Introducing Decimal, a Font Inspired by the Typography Found on Vintage Watch Dials

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One of the great things about watches as a hobby is the way that people really dig in to hyper specific rabbit holes under the larger watch umbrella. Some collectors and enthusiasts are obsessed with a particular brand, for example. Others might zero in on a particular variety of movement, or watches made with cases from a specific supplier during a narrow time period. Basically, if there’s an unusual or distinctive aspect to a watch, chances are there’s a collector somewhere who has become an expert on it.

Today, in that spirit, and courtesy of an intrepid Twitter follower, we learned about a font inspired by vintage watch typography. If you’ve spent any time at all looking at the dials of vintage watches, you’ve likely noticed the unique lettering that seems to only be found on old watch dials. Now, Hoefler & Co., a design firm specializing in creating unique fonts, is offering a new typeface entirely of their own creation, inspired by the classic look of old-school watch typography.

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The new font, which they’ve dubbed “Decimal,” somehow manages to synthesize many subtly different styles of watch typography into one coherent font that watch lovers will find unmistakably reminiscent of text that they’ve seen on many a vintage dial. Be sure to read up on how they did it over at the Hoefler & Co. website, right here. Even if you’re not in the market for a custom font, we think this is worth a look regardless of your level of watch nerdery. 

Zach is a native of New Hampshire, and he has been interested in watches since the age of 13, when he walked into Macy’s and bought a gaudy, quartz, two-tone Citizen chronograph with his hard earned Bar Mitzvah money. It was lost in a move years ago, but he continues to hunt for a similar piece on eBay. Zach loves a wide variety of watches, but leans toward classic designs and proportions that have stood the test of time. He is currently obsessed with Grand Seiko.
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