IN TIME: Reading That Pesky Arm Clock

A reprint from  If you were wondering exactly how to read those pesky arm clocks in In Time, starring Justin Timberlake and Amanda Seyfried, well, here's the theory.

In the movie, the society it takes place in, when you hit 25-years-old, a biological clock kicks in and you have exactly one year to live.  The time is shown on your arm.  Time is the commodity in this society.  Things cost time and you can make time by working.  This is how folks stay alive.

But some have asked how the bloody heck do you read the arm clock in the movie?

After viewing the movie a few times on Blu-ray, (BTW, it looks awesome on Blu-ray), I figured out that the arm clocks in In Time actually read as 


Through various scenes, here’s what I saw:

At one point, Olivia Wilde‘s arm clock read “000-00-2-23-54-36″ or 2 days, 23 hours, 54 minutes and 36 seconds.

And at first, I thought the first two numbers (from L to R) were years and months, but in the scene when the millionaire gives Timberlake his time, what I thought were months kept rolling over beyond 12… but never over 51.  (I replayed that scene over and over, checking on that one.)

There was a scene where a baby had one year, and his arm read “0001-00-0-00-00-00.”

And the clincher was when we saw Amanda Seyfried’s arm clock turn on and we saw her one year start, her arm clock read “0000-51-6-23-59-5.”

So the arm clock in In Time reads years-weeks-days-hours-minutes-seconds.

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  1. You're right, in the scene where Will Salas is playing in the casino he wins a poker hand he collects the pot and the arm clock reads 1100-00-0-00-00-01, after chatting for a little more than 1 minute with Weis and Sylvia the clock reads 1099-51-6-23-58-45 and confirms the second number is weeks.

  2. I agree, the way you describe how to read it makes the most sense. However, when Will Salas' opponent raises the pot in the casino scene, they show how the time is added to the pot. When you pause this, you're able to see the clock display 67 weeks in one still, and 8 days in another. To me it would've made more sense if these numbers would only go as high as their highest possible option.

  3. And Wat do the do with the one day extra once in four years in February.

    1. Wow, now that's some crafty good thinking outside the box. I HAVE NO IDEA! LOL.

    2. I was thinking thesame thing😂 and months have 30 or 31 daya, how about that?

    3. I was thinking thesame thing😂 and months have 30 or 31 daya, how about that?

  4. The way it counts, one year becomes 52 weeks exactly, so in essence you actually lose one day each year (2 in a leap year). The number of days in a month are inconsequential, as the clock doesn't count months.

  5. Agree with Unknown. For purposes of the 'arm-clock', a year is 52 weeks of 7 days each. Or 364 days.

  6. This clock doesn't track time as in "precision point in history", but rather countdown / stopwatch. So, you can possible have 200 weeks (~3 years 10 months). It doesn't matter. Only if you would want to know exact date, when certain timer will expire, you would have to take into account leap years, or a fact that one year is actually ~52.2 weeks and so on.


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