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Stowa is not alone in this practice, Seiko is guilty of it too. Why do watch manufacturers use an incorrect symbol for the Roman Numeral 4? They are using IIII, which is incorrect. The symbol for 4 is IV.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
I Should have assumed this topic was discussed earlier, forgive me for not searching the issue. I'm still not satisfied with an answer of "aesthetics". Oh well, I just won't buy a Roman Numeral watch then. :)
 

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I completely agree! I think their reason may be for readability since IV and V look similar. Or maybe it upsets the balance of the dial. Either way, to me it still looks good. A lot of watch manufacturers do it, even Rolex.
 

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I heard it was a practice from traditional clock design where IIII balances with VIII much better than IV. It is not a mistake, but an intentional design decision based on traditional styling.
 

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Either way of writing it is fine, I believe. Even the ancient Romans didn't refrain from using IIII, in this instance for number 9 I think, but still - as per the photo below (a sundial from ancient Rome)
15550050
 

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I agree with it being about legibility and not appearing to similar to other numerals.
 
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