March 27, 2017

How To Read a Round Clock with Roman Numerals

Time is not a mystery; this clock is just from history! Some people think Roman numerals look elegant on clocks. Many older clocks and especially family heirloom grandfather clocks have Roman numbers.  Here are some pictures and a video to show you how to read a round clock with Roman numerals. You don’t have to know Roman numerals to read a clock with them!

On Every Round Clock

On every round clock, the short hand points to the hour and the long hand points to the minutes. Both hands move around the clock in the same direction, to the right from the top. This direction is called “Clockwise.”  These hands have positions that tell the same time on every round clock. It doesn’t matter how the positions are labeled. Click here for more help reading any round clock. Let’s first look at the hour hand positions.

Hour Hand Positions

Every round clock has the same hour hand positions, no matter how they are labeled. 12 O’Clock is always at the top. 6 O’Clock is always at the bottom. 3 O’Clock is always on the right. 9 O’Clock is always on the left. Memorize these positions. Figure out positions between these by counting up from a memorized position. The short hand points to these hour positions to indicate which hours the time is nearest. In this picture, the short hand points closest to the Roman numeral 11. We can see that because it is one position behind twelve as you go around the clock in a clockwise direction.

Minute Hand Positions

Round clocks all have the same minute positions, no matter how they are labeled. The minute hand reaches each new number after 5 minutes. The minute hand always takes 15 minutes to get straight to the right. It always takes 30 minutes to go straight down. Every minute hand on every round clock takes 45 minutes to get straight to the left. A minute hand pointing straight up always means it is right on the hour. Memorize these minute hand positions. Count up or down by 5 to figure out the other minute hand positions.

Example Roman Numeral clock Time

This Roman Numeral clock tells the time 11:52. The hour hand is two hours past the 9 O’Clock position. 9 + 2 = 11. The minute hand is 7 minutes past the 45 minute position. 45 + 7 = 52. You don’t have to know Roman numerals in order to read a round clock labeled with Roman numerals. Memorize the hour hand positions: 12 O’Clock, 3 O’Clock, 6 O’Clock and 9 O’clock. Memorize the minute hand positions 15, 30 and 45. Use these memorized time positions as a guide to help you read any round clock. Pretend the clock has regular numbers and just read it like any round clock.

Video: Toddler Reads a Round Clock with Roman Numerals

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