Switzerland uses Central European Time (CET) during the winter as standard time, which is one hour ahead of Coordinated Universal Time (UTC+01:00), and Central European Summer Time (CEST) during the summer as daylight saving time, which is two hours ahead of Coordinated Universal Time (UTC+02:00).
The electrical telegraph was introduced in Switzerland in 1851, which allowed near real-time communication, especially amongst post offices. By July 1853, all telegraph and post offices across Switzerland were using Bernese time, a local mean time measured from the Zytglogge clocktower at UTC+00:29:45.5.[a] Bernese time was also used on train timetables by at least 1873. On 1 June 1894, UTC+01:00 was officially adopted nationwide. Daylight saving time was first attempted between 1941 and 1942, by moving the clocks forward one hour at 01:00 on the first Monday in May, and back again at 02:00 on the first Monday in October. The decision to observe daylight saving time was made by the Federal Council on behalf of the recommendation of the Federal Chancellery.
Whilst DST was introduced in much of Western Europe in the spring of 1980, Switzerland did not implement DST until the following year. This resulted in there being a one hour time difference between Switzerland and most of Western Europe, including all of the bordering countries (with the exception of Liechtenstein) for around six months in 1980.
The German village of Büsingen am Hochrhein, a small exclave, entirely surrounded by Swiss territory, did not implement DST in 1980 either and observed the same time as Switzerland, meaning there was a one hour time difference between this village and the rest of Germany. The zone Europe/Busingen was created in the 2013a release of the tz database, because since the Unix time epoch in 1970, Büsingen has shared clocks with Zurich.
IANA time zone databaseEdit
|c.c.*||Coordinates*||TZ*||Comments*||UTC offset||UTC DST offset|
Computers not supporting "Europe/Zurich" may use the older POSIX syntax:
- Europe. WorldTimeZone.com.
- Messerli, Jakob (1995). Gleichmässig – pünktlich – schnell: Zeiteinteilung und Zeitgebrauch in der Schweiz im 19. Jahrhundert (in German). Zürich. p. 72. ISBN 3-905311-68-2. OCLC 717570797.
- Stuewer, Roger H. (2009). The Physical Tourist: A Science Guide for the Traveler. Springer London. p. 128. ISBN 9783764389338. Retrieved 28 March 2022.
- "Verordnung des Bundesamtes für Landestopografie über Geoinformation" [Ordinance of the Federal Office of Topography on Geoinformation] (in German). Fedlex: The publication platform for federal law. 26 May 2008. Retrieved 28 March 2022.
- Black, Charles Bertram (1873). "Guide to Switzerland and the Italian Lakes". Sampson Low, Marston & Company. p. 21. Retrieved 28 March 2022.
- "Circulaire du conseil fédéral" (in French). Swiss Federal Council. 13 December 1893. Retrieved 28 March 2022 – via Swiss Federal Archives.
- "Protokol Sitzung des schweizerischen Bundesrates" [Minutes of the session of the Swiss Federal Council] (PDF) (in German). Swiss Federal Council. 7 November 1941. p. 24. Retrieved 28 March 2022 – via Swiss Federal Archives.
- Eggert, Paul (2013-03-02). "tzcode2013a and tzdata2013a available". ICANN.
- Olson, Arthur David (2012-03-03). "New zone for DE, split from Europe/Berlin". gmane.comp.time.tz.
- Measured at  .