If you search for Bernhard Roetzel on Amazon, you will find several books that look very similar but not quite the same, including Gentleman's Guide to Grooming and Style (also in hardcover), Gentleman: A Timeless Fashion (with a red cover), and Gentleman: A Timeless Guide to Fashion (with a pinstripe cover). I was confused as to whether these were revised and updated editions, re-printings, or what, so I ordered them all. Here is what I found.
Roetzel is a German who makes a living writing about style for outlets with which I am generally not familiar. For some reason, he writes about English style. Of course, Germans--that is German nobility, or German "gentlemen"--had their own styles at one time. Just as there was an English suit and an Italian suit, there is or was a German suit, and some style choices that were considered faux pas in England were acceptable in Germany and vice versa. Perhaps this is no longer the case, but whatever the situation, Roetzel is a German Anglophile and he writes about English style. Accordingly, the first book seems to have been a 1990s-era German book called "Der Gentleman" (I don't have this one) a guide for Germans to the English gentlemen.
Der Gentleman was then translated into English as "Gentleman's Guide to Grooming and Style." With typically German thoroughness, Gentleman's Guide provides a very complete and detailed guide to the clothing and toileting of an English gentleman. Methodically arranged and well-illustrated with high-quality photos, Gentleman's Guide is somewhere in between a coffee-table book and a reference book. You will find out not only about different types of shirt collars but also see beautiful photos of a typical English breakfast and find advice on what to wear when riding horseback. The only thing comparable I have found are Alan Flusser's books, but they are not quite the same. Flusser is focused on educating the reader to be aware of when buying a suit or choosing clothes to wear to the office or a night out. Roetzel is more focused on documenting the clothes and lifestyle of a certain class, place, and time period.
Gentleman's Guide was a Barnes & Noble Book and for some reason came out as a paperback first. It came out as a hardcover several years later under the same name and with no changes. Then H.F. Ullmann produced a book called Gentleman: A Timeless Fashion, followed a year later by Gentleman: A Timeless Guide to Fashion. This last book is a hardcover with a pinstripe design rather than the well-known red cover. It turns out that Gentleman: A Timeless Guide to Fashion is almost exactly the same book as the original Gentleman's Guide. For the most part, only cosmetic changes have been made. The graphic design has been updated with new fonts, colors, and layout. A few paragraphs have been replaced by new ones here and there. A few illustrations have been replaced. The biggest change is the absence of the blonde, blue-eyed model who graced both the outside cover of the Gentleman's Guide as well as the chapter headings.
When I tried to order Gentleman: A Timeless Fashion, I got sent a copy of the Gentleman's Guide instead, which just goes to show how close they are. (Although I can't say for sure, I'd be willing to bet that A Timeless Fashion is exactly the same as Gentleman's Guide, and was simply produced before H.F. Ullmann decide to make the cosmetic changes in A Timeless Guide to Fashion.)
From my perspective, A Timeless Guide to Fashion was a small step backwards from the Gentleman's Guide. Any man who is really interested in these books is probably more likely to enjoy the older fonts and design choices over the newer ones. Moreover, the red cover and model were distinctive. If I were shopping for one of these books today, I would get a copy of the Gentleman's Guide or A Timeless Fashion and forgo A Timeless Guide to Fashion altogether.
As for a general review of these books, it almost goes without saying that a true gentleman would never own or rely on one. The material is so detailed as to be almost a send-up of the English gentleman rather than a sartorial exploration. Moreover, the contention of the book's forward, that a gentleman is any man who lives and conducts himself in a certain manner, is a modern democratic conceit. Most of the material objects and lifestyle shown in this book are beyond the reach of 95% of its intended audience. And with moola', one would still need to combine leisure and birth. However, for me this does not detract from the enjoyment of the book because, like Roetzel, I am something of an Anglophile. For the $20 sunk cost of this book, I can sit down any time I want with a Glenlivet or Veuve Clicquot and be transported for 30 minutes. This is the consideration you have to make when considering whether to buy one of Roetzel's books. Are you looking for help choosing the right suit for the right occasion, or are you a fan of a lost male culture? If you are looking to educate yourself about clothes, buy one of Flusser's books; if you are looking for escape or inspiration, Roetzel is the way to go. (Another purchasing consideration is the gift. One of these books would make a great gift, and at this price for A Timeless Guide to Fashion--a new hardcover full-color glossy--it would be hard to go wrong.)