Why Are Watches Set at 10 10 – The Top Reasons Why

If you have been wondering why are watches set at 10 10 then we will answer all your questions in this frequently ask watch questions guide.

If you Google the word “watch,” you’ll most likely be presented with images of watches that all have one thing in common, their hands are set to display 10:10.

This has aroused curiosity in a lot of people.

So if you’re one of the people wondering why watches are set to 10:10, you’ll be excited to read today’s post to the very end as it has all the answers to your questions.

Before we get into the nitty-gritty of today’s post, let’s tell you right away that there is no one answer to your question as there are a lot of theories out there as to why watches are set at 10:10.

Over time, some people have even taken things overboard to explain why watches are set to display 10:10.

According to some crazy theories, watches are set to 10:10 (October 10) to mark the International Day of Watches.” Of course, there is nothing like an International Day of Watches as it isn’t an official date recognized by any organization.

This explains the extent that people will go to find answers to something they have no idea about.

From inventions to war to victories and even deaths, there have been many bizarre theories regarding why watches are set to display 10:10.

But before we tell you why watches are set to display 10:10, let’s go through some of the most popular theories out there.

Top 10:10 theories

The death of the clock inventor

One of the popular theories out there regarding why watches are set to 10:10 has to do with the inventor of the clock.

According to this theory, he died at 10:10.

To this end, picturing watch dials set at 10:10 was a tribute to him.

And guess what, it wasn’t only his death that was given as a reason to back up this claim.

According to some people, the inventor of the clock was born at that time.

Some crazy theory has it that the 10:10 display was the time of his Eureka moment, adding that this was the first correct time ever displayed in a working clock.

But since no one inventor can lay claims to the invention of the clock, many people have come to dispel this theory.

The death of two American presidents

Since the Americans like to be in the news, it doesn’t come as a surprise to learn that they made the 10:10 about themselves.

According to this theory, the reason why most watch photographs have their dials displaying 10:10 was to honor Abraham Lincoln as this was the time he was believed to have died.

Also, John F Kennedy, another beloved president of the United States, was believed to have died at this time.

And since they were both assassinated, leaving the world before their time, setting watches to display this time was to honor their legacy.

While many people have come to believe this theory, we want to set the record straight; neither of these American presidents died at exactly 10:10.

While Abraham Lincoln was shot at 10:15, the president would eventually pass on at 7:22 am the next day.

Also, while President Kennedy was shot at 12:30, he was pronounced dead at 1:00 pm.

The time of death theory

When something becomes strangely unexplainable, you’re sure to see all sorts of theories pop up.

Another reason given to support why watches have their dials set at 10:10 is connected to the time of death of Dr.

Martin Luther King JR, who many people believe was killed at 10:10.

While the activist remains popular to this day, the reality is that he was shot at 6:10 pm and was pronounced dead at 7:05 pm.

The real reason why watches are set at 10:10

With billions of dollars spent on marketing every year, the gurus responsible for selling watches are always looking for the right formula to appeal to the watch community.

While it would have been interesting if any of the theories we listed above are true, unfortunately, from what we have come to learn so far, the reason most watches are photographed to display 10:10 is simply for aesthetics.

For instance, Rolex reportedly spends nearly $50 million on marketing its products.

Also, other luxury watch brands like Omega spend almost close to Rolex when it comes to marketing.

While clocks were initially set to display 10:10 as far back as the 1930 and late 1940, this tradition followed advertisements for modern watches.

And the reason is that it made the product look good.

With the hands set to this position, the logo and other elements of a watch are visible for everyone to see.

So the next time you come across photographs of watches with their display set at 10:10, don’t think about it too much.

It is simply for aesthetics.

Frequently asked questions

Why does the Apple watch display 1009?

While there are many theories about why Apple watches are set to display 1009, we would like to go with the explanation of former Apple executive Bob Borcher.

According to him, Apple watches are set to this time because it coincides with the exact time that the iPhone was launched.

Who invented the watch?

Even though many inventors have been credited with the invention of the watch, Peter Henlein holds the winners’ medal for inventing the very first watch.

According to reports, Peter Henlein created his first watch in the 15th century.

Are all watches photographed to display 1010?

While most popular watch brands photograph their watches displaying 10:10, the reason is just for aesthetics.

On the flip side, Apple watches display 1009 to showcase the exact time they unveiled the iPhone.


As we mentioned earlier, there are many bizarre theories out there that seek to explain why watches have their dial set to display 10:10.

However, from what we have learned so far, watches are set this way simply for aesthetics as it makes the product look better.