Picture of carbon dating
You can get any date you like depending on the assumptions you make.
And that is what geologist do, they make up an assumed geological history for rock depending on the numbers that come from the geochronology lab (see Dating secrets).
They used pottery and other materials in sites to date 'relatively'.
They thought that sites which had the same kinds of pots and tools would be the same age.
You could talk about the tiny quartz crystal and the piezoelectric effect used to provide a stable time base for the electronic movement.
The archaeologist Colin Renfrew (1973) called it the development of this dating method 'the radiocarbon revolution' in describing its great impact upon the human sciences.We note that at the instant the swimmer touches the edge of the pool our wristwatch reads and 53 seconds.How long has the competitor taken to swim the 1,500 metre race?And you have to check to make sure he touches the edge at the end of each lap.Without these observations you cannot be sure that the time is valid.
But without reliable witnesses the accuracy of the watch makes no difference.