I quietly worked on this passion project for nearly two years in between a busy career, raising a little boy with my lovely wife, and spending time with friends and family. It was a very long road.
Writing a book has always been on my bucket list, but I struggled for years to find a topic I was passionate enough to write about. Turns out, the topic was under my nose the entire time, but it took a while to truly understand it.
For those that don’t know, I’m into mechanical watches. It’s a hobby I’ve had since I was a kid, but only as an adult have I gotten more obsessed about it. Over the years, I’ve embraced a unique community of watch collectors that are located all over the world. Little did I know, the community would unlock doors and friendships I never could have imagined.
The book chronicles my adventures in such a way that pays homage to the collector community, but also bridges the gap to people that know nothing about watches at all.
Thank you all for the kind support over the years.
Discovering Time: Stories from a collector community takes readers on a humorous, unusual and illuminating look into the global subculture of watch collecting. It shares a series of themed short-stories, coupled with stunning photography, that breathes intimate perspective into a relatively clandestine and fiercely loyal community. At the heart of these stories, readers will be exposed to the phenomenon of “watch meet-ups” where complete strangers from all over the world gather to share their interest in timepieces, which often evolve into lifelong friendships. From local dive bars to exclusive exotic locations, socioeconomic barriers are cast aside and friendships forged, all in the mutual love of horology.
Few of my favorite reviews:
“The book invites the uninitiated into the world of the diseased people known as “watch collectors”. It serves to dispel any myth that watches are merely about telling time, but rather are a means to meet new people, break down barriers, and excuse to drink. Through an anthology series of brief stories, Rich walks us through the collectors arc while sharing many of the ups and downs of this unique collector community.”
— VINCENT BRASESCO
“In an age where books on horology seem to compete on who can write the most technical ‘literary masterpiece’ on watchmaking or collecting, Discovering Time is a refreshing and enjoyable walk, and occasionally full on sprint, through the mind of an avid watch collector. Vinhais’ endearing prose and personal, heartfelt stories of his experiences with the little known, but deeply connected watch community left me waiting to see if there was one more story to be read post credits (unfortunately there was not). A fun read for anyone interested in learning a bit more about what makes the watch community tick.”
— ERIC CHANG
“Move aside Illuminati…The #Watchfam is now permeating society on a global scale. Collectors, enthusiasts, and WatchNerds of all backgrounds are connecting like never before and forging friendships that supersede merely sharing a hobby. Take a peek inside our world, through the eyes of the one and only: @uppercrustlife. Just make sure you follow our first and cardinal rule: Don’t be an A$$HOLE!”
— DAVID Z. SPODEK
As I’m often asked, below is a summary of how I approached the creation of my book. I wanted to formally memorialize how it all went down as i’m confident I won’t remember all the fine details down the road. It’s pretty extensive, but if you have any questions don’t hesitate to drop me a line.