In French, such an interest/profession is referred to as horlogerie from horloge (watch/clock). I am just wondering if there is an equivalent term in English?


3 Answers 3


They are simply called watchmakers or clockmakers.


The English term is horology, and one who engages in the profession is a horologist.

  • 1611, horlogue: a clocke, or dyall; also I would find this ngram rather showing.
    – Unreason
    Commented Dec 1, 2011 at 9:00
  • 1
    @Unreason: 'Clockmaker' and 'watchmaker' are of course the more usual terms, but I was responding to the OP's request for an 'equiavelent' term. 'Horologist' does have the advantage of covering one who mends and repairs (and, yes, takes an interest in) both small and large timepieces. Commented Dec 1, 2011 at 9:38
  • Oh, I do like your answer and I do think it is good; I was just trying to add more to it. Ever since I saw BBC's Longitude I find the whole subject of horology really interesting.
    – Unreason
    Commented Dec 1, 2011 at 9:49
  • @BarrieEngland I'm not sure how it's "equivalent" - it shares a root, but it's not a cognate - a cognate to a word ending in "erie" should end in "ery" not "logy".
    – Random832
    Commented Dec 1, 2011 at 14:59

Horology is actually the art or science of measuring time. And the people interested in horology are called horologists

  • 3
    It's also 'the construction of horologes' (OED). Commented Dec 1, 2011 at 8:43
  • You wrote your answer as if it is a reply to Barrie's, but failed to mention that 'people interested in horology are called horologists. That term is used both by people who deal professionally with timekeeping apparatus (watchmakers, clockmakers), as well as aficionados and scholars of horology.'
    – Unreason
    Commented Dec 1, 2011 at 8:58

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