Why did not Phileas Fogg notice that his pocket watch ( set to London Time ) was behind the local time as he traveled eastwards?

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    Because he changed his watch to suit. Phileas wasn't unaware of time zones you know. He just forgot to account for the extra day he gains be travelling eastward. Commented Sep 10, 2014 at 17:32
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    For one thing, it would ruin the twist ending. Commented Sep 11, 2014 at 9:30
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    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it is not related to a work in science fiction or fantasy genre.
    – b_jonas
    Commented Feb 8, 2015 at 21:31

1 Answer 1


Fogg's watch was not set to London Time (he kept on changing it as he traveled). Passepartout’s watch was. However, it did not show the date in addition to the time.

This was described in chapter 37 (the last chapter). Fogg's error was an accident.

How was it that a man so exact and fastidious could have made this error of a day? How came he to think that he had arrived in London on Saturday, the twenty-first day of December, when it was really Friday, the twentieth, the seventy- ninth day only from his departure? The cause of the error is very simple. Phileas Fogg had, without suspecting it, gained one day on his journey, and this merely because he had travelled constantly eastward; he would, on the contrary, have lost a day had he gone in the opposite direction, that is, westward. In journeying eastward he had gone towards the sun, and the days therefore diminished for him as many times four minutes as he crossed degrees in this direction. There are three hundred and sixty degrees on the circumference of the earth; and these three hundred and sixty degrees, multiplied by four minutes, gives precisely twenty-four hours—that is, the day unconsciously gained. In other words, while Phileas Fogg, going eastward, saw the sun pass the meridian eighty times, his friends in London only saw it pass the meridian seventy-nine times. This is why they awaited him at the Reform Club on Saturday, and not Sunday, as Mr. Fogg thought. And Passepartout’s famous family watch, which had always kept London time, would have betrayed this fact, if it had marked the days as well as the hours and the minutes!

  • not really stated in the answer but if he presumes his watch to be inaccurate and need occational readjustment to be the correct time, it makes sense that he could not notice. Commented Sep 10, 2014 at 17:48
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    The answer does not address the question - why he did not notice the discrepancy. Also you may want to add a spoiler warning at the top of the answer.
    – juvva
    Commented Sep 10, 2014 at 17:56
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    spoiler warning for a book over 100 years old? also, it says right there that Fogg forgot about the 4 minutes savings per degree around the planet.
    – calccrypto
    Commented Sep 10, 2014 at 17:58
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    @juvva - There was no discrepancy because he changed his watch's time according to the time zone. The extra day he gained is another matter entirely that he forgot to account for, and would not have normally noticed (unless he was taking sun measurements). Commented Sep 10, 2014 at 18:18
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    @juvva there was no discrepancy. During his travel, Fogg awoke/went to sleep 80 times, so he counted 80 days. Of course, he did not realize that each of those days was slightly shorter than his usual London day (given that his travel went through several latitudes, not a surprising thing to miss). Also, time zones in XIX century were way more complex than nowadays, with lots of local time (since there was no way to sinchronize clocks other than physically moving a clock from one location to the other, and that usually altered the clock accuracy).
    – SJuan76
    Commented Sep 10, 2014 at 20:44

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