Text:

The Company

Armorial BearingsThe Clockmakers’ Company is an active City of London craft guild or Livery Company. It was founded under a Royal Charter of King Charles I in 1631. Its original purpose was to regulate and encourage the “art and mystery” of watch and clock making together with many related skills, such as engraving, sundial making and mathematical instrument making. Its powers were generally restricted to the City, but in some areas extended to the whole of England and Wales. The Company took particular interest in quality control, training (through apprenticeships) and the welfare of its members.

In theory at least, no-one could make, buy or sell clocks or watches or any part of them within the City, unless they first became a Freeman of the Company. This could be achieved through apprenticeship to a free Clockmaker, through redemption (purchase) or patrimony (the right of a child to follow a parent into the Company).

The Company was (and still is) governed by a “Court” of ten or more “Assistants”. The Court annually elects a “Master” and three “Wardens” as its officers and a “Clerk” who attends to its day to day business.

Unlike some surviving City Companies, whose members are no longer drawn from the trade their Company nominally represents, the Clockmakers’ Company includes a majority who are still involved in horology, whether clock making, watch making, designing, buying, selling, collecting, repairing, restoring, conserving or using for scientific purposes; and it includes associated trades such as engraving. The Company still provides a forum where those interested in horology (whether modern or antiquarian) can meet. It still encourages the trade, still promotes excellence and (through its charities) promotes education and training. It runs occasional craft competitions. It awards the Tompion and Harrison Gold Medals, and The Derek Pratt Prize for exceptional achievement in horology worldwide.

The Clockmakers’ Company does not have its own Hall, but retains an office in the City at The Carpenters’ Hall.

The Company’s historic Library is kept at at Guildhall in the City of London, and the Clockmakers’ world-famous Museum, is housed in a special gallery on the 2nd floor of The Science Museum, South Kensington. Access is free to the public 10.00am to 5.30pm daily.

topofpage top of page

Shopping Basket

Your shopping basket is empty

WCC Members Login

Login
(for WCC Liverymen & Freemen)

WCC Members' Diary

George Daniels Lecture 29 Nov 2017

The George Daniels Lecture 2017, "The story of the marine chronometer and the National Maritime Museum’s collection", given by Jonathan Betts, will be held at City University, London on Wednesday 29 Nov 2017 at 1830. Admission is free.

NAWCC “Horology in Art” Symposium 26-28 Oct 2017

Bob Frishman has extended a special and personal invitation to WCC members to come to the NAWCC “Horology in Art” Symposium which he has organised at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston USA on 26-28 October 2017. The Clerk can provide contact details. Click the link for all information.

The Hain Sanders Research / Personal Development Award

The Clockmakers’ Company recently launched The Hain Sanders Research / Personal Development Award, the purpose of which is to assist professional clockmakers and watchmakers in the learning of new skills or enhancing their personal development, and to support scientists researching the measurement of time or a closely related project. Click here for the application form.

Antiquarian Horological Society (AHS) Lectures

A formal affiliation was signed in 2014 between the WCC and the AHS. WCC Liverymen and Freemen are encouraged to attend the excellent AHS Lectures, which are free to WCC members and include teas before and wine afterwards, so are very social and interesting events. List of forthcoming lectures in London is on the AHS site.

Training to be a Clockmaker?

National Benevolent Society of Watch & Clock Makers