The Nicolae Simache Clock Museum in Ploiesti, a one-of-its-kind in Romania and southern Europe, reopened last week after undergoing restoration works lasting for more than two years.
The 1890 building hosting the museum went through an ample refurbishment process, supported with EU funding. The collection of the museum includes almost 4,000 pieces, ranging from solar quadrants and water clocks to clocks that need turning once every 365 days, clepsydras, tabletop clocks or pendulums.
Various historical pieces can be found in the Ploiesti museum, such two astronomical clocks manufactured in 1544 and 1562 by Jakob Acustodia (Holland) and Jeremias Metzker (Augsburg). Likewise, two golden clocks that belonged to King Carol I of Romania or tabletop clocks which belonged to local cultural personalities such as ruler Alexandru Ioan Cuza and writers Mihail Sadoveanu or Vasile Alecsandri. Another historical piece in the museum collection is the water clock, designed by Charles Rayner in 1654 in London.
The most important category of pieces is that of pocket watches. The oldest piece of this kind in the museum was made by Philip Jakob Bickelman in Linz in 1652. Watches manufactured by famous French and English watchmakers in the 18th and 19th centuries – Julien Le Roy, Antoine Lepin, Abraham Louis Breguet, Benjamin Barber, George and Edward Prior -can be found here. The emergence of the serial watchmaker companies in the 19th centuries is also reflected in the collection with pieces done at Patek Philippe, Genève, Schaffhausen, Omega, Doxa, Longines, Hebdomas or Roskopf Patent.
A lot of other remarkable watches and clocks can be found here, making a visit worth a while. Ploiesti is at a 60-minute drive north of Bucharest, taking the DN1/ E60 or the Bucharest – Ploiesti highway A3.
The Nicolae Simache Clock Museum is located at 1 Radu Stanian St., close to the city’s Art Museum.