Bear & Co Collector's Library

In order for a beginner to become a serious collector, you must protect your investment by being well informed to make the correct purchasing decisions.  Part of it comes from experience and the other part comes from reading.  It is essential to have as many good great reference books as possible.  This is the same whether you are a novice, a seasoned collector, or an experienced dealer.  It is almost impossible to memorize every single model ever manufactured, reference numbers, production dates, and corresponding characteristic variations such as crystal type, bezel type, dial styles, band type, band reference numbers with the matching end pieces and buckles . . . well you get the picture.  This is where great reference books come in.  As the old saying goes, "quality, not quantity is what counts."  This is why we are recommending the books below.  Most of them are published by Guido Mondani Editore out of Genova, Italy.

Guido Mondani is a well known international watch collector.  In 1986, Mr. Mondani's wife, Franca Mondani, gave him a yellow gold Rolex Moon Phase, reference #8187.  Since then, he has become one of the foremost watch collectors in the world.  He soon realized the significance of books as it became increasingly difficult to obtain any type of publication pertaining to Rolex and Patek Philippe.  His watch collection, known as The Mondani Collection, was auctioned off in 2006 at Antiquorum in Geneva, Switzerland.  The Mondani Collection contained 309 Rolexes and sold for CHF 11,037,278 (approximately $13,906,970 US dollars).  It broke several world record prices.  Why was one man's collection so valuable?  One word sums it up - quality.  He never purchased a watch that raised even the slightest doubt.  He took the time to gather as much information and thoroughly researched the watch in question.  Ultimately, no matter how much Mr. Mondani like a particular watch, he never bought one that was not completely genuine or complete.  It had to have the right crown, dial, bezel, etc.  Mr. Mondani's perfectionist attitude is translated into books he collaborated with Osvaldo Patrizzi and co-authored with Lele Ravagnani and Franca Mondani.  It can be seen in the illustrations and in the information these books provide.

Osvaldo Patrizzi is one of the 20 most important people in the field of horology.  In 1980, Mr. Patrizzi was the first to introduce an auction house that sold only wristwatches.  It was under him that world watch records were created and broken many times over.  He now heads Patrizzi & Co. Auctioneers.  With the Guido Mondani Editore, Mr. Patrizzi is the author of "Rolex Wristwatches" (3 Editions), "Collecting Rolex Wristwatches" (2 Editions), "Collecting Patek Philippe Wristwatches," (2 volume set) and "Rolex: Collecting Modern and Vintage Wristwatches" (2 volume set).

Franca Mondani shares her husband's passion for watches.  They co-authored a limited edition book, "1908-2008: 100 Years of Rolex."

Lele Ravagnani has been in the antiques and watch industry for almost 30 years.  He and Mr. Mondani co-authored, "Collecting Rolex Submariner Wristwatches" and "Collecting Rolex GMT-Master Wristwatches."

Now that you have some insight on the authors, you can see why we believe the books below are some of the best that represent the Rolex and Patek Philippe industries.  They are written by people who are just as passionate as you.  And as time passes, the value of great books raise proportionality to their rarity.  These are books you can indulge for many years to come and eventually pass them onto future watch collectors.  As the Patek Philippe ad says, "You never really own a Patek Philippe.  You merely look after it for the next generation."  There is truth to this when it comes to any object of quality.

 

Rolex Submariner Story Book (Guido Mondani, Lele Ravagnani) 1908 - 2008: 100 Years of Rolex Book (Guido Mondani, Franca Mondani)
Title: Rolex Submariner Story
Production:  Limited Edition - 500 Only
Author:  Guido Mondani, Lele Ravagnani
Publisher:  Mondani
Publication Date:  2010
Language:  English & Italian
Pages:  320
ISBN:  8890051469
ISBN 13: 
Price: 
$800
Title: 1908 - 2008: 100 Years of Rolex
Production:  Limited Edition - 4000 Only
Author:  Guido Mondani, Franca Mondani
Publisher:  Mondani
Publication Date:  2008
Language:  English & Italian
Pages:  352
ISBN:  8890051450
ISBN 13:  9788890051456
Price:  $400

 

Rolex GMT-Master: Collecting Wristwatches Book (Guido Mondani, Lele Ravagnani) Rolex Chronographs - The Legend Book (Paolo Gobbi)
Title: Rolex GMT-Master: Collecting Wristwatches
Author:  Guido Mondani, Lele Ravagnani
Publisher:  Mondani
Publication Date:  2007
Language:  English & Italian
Pages:  320
ISBN:  8890051442
ISBN 13:  9788890051449
Price:  $300
Title: Rolex Chronographs - The Legend
Author:  Paolo Gobbi
Publisher:  Pucci Papaleo
Publication Date: 2004
Language:  Italian
Pages:  450
ISBN:  8890132612
ISBN 13:  9788890132612
Price:  $500

 

Rolex Daytona: A Legend is Born: A Journey Through the Techniques and Style Book (Carlo Pergola) Rolex From A to Z: The Watches, The History, The Myth Book (Marco Strazzi)
Title: Rolex Daytona: A Legend is Born: A Journey Through the Techniques and Style
Author:  Carlo Pergola, Stefano Mazzariol, Giovanni Dosso
Publisher:  Best Edizioni SRL
Publication Date:  2006
Language:  English & Italian
Pages:  262
ASIN:  B000P9PB0K
EAN (ISBN 13):  9786001644931
Price:  Sold Out
Title: Rolex Dalla A Alla Z: Gli Orologi, La Storia, Il Mito (Rolex From A to Z: The Watches, The History, The Myth)
Author:  Marco Strazzi
Publisher:  Mondani
Publication Date:  2007
Language:  Italian
Pages:  254
ISBN:  2970051916
ISBN 13:  9782970051916
Price:  $150

 

Rolex: Collecting Modern and Vintage Wristwatches (2 Volume Set with Slipcase) Book (Osvaldo Patrizzi) Collecting Patek Philippe Wristwatches (2 Volume Set with slipcase) Books (Osvaldo Patrizzi)
Title: Rolex: Collecting Modern and Vintage Wristwatches (Vol. 1 and Vol. 2 in a slipcase)
Author:  Osvaldo Patrizzi
Publisher:  Mondani
Publication Date:  2006
Language:  English & Italian
Pages:  848
ISBN:  8890051434
ISBN 13:  9788890051432
Price:  $550
Title: Collecting Patek Philippe Wristwatches (Vol. 1 and Vol. 2 in a slipcase)
Author:  Osvaldo Patrizzi
Publisher:  Mondani
Publication Date:  2004
Language:  English, Italian, & French
Pages:  640
ISBN:  8890051425
ISBN 13:  9788890051425
Price:  Sold Out

 

The Master of Omega: Speedmaster, Flightmaster, Speedsonic Book (Alberto Isnari) Lancette & C.: A Century of Wristwatches: This History, The Technique, and the Design Book (Marco Strazzi)
Title: The Master of Omega: Speedmaster: Flightmaster: Speedsonic
Author:  Alberto Isnari
Publisher:  Mondani
Publication Date:  2006
Language:  English & Italian
Pages:  367
ISBS:  8890240407
ISBN 13:  9788890240409
Price:  $250
Title: Lancette & C.: A Century of Wristwatches: The History, the Technique, and the Design
Author:  Marco Strazzi
Publisher:  Pressision S.A.
Publication Date:  2005
Language:  Italian
Pages:  466
ISBN:  2970051909
ISBN 13:  9782970051909
Price:  $220