AskDefine | Define horology

Dictionary Definition

horology n : the art of designing and making clocks

User Contributed Dictionary



horologia from horos hour + -logy


  1. The art, science and technology of timekeeping and timekeepers, such as clocks, watches and sundials.


See also

Extensive Definition

Horology (from Greek ώρα, "hour, time"; and λόγος, logos, "study, speech"; lit. the study of time) is the art or science of measuring time. Clocks, watches, clockwork, and marine chronometers are examples of instruments used to measure time.
People interested in horology are called horologists. That term is used both by people who deal professionally with timekeeping apparatus (watchmakers, clockmakers), as well as aficionados and scholars of horology. Horology and horologists have numerous organizations, both professional associations and more scholarly societies.

Horological libraries

Horology has a long history and there are many museums and several specialised libraries devoted to the subject. An example is the Royal Greenwich Observatory, which is also the source of the Prime Meridian (longitude 0° 0' 0"), and the home of the first marine timekeepers accurate enough to determine longitude (made by John Harrison). One of the more comprehensive museums dedicated to horology is the Musée international d'horlogerie in La Chaux-de-Fonds (Switzerland). One of the better horological museums in Germany is the Deutsches Uhrenmuseum. The two leading specialised horological museums in North America are the National Watch and Clock Museum in Columbia, Pennsylvania, and the American Clock and Watch Museum in Bristol, Connecticut.
One of the most comprehensive horological libraries open to the public is the National Watch and Clock Library in Columbia, PA (USA).

Horological organizations

The leading scholarly horological organizations are:


Museums (not specialized in horology, but displaying major horological collections)



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