It is seeking time in a station, in this case the station of Lyon, I saw on the face of the clock instead of the famous 4 an IIII instead of IV traditional like the rules of Roman counts. Not knowing if it was a special case or a specific case, I started looking for other clocks around the station. So I could see other clocks of the same type. What is a special case of the stations? Why do we have this type of clock? What is its origin?
We call this type of clock four of watchmaker, we find more particularly on the Comtois clocks. Here at Answerresume you can get more different models and styles. In fact, this type of format is related to an aesthetic sense of the clocks. A breakdown of hours into three groups; the first from 1 h to 4 h that are only represented by I (I, II, III, IIII), the second from 5: 00 to 8: 00 containing the digit V (V, VI, VII, VIII), from 9: 00 to 12: 00 with the number X (IX, X, XI, XII).
At the level of the graphical distribution of the figures, the 4 “IV” does not balance with the 8 ‘VIII’ (IV / VIII).Simply put, the left side of the dial is much more responsible than the right part: VII, VIII, IX, X, XI, XII against I, II, III, IV, V, VI (see image below).
Another explanation would be dyslexia, people with some difficulty to read the symbols can confuse the ‘IV’ (4) with the ‘VI’ (6). Indeed, the ‘IV’ is so inclined which could lead to confusion.
At the time, the Romans, like other peoples, long wrote the number 4 with the I (IIII). The so-called “subtractive” numeration, appeared as late.
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