Watches & Wonders 2022 | Rolex Watches | The Hour Markers

Decoding the Destro: Will Left-Handed Watches Now be a Thing?

by Punit Mehta, Founder – RedBar Bombay

Post the much-hyped and recently concluded Watches & Wonders 2022, I must admit I am both intrigued and overwhelmed with the new launches and trends I have witnessed. One of the key highlights that I most certainly was not expecting was the Rolex ‘Destro’ – a new bright green and black GMT Master II with the crown at 9’o’clock instead of 3 o’clock!  The Destro configuration has always got mixed reviews, some find it the perfect fit for lefties, others consider it to be a natural fit for right wrist but it is mostly appreciating for its rarity. 

This apart from being a distinctive design element is essentially for left-handed individuals who can use their dominant hand to turn the crown to wind or set the time on the watch which is worn on their right hand. Although I must admit, I am still oblivious of the utility of this feature. Being a leftie I still wear my watches on my left hand and I am unsure if I would be okay to change that now! 

Charlie Chaplin’s Left Handed Rolex Wristwatch | The Hour Markers
Charlie Chaplin’s Left Handed Rolex Wristwatch Steel & Enamel Rolex Oyster Image credit: https://catalog.antiquorum.swiss/en/lots/rolex-lot-271-300

Post this new Destro introduction of 2022, I delved deeper and realised that Rolex is not the only one to change the position of the crown, in fact there have been numerous references in the past with this feature, including a watch made for Charlie Chaplin who was also a leftie!

Here are a few: 

1. Panerai PAM00796 

Panerai Luminor Marina Watch | The Hour Markers
Luminor Left-Handed 8 Days – 44mm PAM00796

A rather robust 44mm of metal chunk, a Luminor with 8 days power reserve and an unmissable crown with a distinctive crown guard at 9 o’clock. Like almost any other Luminor this one is not only a show stopper, but also a conversation starter!

“I love the Destro Panerais’ because they are different and cater to a very specific niche of humans. Additionally as a lefty I still wear my watches on the left hand making a destro even more comfortable due to the crown not touching the wrist ”, Nikolaus Hirsch, CEO at Hirsch Bracelets.

Panerai Left Hand Luminor Marina Watch | The Hour Markers
Nikolaus Hirsch, CEO at Hirsch Bracelets with his Luminor

2. Tudor Pelagos LHD

Tudor Pelagos LHD Watches | The Hour Markers
Tudor – M25610TNL-0001 Pelagos

A “light weight” literally, titanium built 42mm of Tudor goodness, this watch wears much larger than what it feels. Titanium screw-down crown at 9 o’clock with the Tudor logo and an inhouse movement with approximately 70 hours of power reserve, luminescent hour markers and date window at 3 o’clock. This leftie is the complete package.

3. IWC Big Pilots Watch Edition “Right Hander”

IWC Big Pilot's Watch Edition | The Hour Markers
IWC – Big Pilot’s Watch Edition “right-hander”

As big as they get, probably the biggest watch in this list is from the signature IWC Big Pilot Collection with a diameter of 46.2mm and a thickness of 15.6mm. Not really made for slender wrists like mine, this watch is a statement in itself. Housing a huge 168 hours of power reserve and the distinctive onion crown at 9 o’clock with a date window at 6, this watch came in a limited edition of only 250 pieces. 

My take, the Big Pilot crowns are big and if you wear your watch on the left hand, this design might just be a bit more comfortable on the wrist?

4. TAG Heuer Monaco 

Tag Heuer Monaco Chronograph | The Hour Markers
Tag Heuer Monaco

When the King of Cool can wear it, so should you. Seen on Steve McQueen’s race film Le Mans in 1969, Monaco has become a statement of revolutionary design. The square Monaco Calibre 11 edition chronograph with its two subdials and date window, blue color and red details is a cult classic. One of Tag Heuer’s most coveted models is almost every watch geek’s possession. 

“A left handed crown ,backed by an assurance of a ‘ never needs to be wound’ watch by none other than Jack Heuer himself , a transparent case back housing the robust and Iconic Calibre 11 and the  ability to easily pass off under the cuff in the boardroom as well against the wrist of a seasoned race car driver , the Monaco and its variations have found favour in the collections of the ‘ Who’s Who’ of the world with the fame and fortunes of World F1 champion ,  Max Verstappen being the watch’s crowning glory moment”, Dr. Swapnil M Keny, Orthopaedic Surgeon and Member, RedBar Bombay.

Tag Heuer Monaco Left Hand Chronograph | The Hour Markers
Dr. Swapnil M Keny with his TAG Heuer Monaco

5. Sinn EZM 1.1 S

Sinn EZM 1.1 S Watches | The Hour Markers
Sinn EZM 1.1 S

Germans are knowing to be clear and Sinn is exactly just that.  This watch comes with a pure utilitarian approach – the crown design on the left side is the answer to a “Field Proof Design” to prevent pressure on the back of the hand when worn on the field to prevent it from getting cut in critical situations. Although I am not a field kind of guy, this is a cool watch. With its 60 minute sweep of the chronograph hand (rather than a 30 minute) and superior legibility. In case there is a situation which requires me to be tactical, this would be the watch to have! Let’s hope that doesn’t happen though…

Apart from the above, there are also a few Destro divers by Oris, Citizen. And now the famous Rolex ‘Sprite’ which one can explore. 

But are Destro’s a hit or a miss? I spotted Omar (@thewrongwrist), wearing his custom made Rolex by Bamford with the crown at 9 o’clock on the right hand. “I’m a fan of the concept. But comfort wise I prefer the crown to be inwards …”But I am not too crazy about collecting them”, Omar (@thewrongwrist).

Sinn EZM 1.1 S Wrist Watches | The Hour Markers
Omar (@thewrongwrist) with his custom made Rolex by Bamford

I don’t really wear and do not intend to wear my watch on my right hand. However, as a watch enthusiast, I feel a Destro watch should be a part of the watchbox.  Will left-handed watches become a new trend, following the launch of this new crown? Or has it already been done and gone? I guess only time will tell.

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