Al­ways Time for His­tory

Plaza Watch International - - News -

One of the world’s finest pri­vate clock col­lec­tions is housed at Bel­mont House and Gar­dens in Kent, Eng­land. The stag­ger­ing 340 clock and watch piece col­lec­tion is sec­ond only to those in in­ter­na­tional mu­se­ums; the 5th Lord Har­ris who died in 1984 had made the study and col­lec­tion of horol­ogy his life’s work and had a re­mark­able pas­sion for his pieces. The house is now of­fer­ing spe­cial­ist clock tours of this mag­nif­i­cent col­lec­tion on ev­ery last Satur­day in the months be­tween April and Septem­ber 2014. Bel­mont’s tours are run by Jonathan Betts, the se­nior spe­cial­ist in Horol­ogy at the Na­tional Mar­itime Mu­seum in Green­wich. The chance to mar­vel at the unique Har­ris col­lec­tion, from the cel­e­brated pieces of the English horo­log­i­cal ‘golden age’ of the mid-17th Cen­tury through to the 18th Cen­tury, or to the quirky ‘nov­elty’ clocks he also col­lected, is not one to be missed.

The unique­ness of the his­tory and legacy of Lord Har­ris’s col­lec­tion is made more stag­ger­ing by the per­sonal in­vest­ment he made into each watch and clock. Har­ris was the found­ing pres­i­dent of the An­ti­quar­ian Horo­log­i­cal So­ci­ety in 1953, and served as Master of the Wor­ship­ful Company of Clock­mak­ers, and he was of­ten seen pulling apart the clocks and dab­bling in mi­nor re­pairs and main­te­nance. So if you hap­pen to be in the beau­ti­ful Kent coun­try­side this sum­mer, pay a visit to Bel­mont house for this in­ti­mate and ex­pertly guided clock tour and take a step back in his­tory to ap­pre­ci­ate some of Bri­tain’s most ex­quis­ite clocks and watches.

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