Why is 10:10 the Default Setting for Watches and Clocks?

Have you ever wondered that whenever you visit any watch store, you find that the default setting of watches is 10:10? Why are all the time-telling devices showing 10:10 only? Even the photos of watches and clocks have their default settings as 10:10?

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People have developed various myths for this concept. Most of people have connected this arrangement with the lives of some famous personalities. There are a lot of people who believe that the default setting of clocks in stores as well as advertisements is 10:10 to memorialise John F. Kennedy, Martin Luther King Jr., and Abraham Lincoln because that was the time when they were shot or died.

This concept is wrong because John F. Kennedy was shot at 12:30 pm, and he was pronounced to be dead by 1 pm. Martin Luther King was shot at 6:01 pm, and he was pronounced dead by 7:05 pm. Abraham Lincoln was shot at 10:15 pm, and he was pronounced dead by 7:22 am in the next morning.

By this, we can say that the above theory is wrong.

Another theory that was popular among the people was that atomic bombs on Hiroshima or Nagasaki were dropped at 10:10, and the default setting of the clocks is in the memory of those casualties. In reality, the Fat Man Bomb was dropped at 11:02 am as per the local time, and the Little Boy was dropped at 8:15 am as per the local time.

This theory was also proved wrong. So, what is the real reason behind this default setting?

The real reason behind the default setting of clocks and watches is aesthetics. Did you expect it to be something bigger than this? It is a very simple thing but matters a lot. There are various benefits of 10:10 position on clocks and watches. Let us have a look at them.

  • The hands are in different positions and not overlapping. They are clearly visible, which makes you admire their styling.
  • There is a psychology behind this arrangement. People like symmetrical things more than asymmetrical things. The arrangement of the hands in 10:10 position is symmetrical, which makes the product more appealing for the customers.
  • Usually, the logo of the manufacturer’s is under 12 in the center of the face. The logo is fully visible due to the 10:10 position of hands, and it looks like the logo is framed by the hands.
  • The additional elements of the watch like secondary dials and date chronos are not obscured as they are placed near 3,6, or 9.
  • The folks of Timex set their watches at 10:09:36 exactly. They said that their standard-setting was 8:20, but it made the face look as if it was frowning. The setting was flipped to 10:10 so that the face looks smiling and make the products look happier. You will still find some watches with the setting 8:20 where the manufacturer’s logo would be placed at the bottom above the 6.

It was a very simple reason, but it is all based on Human Psychology. Everything has different perceptions. The sales of watches have increased after the 10:10 position of hands because it looks like a smile on the face. 

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