Say “Mondani” in certain circles and people think you’re talking about high fashion and handbags. But watch nerds know better. They know you’re talking about the massive reference books published by Guido Mondani, the head of Guido Mondani Editore publishing company.
The Italian publishing house is a family affair. Along with Guido, his wife Franca and daughter Giorgia are also part of the team. Each of them contributes to the various books. And the company has several other independent authors as well, so Guido Mondani Editore has a well-rounded stable of writers who are deeply steeped in first hand knowledge of watches.
Guido has been collecting Rolex since 1986, although he sold off most of his collection (either 298 pieces or 309, depending on which report you read) ten years ago. And he’s worked as an editor for over 30 years. Franca has been at his side since 1980. And daughter Giorgia, who was born in 1984, joined the business a few years ago after working in the watch industry with family friend Osvaldo Patrizzi for several years.
And the books! The books are fabulous! First of all, they’re huge – most are 10” x 12.5” and some are even larger. And thick, at roughly 275 to 325 pages per volume, on average. Make sure you have a structural engineer inspect your coffee table before you buy.
The subject list is made up of Rolex (ten titles), Tudor, Patek Philippe (two titles, including a comprehensive 960 page, three volume boxed set), Panerai (a two volume boxed set), Omega (two titles), and Universal Watch Geneve. There are general titles too, like the three volume, 900+ page Chronograph Wristwatches.
If you run in these circles, there’s something here for you. Probably several somethings. But if you see something, you need to move fast. Some of these titles are limited editions, some very short runs of 300. They tend to be gone before you can blink. Indeed, several already have.
Book prices run from about $107 for the Italian version of John Goldberger’s 100 Superlative Rolex Watches to $750 for the limited edition of 3000 of The Rolex Daytona Story. These prices reflect current exchange rates – all prices are originally quoted in Euros, and as some of out images show, prices also reflect discounts currently being offered. The books are available online here and here, as well as at various trade shows, like the International Watch and Jewelry Guild show this coming January 25th and 26th in Miami.