are precious few people with a watch-IQ that even remotely comes close to his.

Extraordinary effort went into the curation of the beautiful photos used; all watches shown are from private collections, many from the collection of Mr. Goldberger himself. Some pieces are so rare they aren't even in the Omega museum.

(Early chronographs: the Ref. OJ2393 and CK2393)

The pieces featured are diverse yet focused: pocket watches, Seamasters, Constellations, Speedmasters and everything in between are presented, but the author has selected only the finest examples from each category.

I find the omission of the Omega 30I - the first tourbillon wristwatch - rather odd, but what I'd remove to make space for it is a hard question indeed, such is the high quality of the curation.

(Seamaster Ref. OT2520 with Neptune Chariot enamelled dial)

The book is an essential addition to any Omega enthusiast's collection. It'll almost certainly find a permanent home on your coffee table or desk as you continue to flick through it over many years.

Two of Omega's earliest, most adventurous designs: a tonneau shaped + circle watch)

A quick search online for the book leads to some very expensive listings ($477 on Amazon). The book was produced in limited numbers and books of this nature tend to be quite pricey so this isn't surprising. There appears to be a copy on for under $100 but you'd be wise to first ask to seller if it's an English version as the book was also published in Italian (John Goldberger's mother language).

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