NPR logo
It's 10:10. Do You Know What Time That Is?
  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/350662129/350662130" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript
It's 10:10. Do You Know What Time That Is?

Business

It's 10:10. Do You Know What Time That Is?

It's 10:10. Do You Know What Time That Is?
  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/350662129/350662130" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Ever wonder why watch ads always display the same time, 10:10, and why Apple's new watch is a minute early? NPR's All Tech Considered ponders the tradition of watch times in advertising.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

It's been about two weeks since Apple announced it was entering the watch industry. CEO Tim Cook slyly unveiled the new Apple Watch.

(SOUNDBITE OF SPEECH)

TIM COOK: We have one more thing.

(APPLAUSE)

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And while others pick apart the new watch's features, we were intrigued by something we read on the news website Quartz about the design of the ads. Say, you open a magazine, and you see a glossy picture of this new watch. It says the time is 10:09, and that is no random time. Apple is joining a long history of watch ad design.

GIORGIO GALLI: Well, usually it's 10:09, but it could be 10:10, 10:11. But it's always around 10:10 - you know, those numbers, and it's been always like this for a hundred years, basically.

BLOCK: That's Giorgio Galli. He's design director for Timex. Rolex does it, too. So do Fossil, Citizen, Bell and Ross, Omega, but why?

SIEGEL: Well, Galli says, it's about symmetry. Picture 10:10 on a clock. The hour and minute hands form a wide V. Some say, watches are set this way in ads because it looks like a smiley face. But Galli says...

GALLI: No. For me, it's just the best way to see the entire look of the dial in the best way. So it's not really a smiley face.

BLOCK: So it's not really a smiley face, Galli says. He has been in the watch design business for more than 20 years. And even before he knew about the industry standard, 10:09 is the time he drew.

GALLI: It actually came naturally. When - the first time I designed a dial, I positioned the hand in that position, just even without knowing that it's supposed to be in that position.

SIEGEL: And that intuitive design, Galli says, has become watch advertising tradition.

GALLI: The watch industry is made out of small details, you know. So every detail really counts a lot.

SIEGEL: Right down to the second.

Copyright © 2014 NPR. All rights reserved. Visit our website terms of use and permissions pages at www.npr.org for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by Verb8tm, Inc., an NPR contractor, and produced using a proprietary transcription process developed with NPR. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.

Comments

 

Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the NPR.org Community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated prior to posting. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.