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How to set the time and date on a digital watch 

Most digital watch manufacturers use roughly the same standard for setting the time and date on a digital watch. Even if you don't have the manual for your digital watch (anymore), you can set most digital watches - regardless of the brand - to the correct time and date by following these simple steps.

Standard buttons for setting a digital watch

Most digital watches have three or four settings buttons. The following terms are printed on the bezel or dial: Mode, Set/reset, Start/stop and Light.

• With the Mode button you click to the different functions of your watch, for example time, stopwatch or alarm. 
• With the Set/Reset (SET/RST) button you activate the functions of your watch and you can click up/down through the settings, as with the Lorus watch below. Instead of set/reset, on some watches, this button is also referred to as Adjust (eg on G-Shock). 
• You operate the stopwatch function with the Start/Stop (ST/STP). Often the ST/STP button is also used to click through the settings if the watch does not have a set/reset button. 
• And the light button switches on the backlight. And the light button is often used to click through the settings as well, if the watch does not have a set / reset button. Like with the Casio below.

Before you start setting the time, try which buttons on your watch are used for which action. It doesn't matter if you set something wrong; You can always start over.

Lorus watch close up

Digital Lorus watch with four buttons

Casio watch close up

Digital Casio watch with 3 buttons

How to set the time on a digital watch step by step

In the step-by-step plan below, we show you how to set the time for these two types of watches. With set/reset button and without set/reset button. 

Watch with set/reset button

Press the Mode button until you reach the timekeeping Mode

Press set/reset, the seconds will start to flash. Click the mode button until the hour starts flashing.

Press the start/stop button until you reach the correct hour. Then click on mode again to go to the minutes and repeat for the seconds.

Press set/reset again to confirm your settings.

Watch without set/reset button

Press the Mode button until you reach the Timekeeping feature. The seconds will start toflash.

Press the light button to activate the hours. The digits will start to blink.

Click the start/stop button until you reach the correct number. Then click on light again to go to the minutes and repeat the steps for the seconds.

Press Mode again to confirm your settings.

Do you want to know the exact time when you set your watch? On the site Time.is you can look up the correct time for every place on earth. 

Setting the date on digital watch 

Now that you've mastered the basics of using the settings buttons, you can adjust the date in the same way.

Continue clicking the mode button until the month number starts flashing. Select the correct setting with start/stop. Click set/reset again to confirm your settings.

Click the light button until the month number starts flashing. Select the correct setting with set/reset. Press Mode again to confirm your settings.

Note: Most digital watches use the US date format; First the month, then the day, and then the year. This means that September 11 will be set as 9-11 on your watch.

Settings for other functions on digital watches 

If you are still unsure how to set the time, date or other functions on your digital watch correctly, or if you are now ready to use other functions of your watch, we recommend that you consult the manufacturer's manual. 

At Relogios.pt you will find the manual for your watch with the movement specifications of your watch. The user manual describes in detail the settings for each function of the watch.

Ready for a new digital watch? You can find them all on our digital watches page.