The Worshipful Company of Clockmakers’ collection of clocks and watches will go on permanent display in its new home at the Science Museum next month.
The collection, the world’s oldest having been founded in 1814, has been moved from its traditional home at London’s Guildhall to the Science Museum in Kensington and will reopen to the public on October 23 and will be free to visit.
Christopher Hurrion, Chairman of the Trustees, Clockmakers’ Museum and Educational Trust said, “We are very pleased to see the collection find a new home at the Science Museum. This new partnership between ourselves and the Science Museum means our 140-year-old collection will continue to be on show, allowing the public to enjoy and learn from the oldest horological collection in the world.”
More than three million visitors to the museum will have the chance to view the collection which includes Harrison’s 5th Marine Timekeeper, one of George Daniels’ Millennium wristwatches and the Smith De Luxe watch worn by Sir Edmund Hillary during his successful ascent of Everest.
In total the ancient London Livery Company’s collection includes some 600 watches, 30 clocks and 15 Marine timekeepers from the 15th Century to the present day. The collection has been curated to tell the story of ‘the Clockmakers of London’ through the years.
The partnership between the Worshipful Company of Clockmakers and the Science Museum was made possible by a grant from the DCMS/Wolfson Museum & Galleries Improvement Fund.
The Science Museum also houses the Measuring Time gallery which displays handcrafted clocks, watches and sundials from different eras as well as early electrical clocks. It includes the third oldest clock in the world, dating from 1392 (on loan from Wells Cathedral) as well as a 1500-year-old Byzantine sundial-calendar, the second oldest geared mechanism known to have survived.
Ian Blatchford, Director, Science Museum, said, “The Science Museum is the perfect place to house the Clockmakers’ Museum because time is a core scientific concept. Our three million plus visitors a year will love this amazing collection.”