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Fantastic reading material for Watch Aficionados: Wristwatch Annual 2010

by Marco 12 February, 2010 View Comments

Every year, many watch lovers anticipate the publication of the Wristwatch Annual. This catalogue of the most important luxury watch brands is a sort of holy scripture for collectors, enthusiasts, and watch professionals alike. Each of the roughly 130 companies represented showcase their most important and newest models. Every watch displays important details such as case size, movement calibre and specifications, available variations, and a good estimate of the watch's USD retail price. The 2010 Wrist Watch Annual continues the tradition with some added features and an immensely handy and ever-growing illustrated glossary.

The main attraction to the WWA is the wealth of details presented. The information provided about movements is a good example. When looking at literature provided by the watch manufacturers - and sometimes even the press - the specifications are somewhat limited. Lets take Alpina for instance, as they have various sources for their high-end, Swiss movements. When you look at their site or catalogue, you will find the Alpina calibre demarcation for each watch's movement. The Avalanche Extreme Diver runs on the AL-525, the Avalanche Extreme Chronograph on the AL-850, and the Manufacture Regulator on the AL-950. What the calibres do not tell you is what they were before being modified to Alpina specifications. Using the WWA one can find that the AL-525 is a modified Sellita SW200 (a beautiful all-Swiss made movement very similar to ETA's 2824-2), the AL-850 is based on ETA's 2894 (same as the Bell & Ross BR-01 94s), and the AL-950 - of course - is a manufacture calibre. It was conceived and manufactured entirely at Alpina's Geneva factory. Like many, you may never have heard of Sellita. If that is the case, you can flip to the section of the WWA dedicated to movement manufacturers, where you can learn all about it. The Wrist Watch Annual strives to be as complete as possible within the limits of its 432 pages.

As I already mentioned, I think the glossary is one of the greatest features of the Wristwatch Annual thanks to its completeness and illustrated examples of the terms. It consists of nine full pages and explains 54 terms that are often used, but not explained, by the manufacturers. An other great feature in the WWA is the "Spotlight on Independent" section that reviews work done by Independent watchmakers during the last year. Here you can always find some of the weirdest, most fascinating, and sometimes controversial watches. Even the advertising within the book's pages is interesting, as companies showcase some of their coolest products and even contribute articles concerning aspects of the watch world that are important to them.

Other than eye-candy, the advertising has a secondary positive effect. It keeps the price of this indispensable book low enough to make its purchase a "no-brainer" decision. This along with the abundance of information found between its covers explains why the Wristwatch Annual is such a popular item at the store; and why it has become a tradition for many watch enthusiasts.

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