Gathering Watch-World Heritage in One URL

A Swiss magazine publisher leads an effort to digitize horology’s history.

Imagine if the world’s horological archives — and their cache of pamphlets, drawings, reports, photographs, letters and other primary sources — were accessible to anyone with an internet connection. To make that possible, the universe of analog ephemera documenting the history of watchmaking would need to be digitized and organized into a Big Data repository, an effort almost too big to contemplate.

And yet, over the past two years, a team of horological specialists has begun to do just that, creating what it calls the Watch Library.

The ambitious digitization effort, led by the Geneva-based trade magazine publisher Serge Maillard, aims

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