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Watch Entice.

-£< Mark down the figures on the face of a watgh," said a. Summit street jeweller. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6—began the reporter, as he put pencil to paper. " No, I mean Roman numerals." Tlxen this was produced—l., 11., 111., iv., v., yi., yil, viii., ix., x., xi; xii; "You are wrong," said the jeweller. f I guess not," said the reporter. i f Try again," said the je waller. "Per- ; haps I don't know how to count in Roman figures," said the reporter. <( You know that well enough, but watchmakers use different ones. Look at your watch." " ITavn't got one." ' " Well look ap mine. Sec the figures whjch stand for 4 o'clock. The reporter looked and wi:s sur-

' prised. It was IIIL? and not IV. "Are all the clocks and watches that way?" he asked. "Everyone 1 which has Roman figures on its dial." ' " Why V " Well, I'll tell you the; story. It is nothing but a tradition among watchmakers, but the custom has always been preserved. You may lor you may not know that the first clock that in any way resembled those now in use was made by Henry Vick,, in 1370. He made it for Charles V of France, who has been called ' The Wise.' Now, Charles was wise in a good many ways. He was wise enough to recover from England most of the | land which Edward 111. had conquered, and he did a good many other things which benefited France, but his early education had been somewhat neglected, and he probably would have had trouble in passing a Civil Service Examination in these enlightened ages. Still he had a reputation for wisdom, and thought it was necessary, in order to keep it up, that .he should also be supposed to possess book-learning. The latter was a subject he was extremely touchy about. So the story runs in this fashion, although I will not vouch for the language, but put it in that of the present day : ' Yes, the clock works well,' said Charles ; c hut,' being anxious to find some fault with a thing he did not ! understand, ' you have got the figures on the dial wrong.' 'Wherein, your 'Majesty? asked Vick. 'That four should be four ones,' said the King. ,' You are wrong, your Majesty,' said Vick. 'I am never wrong,' thundered the King. ' Take it away and correct the mistake.' And corrected it was, and from that day to this 4 o'clock on a watch or clock dial has been 1111. instead of IV. The tradition has been faithfully followed."

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Permanent link to this item

https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/AG18900411.2.10

Bibliographic details

Watch Entice., Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2398, 11 April 1890

Word Count
430

Watch Entice. Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2398, 11 April 1890

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