From stately grandfather clocks to a SpongeBob wristwatch, and from vintage pocket watches to an atomic clock that will be accurate to within a second for millennia, the Watch & Clock Museum houses more than 13,000 timekeepers and ephemera from around the world.
In addition to its international flair, the Museum is proud to display a piece of true Americana—the Engle Clock. After spending 70 years touring the Eastern United States at the turn of the last century, this 1,049-lb marvel disappeared from public view in 1951. After being rediscovered in a barn in the 1980s, the Engle clock was painstakingly restored by staff and volunteers. It is now run every day for Museum visitors at noon and 2:00 PM, featuring not just time-telling but music, moving carved figures, and reminders that time is indeed fleeting.
Although most of the pieces in the Museum are designed to be used on land, there are some that address the challenge of navigating the sea. The famous H-4 chronometer, invented by John Harrison, solved the much-puzzled-over and often-life-threatening problem of finding longitude. The chronometers on display are cousins and descendants of H-4 and tell the harrowing stories of adventures at sea.
Not to forget the importance of the heavens, there is also a clock that tells the time on Mars.
Chronometer The Mars Clock
Returning to Earth, the Museum showcases rare timepieces including a pocket watch that belonged to Queen Caroline Bonaparte Murat (sister of Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte). The watch was made by Abraham Louis Breguet, one of the most brilliant and famous watch makers of all time.
There is also a touch of local history to be found in Masonic pocket watches created by the Dudley Watch Company. The intricate details of these beautiful pieces boast Masonic symbols incorporated into the working parts of the watch!
For those seeking even more Lancaster, PA, history, there is the extensive collection of timekeepers, models, drawings, and ephemera from the Hamilton Watch Company (now a part of Swatch).
To complete the jump back into the modern day, there is an impressive collection of watches featured in the James Bond films. The exhibit connects the iconic Super Spy to the Quartz Revolution, which changed not only watches but the world.