Hands of Time: A Watchmaker's History of Time. (Hardback)
  • Hands of Time: A Watchmaker's History of Time. (Hardback)
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Hands of Time: A Watchmaker's History of Time. (Hardback)

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£22.00
Hardback 288 Pages
Published: 27/04/2023
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Waterstones Says

Bewitching and spanning cultures and continents, watchmaker Struthers’ captivating book reveals the crucial role time-pieces have played in our attitudes to mortality, work, leisure, politics and more throughout centuries.

A BBC Radio 4 Book of the Week

An intricate and personal history of watches and time from an extraordinary watchmaker and historian.

Timepieces are one of humanity's most ingenious innovations. Their invention was more significant for human culture than the printing press, or even the wheel. They have travelled the world with us, from the depths of the oceans to the summit of Everest, and even to the Moon. They regulate our daily lives and have sculpted the social and economic development of society in surprising and dramatic ways.

In Hands of Time watchmaker and historian Rebecca Struthers welcomes us into the hidden world of watchmaking, offering a personal history of watches that spans centuries and continents. From her workshop bench, Rebecca explores the ways in which timekeeping has indelibly shaped our attitudes to work, leisure, trade, politics, exploration and mortality, and introduces us to some extraordinary and treasured devices, each with their own story to tell.

Hands of Time is an intricate and uniquely personal exploration of the history, science, philosophy, and craft of timekeeping.

Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton
ISBN: 9781529339031
Number of pages: 288
Weight: 520 g
Dimensions: 238 x 162 x 34 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS

'5/5 A true joy - an enchanting mixture of memoir and history... A work of staggering complexity and bewildering economy - highly deserving of the time you give it.' - Telegraph

'Every page glitters with details of her experience and the people she has learned from. The book is evidence of a lifelong labour of love, and reading it is time well spent' - Spectator

'A rattling, wonderful, decidedly non-nerdy read for anyone with an interest of how time made us who we are.' - Observer

'What an exquisite book, as beautifully put together as one of the watches whose mechanisms Rebecca Struthers describes with such eloquence and authority. In a world whose digital workings are invisible to us, the joy and genius of craftsmanship, artistry and skill with materials is all the more welcome. What a very wonderful book. - Stephen Fry

An intensely personal, finely-tuned meditation on making and time-keeping. This is a beautiful book.' - Edmund de Waal

An absolutely gorgeous book about craft, time and history. Hands of Time really captures what it means to be a craftsperson and why it matters. It blew my socks off. - Jay Blades

'Rebecca Struthers dismantles and reassembles time as she would an antique pocket watch. Beautiful, bewitching and brilliant.' - Lara Maiklem

'Mesmerising, almost hypnotic... well worth your time.' - New Statesman

'An absorbing and precisely researched journey around the importance of horology in measuring time... at the heart of the narrative is a historical account of how timekeeping has shaped the development of pretty much every aspect of social and economic life: trade, politics, leisure, exploration and mortality.' - Times

Taking us from the earliest lunar calendar (a notched baboon fibula found in the Lebombo mountains) to today's quartz watches... This brilliant history of clocks and timepieces is a miracle of concision. - Telegraph best summer reads

'The only book on watches you need to read... a hugely entertaining achievement' - Esquire

'BOOK OF THE WEEK: The sights, smells and sounds of a watchmaker's workshop in Birmingham's jewellery quarter come to life in Rebecca Struthers's fascinating book' - Daily Mail

'As exquisitely-crafted as a Georgian pocket-watch, this fascinating book weaves the threads of personal memoir with the story of a profession that has until now been almost entirely overlooked. Through the lens of watch-making, a new understanding of our world history emerges. Beautifully written and endlessly fascinating, it feels like this was a story waiting to be written.' - Tracy Borman

As impeccably crafted and precisely engineered as any of the watches on which the author has worked so lovingly over the years, this book is a joy to behold and a wonder to enjoy. - Simon Winchester

A masterpiece. As intricate and impressive as the watches it describes. - James Fox

From 40,000 year old bone etchings, through the first tick-tock and into the nanoscale atomic world of 21st century clocks, Hands of Time is a meticulously written and captivating history. Struthers brings her unique perspective as artisan and engineer to explore both the evolution of mechanisms and the complicated ways in which timekeeping has changed human life: the more we measure this intangible cosmic property, the more precious it becomes. - Rebecca Wragg Sykes

An enthralling story of time, and of the human passion to understand and control it. Anyone who enjoyed Dava Sobel's Longitude will love it. - Gavin Francis

'The history of timekeeping is treated with a light touch, consisting of one fascinating and frequently romantic story after another... She brings the craft of making and repairing watches to life and even the glossary is an engaging read. Be warned, however: if Hands of Time affects you as it has me, you may find yourself taking up what could be an extremely expensive hobby.' - Country Life

'A gripping history of timekeeping that starts with the personal, but then embarks upon a journey spanning centuries of modern humanity, examining how timepieces have shaped us - not just in service to our quotidian lives, but politically and economically, too. With a scope that reaches from prehistoric 40,000-year-old bone etchings recording lunar cycles to the Dutch horological "forgeries" of her thesis, it is all addressed with a lightness of touch that has seen Dr Struthers' debut scoring "Book of the Week" on BBC Radio 4.' - Mr Porter

'Full of tales of royal intrigue and social history, it charts the story of watchmaking through the centuries and reflects on how time affects us all' - Vogue

'This engaging, rewarding book is full of mechanical complexities and wonderfully interesting details. - Irish Examiner

Skilfully moving between the miniscule world of watchmaking and the sweep of history, Hands of Time is an enlightening study. - Economist

An exquisitely crafted history - Nature

As an engineer I was enthralled by the intricate mechanisms Dr. Struthers brings to life so vividly. But what really struck me is her personal journey in horology, and her fascinating stories of how timepieces affected society and culture, ultimately shaping our modern lives. - Roma Agrawal

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Hardback

“Time very well spent.”

A fascinating and truly delightful look into the world of watchmaking, the history and science behind this marvellous subject. Detailing how and why timekeeping has shaped our very existence and the world we live in... More

Hardback edition
Helpful? Upvote 28

“The joy and wonder of watches”

I have enjoyed several exhibitions of old clocks, but, until reading this book, had not given much thought to their tiny, portable cousins – watches. This book takes you through the history, development and intricate... More

Paperback edition
Helpful? Upvote 2

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