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Review of Vintage Rolex Field Manual

  1. Engee May 10, 2021

    I've no doubt that this is not the first thread about this excellent book, but I decided it was worth a refresher because I think the volume is really excellent having just finished reading it this weekend.

    Written by Colin A White, aka OF member @morningtundra it's a highly readable, unpatronising, unassuming, encouraging handbook that was, for me at least, the perfect introduction to the world of Rolex. I set out at page one with virtually no knowledge of the marque bar a few model names and a fair amount of prejudice about the people who like to wear them.

    The field guide is written in clear and simple language, and as I said, makes no assumptions of prior knowledge and so is excellent for newbies.

    In terms of design, it is clearly and simply set out with excellent use of sidebar articles to give reader variety. It also contains many high quality images and diagrams.

    For the buyer the many pages of tables are invaluable for checking technical information and so acts as an ideal reference. But it's not just a technical reference book, it's full of fascinating articles covering the history of the brand and the development of the models and movements.

    But perhaps my favourite aspect of the book, as a newbie, is that it's not just for people who want to learn about Rolex. It contains plenty of general information about watch collecting, such as names of all the different hand styles, information about lume and reluming, and fascinating stuff about faking, delivering a well-balanced blend of encouragement and warnings for those who are thinking about stepping into the minefield of vintage watch collecting.

    Something I very much appreciated about the Vintage Rolex Field Manual is that it's not written from the perspective of a purist. Colin discusses the areas of controversy around the authenticity of vintage watches without offering his own judgement, only going as far as to say what collectors and purists find acceptable. With that, I left off reading the book thinking that Colin's motivation was only to share his love of vintage watches and to infect the reader with it, rather than to prove his deep expertise (which no doubt he possesses).

    I'm just in the process of pulling together the money to fund my first Rolex. I have a pretty good idea of what I want, and this book has been super-helpful as I look at different watches for sale on the internet.

    I can highly recommend it.
    Edited May 10, 2021
  2. mbeast May 12, 2021

    Seconded. It's a very good book indeed, giving a great overview of the vintage Rolex landscape and the author has a sensible approach to most issues. Would recommend.
    Engee likes this.
  3. Farmer May 12, 2021

    I really enjoy my copy, use it all the time for reference.
  4. morningtundra May 13, 2021

    Wow, thank you for the warm and generous review. This was indeed a passion project that began just as a bit of fun. The main criticism I've received has been about the quality of the paper (matte finish 80 gsm). Some have wanted a high gloss 100 gsm more typical of coffee table and photo picture books (look-books). At this time this simply isn't an option offered by the printers (sorry). This book is self-published and print-on-demand, not offset printed by a publishing house. This also explains the rather low-key rollout as I don't have the backing of an enterprise marketing team. I should also point out it was a collaborative effort, including that section on Space Flown Rolex by @SpeedyPhill with others mentioned in the Acknowledgements section. If anyone is interested I still have a few coupon codes left for the iPad version (Apple Bookstore). DM me if you want one. Again, thank you for the review!
    Engee and SpeedyPhill like this.