Time for the Navy

Half marathon notice

Visitor notice: On Sunday 4 March Cutty Sark and the museum car park will be closed for the Vitality Big Half Marathon. All other museums will be open as normal and DLR and rail links will be running. Find out about road closures

Essential information

Opening times: 
10.00–17.00 daily
Included in venue ticket
Royal Observatory, Meridian Line and Historic Royal Observatory, Time for the Navy gallery

Discover the fascinating story of how the growth of the Royal Navy drove timekeeping technology, and see our curatorial and conservation team at work.

Improving navigation at sea was acknowledged as the best way to prevent loss of life, prompting the Royal Navy to demand more and more sophisticated equipment.

At the Time for the Navy gallery, find out how the Royal Navy and Royal Observatory histories are linked, how the Royal Observatory coordinated the servicing, repair and testing of all the Royal Navy's chronometers and see our Horology Conservation Workshop in progress.

About the gallery

Visit and see our beautiful collection of timekeeping instruments, some of which date back to the 1800s.

On display are objects including marine chronometers, which were designed to provide accurate navigation even at wide extremes of temperature; a regulator clock that provided Gibraltar with an accurate show of Greenwich time; and our collection of deck watches, which were sometimes used to transport time around a ship to and from box chronometers.

Entry to the Time and the Navy gallery is included with your ticket to Flamsteed House and the Meridian Courtyard.

Also of Interest

History of the Royal Observatory Greenwich

John Harrison and the Longitude problem

The Royal Observatory blog