Font Kerning on Watches

I must admit, I am a bit of a watch nerd. I love watches and I probably have too many for my own good.

I recently watched a YouTube video challenging the viewers to find out the fake Rolex among the three Rolex Submariners that the guy is showing.

At first, it was really difficult for me, I don’t own a Submariner and given the pervasiveness of fake Rolexes, I am certainly not expert enough to differentiate the subtle nuances between the fake and genuine.

Jody, the host of the channel also showed how difficult it is to identify the fake one: the case finishing, the hands, and god even the patented Rolex Glidelock Clasp mechanism almost look like exact replicas of the genuine article.

It does not stop there. The movement on the fake Rolex is so good that it even reaches COSC chronometer standard of +4/-6 seconds per day. I guess they just put a vintage Rolex movement inside the fake one?

I did find out which one is the fake before Jody revealed it though. It was the macro shot that gave it away:

Close-up of the fake Rolex

Can you spot it?

It was the text ‘ROLEX’ that gave it away. Compare the spacing between the ‘RO’ pair and the ‘LE’ pair.

Two identical red lines added to highlight the kerning issue

The other genuine ones have their text kerning done right:

Seems much more balanced on the real ones, isn’t it?

Font kerning has a very interesting effect on texts. It is never very noticeable when it is done right, but very noticeable when it isn’t done right. Take a look at this following example:

The top version has no kerning. The middle version uses automatic kerning. The third one uses manual kerning. Credits to Wikipedia

See how different the three versions look?

I am by no means a typographer but I certainly admire those who make beautiful typefaces and turn a plain wall of body text into a piece of art.

I hope you learnt something today and if you like this article please consider sending claps!

Programmer | Watch enthusiast

Programmer | Watch enthusiast