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Ten Minutes Past Ten

Updated on September 11, 2015


Pick up any magazine, be it fashion, sport, mens or womens and look for an advertisement for a watch. Particularly what time it says on the watch.

I've got one sitting on the desk beside me and this is what I found...

Page 8 shows a Mambo watch. The time on the face? 10 past 10.

Page 19, win an Omega watch. The time? 10 past 10.

Page 33, an ad for HPM with a clock up on the wall. And the time is? 10 past 10.

I mean for goodness sake, even all the watched I looked through at Amazon are all set to 10 past 10! Even Mickey Mouse is in on the act!

Are professional photographers secretly telling us with subtle glee that the lazy bastards only get out of bed after ten in the morning when us working class are just making it to our well earned morning tea break?

Inquiring minds want to know.


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    • profile image


      7 years ago

      This is what I heard:

      Two times (ten past ten and ten to two) give people a happy feeling (looks like a smiley mouth, yes?). All clocks in clock shops have this time, because people would be more willing to buy something that seems happy (this is all subconcious).

    • ladyjane1 profile image


      8 years ago from Texas

      I noticed this a very long time ago and could never find the answer. At least I know Im not the only one that wonders about stuff. Cheers.

    • darkside profile imageAUTHOR


      10 years ago from Australia

      It must have been a loooong time ago when they used 8:20 in photographs. Certainly not in the last decade and a half when I've been aware of it. But I can see why the practice was 'frowned' upon.

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      Well, actually it seems to be that the position of the hands at 10:08 (or 10:10) allow the logo of the manufacturer to be seen most clearly in a "frame" made up of the hands of the clock. It also is reminiscent of: A) a smile, B) a checkmark or OK symbol. Evidentally ads used to have the watches set to 8:20, but that practice was discontinued because it formed a frown.

      At least that's what I found in snopes...

      Happy 10:10!

    • profile image

      John NOLF 

      10 years ago

      Same here !

      My five cents...: it couldn't be 12:00, 3:16 or 6:32 ... the two hands have to be seen. It can't be 12:32, etc, the two hands cannot be aligned.

      Symmetry is desirable.

      Any symetric position below the 9 - 3 line looks sad or "down" - while above that line cheerful: a man in the distance welcoming you with his arms - or "V" for Victory...

      Now, why ten past ten and not ten to two ? Where one reads from left to right, you expect the long hand to come after the short one... the future is big, again cheerfulness... (Are the ads in arabic countries and others reading right to left with ten to two ?)

      That being said:

      11:04 and 9:14 could be other valid candidates as well... Yet of the three, 10:10 kind of gives a better spread and balance over the face... no ?

      Certainly 10:10 seems to be the norm... tacit or written somewhere ?

      Speaking about watches,... two questions:

      1. at what time after twelve are the hands first aligned ... to 1/100th of a sec...? 2. at what time after twelve do the two hands first cover each other again ?

      :-) john

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      I notice this a while ago, glad to see I'm not alone out there.!!!!

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      I know what does it mean .

      the Falling of Muslim Ottoman Khalif in turkey in the year 1924 happened at 10 past 10


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