People interested in horology are called horologists. That term is used both by people who deal professionally with timekeeping apparatus (watchmakers, clockmakers), as well as aficionados and scholars of horology. Horology and horologists have numerous organizations, both professional associations and more scholarly societies. The BHI was proposed at a meeting on 15 June 1858, at the Belvedere Tavern in Clerkenwell, London.
“The objects for which this Institute is founded are to develop the science of Horology, to foster the arts and various branches of manufacture arising from it, and to stimulate and encourage the production of best workmanship, by suitable rewards and marks of distinction, and to attain these results by the formation of a library, reading room and a collection of tools, models and machinery, also by the delivery of lectures, and the reading of original papers […]”
Raising the standards of British horology, the BHI grew rapidly within its first year, moving into permanent premises and publishing the monthly The Horological Journal. Before long there were classes in watch and clock making, eventually leading to the courses, examinations and diplomas we know today.