The world’s oldest horological collection officially opened in its new home at the Science Museum in the presence of HRH Princess Anne.
The Worshipful Company of Clockmakers moved its historic collection from London’s Guildhall to the Science Museum in Kensington this year in an unusual move that saw the permanent gallery space offered without charge and curatorial responsibility retained by the Company.
Princess Anne officially opened the collection after an address from chairman of the Science Museum Group, Dame Mary Archer.
The collection, founded in 1814, includes some 600 watches, 30 clocks and 15 marine chronometers dating from the 15th Century to the present day and curates the story of the ‘Clockmakers of London’.
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, will now be one of the permanent, free exhibits seen by 3.3million visitors to the museum each year, which includes 500,000 schoolchildren.
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.”