The Worshipful Company of ClockmakersTempus Rerum Imperator
The London based Worshipful Company of Clockmakers provides a a fascinating link between horology today and in history. The Company was founded in 1631 by Royal Charter and remains an active guild today. Its motto is Tempus Rerum Imperator - "Time Commands All Things".
The old City of London Livery Companies regulated trade in certain skilled crafts. This system was intended to ensure quality workmanship and maintain the city's reputation as a centre of excellence. According to the Company's original Royal Charter its operations included
"the governance of the horological trade (with particular reference to protecting the public interest)"
It also helped to protect the interests (and profits) of members.
Once the Company was founded no-one other than a Company freeman was allowed to make or sell clocks or clock parts within the boundary of the City of London or a radius of ten miles around. As with all such rules, it wasn't always observed completely - for example the legendary John Harrison never became a freeman of the Company.
The Company is one of the "minor" City Livery Companies, being the 61st of 103.
The Worshipful Company of Clockmakers is still active today. It no longer holds a monopoly over matters horological and like many guilds is now run as a charitable institution. It also maintains a museum which is open to members of the public.