The watch and clock museum Wuppertal was
maintained by the goldsmiths' and watchmaking
family Abeler in Wuppertal and held one
of the largest and most important private collection
of timepieces ever. The museum and
its exhibition attracted over a million visitors,
among them politicians such as Konrad
Adenauer as well as many actors and a number
of international delegations.
On March 24, 1955, master goldsmith and
watchmaker Georg Abeler in Wuppertal bought
the late Heinrich Nils Antoine-Feill's collection
of timepieces during an auction at the Hohenzollernring
in Cologne – the beginnings of the
watch and clock museum in Wuppertal. Its
finest hour came when Georg Abeler opened
the museum in the vaults of the head office in
Poststrasse to the public; it was to grow into
one of the most cyclopaedic collections in the
field of timekeeping.
Jürgen Abeler was director of the museum until
his death in 2010, after which his son Henrick
Abeler took over management.
The exhibits in the vaults of the head office of the Abeler
jewellery store document a history of 5,000 years - they
range from an Egyptian clepsydra, Roman and Greek
sun dials, French pendulum clocks and Napoleonic mantel
clocks, bracket clocks in the form of animals, candle
clocks and hourglasses, clocks in daggers, buttons and
even a wooden skull, the complete history of mechanical
clocks and the fanciful baroque- and rococo-style pieces
to the first atomic clock in Continental Europe dating from
1956 as well as solar and quartz watches. Most of the exhibits
were restored and serviced in an inhouse workshop.
Faithful replicas and reconstructions were created in the
same workshop; around 110 pieces formed the travelling
exhibition „5,000 years of timekeeping".