Review of ‘Hands of Time’ by Rebecca Struthers

I’ve previously read about the history of time – that is, our need to measure time – but this book is from a watchmaker’s perspective, which is an interesting angle on the topic. To be honest, I didn’t even realise that watchmaking was still a heritage craft practised today, as opposed to mass-produced watches. Rebecca and her husband Craig (along with Archie the ‘watch dog’) are passionate about the design, science and restoration of watches. If you check out their website, you can commission a watch, starting from £35,000.

Hands of Time by Rebecca Struthers

Generally this was a fascinating read, history interwoven with a bit of science and personal reflection. I didn’t understand the explanations about how the various components of watches work as I don’t have the right kind of brain for that. Chapters which really caught my imagination included one about the use of radium for glowing dials and about the watch commissioned for Marie Antoinette. The book is very detailed and meticulously researched. I would recommend if you’re interested in both history and craft.

Thank you to the publisher Hodder & Stoughton for the advance copy via NetGalley. The book is available to purchase now.

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