How to Change a Watch from Military Time to Standard Time?

Are you tired of deciphering those cryptic numbers on your watch? It might be time to switch from military time to the more familiar standard time format. Whether you’re a civilian looking for simplicity or just prefer the traditional 12-hour clock, making the switch is easier than you think.

In this guide, we’ll walk you through the process step by step, so you can spend less time decoding and more time enjoying your timepiece.

Why Switching Time Formats Matters

So, how to change a watch from military time to standard time? Switching from military time to standard time can make reading your watch a breeze, especially if you’re used to the 12-hour clock.

It eliminates the need for mental math and provides a more intuitive way to tell time, whether you’re setting an alarm, scheduling appointments, or simply checking the time on the fly. Understanding how to change a watch from military time to standard time ensures that your timekeeping experience aligns with your preferences and lifestyle.

Understanding Military Time

What is Military Time?

Military time, also known as the 24-hour clock, is a timekeeping system where the day is divided into 24 hours, starting at midnight (00:00) and ending at 23:59. Each hour is represented by a number from 00 to 23, with no designation for AM or PM.

This straightforward system is widely used in various fields, including the military, aviation, and healthcare, for its precision and clarity.

Benefits of Military Time

One of the main advantages of military time is its clarity and precision. It eliminates any ambiguity regarding time, making it particularly useful in professions where accuracy is critical. With military time, there’s no confusion about whether an event is happening in the morning or evening, as each hour is uniquely identified.

This precision can be crucial in situations where split-second decisions are required.

How Military Time Differs from Standard Time

Unlike standard time, which uses a 12-hour clock with AM and PM designations, military time operates on a 24-hour scale without the need for AM or PM indicators. For example, 1:00 PM in standard time is represented as 13:00 in military time.

This uniform system ensures consistency across different contexts and eliminates the risk of misinterpretation. By understanding the nuances of military time, you gain a deeper appreciation for its efficiency and applicability in various scenarios.

Reasons to Change to Standard Time

Common Situations Where Standard Time is Preferred

Switching to standard time simplifies everyday interactions and aligns with societal norms. It’s easier to schedule appointments, coordinate social events, and integrate with digital devices that predominantly use the 12-hour clock.

Plus, during casual gatherings or leisure activities, the familiarity of standard time enhances the overall experience without the need for mental conversions.

Cultural Considerations

Standard time reflects cultural norms and is widely used in many countries, fostering clearer communication and understanding. By adopting the 12-hour clock, you conform to societal expectations and facilitate smoother interactions, whether at home or abroad.

Embracing standard time not only enhances practical convenience but also promotes cultural cohesion and mutual comprehension across diverse communities.

Step-by-step Guide: Change Watch to Military Time

Standard Digital Watch

Changing your standard digital watch from standard time to military time is a straightforward process that typically involves accessing the watch’s settings menu. Begin by locating the designated button or combination of buttons to enter the settings mode. This is often labeled as “Mode” or “Settings” on the watch face.

Once in the settings menu, navigate to the section related to time settings. Depending on the watch model, this may be labeled as “Time Format,” “Clock Settings,” or something similar. Use the buttons to scroll through the options until you find the setting for time format.

Select the option to switch to military time, often indicated as “24-Hour Time” or “Military Time.” Confirm the selection, and your watch will now display time in the 24-hour clock format. Be sure to double-check the time to ensure it reflects the correct military format.

Apple Watch

For Apple Watch users, changing from standard time to military time can be done through the Settings app on the watch. Begin by accessing the home screen and locating the Settings app, represented by a gear icon.

Once in the Settings app, scroll down and tap on the option labeled “Clock.” Within the Clock settings, look for the toggle switch or option for “24-Hour Time” and tap to enable it. This will switch your Apple Watch to display time in the 24-hour format, commonly known as military time.

Exit the Settings app and return to the watch face to see the changes reflected in the time display. Your Apple Watch will now show the time in military format, allowing for clear and precise timekeeping.

Timex Marathon WR50M Watch

Owners of the Timex Marathon WR50M watch can adjust the time format from standard to military with a few simple steps. Begin by pressing the “Mode” button on the watch repeatedly until you reach the time display mode.

Once in the time display mode, press and hold the “Set” button until the seconds start flashing. Use the designated buttons to navigate to the hour display, then continue pressing the “Mode” button until you reach the desired time format, often indicated as “12H” or “24H.”

Select the military time format by pressing the “Set” button to confirm the change. Your Timex Marathon WR50M watch will now display time in the 24-hour clock format, making it easier to read and understand, especially in situations where precision is key.

By following these step-by-step instructions tailored to each type of watch, you can seamlessly transition from standard time to military time with ease. Whether you’re using a standard digital watch, an Apple Watch, or a Timex Marathon WR50M, changing the time format to military provides a clear and concise way to keep track of time in any situation.


In conclusion, transitioning your watch from military time to standard time offers a practical solution for everyday timekeeping. By making this adjustment, you simplify communication, enhance coordination in various settings, and align with the widespread use of the 12-hour clock format.

Whether you’re navigating social engagements, scheduling appointments, or enjoying leisure activities, the switch to standard time brings a level of convenience that resonates with the majority of daily interactions.

Embracing this change not only streamlines your personal time management but also ensures a seamless integration with the broader cultural and societal norms associated with the 12-hour clock.


Can I switch back to military time if I change my mind?

Absolutely. Most watches provide the flexibility to toggle between military time and standard time formats. Simply follow the same instructions outlined in this guide, selecting the desired time format in your watch’s settings.

Will changing the time format affect other watch settings?

No, adjusting the time format should not impact other settings on your watch. The modification is typically isolated to the display format and does not interfere with other functionalities. However, it’s always a good practice to consult your watch’s manual for any specific instructions or precautions related to settings adjustments.

Can I customize the time format on my watch?

Some watches offer customization options, allowing you to choose between different display styles or formats. Check your watch’s manual or settings menu for available options. Customizing the time format provides a personalized touch to your watch’s display, catering to your preferences and style.

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