Are all of your timepieces synchronized?

Silly question…of course not. Unless you have just one clock to look at, there’s bound to be a spread between your clocks, phones, computer, or whatever other kind of time displays you look at on a daily basis.

Of the 10 or so I see, there’s about a 15-minute differential between fastest and slowest. Of course that raises the question: does any of them display the “right” time? :confused:

My wristwatch, cell phone and two computers have about a 15 second spread between them.

As for the “right” time, the closest you can probably come is unless you’re asking something significantly more philosophical.

Clocks I use in rough order of frequency:

Cell phone - pulls time from the network, accurate to its display precision (minutes)
Desktop - pulls time from
Laptop - ditto
Work van - 3-4 minutes fast because I never remember to reset except when driving, at which point it’s too dangerous to try to figure out how
Car - 2 minutes slow for the same reason
Microwave - 1 minute slow until I reset it just now

15 minutes would drive me nuts. The van is just about to the point where I’ll pull over somewhere and fix it.

The clock in my car is accurate* to within a second. I’ve timed it with the on-the-hour newsbreak pips. My iPhone is pretty accurate. Every other clock/watch in the house is inaccurate to a greater or lesser extent. Nothing which would make me late for an appointment or ridiculously early. A minute or two either way.

  • It’s not at the moment because we’ve just gone back from Daylight Saving Time and I’m too chicken to mess with it.

Just looking around I can see a three minute difference between my alarm clock and my computer clock. And my thermostat has a little clock that I never bother to fiddle with, so depending on whether Daylight Savings Time is active or not it’s about an hour off half the time.

Several of my clocks auto-update from either broadcast or internet sources, and they tend to be within a second of each other: iPhone 4, Samsung Blackjack II, a couple of PCs and Macs, my thermostat, the clock in my bathroom. Car clock is slightly slow, and recently I noticed that it’s 5 minutes behind my phones rather than the 4 I had been mentally calculating with. Bedroom clock is 15 minutes off (yeah, I’m one of those types of people…). Art deco analog clock in the living room is +/- 2 minutes. Time clock at work is usually a couple of minutes behind, which I don’t understand, since it updates itself through an internet-connected intranet which presumably can feed the correct time.

All are the same except:

Bedside alarm clock is something like 15 minutes fast. I change that periodically one to keep me on my toes first thing in the morning.

The clock on the toaster oven never got set in the first place. It’s in an awkward spot in the kitchen that I never look at. The stove clock is correct and more convenient.

No. I use the computer clock and then there is the truck clock that I don’t know how to set. I just put a piece of tape next to the truck clock with the offset time to correct for the clock display and figure it mentally.

I try and set my wristwatch to the second against a reasonable source, a national news broadcast or The Weather Channel or the like. Then I propogate that out to the other adjustable clocks in my domain; the alarm clock, the kitchen stove, HVAC, other house and patio clocks, car clocks, sprinkler, pool and fountain timers, etc. They should all be within a minute of each other.

Those that pull from a source themselves; cell and computers, I don’t mess with.

Depends on location. At home, the alarm clock, computers and cable clock all synch off the same signal. The only clock that would be off (not more than 30 seconds) would be the one on the microwave.

At school it’s a different story. Right now the digital clock on the bookcase says 7:03, my computer says 6:04, and the analog clock on the wall says 6:28. Of course, it has been stopped for 2 years, and the computer is in Deep Freeze and I don’t want to bother the IT guys to reset the clock.

I usually synchronize them within a minute. The devices that get the furthest off actually get their time electronically: my caller ID is just more than a minute off from my computer.

In my OP I said there was a 15 minute spread between the clocks I normally look at. I forgot the time display on my phone at work…it’s 1 hour off.

Our old PBX was never updated with the new daylight savings schedule, so it didn’t spring forward on the right date. Normally it wouldn’t be a big deal, it would just change over a couple of weeks late. But this year someone had the bright idea of manually setting the time ahead, so it was right…but only for two weeks. Since then the PBX has done it’s own reset, and now the clocks on all of our phones are one hour fast.

Quick answer: No way!

This computer is synced to “the internet” and has to be reset (it does so automatically every couple weeks or so) periodically. I just now reset it.

The cable box controls the time on the display over the TV but it is separate from the TV’s own timer. They are rarely in sync and drift apart up to five minutes before I’ll reset the TV’s clock.

I haven’t worn a watch in years. When I did I would try to keep it close to the TV time (or computer) on The Weather Channel. The watches I had kept decent time and were rarely off by more than two seconds from the Naval Observatory time – when I bothered to check them.

Other digital timers on radios, coffee maker, clocks and such are nowhere near the same time and probably have a range of at least five minutes.

I have always been distrustful of published timelines based on clock readings from multiple sources. Best example, 9/11! There’s no way those things can be more accurate than a few minutes.

What’s most annoying is that we have to add two minutes to the recording time when DVRing shows. Even the cable company’s times are fucked up! Shows start late and finish early, and if there’s some smart way to express why that happens, I have yet to hear it. We’re always missing the last few minutes of shows we haven’t deliberately caused to record past the end. It’s usually the previews that we miss, but it also affects the show proper in most cases.

“Synchronize your watches” is basically an urban legend, courtesy of old movies and TV. Utter nonsense! I’d be willing to bet that when they have synced up to the second, that by the time they need to refer back to their watches to do whatever they were supposed to at the exact second, their watches are already off-sync. They never show that, do they? In fact, they rarely do a follow-up to show that things happened right when they were timed to.

My computer and my watch are synced to the time clock. Nothing else matters for me. :smiley:

The clock on my oven is set from my phone, so let’s call that +/- 1 minute. Everything else, Tivo, TV, DVD, Cable box (when I had one) Phone, computers, car get their time from some magical place and they’re all pretty damn close. I’d say within 15 seconds of each other.

Most of my clocks are synched. But its always 12:00 here and apparently we are always at defcon 5 because they are flashing ominously.

Most are very close. But my car is 6 minutes fast.


My bedroom runs on different time … I can’t stand the idea that I have to wake up at 5:30 … my alarm clock says I wake up at ‘6:00’ … luckily I’m easily fooled when waking!!

My watch regularly runs 5 minutes fast (have to change it every week) … so that never matches real time. My phone is probably most likely to reflect reality … that’s what I check if I need to know what time most people think it is.

So definitely no synchronisation here!

My computer, my cable box, my cell phone and my temperature display all get their time from the internet or from WWV and are within a second of each other. I set my watch, my bedroom clocks, the microwave clock, and kitchen wall clock within a minute of the others, although the latter always jumps about a minute fast after it has run for an hour. The clock on the stove is exactly right twice every day.