Gerhard Dohrn-VanRossum:
"The History of the Hour" (1996)

(Copyright © 2000 Piero Scaruffi | Legal restrictions - Termini d'uso )
To make it short, Gerhard Dohrn-VanRossum's book is the best I have read on the subject. So I will only mention what I did "not" like about it.
Firstly, the role of metal. He talks at length about the transition from water to non-water automata and the evolution towards more and more functional time-keeping devices, but he says too little too late about the transition from wood to metal. When we think of a clock, we, first and foremost, think of a metal object (or, at least, a metal clockwork).
Secondly, he is not always clear about what he is talking about. By the end of the book, I am still a bit confused about the technology used in the first public clocks in Italy: what technology was used in the first clock tower in Milan? At some point there is a transition from water clocks to purely mechanical clocks and then to more and more sophisticated mechanisms, but I didn't quite understand the chronology because I could not relate a specific milestone in clock building to a specific technology.
Otherwise, it is a comprehensive study of the field, with a cute choice of illustrations.