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Why do clocks and watches with the Roman numerals on their faces use IIII for the number 4, rather than IV?

Find out why clocks and watches with the Roman numerals on their faces use IIII for the number 4, rather than IV.

IIII has been favored over IV on clocks as a matter of aesthetics and tradition. [©Jupiter Images, 2010]
©Jupiter Images, 2010
IIII has been favored over IV on clocks as a matter of aesthetics and tradition.

Why Do Clocks and Watches with the Roman Numerals on Their Faces Use IIII for the Number 4, Rather than IV

Clocks and watches with the Roman numerals on their faces use IIII for the number 4, rather than IV because a clock with a IV has a somewhat unbalanced appearance. Thus tradition has favored the strictly incorrect IIII, which more nearly balances the equally heavy VIII.

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