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Whether in the Arabic or Roman style, the numerals of a timepiece are more often overlooked than obsessed over. Indeed, only a handful of watches in the luxury industry have paid much or any attention to this essential but underappreciated element, but those that do are rewarded by instant brand recognition.

(Related: The Watch Expert's Guide: J  For Jewellery Setting)

Think Cartier’s Tank watch with its signature Roman numerals, or the playful Arabic numerals of Hermès’s Arceau, and Franck Muller’s bold and dazzling Art Deco-styled numerals. Each of these have come to be defined and identified by the design of their numerals.

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The Franck Muller Master Square in a Colour Dreams colour scheme 

 The Art Deco-styled numerals of a Franck Muller timepiece do more than tell the time; they express the irrepressible spirit and flamboyant personality of the watches, as well as that of the man who makes them. With them, Franck Muller wants to challenge yet another conventional notion that luxury has to be soft, quiet, mild, hushed… in other words boring, predictable, plain, colourless. Some variations of the Cintrée Curvex or Long Island range also come with the Crazy Hours complication in the Colour Dreams style, so the watch not only has those big, bold Art Deco numerals, but they’re also jumbled up and painted in all colours of the rainbow—what a way to make a statement with your wrist.

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The Art Deco-style Arabic numerals seen on this Cintrée Curvex timepiece are certainly not for wallflowers 


We love the radial effect created by the Roman numerals on this Franck Muller Master Square

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As if the diamonds weren't enough to capture your attention, the oversized numerals on the Franck Muller Vanguard are bold and in line with the collection's audacious aesthetics  


The Franck Muller Vanguard collection is distinguished by the oversized numerals 

(Related: You’ll Be Spoilt for Choice With Franck Muller’s New Vanguard Lady Range)

Tags: Franck Muller, Roman, Tick Talk, Watch Expert, Indices, Watch numerals, arabic, baton numerals