Styles of watches are as varied as the individuals who wear them; while some prefer a particular case material, dial colour, or bracelet style, others prefer indices to the hour markers that are used on the dial. Indices are also referred to as numerals or markers. You might be surprised at how much different types of indices can impact the look of the dial. Here, we've compiled some common watch indices for your consideration.
Of course, Arabic numerals are by far the most common watch index. You typically see these on the hour, minute, and seconds hands. Arabic numerals are easily distinguished by their block-shaped appearance and associated thin lines on the hour hand. These numerals are commonly used, but they’re not your only choice.
Decorated Arabic Numerals
When it comes to decorated Arabic numerals, there’s definitely more to look at. These numerals are often used as indices on standard watch dials. Arabic numerals come in a wide variety of styles, so you’ll have to consider things like size, shape, and thickness. If you have a particular watch dial in mind, be sure to look up the numerals the manufacturer has specified. This can ensure an accurate representation of the finished product.
Applied Arabic Numerals
If you’re looking for something that stands out, decorated Arabic numerals might not be the best choice. An alternative is to consider Arabic numerals applied on top of the dial. In this case, the numerals are applied directly onto the dial. This is also known as a layered dial. Applied Arabic numerals are often more difficult to construct. For example, it can be challenging to combine applied Arabic numerals with a curved dial. If you’re looking for a more premium dial option, this can be a good choice.
The next choice is Roman numerals. Roman numerals are very similar to Arabic numerals. They’re both made up of blocks. Where Arabic numerals have lines, Roman numerals have a series of horizontal lines. These lines are often thinner than the lines found on Arabic numerals.
Decorated Roman Numerals
Decorated Roman numerals are often used on chronograph watches. Similar to decorated Arabic numerals, there are plenty of different styles you can choose from. These numerals provide a great way to show off more intricate features of the chronograph. The size, shape, and thickness of these numerals should be in line with the manufacturer’s specifications. Otherwise, the overall design won’t work.
Applied Roman Numerals
The final option is to consider applied Roman numerals. This is similar to applied Arabic numerals, but with a different design. For example, applied Roman numerals are often smaller than applied Arabic numerals. This makes it easier for applied Roman numerals to fit onto a curved dial. This is true for Arabic numerals as well, but with Arabic numerals, you can make the numbers larger.
The type of watch index you choose will have a big impact on the overall look of the watch. If you’re looking for a particular look and feel, be sure to look up the indices used in the manufacturer’s images. This can help you ensure the final product looks exactly how you want.
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