The BHI today

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The voice of British horology

There are thousands of people who make, repair, restore, collect and sell clocks, watches and other timepieces. And there are millions who are interested in timekeeping and its instruments. The BHI speaks for them all.

A national membership organisation

The British Horological Institute (BHI) is first and foremost a national membership organisation and exists to represent the views and interests of all of Britain’s horologists.

So what is horology?

Horology is the art, craft and science of making timepieces and of measuring time.

Who or what is a horologist?

Horologists are the people that make, repair, service, conserve and restore instruments that measure time. You will probably know them better as clock and watchmakers.

What does the BHI do?

We’ve been around for a long time. First established in 1858, we still fulfil the original functions for which we were established. We set national standards of horological practice and we provide training and education for current and future generations of horologists. But we do far more.

We act as a professional body for Britain’s clock and watchmakers.

Training and education

We are now one of the last remaining providers of training and education for horology in the UK. We offer distance learning courses which lead to nationally accredited qualifications. We also specialise in short, affordable courses for the busy professional and the keen enthusiast alike. Our large portfolio of courses offer continual professional development opportunities for today’s professionals, introductory courses for the interested enthusiast, and structured learning for the next generation of Britain’s clock and watchmakers.

Who can join the BHI?

The BHI has always been an egalitarian organisation and, to use a phrase familiar to our Victorian forebears, we consider ourselves to be ‘a broad church’.

From our inception in 1858 we have never placed any barriers to membership. All we require from a prospective member is a shared interest in ‘the art, craft and science of horology’.

Associate membership

All new members to the Institute are required to join as Associates.

In 1858 today’s associate members would have been called ‘amateurs’. This is not a term we would use today. Indeed many of our current associate members are actually highly skilled clock and watchmakers. It’s just that they do not choose to earn their living through horology. Or they have not yet completed our accreditation process.

Click here for more details regarding Associate Membership.

Accredited membership – MBHI and FBHI

Our accreditation procedures for individual clock and watchmakers are painstaking and rigorous and lead to the award of the post nominal letters MBHI (Member of the British Horological Institute) and FBHI (Fellow of the British Horological Institute).

These marks of distinction are highly valued and take many years of study and practical experience to acquire. We welcome applications from any skilled clock or watchmaker who believes that they can match our high standards. Accreditation is evidence based.

Click here for more details regarding Accredited Membership.

Overseas membership

Whilst we are British – and proud to be British – we accept applications for membership from around the world. Indeed, we presently have members in over 30 different countries from as far afield as Australia, Canada, Singapore, and the United States making up nearly 20% of our current membership.

Click here for more details regarding Overseas Membership.

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