It’s been reported that about 10 to 12% of the world’s population is left-handed. Given this relatively small percentage, it comes as no surprise that most products are made for right-handed folks, which can make them harder to use for left-handers. This includes watches —wristwatches typically have the crown on the right-hand side of the case to allow the right hand to easily access it for setting and winding.
Thankfully for southpaws, not all watches are designed like this as some watchmakers do make left-handed models. Left-handed watches, also known as destro watches, have the crown on the left-hand side of the case rather than on the right. Whether you’re left-handed and are looking for a watch that’s easier to handle or wear your watch on the left wrist and want to avoid the crown digging into your hand, here are five left-handed watches to try.
Rolex GMT-Master II Left-Handed
Rolex flipped the script this year with the 2022 release of the GMT-Master II ref. 126720VTNR. Not only does this new GMT-Master II feature a never-before-seen green and black Cerachrom ceramic bezel, but it’s also a left-handed model — a first for Rolex. Along with the left-side placement of the crown, Rolex also shifted the date window to sit at the 9 o’clock position (instead of 3 o’clock), complete with the Cyclops magnification lens above it.
Though the lefty GMT-Master II runs on the same Caliber 3285 automatic movement as its right-handed counterparts, Rolex did have to make adjustments to accommodate the new configuration. The 40mm steel case of the GMT-Master II ref. 126720VTNR houses a black dial with the customary Mercedes-style hands and the 24-hour hand is rendered in green to match the bezel. Rolex is offering the new Left-Handed GMT-Master II with a choice of the sporty three-link Oyster bracelet or dressier five-link Jubilee bracelet.
Tudor Pelagos LHD
It’s not uncommon for Tudor to release watches that are similar in style to its big brother Rolex. However, when it comes to left-handed watches, Tudor did it first among the two. The Tudor Pelagos LHD (short for Left-Hand Drive) ref. 25610TNL debuted in 2016. The watch sports a 42mm titanium case, which is water-resistant to 500 meters deep. And its signature detail, of course, is the left-hand placement of the winding crown. Since the crown is on the left, Tudor moved the helium escape valve of the Pelagos LHD to the other side, at 3 o’clock.
The dial layout remains the same as the standard Pelagos watches, which is to say there’s a date window at 3 o’clock (but the roulette-style dial does have red even numbers and black odd numbers) along with the trio of Snowflake hands at the center. The Tudor Pelagos LHD — powered by the in-house Caliber MT5612-LHD automatic movement — is paired with a matching titanium bracelet but the set also includes a black rubber strap if purchased from an authorized dealer.
Panerai Luminor Left-Handed 8 Days
The word “destro” is Italian for (funny enough) “right” in reference to the preferred wrist to wear a left-handed watch. And Panerai (a brand that was born in Florence, Italy) has been making regular production destro watches for a long time. One current example is the Luminor Left-Handed PAM00796 featuring a 44mm steel case, a hand-wound mechanical movement with an eight-day power reserve, and a handsome black leather strap.
Like all Destro Panerai watches, the Luminor PAM 796 not only has the crown (and accompanying lever-operated bridge crown protector) on the left but also flips the dial to have the running seconds on the right. The dial is of the famed Panerai “sandwich” variety, which means that the lume is sandwiched between the black dial and a plate and is visible via the cutout indices.
Sinn EZM 3F
With a bead-blasted steel 41mm case, magnetic field protection up to 100mT, air-dehumidifying technology to prevent dial fogging, and water resistance to 200 meters deep, the Sinn EZM 3F pilot watch is one tough timepiece. The EZM stands for Einsatzzeitmesser, which is German for “mission timer” while the F is for “flieger” or pilot. And like all pilot watches, the name of the game is optimal legibility, which the Sinn EZM 3F’s uncluttered black dial certainly delivers. The countdown bezel is marked for every minute and a scratch-resistant sapphire crystal protects the dial.
One of the most interesting components of the automatic Sinn EZM 3F is the placement of the crown on the left, which according to the brand is “to prevent pressure on the back of the hand.” Therefore, the Sinn EZM 3F is not explicitly designed for lefties who wear their watches on the right wrist but for right-handers who strap their timepieces around their left arm. However, anyone can enjoy this German pilot watch, regardless of which wrist it’s worn on!
Citizen Eco-Drive Promaster Professional Diver BJ8050
Aptly nicknamed the Ecozilla, the Citizen Eco-Drive Promaster Professional Diver BJ8050 is a beast of a watch. The steel case of this 300m water-resistant dive watch measures an enormous 48mm, and it’s 18mm thick. There are no lugs and the watch comes equipped with a black rubber strap.
The unidirectional bezel of the BJ8050 is a prominent component, featuring oversized numerals and deeply carved out finger grips. The winding left-hand drive screw-down crown at 9 o’clock is protected by crown guards while the date window sits at the typical 3 o’clock side. As expected there’s plenty of luminous material on the dial, from the sizable sword hands to the large hour markers. Like all Citizen Eco-Drive watches, this one is powered by any type of light source and will never need a battery to run.
While destro watches aren’t that common, we do appreciate that some watch brands include left-handed watches in their catalogs. As mentioned, these can be used either by people who are left-handed or by those who want to avoid the dreaded crown digging.
What do you think about left-handed watches? Do you own one and if so, do you wear it on the left or right wrist? Share your thoughts with us below.
Is anyone making destro watches for women, or of a smaller size that might reasonably be called “unisex”?
What about daintier women’s left handed watches?