These 18 watch museums were researched by our passionate watch enthusiast team.
Yes, Swiss watchmaking museums will obviously feature heavily. However, there are some timepiece collections from further afield that need to be seen.
Here are the best watch and clock museums from around the world.
Best Clock & Watch Museums
- Atelier Museum | Audemars Piguet
- Seiko Museum
- Patek Phillipe Museum
- The Science Museum
- International Museum of Watches
- Breguet Museum
- Museum for Islamic Art
- British Museum | Hall of Clocks & Watches
- Omega Museum
- Planet Swatch Museum
- Watch Museum of Le Locle
- German Watch Museum | Glashütte Original
- National Watch & Clock Museum
- Museum of Timekeeping
- Junghans Terrassenbau Museum
- American Clock & Watch Museum
- The Forbidden City | Hall of Clocks & Watches
- Clapham’s Clock Museum
Keep reading to find out the museums you will add to your travel bucket list.
1. Atelier Museum | Audemars Piguet
Address: Route de France 18, 1348 Le Chenit, Switzerland
The newest watch museum on this list starts us off. The Audemars Piguet museum was clearly made by watch lovers. With the luxury Swiss watch manufacturer ensuring the building was in the shape of a watch’s mainspring and barrel. Designed by Bjarka Igels, it is truly special.
What stands out is that the building has no columns or walls. Instead you are surrounded by glass with a brass spiraling roof above you. Also as you walk through the spiral, you will see watchmaking taking place. As the watchmakers are within the building busy at work.
Then in terms of watches, the museum features a collection of 300 timepieces. Through these watches you will discover 250 years of Audemars Piguet’s works of art.
The only drawback is that you will need to make a booking in advance. You can access their museum booking system here.
2. Seiko Museum
Address: 4 Chome-3-13 Ginza, Chūō City, Tokyo 104-0061, Japan
Now you can even tour the museum from at home. Seiko have created a virtual 360 tour.
The Seiko museum has relocated from Sumida to its new location in Ginza.
This museum focuses on the history of the watch and clock industry in Japan. With many interesting historical pieces on display. Their traditional Japanese temporal clocks are a must see.
After the museum, you need to make a stop by their Seiko Dream Square store. Located just around the corner, next door to the famous WAKO building.
The store is a beautiful, interactive showcase of Seiko watches. Visitors can view all of the latest timepieces. Including their Lukia, Presage and Astron ranges. You can even see a watchmaker work to assemble a Seiko watch.
This store really is the perfect stop for all the Seiko super fans out there.
3. Patek Phillipe Museum
Address: Rue des Vieux-Grenadiers 7, 1205 Genève, Switzerland/
Swiss luxury watch brand Patek Philippe, has one of the most diverse and beautiful watch collections on the planet.
Philippe Stern, Patek Philippe’s Honorary President, began the collection in 1964. His goal was “to create the most wanted collection possible of Patek Philippe watches”. This he has done.
Including over 2,000 watches! It is a watch enthusiast’s paradise.
Mr. Stern collected early timepieces dated from before the founding of Patek Philippe, in 1879. So that we can see the evolution of watchmaking through this collection.
The stand out piece is the Calibre 89. Released on the brand’s 150th anniversary in 1989. Weighing in at almost 2 and a half pounds, with 24 hands, and 33 complications. It is a masterpiece of ingenuity.
It used to hold the title of the most complicated watch in the world. But the Vacheron Constantin 57260 now holds that title.
4. The Science Museum
Address: 2nd floor, The Science Museum, Exhibition Rd, London SW7 2DD, United Kingdom
Located in the Science Museum in London. Meaning once you’ve finished exploring watches and clocks. You can enjoy many other exhibitions after.
Here you can learn about the development of British timekeeping technology and how it evolved. Along with many other timepieces from around the world.
The Clockmakers’ collection is considered the oldest collection of clocks and watches in the world.
The stand out piece of this museum is that it’s the home of the world’s oldest clock. Which is the faceless Wells Cathedral clock dating from around 1386. Sadly no one knows the names of the people who invented and built this clock.
As for watches, the collection has 600 watches on display.
One of the rarest pieces is the handmade Space Traveller II made by George Daniels in 1982. This piece was bought at auction in 2017 and has been loaned to the museum to display it for a number of years. So sadly it won’t be here forever.
5. International Museum of Watches
Address: Rue des Musées 29, 2300 La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland
If you really want to delve into the evolution of timekeeping and how watches work. Then this is the museum for you. A longstanding watch and clock museum, open since 1975.
You can follow a timeline of Swiss watchmaking, in 36 steps along the museum walls. Then in the middle of the floor are where you can find some of the world’s best timepieces.
You can see collections of timepieces from big name watch brands. Like Audemars Piguet, Omega, Rolex, Vacheron Constanin, Chopard, Cartier, Gerard Perregaux and Zenith.
There are even things to do outside. With a unique, interactive work of art known are on display outside. One is a chiming kinetic clock, which also acts as a musical instrument. It features a keyboard which you can play a tune on.
From 10 am to midday on Sunday entrance is free.
6. Breguet Museum
Address: 6 Place Vendôme, 75001 Paris
The Breguet Museum is on the first floor of the Breguet flagship boutique in Paris.
It showcases the creations of the watchmaker Abraham-Louis Breguet. He began his career on the eve of the French Revolution, and was even a watchmaker for Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette.
The museum centers on him and his pieces. He was a true innovator. Inventing and patenting the Tourbillon around 1795.
Many of his pieces were owned by famous historical figures. His large network of historical clients is very impressive. From Napoleon Bonaparte, to Alexander the First, Tzar of Russia, and the future King George IV.
Majority of the European rulers of the day were fanatics of Breguet watches. Luckily the watchmaker never produced the same piece twice. So it didn’t cause any friction between his warring clients.
The Breguet house also has two other museum locations. One in Zurich and another in Shanghai. You can find more details for all here.
7. Museum for Islamic Art
Address: HaPalmach St 2, Jerusalem, Israel
There’s an unlikely collection of European historical timepieces. In the Museum for Islamic Art, in Jerusalem.
On the ground floor is the permanent watch collection exhibition. It contains a gorgeous collection of rare clocks and watches from Europe. Most of the pieces are from the 18th and 19th centuries.
55 timepieces from the great watchmaker Abraham-Louis Breguet, feature in the collection.
The showstopper of the his pieces is the Marie Antoinette watch. This watch was commissioned by a lover of the French Queen in 1783. The piece took 44 years to make. So sadly the Queen never seen the finished watch.
Luckily for you and I, it is on view here. And it is valued at a whopping $30 million dollars! Making it one of the most expensive watches in the world.
You can order tickets for the museum on the Museum for Islamic Art website. You’ll have so much more to explore after the collection of timepieces. With art from around the Islamic world on display here.
Closed Sunday & Monday.
8. British Museum | Clocks & Watches
Address: Great Russell St, Bloomsbury, London WC1B 3DG, United Kingdom
You can take a virtual tour of the British Museum Watches & Clocks now!
Within Room 38 and 39 you will find a fascinating selection of antique clocks and watches.
The oldest clocks date back to the 1500s. You can view a selection of gold watches dating back to 1778, all the way up to modern day. Take a look at many of the wristwatches they have on offer here before you visit.
The entertaining and quirky Congreve Clock stands out. As this clock uses a ball rolling along a zig-zag track, instead of a pendulum. Created by Sir William Congreve in 1808, it is cool to look at but not great for timekeeping.
This impressive museum is a perfect place for family, or for those who aren’t big watch enthusiasts. As there are many more things to explore other than timepieces.
9. Omega Museum
Address: Nicolas G. Hayek Str. 2, 2502 Biel/Bienne, Switzerland
As you can see from the video above, the building is awesome. Designed by Japanese architect, Shigeru Ban. The luxury watch brand moved it’s museum to this spot in 2019.
The inside is just as impressive. Featuring a giant Speedmaster watch which you can go inside of. There you’re taken on an immersive experience to show you how Omega watches work.
They also have a 164 ft. (50 meter) long showcase that resembles the bracelet of a watch. They even have a running track and Omega starting pistol. Which you can have a try of and live out your Olympic fantasy.
As for watches, the museum boasts more than 4,000 watches! Including the Omega Speedmaster, the watch that Buzz Aldrin wore on the moon.
Plus they have of course a 007 section, showing off all the Omega Seamasters Bond has worn since 1995.
Plus, the museum is next to a lovely park. So on a nice day you can stroll along the river, and even relax in some comfortable hammocks too.
The museum is closed on Monday.
Located in the same building as the Swatch Museum.
10. Planet Swatch Museum
Address: Cité du Temps, Nicolas G. Hayek Strasse 2, 2502 Biel/Bienne, Switzerland
This museum is located in the same building as the Omega museum. So visiting both in the same day is easy.
The Swatch museum is simpler and less interactive than the Omega museum on the floor below. But if you are a Swatch fan, then I think you will find it fun.
They display almost all of their watches made from 1983 until 2014. That means they have on display more than 6,500 watches! It can be a task finding the Swatch watch you owned when you were younger.
Also what is great, is that there is no entrance fee.
The museum is closed on Monday.
11. Watch Museum of Le Locle
Address: Route des Monts 65, Le Locle 2400, Switzerland
One of the most beautiful museums on this list is the Watch Museum of Le Locle. You will need a car to get to this one, but it is well worth the scenic drive.
The museum is based in the 18th-century Château des Monts, and it is packed full with timepieces. The collection covers around 500 years of watchmaking history.
The pieces include pendulum clocks, mechanical songbirds and automata. Many of the pieces are in working order. So you’ll hear a tick tock throughout the chateau.
Even in the grounds there are clocks. With several sundials, and large sculptural clocks you can discover while you explore.
12. German Watch Museum | Glashütte Original
Address: Schillerstraße 3a, 01768 Glashütte, Germany
Located in the town of Glashütte, which is a town south of Dresden and is famous for watchmaking. This museum helps us learn how Saxony became a leader in the industry.
Focusing on the small town, they’ll take you on a journey, and show you how watchmaking saved this town from economic ruin.
The building was a watchmaking school up till about 1992. You can take a look into this past in a room devoted to the story of the school. They even have a wall engraved with all the names of those who graduated, which is a nice touch.
For those interested in watchmaking. The museum has an interactive display showing the technology behind modern day watches.
Finally, you can have a look at the museum’s luxury watches. All are the work of modern Glashütte artists.
13. National Watch & Clock Museum
Address: 514 Poplar St, Columbia, PA 17512
This museum takes you through the history of timekeeping. It does include a lot of clocks, from grandfather to cuckoo clocks. With lots of wacky additions too.
Their wristwatch collection includes lots of vintage additions of Hamilton. They even have an old Hamilton induction training video you can watch that was for new employees.
You can also view vintage Bulova, Swatch and TAG Heuer to name a few. Rolex is represented well too, including their Perpetual Oyster dated from 1933.
Plus if you’re a James Bond fan, then the Bond watch collection would interest you. As they have many of the watches that Bond wore in the films.
Learn all about the James Bond watches worn by 007 in every film.
14. Museum of Timekeeping
Address: Upton Hall, Main St, Upton, Newark NG23 5TE, United Kingdom
In the pretty village of Upton, you can find this beautiful timekeeping museum.
This museum is based in the beautiful, grade II listed, Upton Hall. It is even home to the British Horological Institute. The Institute was founded in 1858, and you can learn more about it’s long rich history here.
What is wonderful is that the majority of the clocks are in working order. So you should try and visit the museum at noon to hear the chime of all the clocks.
The pieces on display are as early as the 1500s, in the form of lantern clocks. They also have one of the first speaking clocks from the 1930s. Which you can hear speak the time.
One of the stand out timepieces is the watch worn by Captain Scott. This is the watch he wore on his ill-fated polar expedition in 1912.
The museum is usually only open from May to October each year.
15. Junghans Terrassenbau Museum
Address: Lauterbacher Str. 68, 78713 Schramberg, Germany
Junghans is one of the top German watchmakers. Their museum is located in the Black Forest region of Germany.
The Junghans Terrassenbau Museum gives you an insight into the German clock and watch history of the region. From the 1700s till today.
They take you on a journey through the evolution of clocks and watches of the Black Forest. While you take in the stunning views of the forest all around.
It’s a beautiful experience. With 9 floors to explore.
Plus they’ve got a musical exhibition too. With a 1900 self-playing piano.
There is a great short video on the Junghans Museum. Giving you an inside look into this watch and clock museum of the Black Forest, Germany.
16. American Clock & Watch Museum
Address: 100 Maple St, Bristol, CT 06010
Within the heart of Connecticut you’ll find a charming, old world watch and clock museum.
The clock inventor of Connecticut, Eli Terry, is the focus of this museum. Here you’ll learn how he introduced mass production to the clock making industry.
You’ll be shown the way he could revolutionize clock manufacturing through his methods. You’ll also learn how the city of Bristol, and Connecticut, would become one of the clock producing meccas of the world at the time.
This museum also holds the title of the largest collection of American made timepieces in the entire world. Making this a must visit for any American clock enthusiast.
Closed on Monday and Tuesday.
Open from April to November each year.
17. The Forbidden City | Hall of Clocks & Watches
Address: Hall of Ancestral Worship The Forbidden City Beijing China
The Forbidden City of Beijing has a treasure trove of artifacts, which includes the Hall of Clocks and Watches. Which is located in the Hall of Ancestral Worship.
The clocks and watches are from China, Switzerland, France, Italy, Britain, and other countries. The collection reaches over 1,580 timepieces. You cannot see all the pieces in the hall, just highlights of the collection.
One of the most interesting pieces is of pre-modern Chinese origin. It is known as a Clepsydra, or a water clock. It is a device that was used to measure time by the flow of water. The piece they have displayed dates to 1799.
Unfortunately there aren’t many descriptions on some of the timepieces. Many just have their name and when they were dated displayed. I bet the stories behind the pieces would have been fascinating.
Since 2017, the Beijing area became an up to 6 day visa free zone. Meaning you can stay here for a few days, visa free, before you leave on your next flight out. Learn more here.
18. Clapham’s Clock Museum
Address: Town Basin, Dent Street, Whangarei, New Zealand
This museum in New Zealand holds the title of the largest collection of timepieces in the Southern Hemisphere. With over 1,600 pieces in the museum.
It is a small, family friendly museum. A perfect place to bring the kids. The sound of all the ticking clocks, cuckoo clocks, and other fun pieces will keep you all entertained.
To really get the full experience you should book into one of their guided tours. Simply contact them to book your tour.
To Sum Up
From Switzerland, to the USA, France, and Germany. For watch enthusiasts, there’s no shortage of watch museums around the world to visit.
Now, why not explore the world’s most expensive timepieces. Including one that’s valued at $55 million dollars!