You may have heard the word before, but have you ever wondered what the word horology means? Nope, it’s not an undying love of horror films, or the ability to predict horoscopes, the study of horology is actually the art or science of measuring time. People interested in horology are called horologists and they are interested in watch facts: everything from how we tell the time, to the instruments we use to tell the time.

What is Horology?

Although horology broadly refers to the study of time, it is the intricate and fascinating instruments used that are of the most interest to horologists. Everything from clocks, watches, sundials, hourglasses, timers, chronometers and clepsydras falls under the category of horology and there are many museums and associations devoted to this noble study.

Watch Museums in the UK

Royal Greenwich Observatory in England

Perhaps the most famous museum devoted to the subject of horology is the Royal Greenwich Observatory in England, which is actually at the Prime Meridian (also known as longitude 0° where Greenwich Mean Time originates), but there are also many other famous horology museums in England such as the Clockmakers’ Museum, and the horological collections at the British Museum, the science Museum and the Wallace Collection.

Watch Museums Around the World

Outside of the United Kingdom, there are also interesting horological museums across the world like the Musée international d’horlogerie and Musée d’Horlogerie du Locle in Switzerland, the Deutsches Uhrenmuseum in Germany and the National Watch and Clock Museum in Columbia and the American Clock Watch Museum in Connecticut, not to mention the Musée du Temps in France, and the National Watch and Clock Library in Pennsylvania.

Whether you’re an academic professional or just an amateur who is interested in clocks and watches, the study of horology is an interesting and rewarding one that many people take an interest in.

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