Why Ads For Watches and Clocks All Have Them Set To 10:10


Have you ever noticed that stores selling watches and clocks always have them set to 10:10? There are plenty of people out there who think that they’re set that way to memorialize Abraham Lincoln, John F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King, Jr. because that was the time at which they were shot or died. In reality, Lincoln was shot at 10:15 p.m. and died the next morning at 7:22 a.m., JFK was shot at 12:30 p.m. and was pronounced dead 1 p.m., and MLK was shot 6:01 p.m. and pronounced dead at 7:05 p.m. Another theory has it that 10:10 was the time that an atomic bomb was dropped on either Nagasaki or Hiroshima, and that the setting is in memory of the casualties. The Fat Man bomb was actually dropped on Nagasaki at 11:02 a.m. local time and the Little Boy on Hiroshima at 8:15 a.m. The real reason for the setting? Aesthetics. The 10:10 position gives the clock or watch a number of benefits: (1) the hands are not overlapping, so they're fully and clearly visible and their styling can be admired, (2) the manufacturer's logo, usually in the center of the face under the 12, is not only visible but nicely framed by the hands, and (3) additional elements on the face — like date windows or secondary dials usually placed near the 3, 6, or 9 — won't be obscured. The standard setting used to be 8:20, but that made the face look like it was frowning, so to make the products look "happier," the setting was flipped into a smile.