International Museum of Horology
|International Museum of Horology|
|Musée International d'Horlogerie|
|Location||La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland|
The International Museum of Horology (French: Musée International d'Horlogerie (MIH)) is a museum located in La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland, dedicated to horology, which is the study of time, timekeeping and timekeeping devices (primarily clocks and watches). The museum is owned and operated by the city of La Chaux-de-Fonds.
Historically the city of La Chaux-de-Fonds is considered one of the focal points of the Swiss watchmaking industries and the home of one of the country's famous watchmaking schools. The museum grew out of the study collection of the school, and is considered today among the broadest and most comprehensive watch and clock museums of the world. In addition to constantly changing temporary exhibits the museum features permanent displays from its vast collection of watches and clocks throughout history. While the collection is obviously strong on Swiss pieces it covers most places where timekeepers were made in any quantity.
To just get a general overview of the holdings will take at least an hour, a highlights tour will be half a day, but it is easy to spend more time there. Visitors who make a trip to La Chaux-de-Fonds to see MIH will typically also want to visit the Musée d'Horlogerie du Locle a smaller horological museum in the neighboring town of Le Locle, which complements MIH.
Major highlights of the exhibits include:
- One of the few existing full size replicas of Giovanni de'Dondi's Astrarium, the fabled clockwork driven 14th century mechanism showing the movement of sun, moon and the planets.
- A comprehensive exhibit on the history and chronology of the "Pendule neuchâteloise"
- Several outstanding clocks by major French master clockmakers, including Abraham-Louis Breguet, Antide Janvier, Julien Le Roy, Robin etc.
- One of the pioneering early weight driven marine chronometers by Ferdinand Berthoud
- A unparalleled collection of antique machinery to make parts and components for watches
- A superb musical organ clock by Pierre Jaquet-Droz
- A large collection of antique tower clock movements covering several centuries of technological innovation
- A significant collection of precision pendulum clocks, including examples by Strasser & Rhode, Sigmund Riefler, Zenith and F.M. Fedchenko
Outside of the museum, on its roof, is a major 20th century carillon clock.
In addition to its permanent exhibits MIH regularly produces special temporary exhibits on various aspects of timekeeping or time.
- Associated with the museum is a first rate conservation workshop which conserves and restores their own pieces as well as doing work for other horological museums.
- The library of the museum (technically part of the City Library of La Chaux-de-Fonds) is considered the most comprehensive specialized horological library in Switzerland, and its holdings are cataloged within the RERO union catalog (www.rero.ch).
- Also affiliated is "L'Institut l'homme et le temps" a research and publishing arm that studies the role of time and timekeeping instruments in society.
- Mercier, Francois; Cardinale, Catherine (1993). Museums of Horology - La Chaux-de-Fons - Le Locle. Zurich: Swiss Institute of Art Research. p. 128. ISBN [[Special:BookSources/39081843309|39081843309 [[Category:Articles with invalid ISBNs]]]] Check
- de Limoge, Andre (1974). Collections du musee internationale d'horlogerie, La Chaux-de-Fonds, Suisse - Une selection parmi 3100 objects. La Chaux-de-Fonds, Suisse: musee internationale d'horlogerie. p. 151.
- Cardinal, Catherine; Piguet, Jean Michel (2002). Catalog of Selected Pieces - Musee Internationale d'Horlogerie. La Chaux-de-Fonds, Suisse: Musee internationale d'horlogerie. p. 384. ISBN 2-940088-10-1.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to International Museum of Horology.|