Why do Clocks show 10:10?


Clock 10:10

Why do Clocks show 10:10?

Whenever we go to clock stores, we will see these watches or clocks that are always set to 10:10, to think that setting it to other time is not really difficult to do. But of course, we all know that there are good justifications behind this puzzle. So why do clocks show 10:10?

Many speculations aroused about clocks in the stores set on 10:10 time, where in one hand of the clock points to number 10 and the other one is pointing to number 2. The reasons below are just theories but makes a lot of sense.

1.) Clock and watch makers normally if not always, put their logo under the number 12. So placing the hands of the clock to 10 and 2, helps to frame and show the logo.

2.) When we look at the clock and it shows t 10:10, it makes a resemblance to a smiley face. It is better to see it that way, because it can produce a positive vibes at the store and will then increase the sales of the clocks and watches.

3.) Many claim that Abraham Lincoln has a great influence on this because he died at 10:10 pm. But, facts say that he was shot at 10:15 night and died the next morning.

4.) When the hands of the clocks are place at 10:10, the other details are clearly visible as compared to placing it on other numbers. Take note that they don’t place the hands of the clock on one number because both hands of the clock must be visible.

5.) They say that clocks set on 10:10 time looks more symmetrical, therefore it is better for advertisement.

There are other theories as to why these clocks and watches are set to 10:10 time prior buying it, but there are other important details you need to consider while buying a watch. So don’t dwell too much on the time display, what’s important is the clock is good quality and functioning well for long term use.

Author: maureen

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49 Responses

  1. vivek

    June 23, 2011 2:17 am

    really i was confused till these many days now by reading this article i came to know why 10.10 displays on clock …useful site for all…

  2. ibrahim

    August 7, 2011 10:25 pm

    hello all,
    i would like to add some more information on the topic/belief
    in india there is a rumour that when united states threw nuclear bomb on Japan’s heroshema city because of radiation all clocks were froze to the time of 10:10 and the remembrance of that incident all manufactures shows same dial in their adverts.

      • Jeff

        February 19, 2013 8:12 pm


        Please use some of your alleged money and purchase an old school Dictionary or at least use spell check. Maybe hire a poor (ppor) person help you write comments. You are either STUPID or UNEDUCATED and probably BOTH. All the money in the world can not buy you class which is painfully obvious by your comment and or attempt at a comment. Far to many errors to even begin to point out. We all love you just the same.

        • ibrahim

          July 11, 2014 1:24 pm

          He’s dangerous mind is a threat for the world. I wonder how could he act normal when he goes to a supermarket and served by a “Poor”.

      • sourabh awasthi

        March 28, 2013 10:33 am

        u should b shameful dude. that is not very good thinking or opinion, that u r having……………………….

  3. radha manohari

    October 19, 2011 10:17 pm

    Decimal time is the representation of the time of day using units which are decimally related. This term is often used to refer specifically to French Revolutionary Time, which divides the day into 100 decimal hours, each decimal hour into 100 decimal minutes, there are no seconds in decimal time….

    any queries write to me at manohari.pradyun@hotmail.com

  4. Expert

    December 31, 2011 1:29 am

    Clocks are set on 10:10 and 35 seconds (thereabouts) in most product photography for standardization and to frame the watch brand or logo, and because it’s visually appealing. If a client has 200 watches to sell and needs them all photographed, a photographer would then shoot them set to that time. As new watches are added to the line, and photography studios are hired and fired, as well as individual photographers hired and fired—one constant remains, which is the standardization of the photos. Simply, it looks good on a page of watches to have them all set the to the same time, and those photos of each individual watch might span a period of having been shot a month ago, or ten years ago.

    There are vintage watch advertisements that show 10:10 before WWII, and some that show other times, but we can see the visual nature of the time set is with the hands being set to follow the same visual rules; to keep the logo visible.

    Watches in catalogs and advertisements are generally photographed individually because of the reflective face basically every other reflective part, They are then laid out in the ad after the fact, adding to the need for standardization of time, so it looks like they were all photographed together in one group photo. The exposure sometimes would actually take minutes, or with flash equipment-multiple flash “pops” which would also show moving hands if the time wasn’t stopped on the watch itself.

    • Nikhil Damle

      July 17, 2012 4:59 am

      When I was hit by this question of yours that why the watch/clock showed a steady time of 10:10 in every advertisement. I read various answers regarding this, but was not convinced with any of the answers put up. Everyone’s view was different that the others, but not convincing. After reading all the answers a light sparkled in my brain and finally I got mu own answer, which is as follows…!
      If we carefully observe this time machine, (i.e. watch/clock) we see that the short hand is on no. 10 and the long hand on no. 2, which indicates the check or right mark (√), which defines the word “Correct.” We could say that this miraculous time machine says that “I am checked and I show the correct/right time.”
      I am completely convinced with this answer, but I don’t know about others. Personally, I feel that even if the above-mentioned question doses not have the precise answer yet, the thought, which I have put up, is very convincing and practical.

  5. ejonesss

    January 23, 2012 2:10 am

    any of you that watched the movie the davinci code will know that the hash pointing down is the symbol for woman and was referenced to the holy grail or the chalice.

    chevrolet used it in the 50’s and the animated movie cars used it on their movie poster.

    also a certain phone mate answering machine with time stamp would go ” 10 10 you have a telephone call wednsday (blip)” when the backup battery was missing or dead and the machine got a power surge.

  6. john smith

    February 27, 2012 9:18 am

    actually it was the time for the first Zionist congress in Basel Switzerland and most of these watches are swiss made

  7. Kumar Saxena

    May 3, 2012 2:54 pm

    A clock or a watch shows 10:10 because at this time both the hands are equidistance from 12 in an analog clock/watch and same number appears both side on a digital clock/watch. If the time is set something different then both these rules cann’t be followed.

  8. Benazeer khan

    October 1, 2012 10:23 am

    no musho i think u r wrong correct reason is smiling face…!and dont be so smart chhota hai chhota rahe

  9. Saurabh Anand

    November 17, 2012 5:09 pm

    Intersting convo with happy ending 😀

    Btw If I were to write a paper on why are the clocks staged in such a way, I would stay with all of your theories and wont disregard any single one !! But the strongest one I would like to stay with is that it resembles sign of a ‘chalice’ in reference to Da Vinci Code. Although I cant relate its relationship with a woman’s womb :/

  10. santosh

    November 29, 2012 1:13 am

    Watch company just show ad that using watch can keep track of time and daylight saving time. Also this creates a visually pleasing smile-like face on upper half of the watch, in addition to enclosing the manufacturer’s name. Digital displays often show a time of 12:08, where the increases in the numbers from left to right culminating in the fully lit numerical display of the 8 also gives a positive feeling.

    Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Watch

  11. Nina

    December 14, 2012 6:20 pm

    My neighbour’s family business is clocks.
    I don’t know how the conversation cropped up, but he explained this. And yes, it’s the smilie face.

    If the clock looks appealing on display (A bit of subliminal messaging, clock looks ‘happy’) then people are more likely to buy it. Because like another commentor said, “It’s visually appealing”.

    So in your average shop, it’s just good marketing.

  12. aditya

    February 10, 2013 1:50 am

    i think there a simple answer behind rather than a complicated one. the time hands show a basic and very understanding symbol.

    A tick mark (or) check mark

    A tick mark means “yes” or “yes this is correct” or “yes this is the right one” or infact “yes this is what i want”

    i made this guess with two things in mind:

    1) i hope it was preferred keeping blind people in mind. close your eyes and move your fingers along the time hands. you’ll know

    2) while manufacturing, any watch which shows other than a tick mark (yes) is simply a faulty piece or say that its not right 🙂

  13. harsha

    April 25, 2013 6:19 am

    Now my reply to the above question is;

    When it is 10:10

    Have you observed it well??

    Its the smaller hand which is above 10 and the bigger hand above 2

    So it actually represents the “right symbol”

  14. ohm

    May 20, 2013 12:59 am

    Actually Clock is not invented by one person. It was implemented by 10 other people. That’s why they put 10:10 in every clock.

  15. rayees ahmad

    July 2, 2014 12:34 pm

    Well the history said it all started in the year
    1920 with no specific reasons this time stamp
    first appeared in Times Magazine and then it
    continued. I just told there are two theories for
    its explanation , the first one is , at this very
    time stamp it is believed that Lincoln or
    Kennedy were shot dead , however these are
    phony stories, Abe was shot a little after 10
    PM and died at 7:30 AM. Another rumor from
    history says in England they say it’s the hour
    Guy Fawkes had planned to blow up the
    Houses of Parliament at this very time stamp.
    All these arguments still have to be supported
    by some concrete evidences, so rule out such
    reasons for 10:10.

  16. sankara

    February 24, 2015 9:49 am

    Why do Clocks show 10:10?

    1) Reminds God is ONE only & You’re ZERO! Surrender to God! You have Value!
    2) Reminds you to have Smiley face as shown in Upper part of the clock!
    3) Speaks I show U the right time and Be Right in your life thru Correct or Tick Mark (√ )
    4) Clear visibility of Manufacturer’ Sign / Symbol below No.12
    5) To remind Binary numbers 1 & 0 useful for Computer Coding.
    6) Name of the inventor of clock may be – Tan Tan
    7) Resembles sign of a ‘chalice’ in reference to Da Vinci Code
    8) Clocks set on 10:10 time looks more symmetrical get better Advertisement
    9) Tick Mark or Check Mark symbol also denotes Victory for those people utilized their Time Properly.


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