Do Watches Work in Space? The Myths Debunked

Do Watches Work in Space? The Myths Debunked

Now you can listen to us read the article!


Most astronauts do not choose to use traditional watches in space, because it can be a huge pain to maintain them. But some astronauts do use watches while in space. What kind of watch do astronauts use in space?

Most watches work in space without any issues if you reset the watch every few days. Many astronauts use the Speedmaster watch because they can program clocks in multiple time zones. The most common time zones that astronauts use include Houston, Texas, and Moscow/Russian time.

Astronauts use watches in space to help maintain a consistent schedule. Constant fluctuations in lighting make it difficult to tell time using sunlight like you would on Earth. Keep reading if you want to learn more about space watches.

How Do Watches Work in Space?

Watches work in space the same way as they do on earth, with a few exceptions. The exceptions to the functionality include the lack of gravitational force, which requires mechanical watches to be reset more often.

Most astronauts set their time to Universal Time (UTC), which is a universal timezone. 

Astronauts may also choose their preferred space stations or personal cities. Mechanical watches usually rely on gravity to work, but the average watch still receives enough gravitational force to continue working. 

If you want to learn more from an astronaut, this YouTube video gives you all the answers about space watches. 

Do Astronauts Use Watches?

Watches are an integral part of space missions. Knowing the time on earth helps astronauts in more ways than one. 

Astronauts use watches to record data accurately. In addition to accurate data recording, wearing watches helps astronauts maintain a healthy schedule while in space. This healthy schedule includes remaining consistent with sleep schedules. 

You cannot gauge the time of day visually in space, so a watch gives you the chance to keep track of time.

How Do Astronauts Use Watches?

Astronauts use watches to help them maintain a consistent routine while in space. Maintaining a routine and telling time can become difficult while in space, mainly because of the constant sunrises every ninety minutes. 

Without a clock, there would be no way for astronauts to tell time back on earth. Furthermore, they could not maintain a normal schedule while in space. 

The Time Zone In Space

In space, astronauts often set their watches to Coordinated Universal Time (UTC), which is a universal time. Many astronauts use twelve-hour watches to make measuring time easier. They may also choose to use digital watches. 

Digital watches are the easiest clock to read.

What Watches Do Astronauts Use?

Astronauts use many kinds of watches, including their personal wristwatches. Two of the most common watch brands include: 

  • Omega Speedmaster Professional
  • Breitling Navitimer

Astronauts have the option to bring other watches with them to space. Even with the choice, many choose the above watch brands because they are proven to be reliable.

Omega Speedmaster Professional

The Omega Speedmaster Professional watch is one of the most commonly used watches by American astronauts. This reliable watch has been used since the beginning of space travel and will continue to be used by astronauts. 

That is why Omega has developed a specialty, “Moonwatch Professional.” 

Omega has a variety of tools and functionality, including timers, recorders, and more. Speedmaster runs using the central chronograph function, which makes reading time intervals much easier. 

Breitling Navitimer

Breitling sells multi-functional luxury watches. 

Despite being known as a luxury watch, Breitling is the perfect brand for space travel because of its many uses. There are several functions, including a timer and stopwatch. The multi-functions make data collection easier for scientists in space.

Breitling watches also have a 42-hour power reserve, which comes in handy for exterior space voyages and space emergencies.  

What Do Astronauts Look for in Watches?

There are many important qualities that astronauts look for in watches. Some of the most important qualities in a glorified “space watch” are accuracy and longevity. Accurate time readings are critical as the astronauts take their rotations around the sun.

Important qualities that astronauts look for in watches include: 

  • Functionality
  • Longevity
  • Comfort
  • Accuracy

Astronauts also bring personal watches to space, a common choice being the luxurious Rolex watch. An astronaut can wear personal watches in addition to NASA-approved watches.

Watches Might Require Servicing in Space

Even in space, watches require servicing. A watch should receive servicing, as recommended by the manual included.

How Often Do You Service a Watch in Space?

Watches are serviced as frequently in space as they are on Earth. Astronauts treat watches similarly in space when it comes to servicing their watches. Determine how frequently you need to service your watch based on the type of watch you own.

There is no real difference in how much time a watch should be serviced in space and Earth. Abide by the manual provided when purchasing your watch for servicing your watch. 

How Do You Service a Watch in Space?

Servicing a watch in space is the same as servicing a watch on Earth. The recommended time for servicing is often every 10 years. The type of watch can differ the time of time you should go between servicing. 

For instance, service mechanical watches every 3-5 years, and quartz watches every ten years. The average space voyage lasts only six months. 

Common forms of servicing a watch in space include: 

  • Change the battery
  • Oil the inner gears
  • Extending links
  • Polishing

Regularly servicing watches prolongs their life and maintains consistency. For an astronaut, a consistent watch with a long life is critical. 


Most watches work in space. However, some watch brands are more common than others. Astronauts have popularized several brands as space watches, including the Omega Speedmaster, used since the beginning of space travel.

Brands like Omega have multiple functions which allow users to program timers, tell the time in multiple time zones, and much more. 

Watches are an important part of maintaining a normal life in space. They allow astronauts to stay consistent with time on Earth on they may maintain normal schedules during their time in space.