Treasures of Time: The Science, History and Art behind 400 Years of Timekeeping

Why We Recommend it

Offering insight into the history of timekeeping, 120 historical timepieces from China and Europe are exhibited alongside ancient Chinese instruments and contemporary time measuring tools at the Hong Kong Science Museum.


It was the Jesuits who first brought Western-style clocks to China in the 16th century, initially to Macau and later mainland China. These intricate objects, which the Chinese came to call “striking clocks” owing to the sound they emitted, became very influential, assimilating far more quickly into Chinese life than any other foreign technology, and having almost as strong an impact on society as the Gregorian calendar.

That enthusiasm for clock technology has run through the course of Chinese history since then. There are many examples of how mechanical clocks have played a lively role in the history of Sino-European diplomacy owing to their popularity in China, with ornate gifts of timepieces made to imperial courts crafted to earn the favour of emperors through the Qing and the Ming dynasties.

The Hong Kong Jockey Club Series: Treasures of Time celebrates the captivating history, science and art of mechanical clocks. The exhibition features historical treasures from the collection of The Palace Museum in Beijing and the Science Museum, London, and offers insight into the latest technology of timekeeping.


When: 7 Dec 2018 - 10 Apr 2019 Where: Hong Kong Science Museum – 2 Science Museum Road – Tsim Sha Tsui East, Kowloon