Musée International d'Horlogerie
La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland
Photo by Ville de La Chaux-de-Fonds/A. Henchoz
Musée International d'HorlogerieWhat time is it? It’s time to geek out over clocks, antique timepieces, chronographs, automata, and more than 4,500 horology-related relics that will delight both experts and novices alike. Watches are to La Chaux—located in Switzerland’s famed Watch Valley—as movies are to Hollywood, and a walk through the halls of this museum is a testament to the region’s heritage of punctuality: handpainted pocket watches with colorful cloisonné, thunderous grandfather clocks, elaborate gold music boxes, mantle clocks, and a timepiece archive stretching back a millennium. Many of the antique watches feature advanced “complications,” secondary features like alarms and compasses. The cuckoo clocks, which are not Swiss, illustrate the excellent Bavarian wood-carving techniques, and the automaton of a genie on a magic carpet is a campy but intricately engineered relic that is sure to amuse.