Why Do the Clocks Change?

clocks changing

It’s the same story every year and has been since the year 1916. Every spring and every autumn, we have to change the clocks. As we get used to one season, it’s all change and we either welcome lighter nights or say goodbye to some daylight. But why do the clocks change and how did this tradition begin?

Why Do the Clocks Change?

The tradition of changing clocks was first suggested by William Willett in 1907. He wanted to introduce lighter evenings in the summer months and stop the waste of early morning day light. It was in 1916 that British Summer Time was passed as an Act of Parliament.

Since this time the clocks have moved forward an hour in spring and back an hour in autumn. The only exception was during the Second World War.

Which Way Do They Go?

Many people get confused over whether the clocks go back an hour or forward an hour. It doesn’t matter how old you are – it can often cause confusion. The easy way to remember it it ‘spring forward and fall back’ They go forward one hour in spring on the last Sunday of March at 1am, making the time 2am, and then back one hour on the last Sunday of October at 2am making the time 1am. This process is known as British Summer Time or Daylight Saving Time.

What is the ‘Correct’ Time?

Greenwich meantime, or GMT as it is known, is the yearly average (or ‘mean) of the time each day when the sun crosses the Prime Meridian at the Royal Observatory Greenwich.

If we didn’t change our clocks, we would all operate on GMT which doesn’t change for BST. In fact GMT is shown on the Shepherd Gate clock which can be seen at the gates to the Royal Observatory and which is never changed.

Changing the Clocks

For many years, clocks had to be changed manually with delicate clocks having their hands moved twice a year. Then came the age of cars when the clock car was a mystery to be solved by many. Some people just used to leave their car at the same time all year round without moving it – at least it was correct for 6 months of the year.

The Digital Age

With the advance in technology, many of us don’t even realise that the clocks have changed. We go to sleep and wake up to discover all of our smart and digital devices have been updated.

Changing a Watch

For those that own a watch including a Rolex or Omega, there is a particular method to changing the time. Unfortunately, as sophisticated as these timepieces are, they don’t change themselves. Let’s take Rolex as an example and give you some tips on how to set the date and time.

Quickset Rolex Adjust

  • Step 1 – All Rolex watches have a screw-down winding on the outer edge. This screw-down function is used to change the date and time as well as to enhance water resistance
  • Step 2 – Unscrew the winding crown counter clockwise until it releases from the casing
  • Step 3 – Rotate the crown clockwise to manually wind the watch. The number of turns required will depend on your model. Most will be 25 revolutions but it can range from 20-40. You will need to check your watch manual or contact us for this info
  • Step 4 – Pull the crown head to the first notch. You will notice that the time hands continue to move
  • Step 5 – To set the date you need to rotate the crown first setting the date to the day before today
  • Step 6 – To set the time, pull the crown to the second notch. Rotate crown clockwise or counter clockwise.
  • Step 7 – Set the time to midnight – today’s date will appear
  • Step 8 – Now set the time accordingly taking into consideration whether it is PM or AM
  • Step 9 – Press the crown head back into the case to lock it. Wind it in a clockwise direction to ensure it is secure to the body of the watch. Never leave a winding crown screwed up as this can allow dust and moisture into the watch

Non-Quickset Rolex Adjust

  • Step 1 – Locate the screw-down winding and unscrew until it releases from the casingNow manually wind the watch
  • Step 2 – Pull out the crown to the second notch (skip past the first notch)
  • Step 3 – Rotate crown in either direction until correct date appears ensuring it is either am or pm.
  • Step 4 – Now set the correct time
  • Step 5 – Push the crown securely back to the casing

Should you have an issue with setting the time or date on your watch, we would be happy to assist. Just pop into The Goldmarket, WSM and let us help.