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A Brief Explanation of the So-called "Watchmaker's Four"

If you've seen the second version of our Bambino watch, chances are you've noticed something interesting about the Roman Numeral text: "4" is written out with four bars, and not traditionally as IV. If you thought this was odd, you're not alone. Is this a typo? Not at all. This was done purposefully, and it's more commonly applied seen on watches and clocks than you realize. It's called the "watchmaker's four".

In short, the watchmaker's four has been a deeply rooted tradition in the world of clocks and watches, dating back hundreds of years. There have been numerous theories surrounding its origin, (including King of France’s Louis the XIV’s request to use traditional Roman grammar) but it's widely believed that it's purpose was to improve the aesthetic altogether. The watchmaker's four promotes a visually pleasing symmetry: VIII looks more balanced opposite to IIII than it does to IV. To some, this makes the watch look better (and naturally more traditional), but to others, it makes the watch that much easier to read.


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