Decimal Time

Decimal Clock

10 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

Conventional Clock

Time Units

Decimal Time UnitsConventional Time Units
1 Day= 10 Decimal Hours= 86400 s
= 24 h
1 Decimal Hour= 100 Decimal Minutes= 8640 s
= 2 h + 24 min
= 2,4 h
1 Decimal Minute= 100 Decimal Seconds= 86,4 s
= 1 min + 26,4 s
1 Decimal Second= 0,864 s

Why Decimal Time?

Why do we do this to ourselves?

Why does the day have exactly 24 hours, the hour 60 minutes and the minute 60 seconds?

Why does the hour hand of a clock go all the way around twice a day?

An alternative to this is Decimal Time. It divides the day into decimal units, i.e. integer powers of ten.

Specifically, Decimal Time divides the day into ten Decimal Hours, each consisting of 100 Decimal Minutes, which in turn are each 100 Decimal Seconds long.

This means "5 o'clock noon" and "10 o'clock midnight" and a day is 100,000 Decimal Seconds long.

This makes it much easier to calculate durations, i.e. the difference between two times. This is because the time becomes the "decimal place" of the day count.

Historical Background

In France, Decimal Time was used from November 24, 1793 to April 7, 1795 as part of the French Republican Calendar.

It ultimately did not catch on because existing clocks would have become unusable and new decimal clocks were expensive.