By Michael Thompson

Recently I received a copy of “Timepieces: A Lifelong Love and Passion” by Connecticut-based watch appraiser and dealer Laurent Martinez. If you’ve been a long-time iW reader or regularly read our online offerings, you’re likely familiar with a least a few of the many feature stories about watch collecting Martinez has penned for our publications.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading the just-published book, which is sub-titled “An Insider’s Guide to Watches and Tips for Watch Collecting.”

Martinez writes from the point of view of both a long-time collector and as an advisor to those just starting their own collections.

In the former guise, Martinez takes the reader through his life growing up just outside Paris, through a series of jobs in restaurants and businesses and eventually to the events that led to Martinez starting his own consulting firm in the United States.

As his story unfolds, one thread remains constant: his long-standing love of watches. Martinez’s story of acquiring his first watch, a Yema dive model, at twelve-years-old will strike a chord of familiarity with many iW readers. 

Many will also sympathize with the author’s recognition several years ago, at the age of fifty, that he was ready to launch his own watch business after years as a collector. It turns out that Martinez funded his new business, Laurent Fine Watches, at least in part by drawing from his lifelong passion – he bought and sold a dozen watches.

Much of the nearly 200-page book details a brief history of watches and defines a range of technical terms. But with that covered, Martinez really begins to dig in.

In chapters such as “Provenance is Everything” to “Real Versus Fake Watches,” Martinez gathers his experience as a collector and dealer to advise the reader, underscoring his points with hundreds of examples and even more glossy photos.

Any collector, new or veteran, will both enjoy and be enriched when reading “Timepieces: A Lifelong Love and  Passion.” You can find a copy ($39.95) on the laurentfinewatches.com website and on Amazon.

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