You may have noticed this somewhat unusual use of Roman numerals on a watch face. with four o’clock represented as ‘IIII’ instead of the ‘IV’. Although it may look wrong or misplaced, it is actually common in the watch industry to list the IIII as IV for tradition as well as aesthetics. Here’s a little background:
Then: During the Roman Empire, addition and subtraction were used to make numbers with Latin letters using “IV” for the number 4. However, they engraved “IIII” on their sundials as common practice. Also, ancient Romans worshiped the god Jupiter, spelled “IVPPITER”. They questioned the Roman numeral and to appease their god, they used the “IIII” instead.
Now: When looking at two watch faces, using “IIII” instead of “IV” appears more symmetrical and visually balances with the opposite side of the watch face where the number 8 is located using Roman numeral “VIII”. Simplicity is also key and using “IIII” is easier to read and has become the modern usage of this unique Roman numeral.