Here’s How To Change The Time On An Apple Watch

Here's How To Change The Time On An Apple Watch

Users can adjust an Apple Watch’s clock to use the old wristwatch trick of setting the time ahead, so you’re right on time even if you arrive late.

Of course, an Apple Watch keeps time by itself and never needs to be wound, but Apple makes it possible to change the time shown on the face. This can be a handy feature when trying to avoid being late to appointments, building in a buffer of a few minutes or more to allow for poor traffic conditions or other delays.

The first wristwatches simply showed the time of day and nothing more. However, that functionality grew as technology advanced. Soon the date was added, along with stopwatches that could measure hundredths of seconds, timers and alarms. Today, all of those features pale in comparison to the robust features and apps that make an Apple Watch much more than just a timekeeper.

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With all of the Apple Watch’s advanced technology, it’s still great to just lift the wrist to see the exact time of day. A common productivity trick is to set the time ahead so there is more time available than is apparent when checking if it’s time to get ready for a meeting. Even though the Apple Watch synchronizes its time to the paired iPhone’s clock, Apple provides a way to set the time ahead manually. The user should scroll down and tap on the Clock options in the Settings app. After tapping +0 min, the Digital Crown can be twisted to change the time. The display will show a plus sign followed by the number of minutes users add to the actual time. After tapping the Set button, the time shown on the face will be set ahead.

Apple Watch Clock Options

Apple Watch Series 7 showing three different faces.

After setting an Apple Watch forward, the face will show a time that’s a few or more minutes ahead of the actual time. Any alarms that have been set will still use the precise time that is taken from an internet time server and synchronized from the paired iPhone. Likewise, any time-based notifications and reminders will use the real-time. The World Clock app will also show the current and real-time, rather than the user’s adjusted time.

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The Clock app also has options to chime on the hour, with classic bell tones or bird tweets. Haptic vibrations will also accompany the chime. The Apple Watch can also speak the time or buzz with a clever feature called Taptic Time, which makes it possible to know the time of day by feeling the watch or tapping the wrist every quarter-hour. This eliminates the need to look at the clock or listen for chimes. As a result, the Apple Watch is quite a useful smartwatch and a versatile timekeeper.

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