Designers / Watches

Inside the New Book That Explores the Evolution of Timepieces


“A watch is a work of technical mastery. It also constitutes an artifact that blends art with science, creating what has over the years become, and remained, an object of desire,” writes journalist and professor Mara Cappelletti in her newly released book The Style of Time (ACC Art Books), which marvels over the intricacies of 60 timepieces that have directed the course of history and are exemplary of style trends.

Every chapter is dedicated to a decade, from the 1910s through the 2000s, and showcases the important makers, people, innovations, styles, and records of each. A few highlights include (but are certainly not limited to) American aviator Charles Lindbergh’s watch, which helped guide him through the very first transatlantic solo flight; the timepiece New Zealand mountaineer Sir Edmund Hillary’s timepiece wore while on the top of Mount Everest; and plenty more with interesting anecdotes.

Below are some more notable mentions, as highlighted in the 272-page book.

JLC watch
A Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso, circa 1931

“Inspired by Art Deco designs, yet already oriented towards function, the Reverso perfectly embodied the spirit of its time: an exuberant modernity, introducing a radically new aesthetic language.”

Rolex's first Oyster watch
Rolex’s first Oyster Perpetual, circa 1931

“The first Rolex chronographs, advertised since the 1930s, were designed exclusively as technical and functional instruments, and they were in fact chosen above all by engineers, chemists, architects, officials and sportsmen as a tool for work that could guarantee a high degree of precision and reliability. It is for this reason that they were produced in very limited quantities, which renders them all the more precious today.”

Omega 1957 speedmaster
An Omega Speedmaster, circa 1957

“Introduced in the late 1950s, the Speedmaster chronograph would become famous for accompanying all space missions from the 1960s onward.”

Top: The cover of Mara Cappelletti’s The Style of Time ($65; ACC Art Books) 

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By: Annie Davidson

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