We've just received an advance copy of the year's coolest watch book, which you're going to want to clear shelf space for as you've read this. We're talking about Sea Time: Watches Inspired by Sailing, Yachting and Diving by Aaron Sigmond and Mark Bernardo, being published by Rizzoli later this month and now available for pre-order on Amazon.
You may remember Sigmond as the author of Drive Time while Bernardo is the senior editor of WatchTime magazine. Rizzoli is calling Sea Time "the first watch connoisseur’s guide to explore a century of high-performing, stylish chronometers for adventures above and below the waves," which is an even more impressive achievement in XL coffee table format.
The comprehensive and beautifully designed volume begins with the history of waterproof watches before delving into the most iconic dive watches in history: the Rolex Oyster (which begat the Submariner), Panerai's early military pieces made for elite underwater commandos, Blancpain's stunning Fifty Fathoms, the Omega Seamaster (now worn by 007) and cult favorites from Doxa, a brand that has never quite become fashionable despite being beloved of actual divers and watch collectors.
It then portrays every other important dive, sailing and yachting watch ever made, in various sections including The Icons, featuring Audemars Piguet's Royal Oak, the IWC Aquatimer and Patek Philippe Nautilus (in addition to the watches listed above); Sailing & Regatta Watches, including the Heuer Skipper, IWC Portuguieser, and Rolex Yacht-Master; and Dive Watches, including the Bremont Supermarine, Breitling Superocean Heritage and Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Compressor; among others.
Interspersed with photo essays showing the watches being put to their intended use, the book highlights more than 100 contemporary and vintage nautical-inspired mechanical timepieces in all, each accompanied by factual details about its maker, designer, inspiration, and specifications. All in all, it's an invaluable reference guide for anyone who shares the authors' passion for beautiful watches and the lifestyle of the sea.
Author and watch collector Clive Cussler wrote a foreword for the book, while the afterword was penned by Blake Buettner, Director of Watches at StockX, the live bid/ask luxury marketplace backed by the likes of Mark Wahlberg, who discusses his own journey in collecting watches. "I have no end goal, no final destination, no 'grail watch'," Buettner writes. "Instead, the entire voyage represents the acquisition of knowledge in the form of stories" that are intrinsic to the watches. "Any collection should be more than just a literal box full of physical objects after all."
"What we collect says a lot about who we are and what we value," Buettner notes. And "watches not only tell us the date, hours and seconds in real time but truly mete out the moments of our lives," as Sigmond writes in his introduction. "They're an integral part of who we are and what we do.... Watches are our constant companions, utilitarian tools, style statements, [and] assets."
In a pinch, he adds, they can even be "our barter or bail" while some eventually become heirlooms and all are "almost always conversation pieces." Want more? Get a copy of the book, because this is just the beginning....