Horology is the science or study of the measurement of time. This not only includes watch and clock making, but also includes sundials and other Horologia such as clockwork art.
The measurement of time has taken many forms over centuries. From simply studying the stars, moons and planets as they move in relation to each other and to us, to developing structures indicating seasons, Horology has been a constant throughout many a rise and fall of countless civilizations.
Modern day Horology started around the 1300’s with early clocks developed and installed in England. These clocks did not have a dial and hands, but would rather strike on the hour.
There are horologists who who will theorise or observe time as a subject as well as those who work with timepieces in a practical sense.
We do cover some aspects of horological theory in Level 3 of the Watch Repair Course. A basic level of understanding in horological theory is absolutely required in order to track down and observe faults within a watch movement.
The Study Of Horology
It should be noted that there are many aspects to horology and therefore, not all courses are the same. You may wish to specialise in clock repair or watch repair. Both very similar trades. They share many common principles. But equally both are very different.
You might argue that there is no actual horology trade. There is the Watch Repair/Making trades and Clock Repair/Making trades. Both of these trades are practiced by Horologists but both require different skill sets.
You might even consider the Clock or Watch Repair trade to be very different from Clock or Watch Making.
Whether a clock maker, watch maker, clock repairer or clock repairer, or even a combination of any or all – it all falls under the umbrella of Horology. Therefore, horological theory is absolutely required learning by all of those who practice any of the above.
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Horology ("the study of time", related to Latin horologium from Greek ὡρολόγιον, "instrument for telling the hour", from ὥρα hṓra "hour; time" and -o- interfix and suffix -logy) is the study of the measurement of time. Clocks, watches, clockwork, sundials, hourglasses, clepsydras, timers, time recorders, marine chronometers, and atomic clocks are all examples of instruments used to measure time. In current usage, horology refers mainly to the study of mechanical time-keeping devices, while chronometry more broadly includes electronic devices that have largely supplanted mechanical clocks for the best accuracy and precision in time-keeping.
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. The largest horological membership organisation globally is the NAWCC, the National Association of Watch and Clock Collectors, which is USA based, but also has local chapters elsewhere.