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See this description of My Dear Watson:

My Dear Watson

edit a post

Have a look at my revision history. I have already edited a post more than 1 hour ago. But still I am not awarded this hat on Meta.

So how much time does it take to award any hat?

It seems to be inconsistent. –  Austin Henley Dec 19 '12 at 5:23
I haven't gotten my hat for editing a post yet, but I got the one for improving a post (a long time ago at that), which requires editing, so yes, I'm a bit confused on that one. –  animuson Dec 19 '12 at 5:24
@animuson - Exactly. I faced the same issue. –  hims056 Dec 19 '12 at 5:25
PS: While asking this question I earned that hat on Stack Overflow. –  hims056 Dec 19 '12 at 5:26
Duplicate? –  Austin Henley Dec 19 '12 at 5:28
I have exactly the same question right now. The bowler is the best hat, in my opinion. Well, tied with the Waldo hat. –  Josh Caswell Dec 19 '12 at 5:42
Took me an hourish for "my dear Watson" as well. My guess: there are server scripts which run at various time intervals, depending on the load each script causes. Like badges. –  Manishearth Dec 19 '12 at 6:11
@JoshCaswell - To clear our confusion see my answer –  hims056 Dec 19 '12 at 7:35
No no no. It's not a duplicate. See my answer. –  hims056 Dec 19 '12 at 13:29

3 Answers 3

For the six or so hats I've gotten so far... Five to ten minutes for each hat, once the achievement is unlocked.

Yes. I too. But as you can see that particular hat is not awarded to me yet. Also see animuson's comment –  hims056 Dec 19 '12 at 5:41
This is correct-- hats are awarded every 5 minutes, but then as a result of caching, it may take another few minutes to see it on the leaderboard or in your Winter Bash inbox. –  Emmett Dec 19 '12 at 6:35
up vote 8 down vote accepted

As per Emmett ♦'s comment

He has updated the description of My Dear Watson

make 5 edits

So, actually we have to edit at least 5 post to earn this hat.
That's why I and other users were not awarded that hat because we edited less than 5 posts at that time.

Well, that's a pretty big change! It's all just for fun, though; no harm done. –  Josh Caswell Dec 19 '12 at 7:35

It appears to be very inconsistent. This question may be of help (they suggest it could be caching)

Personally, it has taken from 5 minutes to over an hour and still no hat for making an edit (same problem as you)!

Oops, My Dear Watson is actually awarded for 5 edits -- I just updated the hat description to reflect this. –  Emmett Dec 19 '12 at 6:34

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