The Ten-Ten Tenant: Why Clocks display 10:10? (#020)

Clock - 10-10 Tenant 3Ever wonder why clocks on display or in advertisements show 10:10?

Rumor has it that clocks displaying 10:10 commemorate the hour and minute Abraham Lincoln or John F. Kennedy were shot. Although this explanation adds romanticism or mystery to a good conversation or debate, it’s not true.

It’s simply about good marketing.  The 10:10 position (or even 2:50) provides a clear view of the manufactures trademark or other features found at the 12:00 or lower half of the dial of the clock or watch.  This position keeps the hour and minute hand from obstructing features that need to be seen.

The 8:20 (or 4:40) position can also provide a clear view of features, but not all the time.  For mechanical clocks, this position may obstruct a view of the winding arbors used to wind the strike train. This position is also bad for marketing since it gives the clock or watch a visual of a frown, which can broadcast a negative vibe to a buyer.  It’s better to display a happy clock or watch.

The 10:10 position is also symmetrical, for which the human brain tends to appreciate more: harmony, Clock - 10-10 Tenant 4balance, and order.  Clock collectors tend to notice the well “balanced” and “symmetrical” clocks.

Bottom-line: A clock or watch that is symmetrical, displaying order, not hiding features and happy (the 10:10 position) is much more pleasing to look at.  This little detail may be enough to sell that clock or watch.


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