Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “A Grand Complication: The Race to Build the World's Most Legendary Watch” as Want to Read:
A Grand Complication: The Race to Build the World's Most Legendary Watch
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

A Grand Complication: The Race to Build the World's Most Legendary Watch

3.46 of 5 stars 3.46  ·  rating details  ·  48 ratings  ·  8 reviews
Two wealthy, 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 elega
ebook, 352 pages
Published February 19th 2013 by Atria Books (first published February 5th 2013)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about A Grand Complication, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about A Grand Complication

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 263)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
It's much more about the race to buy the world's most legendary watch (particularly in the early twentieth century, though to some extent throughout history) than to build it, which was okay but not what I expected. Setting it up as a "race," in any event, seems kind of like the author trying to impose a history on the actual events: one of the two protagonists of the ostensible race didn't come off as particularly competitive about the whole thing; he just wanted a really complex mechanical wat ...more
Arvind Balasundaram
This is a well-written account of two wealthy men - James Ward Packard and Henry Graves, and their feverish obsession to acquire the grandest, most mechanically complex timepiece that could be conjured up and actually manufactured.
The work begins with a historical background of both men and their families, and how each began to acquire timepieces from the great watchmaking houses of the day - the likes of Patek Phillipe, Vacheron Constantin, and others. The reader is exposed to the lengths the
Greg Wilson
A good read, but this is only going to be of interest to a specialized audience: one interested in the history of complex mechanical watches. To my delight this book introduced me to Ward Packard and the Packard Motor Car Company, one of the two principal watch collectors focused on in the book (the other is Henry Graves, an investment banker). While I would have appreciated a better explanation of some of the "complications" (read: features) that these watches had/have, it was nevertheless inte ...more
Great read. Incredibly interesting to see how far two titans take their wealth and push the boundaries of what famed watchmakers can do. A must read for watch nuts and/or anyone who is interested in the conspicuous consumption (or in Graves' and Packard's cases, inconspicuously conspicuous consumption, as they never flaunted or spoke of their watches) of the early 20th century.
I'mhavinga tough time getting into this book. it 's much more about the lives of two wealthy men and their fierce competition to own the most complicated and expensive watches and pocketwatches than itis about the timepieces themselves.
Maybe later in the book, the pace and details of the timepieces will become more important.
If you are looking for a book about technology and how it was advanced, this is not the book for you. The author focuses completely on the obsessions of these men and the book becomes too much of a soap opera.
Barry Mann
I love watches, was hoping to hear more about the history of actually creating new watch complications, and how they work. This wasnt it.
I really enjoyed this book as a history of industrial enterprise, a snapshot of how American society was in the 19th, 20th centuries as well as the technical aspects relating the the main subject. A comprehensive study of horological collecting is difficult, however this book provides a good one.
Jeff Schilling
Jeff Schilling is currently reading it
Sep 28, 2015
Dave Lewis
Dave Lewis is currently reading it
Aug 23, 2015
Sarah George
Sarah George marked it as to-read
Jul 31, 2015
Amanda Barbour
Amanda Barbour marked it as to-read
Jul 24, 2015
Thijs Beudeker
Thijs Beudeker marked it as to-read
Jul 23, 2015
Carmen marked it as to-read
Jun 27, 2015
Dalia Mahdy
Dalia Mahdy marked it as to-read
Jun 25, 2015
Ima Vanhood
Ima Vanhood marked it as to-read
Jun 06, 2015
Austin marked it as to-read
Apr 22, 2015
Sara added it
Jun 01, 2015
Rebecca Helm
Rebecca Helm marked it as to-read
Feb 20, 2015
James added it
Feb 06, 2015
Sherif Fahmy
Sherif Fahmy marked it as to-read
Jan 31, 2015
Brent marked it as to-read
Jan 20, 2015
Jeff marked it as to-read
Jan 04, 2015
Jessica marked it as to-read
Jan 02, 2015
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Savant: Book 1 of Luminether
  • Ike and Dick: Portrait of a Strange Political Marriage
  • Listening In: The Secret White House Recordings of John F. Kennedy
  • Portal Through the Pond (Empty World, #1)
  • The Leviathan Effect
  • The Gemini Divergence
  • The Attacking Ocean: The Past, Present, and Future of Rising Sea Levels
  • Fun Party Food: Little Chef Recipes
  • Redesigning Emma
  • Klansville, U.S.A.: The Rise and Fall of the Civil Rights-Era Ku Klux Klan
  • We Heard the Heavens Then: A Memoir of Iran
  • The Age of Edison: Electric Light and the Invention of Modern America
  • Seefer Elliot and the World Aside Ours (Seefer Elliot, #1)
  • The Protectors: A Blue History Novel
  • Island Unknown
  • An Infidel Body-Snatcher and the Fruits of His Philosophy
  • The Mortal Sea: Fishing the Atlantic in the Age of Sail
  • Transport Phenomena
Stacy Perman is a business journalist.
More about Stacy Perman...
In-N-Out Burger: A Behind-the-Counter Look at the Fast-Food Chain That Breaks All the Rules Spies, Inc.: Business Innovation from Israel's Masters of Espionage In-N-Out Burger In-N-Out Burger

Share This Book