Although clocks and watches were produced with faces showing both standard time with numbers 1–24 and decimal time with numbers 1–10, decimal time never caught on; it was not officially used until the beginning of the Republican year III, 22 September 1794, and mandatory use was suspended 7 April 1795 (18 Germinal of the Year III), in the same law which introduced the original metric system.Thus, although decimal time is sometimes referred to as metric time, the metric system at first had no time unit, and later versions of the metric system used the second, equal to 1/86400 day, as the metric time unit.The plan did not gain acceptance and was abandoned in 1900.On 23 October 1998, the Swiss watch company Swatch introduced a decimal time called Internet Time, which divides the day into 1,000 decimal minutes (Swatch called them .beats), (each 86.4 seconds in standard time) counted from 000–999, with @000 being midnight and @500 being noon standard time in Switzerland, which is Central European Time (one hour ahead of Universal Time).

This term is often used specifically to refer to French Revolutionary Time, used in France for a few years beginning in 1792 during the French Revolution, which divided the day into 10 decimal hours, each decimal hour into 100 decimal minutes and each decimal minute into 100 decimal seconds, as opposed to the more familiar UTC Time standard, which divides the day into 24 hours, each hour into 60 minutes and each minute into 60 seconds.In spite of this, decimal time was used in many cities, including Marseille and Toulouse, where a decimal clock with just an hour hand was on the front of the Capitole for five years.The mathematician and astronomer Pierre-Simon Laplace had a decimal watch made for him, and used decimal time in his work, in the form of fractional days.That the Conference expresses the hope that the technical studies designed to regulate and extend the application of the decimal system to the division of angular space and of time shall be resumed, so as to permit the extension of this application to all cases in which it presents real advantages.In the 1890s, Joseph Charles François de Rey-Pailhade, president of the Toulouse Geographical Society, proposed dividing the day into 100 parts, called cés, equal to 14.4 standard minutes, and each divided into 10 decicés, 100 centicés, etc.For instance, is 1 decimal hour and 23 decimal minutes, or 1.23 hours, or 123 minutes; 3 hours is 300 minutes or 30,000 seconds.This property also makes it straightforward to represent a timestamp as a fractional day, so that 2018-02-25.534 can be interpreted as five decimal hours and 34 decimal minutes after the start of that day, or 0.534 (53.4%) of a day through that day.Chinese decimal time ceased to be used in 1645 when the Shixian (Constant Conformity) calendar, based on European astronomy and brought to China by the Jesuits, adopted 96 ke per day alongside 12 double hours, making each ke exactly one-quarter hour.It would be very desirable that all divisions, for example of the livre, the sou, the toise, the day, the hour, etc. This division would result in much easier and more convenient calculations and would be very preferable to the arbitrary division of the livre into twenty sous, of the sou into twelve deniers, of the day into twenty-four hours, the hour into sixty minutes, etc.The French made another attempt at the decimalization of time in 1897, when the Commission de décimalisation du temps was created by the Bureau des Longitudes, with the mathematician Henri Poincaré as secretary.The commission adopted a compromise, originally proposed by Henri de Sarrauton of the Oran Geographical Society, of retaining the 24-hour day, but dividing each hour into 100 decimal minutes, and each minute into 100 seconds.

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