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Elven Time Measurement, proposedby Bruce Heard
Wendar originally devised a system to measure time using water. A container remains filled at all times from the water of a nearby source. Water drips from the container into a small vial, which tips over when full and empties its contents into a vase. The vase empties itself into a crystal vat, the vat into an urn which then drains itself at the end of the day. The vase, the vat, and the urn are graduated to show how full they are, and thus how much time has elapsed.
Whenever a vase tips over, a chime is sounded. When the vat empties itself into the urn, a rod gently taps the side of the urn, producing a crystalline sound. The sound varies with the amount of water in the vat, which elves can easily discern. The urn is stricken 5 times in the day. When the urn is full, it tips over to empty its contents into a drain, and in so doing sounds a deeper-sounding bell, usually at dawn. The elven "clock" is reset at every equinox in order for the urn's bell to sound nearer to dawn. Therefore, elven time measures are as follows:
A Drip (one drop of water from the main container) = 3 seconds
A Vial (20 drops of water) = 1 minute
A Chime (20 vials) = 20 mn
A Bell (12 vases) = 4 hours
A Day (6 vats) = a day
Therefore, what Thyatians call an hour based upon common Thyatis sundials, elves would say "Three Chimes". Elves tend to consider their system more convenient since it can operate at any time of the day. The basic time unit is also more in tune with the elven point of view (3 seconds instead of one). The Vial tends to be ignored as merely a mechanical necessity, in favour of the Chime and the Bell -- which explains why these two are sounded. Thyatians prefer the sundial because it can't freeze in cold weather and it can be moved.