An Introduction to the British Horological Institute
Hello, Watch Forum users. Since you’re on this website, there is a chance you may have heard of us, the British Horological Institute (BHI). If you haven’t, however, allow us to introduce ourselves.
We have been training clock and watch makers since 1858. We run distance learning courses, which have received unprecedented demand in the last year during lockdown, and in normal times we also run on-site practical courses at our headquarters, the magnificent Upton Hall in Newark, Nottinghamshire.
These courses last anything from one to five days; we have accommodation and a café on site, so we are pleased to host students who wish to stay at the Hall. In addition, we produce the monthly Horological Journal, the longest continually-published technical journal in the world. It was first published in September 1858 and we haven’t missed a month since then.
Furthermore, Upton Hall is the home of the Museum of Timekeeping, whose exhibits include many significant vintage watches, the original Speaking Clocks and even a Watch Gallery which is currently being completely redeveloped. The pandemic put a halt to the work, but when it restarts and is completed, the gallery will host a completely new display of various exhibits. These include beautiful vintage watches and interactive pieces such as the movable ship’s wheel against a digital display to demonstrate the working of marine chronometers.
So what can we do for you? A lot, we hope. If you’re interested in learning about clock or watchmaking at home, we can start you on a distance learning course. You can begin at any time and take as long as you need; there are no deadlines for completion. If you wish, you can take professional examinations to gain official BHI accreditation that will stand you in good stead. There is no obligation, however, and you can take the course purely for your own enjoyment if you like.
It is looking increasingly likely that we will be in a position to recommence on-site courses at Upton Hall by early summer (keep an eye on our website) If you’re brand new to horology and how clocks and watches work, you could try one of our Taster Days, or you could do one of the longer courses if they interest you. As a member of the BHI (associate membership is open to all), you’ll also get a subscription to the Horological Journal and learn more about watches with each issue.
Any questions, thoughts? You can let us know here, or you can contact us at Upton. We’ll be delighted to hear from you.