When you are in a scene and your character is attempting to talk about how much time has passed, it is easy enough to use terminology like "in a moons time" or "between church days" or such, but what about minutes and seconds?
Sure you can use diameter among magi because it is a term they would grasp, but probably not mundanes. Or will they? I haven't take the time yet to look it up but I was wondering how others used terms for time in game?
Sure when being SG and talking to players you can use seconds, minutes, and such, in what do you do in character?
"Candlemark" is a pretty standard term for an hour.
The Canonical Hours were used to refer to times of day: Matins/Vigils at midnight, Lauds at 3 AM, Prime at 6 AM, Terce at 9 AM, Sext at noon, Nones at 3 PM, Vespers at 6 PM, Compline at 9 PM. Keep in mind that an hour was simply 1/12th of the time between dawn and dusk, so the length of the hour varied with your location and the season: winter daytime hours were shorter than summer daytime hours.
Minutes and seconds weren't really used as a measure of time. If you wanted to measure a length of time passing, you'd say things like "a count of ten" or "as long as it takes to say the Pater Noster three times".
"Morning, midday, night, in a month, before the next full moon, in the summertime, three days before Candlemas"
Generally speaking, I avoid being too particular or specific about time, since the average person (monks notwithstanding) didn't care about divisions of a day much finer than morning, noon or night. Divisions of years more specific than seasons are usually marked in relation to holy days.
In fact, a recent short adventure included having the PC's make either Church Lore or Faerie Lore rolls to realize why the night of a specific event was significant (...rescuing a little girl, lost in a faerie wood on All Saint's Eve...).
Hourglass is another valid one.
And there are still sundials.
I can imagine one Hourglass enchanted with one version of "Maintaining the Demanding Spell" with the Concentration and the the sand moving trigger.
Dont forget the clepsidrae that you can ( if have) for a mark, a pint or 30 drops [great invention]
They had also comparative ways . The time of stop-bleeding a finger-pierce, three heatbeats or the time takes to dry your hands. ( very scientific and acurate as you see )
Playing a verditius with a fascination with mechanisms (mundane gears etc) I do plan to have him develop clockwork a little bit earlier, and try and integrate it (in the same manner Hermetic Astrology has the mechanism included)