Frequently Asked Questions

What is the NAWCC?

The National Association of Watch & Clock Collectors. Founded by watch collectors in 1943 as a private organization dedicated to horological pursuits. The first Annual Meeting was held in Philadelphia on October 28, 1944. A draft of the Constitution and Bylaws was soon compiled, and the NAWCC was officially born.

What is Horology?

Horology is the art and science of timekeeping.

What is the purpose of the NAWCC?

The NAWCC's mission is to advance the art and science of horology (timekeeping). The NAWCC actively serves the public and supports NAWCC members by providing educational opportunities, encouraging preservation, facilitating research, publishing horological works, providing online venues for information exchange, and sponsoring events. The National Watch and Clock Museum and the NAWCC Library preserve a diverse collection of timekeeping artifacts, books, and archival materials. The NAWCC's U.S. and International Chapters also host educational events and exhibits relating to horology.

How many members?

Since 1943 this non-profit organization has grown from 52 Charter Members to an international organization with close to 14,000 members and over 100 Chapters.

How much does it cost to join?

At the present time, an individual membership costs $90 U.S.D/per year. There are several tiers of specialized membership for students or youth members, internet-only memberships, and contributory memberships wherein members may contribute more to receive more benefits. Our Business Membership program is additionally designed to provide special business-oriented opportunities to those members for whom horology provides an active income; there are several tiers of business membership, as well.

What about family of current members?

The NAWCC offers a discounted membership rate for family of current members.

Where is the NAWCC headquartered?

Along US Rt. 30 in the town of Columbia, Pennsylvania: approximately 1 1/2 hrs West of Philadelphia and 1 1/4 hrs North of Baltimore. Columbia is in the heart of the Lancaster Amish area.

Why Columbia?

The connection started in 1952 when Earl T. Strickler of Columbia, Pennsylvania (located off Route 30 just 80 miles west of Philadelphia) was elected Secretary. He organized and was caretaker of all the Association records. In 1953 be was named BULLETIN Editor. He carried out all of these duties in the basement of his home. As NAWCC grew, he hired employees and rented office space. In 1971, with membership nearing 12,000, a separate building was purchased at 514 Poplar Street. It became the National offices. Prior to 1971 Mr. Strickler maintained his own private museum in his residence. In 1971 NAWCC formed a Museum Acquisitions Committee to solicit donations. In 1977 doors opened to the public to an 8,000 square foot gallery. In 1985 a gallery addition doubled the existing exhibit and library space. In 1998 the Museum was again expanded and a large addition was added to the building with new office space for the staff and the museum was expanded to fill in the entire old building.

What is the most valuable timepiece in the museum's collection and what is the value?

Some of our museum items are literally priceless -- one of a kind. In fact, the museum boasts thousands of priceless objects that can rarely be viewed anywhere else. The collection as a whole is of incredible historical value.

How many visitors a year does the museum get?

The museum sees anywhere from 12,000 to 15,000 visitors annually depending on tourism trends, exhibits and programs.

How is the museum funded?

The museum is partially subsidized by members of the NAWCC and is also funded through admission revenue, museum store sales, grants and museum friends.

Are there any other watch and clock museums in the US? In the world?

In the United States? There are a few. The American Watch and Clock Museum in Bristol, CT, is one. In the world? There are very many museums worldwide, especially in Europe.

What about the NAWCC Library?

Our Library and Research Center (located within our museum complex) specializes in services for members, serious researchers, and beginning collectors. With more than 5,000 volumes, a computer-catalogued subject index for trade publications, and a collection of more than 21,000 patents, the Library and Research Center’s resources are used to document timepieces around the world. Our library is a fully-functional lending library as well as a research facility. Members are welcome to check out volumes, either in person or via our mail service.

Is there a fee to use the Library?

Not if the user physically visits our library facilities. There are special fees for those who require the library staff to conduct research on their behalf remotely, either online or over the internet.

I live near Columbia, PA. Can I volunteer to help?

Whether assisting with educational tours for school groups or working behind the scenes in offices, volunteers play an important role at The National Watch and Clock Museum. The volunteer program staff will help you select a role that matches your interests and abilities with department needs.

For information about volunteering, call 717-684-8261 ext. 237.

What about the NAWCC Message Board?

Our extensive internet message forums can be viewed at and are linked directly from the NAWCC website. They have been in existence for many years, and are an ever-expanding archive of horological knowledge, tips, tricks, hints, and advice. New articles, links to sites of interest, and in-depth discussion appear there daily.

One need not join the NAWCC to view the public areas of the message board. Registering for the message forums does not confer NAWCC member benefits to the registree-- it merely allows the user to post to the public forums.

What is one watch and clock "fun fact?"

A “jiffy” is an actual unit of time for 1/100th of a second. Thus the saying, “I’ll be there in a jiffy.”