Why watches are always 10 past 10

By Robert

Our COO - Fan of all things digital. When you catch him he always takes time to talk about his two passions: Diamonds and Disney.

November 20, 2017

Timepieces come in all sorts and shapes. Just think for example about the differences between analog watches and wall clocks. In addition, there are all kinds of variations within those two categories. There is, however, one thing that is the same for almost all timepieces. Especially for the more luxurious brands, the clock is usually at ten past ten.

Myths about the positioning of the clock’s hands

Sometimes we are asked why the hands of our watches are positioned like that. There is a number of reasons for this. Some are based on myths, but of course, we also know the real reasons. But first, let me get rid of some myths and untruths about this.

analogue watch ten past ten

The first myth

The first myth states that the arms are at ten past ten because that represents an important moment in time. “To commemorate the time Abraham Lincoln’s, J.F. Kennedy’s or Martin Luther King’s death”.  Though it’s a nice thought, these men respectively died at 10:15, 12:30 and 6:01 hour.

The second myth

The second myth is also based on a so-called important moment. “At 10 past 10, the atomic bomb was dropped on Nagasaki. The watches on 10:10 hour are a tribute to the victims who died in the bomb attack”. I say so-called important moment because the time the bomb fell actually was 11:02 hour. It also isn’t to remember the victims of the Hiroshima bombing, because this took place at 8:15 hour.

three watches displaying the time ten past ten

The real reason why watches are 10 past 10

The real reason that watches and many other clocks are almost always at ten past ten is a lot less exciting than the myths. It is purely aesthetic and functional.

The functional reasons

  • The hands of the timepiece don’t overlap. They are both completely visible and the entire shape of the clock can be admired.
  • The brand’s logo is usually in the middle of the clock-face. By placing the hands at 10:10 hour, the logo is perfectly visible. Moreover, extra emphasis is placed on the logo because it feels like the hands sort of “embrace” it.
  • Other elements on the dial are often on the three, six or nine. For example the date displayer or other small clock-faces.

metal watch for men on black background

The aesthetic reasons

  • The position of the hands is completely symmetrical. This appeals more to the imagination and is more pleasant to look at than an asymmetrical position.
  • According to a famous watch brand, whose watches are always exact on 10:09:36, the hands previously were always at 8:20 hour. However, it turned out that this gave the watch a “sad” face. To make the watch look more cheerful, they, therefore, chose 10:10 hour. This way, the hands look like a smile.

Watches at Royal Coster Diamonds

At Royal Coster, we have the most beautiful (diamond) watches. We have our own brand Coster Watches, but also brands like Omega, Longines, Chopard, Piaget, and many more.

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At Royal Coster we have a broad collection of the most luxurious high-end watches from many prestigious brands.

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