Ten, nine, eight, seven .... you know the rest. If you are going to be repeating this countdown to welcome 2016 come 23:59:50 on New Year's Eve then you might want to consider using an Apple Watch to ensure you have got your timing right down to the millisecond.
According to Apple's vice president of Technology, Kevin Lynch, "those who have the Apple Watch will be the most accurate watch in the room". For pedantic people who dread the thought of being a second or two out of sync, the Apple Watch uses an impressive network of technology dotted around the world, from space and back to your wrist explains Lynch in an interview with Mashable.
Unreliable timekeeping is not just limited to wind-up analogue watches, digital clocks like the ones on your oven, set-top box or classic Casio suffer from it too. The way digital watchmakers have rectified this issue is to have a centralised server with which digital watches can synchronise. In typical Apple fashion it has created its very own "network of time servers around the world" – 15 of them, including one located in space.
To keep your Apple Watch in perfect timing it takes its official time from the US Naval Observatory that uses GPS antennas on buildings scattered around the globe to communicate to GPS satellites orbiting Earth, which then relays this data to iPhones and finally to Apple Watches. It sounds like a convoluted process but Apple makes sure it does not skip a heartbeat by making constant corrections so accuracy is not affected in the process.
Apple Watch: More accurate than an iPhone
Inside the Apple Watch the company doubles up on accuracy by including a crystal temperature-control oscillator, which is a fancy name for something that compensates for shifts in temperature which could cause its time keeping to skew. Lynch claims: "As a piece of hardware, Apple Watch is far more accurate as a timekeeping device than the iPhone. It's actually four times better."
There are some watches on the market that sync with atomic clocks – reputed to be the most accurate clocks in the world – so some of this technology is not exactly new. However, what is smart about Apple's method is constantly pinging the updated time to iPhones which helps keep the Apple Watch consistently accurate. So if you want to make sure you are seeing in 2016 at the exact time, keep an eye on your Apple Watch.