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Marc Montagne, Co-Founder of, Tells Us How to Choose the Best Books to Read

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Marc Montagne is a passionate, aficionado of mechanical watches. In 2015, he co-founded ToolWatch – an app designed to be the most convenient and easy way to measure the accuracy of mechanical watches.

Marc started ToolWatch together with two friends who are also passionate about watches. They have worked inside the most prestigious watchmaking Manufactures in Switzerland and are happy to provide the best watch experience for enthusiasts all around the world.

Marc holds a double degree in engineering and business. He was born and raised in Paris, but currently lives in Geneva, Switzerland – the country of mechanical watches.

ToolWatch is his side project, the one he dedicates all his extra time to. His full time job is working as a Digital Marketing Manager at Vacheron Constantin, the oldest watch manufacture.

Marc’s a big literature fan, occasionally writing about the books he reads on Medium. From our interview you’ll find out more about whose words inspire him, what books helped him in his entrepreneurial endeavor, and the tricks he uses to read more.

Estimated reading time for this interview is 7 minutes. If you'd rather listen to it, you can do it on iTunes, Google Play or Stitcher.

What’s your favorite book and why? Business and non-business, if possible.

My favorite fiction book is the The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde. I’m a huge Oscar Wilde fan, he has one of the brightest minds and the Picture is a masterpiece and his unique novel. I consider that you should only read books that you would consider reading again at some point while still enjoying the same pleasure. The Picture is definitely one of those.

I’ll have to list another favorite with Adolphe by Benjamin Constant. There couldn’t be a better description of the misery and vanity of a young man’s heart.

My favorite business book, and I won’t be very original here, is probably The Four Hour Workweek by Tim Ferriss. There are few books that have had such a wide impact and while I don’t think I could apply everything, I always get something out of reading again this book.


Was there a moment, specifically, when something you read in a book helped you? Can you tell me about it?

I’ve enjoyed reading Traction by Gabriel Weinberg and Justin Mares at the time I was starting The very precise approach to customer acquisition helped us a lot in the first stages of Toolwatch and gave us a great framework to acquire new users which we are still using today!

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What books had the biggest impact on you? (perhaps changed the way you see things, dramatically changed your career path)

Certainly the ones listed in the first question! The novels for the way they could both put words on what I was experiencing while shaping the way I think and Tim Ferriss for giving me a new way to see business. It’s also a great book to remind ourselves that anything is possible and that you can be successful in many different areas.


What books would you recommend to youngsters interested in your professional path? Why? (no number limit here)

  • The Four Hour Workweek for the reason listed above.
  • All books by Gary Vaynerchuk. This guy knows a lot about digital marketing and entrepreneurship, he is always relevant even when he is wrong.
  • Linchpin: Are You Indispensable? by Seth Godin. The corporate world is a crazy world to navigate, this book helps a lot, especially if you are starting a career.


I’m interested in finding out more about your reading habits. How often do you read? In what format?

I wish I could be reading regularly each day, but I have a weird approach where I can’t find time to read anything for weeks and won’t stop reading all sorts of books at other times. Usually what I try to do is read a little each day before going to bed, that’s the best way I found of unfolding my day. Also, I never travel without a few books. Never.

I read both on my Kindle and regular books, it usually depends on my mood or practicality of a format over another.

I wish so hard I could get a digital copy of each physical book I bought and that the pages would be synced! That’s a project where Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk should team together instead of doing those low impact projects they are working on!


How do you make time for reading?

I have two tricks! Having an inviting armchair in the living room will automatically trigger the need to read. Then, in the bedroom, it’s a matter of avoiding electronic devices and always having a book to pick up from my nightstand.


Do you take notes or have any other technique for conquering the torrent of information?

The Kindle is great for its ability to highlight any notes and I also have a habit of noting thought-provoking quotes on Evernote.


How do you choose what books to read next?

That’s pretty easy! I love buying books and like many people, I think I have a tendency of buying more than I can read. So I have a few shelves in my library with only books that I just can’t wait to get to read. Same thing with the pile of books on my nightstand. So whenever I finished reading a book and want a new one, I just have to pick it from one of those two places and I’m sure it’ll be great!


Do you prioritize those recommended by certain people? Is there anyone that you consider a book-recommendations guru?

One book always leads to another. For example when I discover an author that I like, I will go in depth with his works and I’ll end up either purchasing his other works or inspiration, things he quotes etc. This will end up in the piles I mentioned previously!


Last question: what book are you currently reading and what are you expecting to gain from it?

A few days ago, one my favorite contemporary french author, Frederic Beigbeder, just released his last novel. I have already bought it and is looking at me everyday since whispering for me to pick it up!

Links where you can follow Marc Montagne or find out more about his projects:

All books mentioned by Marc Montagne in this interview:

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