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Radio controlled watches

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I was told about Radio watches last week and apparently it is not easy to set the time after a battery change, something about it setting itself during the night. Is that right Planet UK900? I was thinking of getting one of the cheaper ones for holidays.


By the way, anyone removing the back of a watch and makes a mark on the back due to the tool slipping, polish the bloody thing out. My son-in-law had 2 deep gouges on the back of an Armarni watch, not a good idea to give the cusomer a watch back in that condition.

The names have been changed to protect the innocent as they used to say in "Dragnet" :wink:

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I was told about Radio watches last week and apparently it is not easy to set the time after a battery change, something about it setting itself during the night.


First off an understanding of what the "radio signal" is, contrary to popular belief it is not sent via your local radio station!


The time signal is a radio signal broadcast from the Anthorn VLF transmitter near Anthorn, Cumbria which serves as the United Kingdom's national time reference. The time signal is derived from three atomic clocks installed at the transmitter site. The signal, also known as the MSF signal (and formerly the Rugby clock) is broadcast at a highly-accurate frequency of 60 kHz and can be received throughout the UK, and in much of northern and western Europe.


The MSF time and date code includes the following information:




day of month

day of week



British Summer Time (in effect or imminent)


it is a constantly broadcast signal & how quickly your watch updates is dependent on the update electronics within it. with updates typically 4,12 or 24 hours apart.


If you are having a problems with your radio controlled watch here are some suggestions:


First off, try inserting a fresh battery (obvious as thats why you probably have the watch in your shop in the first place!)

Next, try a full reset of the clock (it may have a reset button, or may rely on battery removal - check the manual supplied with watch if possible)

Then, leave the clock / watch in an area that's free from electrical interference, somewhere where it stands a good chance of getting clear reception of the time signal. (by a window)


From my experience, most problems with radio-controlled timepieces comes down to not getting decent reception of the signal. if the watch isn't setting at work take it home you might get a better signal!


Always allow 24 hours for a fresh battery, so you can make sure the watch re-adjusts itself correctly



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Very informative and interesting Lee,

I have read that it can be used abroad but when looking at the adverts it states that the transmitters are in the USA, UK, Germany and I think Japan.

If I am in the Canary Isles will it give me local time or the time corresponding to the nearest country with a transmitter ?

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