For a hobby and interest that generates so much money across the world, there seems to be quite a thin spread of books available for the average person to read. The same holds true with magazines as we’ve mentioned in the past with almost zero shelf space devoted to the handful of titles around like QP, WatchTime and Revolution. So when I heard about an honest to goodness book that tells it like it is, and features quirky hints and tips for watch owners, watchmakers and also sales folks – I had to grab a copy.
Having bought a good few of the limited selection of modern watch books around such as Ryan Schmidt’s Wristwatch Handbook; Gene Stone and Stephen Pulvirent’s The Watch, Thoroughly Revised and One Man and His Watch by Matthew Hranek – I expected a large format book to arrive after placing my order. I was wrong and again a life lesson in assuming things, or at least not checking the type of book when click “Buy”.
Compared to the aforementioned titles, the No BS book is a small paperback with black print on what I can only describe as mediocre paper stock. Inside there are no glossy photographs, only a spattering of line art diagrams, lists, charts and half tone printed images.
For the number of pages (264) and materials used I’d have expected this to come in at roughly half the price, especially as other titles costing just slightly to 50% more offer many, many times more content, features and quality of print and paper.
Not off to a great start but you can’t judge a book by its cover – Ba-Doom-Tish! … I’m here all week folks!
Turning The Page
The first thing that grabs your attention is the title. Being Scottish and reading the front of the book as “100+ nobs watch tips” had me puzzled to begin with, who were these 100 nobs?
I haven’t read the full thing as it’s actually hard to progress page by page. I managed to get to around page 100 and so far the tips range from “Don’t be an asshole” to “Wear the watch on either hand”. I haven’t really stumbled across anything yet that had the light bulb go off above my head and the writing style reminds me of what my friends and I would churn out in high school standard grade English.
In the first few pages there are random quotes chucked in from Bruce Lee and Marc Andreessen plus repetition from one page to the other, “My aim with this book is to educate…” then “My goal with this book is to have fun”. Its as if no-one had really proof read or edited the completed piece. Now I’m no author, I’m barely able to string a sentence together but I’m also not charging people £23 for the privilege.
If you don’t mind a very base level of writing, lack of structure and haphazard arrangement of random thoughts, stories, facts, opinion and rants then you will do fine. If however, you are looking for something engaging, interesting and cohesive I would recommend you look elsewhere.
I don’t feel I’m being over critical as these are my genuine opinions having waded through more than a third of the book and having read to completion the other titles listed at the top of this page. I get the feeling than Anthony L (who never actually gives his surname or where he works) speaks more than one language which is at least one more than I do, but when he writes from a point of authority having been a professional watch maker for many decades, I just expected more from the book and was left underwhelmed.
He may be a fantastic watchmaker but that doesn’t translate to the written word unfortunately. On the other hand his interviews style on podcasts, his Instagram page and his videos on YouTube are all extremely engaging and coherent so I would suggest looking for his thoughts there instead of on paper.
Books Mentioned Above
100+ No BS Watch Tips: For Watch Enthusiasts & Salespeople
The Wristwatch Handbook: A Comprehensive Guide to Mechanical Wristwatches
The Watch, Thoroughly Revised
Gene Stone and Stephen Pulvirent
A Man and His Watch
Got into the horological hobby only a couple of short years ago; but got, as us Scots like to say, “baw deep” pretty quickly. Thanks to buying a lemon of a Rolex he spent hours researching why his watch wasn’t working and along the way gained an interest in what makes them tick. He now runs the Scottish Watches website and keeps cohort Rick in check on the twice weekly Scottish Watches podcast.