What's the time?

A homage to the Swiss-German watchmaker’s art from 4 May to 28 October 2007

Gold oignon pocket watch, early 18th century
Gold watch, Zofingen, early 18th century

Entitled "What's the Time?", this special exhibition is devoted to the art of watchmaking in German-speaking Switzerland. It offers an insight into the Confederation's extensive collection of timepieces, which is kept and maintained at the Museum of Music Automatons. As well as items on loan from other museums, there are a tower clock, grandfather clocks, console clocks, commode clocks, table clocks and pocket watches - some 80 items in total, all produced in German-speaking Switzerland from the mid-16th century to the end of the 19th century.

The exhibition highlights the little-known fact that watches were also produced in the German-speaking part of Switzerland. Master watchmakers such as Bengg, Enderlin, Liechti, Maerk, Ochsner, Spleis and Tschiffeli created pieces that are being shown together for the first time in this exhibition. Aarau, Basel, Bern, Schaffhausen, Winterthur, Zug und Zurich were all centres in which families of watchmakers worked for generations.