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Minutes and second hands were put on some clocks in (about) 1697.

Can I use "about" before 1697 in the given sentence?

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If it was within that year, then use in.

If approximately that year or near to that year, then you can use around or about.

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    In the second case, around sounds most natural to me. – user3169 Sep 3 '15 at 4:42

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