The book is separated into two sections. The first section provides the reader with a comprehensive understanding of the mechanical movement. Its chapters explore power, transmission, distribution and regulation illustrating the basic concepts before considering the innovation and complexity that takes place further toward the cutting edge. From the fifty-day power reserve, to the constant force mechanism, and the 1,000Hz mechanical escapement, section 1 will allow the reader to understand and appreciate what is happening beneath the dial of their watch. Section two allows the reader to take this understanding and apply it to the vast range of complications (functions) that exist in modern horology. Each chapter showcases a distinct category of complication. For example, the regatta timer, pulsometer, and monopusher chronograph join a host of others in a chapter entitled 'Recording Lapses of Time'; The power reserve indicator, dynamograph, and crown position indicator are featured in a chapter for 'Power and Performance Indication'; The moon phase indicator, annual calendar, and planetarium can be found in the 'Astronomical Complications' chapter. Once the functional categories are exhausted, the final three chapters explore whimsical complications that have little regard for practical function, novelty time indication, and the 'super-complicated' watch - a rare breed of timepiece that houses an intimidating host of complications featured throughout the book. Upon completion of The Wristwatch Handbook the reader will be able to identify even the most exotic complication from across the room, and be able to share their appreciation and understanding of what makes it so useful and compelling.
The Wristwatch Handbook is "brand agnostic", using only those watches that most aptly illustrate the given subject-matter. As a consequence the book places equal emphasis on the classic and the cutting edge, on watches produced in large volume or exclusive runs, by industry-leading technology or at the hand of a master. In doing so the book provides an unparalleled range of watches from over 90 brands, allowing the reader to determine for themselves which brands, complications, and styles they will build their collection from.