In physics, things are simpler. Time is a fundamental quantity, something that cannot be defined in terms of anything else. There are some issues with this, that we will address some other time. (Sorry...) The second is the universal unit, and it's defined as 9,192,631,770 oscillations between two levels of the cesium-133 atom. Very different from the tick-tack of old mechanical clocks, which are not very reliable.
It will be interesting if the writer (a theoretical physicist) would write the same type of article for "space".