A Grand Complication

A Grand Complication

Two wealthy and powerful men engage in a decades-long contest to create and possess the most remarkable watch in history. James Ward Packard of Warren, Ohio, was an entrepreneur and a talented engineer of infinite curiosity, a self-made man who earned millions from his inventions, including the design and manufacture of America’s first luxury car—the elegant and storied Packard. Henry Graves, Jr., was the very essence of blue-blooded refinement in the early 1900s: son of a Wall Street financier, a central figure in New York high society, and a connoisseur of beautiful things—especially fine watches. Then, as now, expensive watches were the ultimate sign of luxury and wealth, but in the early twentieth century the limitless ambition, wealth, and creativity of these two men pushed the boundaries of mathematics, astronomy, craftsmanship, technology, and physics to create ever more ingenious timepieces. In any watch, features beyond the display of hours, minutes, and seconds are known as “complications.” Packard and Graves spurred acclaimed Swiss watchmaker Patek Philippe to create the Mona Lisa of timepieces—a fabled watch that incorporated twenty-four complications and took nearly eight years to design and build. For the period, it was the most complicated watch ever created. For years it disappeared, but then it surfaced at a Sotheby’s auction in 1999, touching off a heated bidding war, shattering all known records when it fetched $11 million from an anonymous bidder. New York Times bestselling author Stacy Perman takes us from the clubby world of New York high society into the ateliers of the greatest Swiss watchmakers, and into the high-octane, often secretive subculture of modern-day watch collecting. With meticulous research, vivid historical details, and a wealth of dynamic personalities, A Grand Complication is the fascinating story of the thrilling duel between two of the most intriguing men of the early twentieth century. Above all, it is a sweeping chronicle of innovation, the desire for beauty, and the lengths people will go to possess it.

Publisher Simon and Schuster
Release Date
ISBN 1439190100
Pages 352 pages
Rating 4/5 (04 users)

More Books:

A Grand Complication
Language: en
Pages: 343
Authors: Stacy Perman
Categories: Biography & Autobiography
Type: BOOK - Published: 2013-02-19 - Publisher: Simon and Schuster

"The race between two ambitious, complicated men in the early 1900s to create the most extravagant, complicated timepiece ever"--
The Grand Complication
Language: en
Pages: 368
Authors: Allen Kurzweil
Categories: Fiction
Type: BOOK - Published: 2002-08-21 - Publisher: Hyperion

Confronted by both professional and personal crises, reference librarian Alexander Short gains a new lease on life when he meets Henry James Jesson III, who hir
Grand Complications
Language: en
Pages: 576
Authors: Tourbillon International (Firm)
Categories: Antiques & Collectibles
Type: BOOK - Published: 2007-04-20 - Publisher: Rizzoli International Publications

Grand Complications, Volume III provides a detailed overview of complicated watchmaking. Published by Tourbillon International, this reference work for connoiss
Grand complications
Language: en
Categories: Wrist watches
Type: BOOK - Published: - Publisher:

Encyclopedia of Contemporary Writers and Their Works
Language: en
Pages: 433
Authors: Geoff Hamilton
Categories: American fiction
Type: BOOK - Published: 2010 - Publisher: Infobase Publishing

Encyclopedia of Contemporary Writers and Their Work is an invaluable guide to the work of English-language fiction writers born since 1960. Coverage includes so
Confessions of the Pricing Man
Language: en
Pages: 221
Authors: Hermann Simon
Categories: Business & Economics
Type: BOOK - Published: 2015-10-20 - Publisher: Springer

The world’s foremost expert on pricing strategy shows how this mysterious process works and how to maximize value through pricing to company and customer. In
Luxury Watches as Investment
Language: en
Pages: 160
Authors: Leonard Lowe
Categories: Antiques & Collectibles
Type: BOOK - Published: 2019-12-15 - Publisher: Think-eBooks

Watches are worthwhile investments. Of course not all watches, but only certain ones, special ones, selected ones. But not so special that you could not just bu
Astronomische Nachrichten
Language: de
Categories: Astronomy
Type: BOOK - Published: 1878 - Publisher:

Visions and Faces of the Tragic
Language: en
Pages: 320
Authors: Paul M. Blowers
Categories: Religion
Type: BOOK - Published: 2020-06-11 - Publisher: Oxford University Press

Despite the pervasive early Christian repudiation of pagan theatrical art, especially prior to Constantine, this monograph demonstrates the increasing attention
Middle Ages, Modern monarchies, Age of Revolution
Language: en
Authors: John Clark Ridpath
Categories: World history
Type: BOOK - Published: 1890 - Publisher: