Pocket Watches from Pocket Watch Hunter

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Interested in learning more about Pocket Watches?

If you want to take your interest in pocket watches further, there are plenty of experts out there willing to help, collections to view and societies to join. We've listed below some useful sites to get you started on your journey into the world of pocket watches, with the usual disclaimer that we are not responsible for the content of external sites, we don't vet or recommend.

Societies and Associations

The British Horological Institute
The BHI has been around since 1858, educating beginners and professionals alike in all areas of clock and watchmaking. Their professional qualifications are highly prized and their Registered Repairers Scheme ensures you will find a capable craftsman to work on your watch.

The Antiquarian Horological Society
An active members society with regional members groups and the publishers of the Journal of Antiquarian Horology. They've recently affiliated with the Royal Astronomical Society.

The National Association of Watch & Clock Collectors
This is an American association with over 15,000 members. Their website it very accessible and has lots of information about pocket watches, horology and restoration and repair. They've got a very active forum which will probably answer the majority of your questions on most subjects, but beware, like all forums, not all "experts" may be as expert as they claim.

Exhibitions, Shows & Fairs

A series of fairs for enthusiasts of clocks, watches and pocket watches held at venues around the UK. A great way to see everything in one place, from the watches themselves, to horological books, watchmakers tools and instruments and parts for repair and restoration.

Museums & National Collections

The Royal Museums Greenwich and The Royal Observatory
http://www.rmg.co.uk http://www.rmg.co.uk/royal-observatory
Timekeeping, our maritime history and astronomy are all closely linked. There is a superb collection of timepieces at Greenwich, and there is the chance to see probably one of the most famous watches in the world - the Harrison H4.

The Worshipful Company of Clockmakers Museum
A collection of over 600 watches and marine timepieces dating from around 1600 to the mid nineteenth century situated at the Guildhall Library in central London. This is where the Harrison H5 is displayed.

The Science Museum
The Science Museum in London has a permanent collection of over 500 timepieces in an exhibition called "Measuring Time" - an eclectic mix of everything from sundials and water clocks up to the most recent digital technology.

The Victoria & Albert Museum
The V&A has a magnificent collection of clocks and watches. Unfortunately, many of their watches aren't on display and, because of the nature of how collections are displayed by period or theme, time pieces are dotted around the museum rather than displayed in one location. Still worth the trip.

The British Museum
The British Museum has a couple of galleries dedicated to timekeeping. Our favourite watch in this collection is probably the Thomas Earnshaw chronometer which was used by the navigator of HMS Beagle when Charles Darwin made his epic voyage in 1831. There's a great 15 minute talk about it that is downloadable as a podcast from the BBC "A History of the World in 100 Objects" - object 91… what a great series that was.

The Coventry Watch Museum Project
Coventry was one one of the UK's leading centres of watch manufacture. Run by enthusiasts this fledgling collection can be found an alleyway behind The Shakespeare Public House in Coventry … make a visit and a donation, it's a very worthy cause.

National Museums Liverpool
The dedicated "Time" gallery at the Liverpool museum has some fine examples of precision instrument making in and around Liverpool since the 17th century.

The Museum of the History of Science
Timepieces are a fusion of art and science. This collection in Oxford offers an alternative view of clocks, watches and chronometers.

Education & Horology Courses

The British Horological Institute
A range of courses for both beginners and professionals. A great place to start your learning.

The British School of Watchmaking
A two year course with professional qualifications. A limited number of places - based in Manchester.

Birmingham City University
The Jewellery School at Birmingham City University run a three year Horology Course that culminates in a nationally accredited qualification.

Epping Forest Horology Centre
If you are based in the South East, this horology centre in Essex offers courses that will take a beginner through all the skills required in pocket watch restoration. Always heavily subscribed, so book early.

Watch Forums & Discussion Groups

As with all forums and discussion groups on the internet, you should treat advice with caution … posters purporting to be "experts" may be anything but … however here are a few that are both active and supported by enthusiasts.

NAWCC Message Boards
There are some pretty active forums on the American site of the National Association of Watch & Clock Collectors. Although there is an obvious slant to pocket watches from the USA, there is a forum dedicated to European pocket watches with a lot of knowledgeable discussion of English pocket watches.

A collection of forums by theme and manufacturer including a Vintage and Pocket Watch forum.

Vintage Watch Forums
An interesting set of forums based around manufacturers like Waltham, Elgin and Hamilton … so mostly orientated to the USA, but there is a helpful "Beginners" forum and a Pocket Watch Forum.

Pocket Watch Book & Publications

There are hundreds of books out there on the subject of pocket watches, from glossy coffee table books to highly technical publications for the expert. If you are just starting out, we would recommend just two to start you off:

"The Pocket Watch Handbook" by M. Cutmore published by David & Charles


"The Pocket Watch - Restoration, Maintenance and Repair" by Christopher Barrow published by NAG Press