Discover the world’s oldest clock and watch collection in its new home at the Science Museum.
The collection includes more than 600 watches, 90 clocks, 30 marine chronometers and a number of fine sundials and examples of hand engraving, mapping the history of innovation in watch and clock making in London from 1600 to the present day.
Assembled by the Worshipful Company of Clockmakers and once located in the Guildhall, this remarkable array of timepieces traces the story of the capital’s clockmakers—from their first marine chronometers and mechanical clocks through the evolution of the wristwatch.
Abraham-Louis Breguet: The English Connection
Until 8 September 2024, a special display in the Clockmakers' Museum, Abraham-Louis Breguet: The English Connection, will showcase extraordinary clocks and watches designed by inventor, watchmaker and style icon Abraham-Louis Breguet (1747–1823). The objects include an exceptionally rare gold four-minute tourbillon watch made for King George III in 1808, who had a great interest in the sciences and was known to take timepieces apart to understand their workings. The tourbillon watch is displayed alongside other examples of Breguet’s horological brilliance, including the self-correcting ‘Sympathique’ timepiece made for the Prince Regent (later King George IV) in 1814.
Breguet's master craftsmanship in the field of watchmaking earned him a prestigious clientele that included Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette, alongside other international nobility, and the elegance and technical innovations of his designs were considered the height of style and fashion.
His English clients read as a who's who of Georgian Britain, and during the late 1700s, he visited London several times, becoming friends with one of the country's finest chronometer makers, John Arnold, and later recruited English craftsmen to work for him in France.
Abraham-Louis Breguet: The English Connection offers an unmissable chance to view these rare objects up close, and to appreciate the craftsmanship of a true genius.
Also on display
John Harrison was the inventor of the marine chronometer. Among the collection’s highlights is the fifth chronometer he made, which he completed in 1770, and a four-month duration longcase clock by the father of English watchmaking, Thomas Tompion.
An intricate British-made watch, the Space Traveller II, is now on display. Watchmaker George Daniels made almost every part of this watch by hand in the early 1980s.