The Mastery of Time

"Tomorrow, industries as information technology and aeronautics will need precision to ten-billionths of a second!"

Dominique Fléchon, Historian and Expert in Watchmaking History

The art of time measurement requires considerable patience; describing its progress does too! After years of research and study, Dominique Fléchon presents The Mastery of Time, a major work that traces timekeeping from its origins to the present day. This complete and easily-readable history fills a void of more than half a century in publications on this theme.

Whether you’re a novice, a seasoned collector, a professional, or not at all technically-minded, all that matters is your interest in the measurement of time. This lavishly illustrated book addresses its subject both chronologically and by theme. Short, stand-alone texts spotlight a particular topic while the main body of text provides an up-to-date history of timekeeping. The techniques of watchmaking are alluded to more than they are described, thus facilitating understanding. A detailed glossary and index provide additional information as required.

Dominique Fléchon has compiled a complete history of horology that includes non-mechanical clocks and, unusually, contemporary wristwatches. This expert has studied them one by one, from the very first timekeeping instruments to the modern-day watch. Forget about the 30-year gap that usually separates a new book on horological history from the models of today: The Mastery of Time brings readers up to the present and suggests what the future might hold.

Beaux Livres Flammarion – The Mastery of Time, Dominique Fléchon, 400 colour illustrations, 456 pages, hardcover, boxed, 230x275 mm.

Published in French and English.

Distributed worldwide by Les Editions Flammarion.


. Horology, a child of astronomy from the origins to the late thirteenth century

2. From clock to watch fourteenth to sixteenth century

3. Achieving precision sixteenth to eighteenth century

. During the industrial revolution 1790 – 1918

5. From the practicality of mechanics to the accuracy of quartz 1920 – 2000

6. Precious and technical fine watchmaking 2000 to the present