Henry R. Playtner

Masterpiece Watches


Class Pictures


The Book


After Toronto's Canadian Horological Institute closed its doors in 1913, it slowly faded from memory and was eventually forgotten. But now, in the first book published on the subject, the story of the school and its brilliant founder, Henry Playtner, is brought back to life in wonderful detail. The book chronicles the struggles to create the school, its 23-year operation and how it eventually gained worldwide attention as one of the finest institutions of its kind. The chapter dedicated to Henry Playtner delves into his professional and personal life, painting a picture of a gifted and even brilliant horologist; a man of great pride and little patience; a man with an outwardly stern demeanour but a genial temperament who truly cared about his students.

Throughout the book you will see photographs of beautifully detailed masterpiece watches and technical drawings that were created by the students, including one woman. In the chapters dedicated to those individuals, colourful stories of their lives are told, woven together through family recollections, newspaper stories and historical documents. Short biographies of students from around the world who did not create masterpiece watches are also included in a 20-page appendix.

History is such a fragile thing. Too often unique pieces are lost simply due to the passage of time. When the Canadian Horological Institute closed, Henry Playtner was quoted as saying, "The work of a lifetime has been accomplished." This book tells the world about those accomplishments and provides a lasting tribute to Henry Playtner, the watchmaker, the horologist and the educator.

$50.00 Cdn + postage. To determine cost of shipping, please contact Gary Fox at CHI_Information@yahoo.ca. Payment can be made by money order or PayPal.

Read the recent review by the NAWCC.

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