More than a thousand pieces
There are currently over two thousand clocks, watches and other artefacts on display in the museum and the reserve collection.
This collection has its origins in the foundation of the BHI in 1858 when members of the Institute began a tradition of donating many rare and valuable clocks, watches and other timepieces and artefacts to support the education of fellow horologists. Since 1971 the collection has been housed in Upton Hall, a beautiful Grade 2 listed country house.
The museum is currently applying for Museum Accreditation with Arts Council England.
A few miracles
Here are just a few of the miracles you find here.
You see clocks that were made as early as the 17th century. You hear them chime. But you may have to strain your ears to hear the world’s most sophisticated wristwatches. They do not tick – loudly, that is – but seeing all these wonderful machines certainly sticks in your mind.
Minuscule and colossal
From minuscule mechanisms and precision engineering to colossal constructions and atomic devices, the many highlights of this collection include the first successful electric timepiece, the personal watch of Captain Scott of the Antarctic, and no less than two speaking clocks. The voice of the first speaking clock in 1936 was that of Ethel Cain, later a Hollywood actress. You find out what problems its makers had to solve before she could be heard.