Best Clock Museums in the World
The German Clock Museum
Easily one of my top choices, the German clock museum is a fascinating destination with over 8,000 unique timepieces. Exhibitions explore early experiments with sun time as well as world time. This is also the home of the world-famous cuckoo clock! The German Clock Museum has a thorough history of every clock imaginable, including the alarm clock. If are a die-hard clock enthusiast, you can also check out their library that contains boundless resources on everything about clocks. The museum is located in Furtwangen im Schwarzwald.
The National Watch and Clock Museum
Located in Columbia, PA, this museum is dedicated to the history, science, and art of timekeeping. It is recognized as one of the most comprehensive clock resources in North America, with over 12,000 timepieces and multiple levels. It began with American clocks and watches when it first opened in 1977, but it now contains clocks from Germany, France, and the Netherlands. Later expansion projects also included clocks from Asia.
International Museum of Horology
The idea of having a museum in Switzerland greatly appealed to the Watchmaking School of La Chaux-de-Fonds in 1865 and the dream was realized in 1902 when the then small museum was opened. The International Museum of Horology has since multiplied in both size and popularity and now contains some of the most extraordinary clocks in the world. A few examples are their musical organ clock by Pierre Jaquet-Droz, antique watchmaking machinery and a large collection of antique tower-clock movements covering several centuries of technological innovation. It is still located in La Chaux de Fonds, Switzerland.
The Clockmaker’s Museum
They claim to be the oldest clock museum in the world and they do certainly seem to be one of the finest! London has alway had a flair for horology, but this time they really outdid themselves! The Clockmaker’s Museum is famous for their marine timekeepers clocks and the majority of their clocks date from 1600 to 1800. It used to be located at Guildhall in the City of London, though it has since been moved to the Science Museum. It was formally opened by the HRH The Princess Royal in 2015. You can also see some of the greatest clockmaker’s notes like Victor Kullberg and John Harrison.
The Willard House and Clock Museum
When America first began to explore horology in the late 18th century, the Willard brothers were at the front. They were instrumental in the development of American clocks and the most famous of them, Simon, is credited with the invention of the Banjo Clock in 1802. The brothers started, as most clockmakers did, by farming during the spring and clockmaking during the winter. Thus, the museum is situated on their old farm and now contains approximately 80 Willard clocks. Independently owned and operated, the museum welcomes visitors to the Willard brother’s farm in Grafton, MA. You can even visit Simon’s original workshop and home.
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