Normally, Christmas passes in a blink of an eye. Time spent with friends and family, great conversation, good food, and drinks make it a time to cherish and remember. That is in a normal world. Unfortunately, Covid-19 changed this drastically for many of us. Now being together at Christmas is not without risks. It is not even an option at all for some of us, as we have to spend the holidays in (partial) lockdown. With only essential stores open, we have to turn to the internet as a lifeline to the world.
So while it will become, without any doubt, a Christmas to remember, but perhaps not for all the right reasons, it might also be a time in which you undertake different activities than usual. At Troisanneaux we enjoy reading during these darker days while listening to our favorite music, and with an espresso close at hand. This is also the perfect time to share with you some of our favorite titles from our bookshelves. These books are not only a joy to read or browse through, but some are even a challenge to find. This might not be in line with today’s regretful trends of instant gratification, but during this holiday season, such a hunt might be a very welcome distraction from the world around us.
Piaget: Watches and Wonders Since 1874
Books about Piaget are unfortunately quite rare. Such a pity, as the brand not only makes stunning watches today but has done that for just over a century. This becomes especially clear when browsing through this book, which gives you the highlights of all of Piaget’s aesthetically and technological achievements. While the book dates from 1996, it is worth the purchase. All the more so because it shows images of rarely seen Piaget’s. This is a testimony of the brand’s rich history, which in the 1960s and ’70s had over 400 active references in its collection.
Breguet; Watchmakers since 1775
Written by Emmanuel Breguet, a direct descendant of Abraham-Louis Breguet as well as Vice-President and Head of Patrimony & Marketing of the brand, is this a must-have book for anybody interested in its rich history. Breguet’s writing style is a pleasant one, and the book reads more like a historical novel than your average watch book. It tells not only the story of Breguet, the watchmaker, and Breguet, the brand, but also that of the aristocrats, emperors, and other notables that bought his watches. Its technical inventions also get plenty of room, making this the perfect book for both the casual reader and the avid enthusiast.
Osvaldo Patrizzi was not only the founder of Antiquorum but also a passionate collector of mainly Cartier’s in white precious metal. He wrote a book about his collection called ‘Cartier Bianco.’ While this coffee-table book is not the easiest to find, it is worth the hunt. It shows the most mesmerizing and rarest Cartier’s in both white gold and platinum. The images are large, detailed, and beautifully printed with the technical details in three languages next to them. The book is also available in a pocket edition. While it may not have the same appeal as the large book, it offers the same information in a more handy size that is also slightly easier to find and kinder to the wallet to obtain.
Cartier; The Gentleman’s Files
Troisanneaux’s own George Cramer also created a beautiful coffee-table book about Cartier. Utilizing his decades-long experience as an art director for a major record label, the book is a visual treat. It highlights some of the most unique and sought-after Cartier’s, which are beautifully photographed. Plenty of information about them is provided as well, making this privately-published book a must-have for anybody interested in the watches of ‘La Maison.’ Fortunately, there is also no need to hunt this one down, as you can order your copy here.
Gene Stone and Hodinkee‘s Stephen Pulvirent wrote an excellent book, highlighting both brands as well as complications. The writers compiled images of the rarest and most tempting watches and wrote about them in an easy to follow way. While we like coffee-table books, the size of this book makes it easier to read. While the original version is already top-notch, go for the revised version anyway, as it features more watches in significantly more pages.
The Watch; A Twentieth-Century Style History
Not to be confused with the book by Stone and Pulvirent, does Alexander Barter writes in a very pleasant way about a century of watchmaking. His choices of watches to highlight is an interesting one, as he goes beyond the obvious choices. While his writing is easily digestible, it does provide a lot of interesting information. All the more because he also dares to focus on very specific topics, such as coin and envelope watches, decorative enamel dials, and the watches by Lindbergh and Weems.
The Italian Gentleman & The Parisian Gentleman
It is not all about watches at Troisanneaux, as Hugo Jacomet wrote two very interesting books about menswear. The Italian Gentleman and The Parisian Gentleman, give an intimate insight look into the world of classic men’s fashion of both the city and the country. Jacomet is covering tailors, shirt- and shoemakers, but also perfume houses and weaving mills. This gives these books a pleasant balance. Jacomet’s writing style might be a bit dramatic at times; his passion for the wide variety of subjects is jumping at you from the pages because of it.
Bentley, A Century Of Elegance And Speed
Yes, this book covers Bentley’s history, but that is not what makes it so unique. It focuses on the Continentals of the 1990s and does so by highlighting the most special ones. The images are astonishing, and the writing is very informative. Dramatic is the book as well, as its cover is made of actual metal, with an engine-turned motif on it. Not surprising when you realize that it is published by Larusmiani, one of Milan’s most premium menswear stores. Just like us at Troisanneaux, they share a deep passion for grande automobiles.
A family saga, written by a member of the family; no wonder that Francesca Cartier Brickell‘s book has become such a success. It gives an intimate insight into the history of one of the most esteemed watch- and jewelry houses in the world; Cartier. It not only tells the story of how they became so successful, but you also get the feeling that you really get to know the people involved. Highlighting special events in the history of ‘La Maison’ does it also say a lot about the times the events occur, making it both an adventure as well as a historical novel.
Cartier; Creative Writing
We all know about Cartier‘s history in jewelry and watches, but (fountain) pens are not an add-on to the collection. Ever since the first day of ‘La Maison,’ have they had a prominent place within the collection. This book tells about the history of them and the many astonishing pens and pencils that Cartier made. What is so wonderful is that the book is comprehensive in covering its various topics without getting dry or boring. Plenty of images will keep you visually entertained as well.
Vacheron Constantin; Artists of Time
Currently serving as President of the FHH Cultural Council, Franco Cologni is primarily known for the various positions he held within the Richemont Group. He shares the inside knowledge that he acquired generously in multiple books, including this one of Vacheron Constantin. He tells all about the exciting and rich history of the brand but also highlights the technical side, as well as more modern wristwatches. With 276-pages is this quite the book, and a real joy to read for everybody who wants to learn more about this esteemed brand.
Gentleman; A Timeless Guide to Fashion
Last but most certainly not least do we recommend ‘Gentleman’ by Bernhard Roetzel. This book inspired me to dress better in my late teens and send me on a quest for craftsmanship and subtle details. Roetzel tells you the basics without sounding like a teacher and clearly points out the classic baselines of dressing like a gentleman. In this time and age, where tracksuits seem to have become appropriate evening wear, his book is a breath of fresh air, and I guess that is also why Roetzel calls it so rightfully ‘a timeless guide to fashion.’