Hello, Darkness: Interesting Facts About Daylight Saving Time

daylight saving time facts

Love it or hate it, daylight saving time will be ending this Sunday, November 1, between the hours of 2am and 3am. When you wake up on Sunday morning, you’ll need to manually set your non-internet-connected timekeeping devices back one hour. You could simply ignore daylight saving time, of course, but you’ll be one hour behind until next March — when daylight saving time is reinitiated. Not recommended.

If you happen to own a mechanical wristwatch, you’ll be glad to know that respected watch retailer Tourneau can provide a complementary time reset, along with their signature 5-point checkup to ensure that your timepiece is operating optimally. If you don’t own a wristwatch, we expect you’ll still be interested in these daylight saving time facts, several of which were passed to us from the luxury watch retailer:


Related: The Manual Wind: 3 Worth it Watches for Under $500

  • People very often make the mistake of calling it “daylight savings time,” though it’s really called “daylight saving time.” This mistake is so common that most sticklers have given up; “daylight savings time” is widely considered acceptable.
  • While some forms of DST were used in ancient times, Benjamin Franklin is credited with conceiving the modern concept in a 1784 essay titled “An Economic Project for Diminishing the Cost of Light.” Franklin struck a satirical tone in the essay, but oddly enough, his idea would become widely adopted.
  • Modern daylight saving time was seriously proposed in 1895 by a New Zealand man named George Hudson. It was formally implemented for the first time by Germany and Austria-Hungary during World War I in an effort to conserve fuel that would otherwise be used to produce electricity.
  • Daylight saving was enacted in the U.S. in 1918, repealed in 1919,  reinstated during World War II, abandoned in 1945, and reinstated again in 1966. DST was extended in the early 1970s, during the global energy crisis.
  • The main benefit of daylight saving time is to increase the amount of sunlight during normal waking hours. Setting the clocks ahead at the end of winter supposedly reduces energy use and increases economic productivity. According to the U.S. Law Enforcement Assistance Administration, crime consistently drops by 10% to 13% during DST.
  • Critics of daylight saving time say that the benefits are inconclusive, and that the bi-annual disruption offsets any benefits that might be gained. According to the Journal of Applied Psychology, workplace accidents are both more common and more severe on the Monday following DST.
  • Arizona and Hawaii do not observe daylight saving time. In fact, only one quarter of the world’s population lives in nations that observe DST.
  • Tourneau advises against turning a watch back between 9 pm. and 3 am. The watch gears are engaged to change the calendar during those six hours, and changing the time can easily cause breakage.
  • Tourneau also advises against resetting a watch while it’s on your wrist. You should always take the watch off so as not to break the stem where the watch’s crown & bezel connect.