Units were either written out or abbreviated, such as 8 h. Sometimes in official records, decimal hours were divided into tenths, or décimes, instead of minutes.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.Therefore, it becomes simpler to interpret a timestamp and to perform conversions.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.

The National Convention issued a decree on 5 October 1793: , noon was called cinq heures (5 o'clock), etc.

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French decimal clock from the time of the French Revolution.

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.

The main advantage of a decimal time system is that, since the base used to divide the time is the same as the one used to represent it, the whole time representation can be handled as a single string.

This property also makes it straightforward to represent a timestamp as a fractional day, so that 2017-10-29.534 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.

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