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Hands of Time: A Watchmaker’s History of Time

Humans have been measuring time for over 40,000 years. Award winning Dr Rebecca Struthers, master watchmaker, restorer, historian and now author has collated her comprehensive knowledge, years of experience as an passionate antique watch restorer into her fascinating debut book ‘Hands of Time – A Watchmaker’s History of Time’, which not only re-counts the progress in accurately measuring time but also her development as a renowned horologist.

‘Hands of Time’ is a comprehensive, thoroughly researched journey through watchmaking’s history from the earliest attempts at time keeping, to the breakthroughs in engineering to the first watch. It beautifully chronicles not only the inventions, which have resulted in current time pieces, but also the stories of those like the innovative Abraham- Louise Breguet and of famous watches such as Mary Queen of Scots’ skull watch. It even contains a detective story, as the author relates her attempts to uncover the identity of the mysterious ‘John Wilter’ whose name appears on eighteenth century watches of various qualities.  

Although the subject would appear to be too niche for the regular reader, this book is an enthralling mix of memoir and history, which make it accessible to a wide range of people. The author draws not only on her own practice but also the mechanical progress being made over the years. Her husband’s intricately drawn diagrams and the beautifully executed photos greatly add to the readers’ enjoyment of this remarkable narrative.

Dr Rebecca Struthers, a global authority, and the first person in the United Kingdom to earn a Ph.D. in Horology, is dedicated to preserving and pushing forward traditional watchmaking; keeping alive artisanship and craftsmanship by sharing her research and educating others about the craft. 

Reading this enchanting book is time well spent.

Author Dr Rebecca Struthers
Publisher Hachette. Imprint Hodder and Stoughton
ISBN 9781529339000
Distributor Hachette
Released April 2023