The search for longitude and a time reference point
Interesting facts about time-keeping
The history of accurate time-keeping goes alongside the history of exploring the world by sea.
After the Industrial Revolution, from mid-18th century to the middle of the 19th century, it was also directly influenced by the need for proper scheduling in a world where terrestrial transport of people and goods got faster and faster, by train first and foremost.
With the introduction of time zones, knowing the offset or time difference made distant communication and travel even more manageable.