Why are watches and clocks always photographed at 10.10?

Have you ever noticed that when you see watches and clocks in adverts or on display, they are usually set to ten past ten?

  • the hands do not overlap so you can see their design and style
  • the hands at this setting are symmetrical and look happy (strangely, this apparently makes a difference). Apparently 8.20 was used for a time in the 1920s and 1930s, but it looked sad:

  • it allows you to clearly see the logo, date, name, secondary dials etc., which are usually at 12, 3 and 6 o’clock.

This was rather a challenging blog post for me to write, because Sweden uses the 24 hour clock, where the 3 would be for both 3 and 15, 6 would be for both 6 and 18, and 12 would be for 12 and 24. I used the good old ‘o’ clock’ which felt strange, but worked very well.

Author: Janet Carr

Fashion, beauty and animal loving language consultant from South Africa living in Stockholm, Sweden.

2 thoughts

  1. Breitling made the “Cosmonaut” watch with a 24 hour dial so that the astronauts could determine whether it was, or should be, night or day, as they orbited earth. It was supposed to help their internal clocks maintain some sort of order. Now, with the extended time spent in space I guess their bodily clocks kind of get used to their environment.
    i have one of them but find it a bit clunky for everyday wear.

  2. I have a 24 hour watch with 12 at the top and 24 where 6 is ordinary watches.

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