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Wearing a watch can be a soothing daily ritual for collectors, enthusiasts and anyone who needs to stay on time and in style. You might say no ensemble is complete without the best men’s watch. But there’s a catch. Like getting stuck at a desk meant for a right-handed writer back in your school days, finding a left-handed watch to suit the needs of the southpaws among us has arguably proven trickier than it should be.
This debate reared its head just last month, as famed watchmaker Rolex introduced a left-handed version of its GMT Master-II at Watches and Wonders, the luxury trade show and timepiece extravaganza.
Why Go for a Left-handed Watch?
The best left-handed watch often exactly subverts the design of a traditional watch: Just ook at the watch you very well might be wearing right now. There’s a good chance (no, a very, very good chance) that the crown of the watch (used to set the time and date functions, among others) is positioned on the right side of the watch when held in front of you.
If you prefer to wear the watch on your dominant hand, you’ll run into the crown or watch pushers as you move around when wearing a typical watch (with the crown positioned on the right) — yet, a left-handed watch makes it that much easier to move around if it’s on your left wrist. Of course, if you wear a left-handed watch on your right wrist, it gets even easier: You can wind the watch without having to take it off your wrist, as you would if you rocked a more traditionally designed watch on your left wrist.
These handy attributes mean that most left handed watches update the typical “tool” or sport watch design — they’re made to be easy to use on the go for specific purposes, be they diving or traversing the globe in style. Keep in mind, it all comes down to preference, but the design behind a left-handed watch solves a problem that’s become all too common over the years.
So, what’s a guy to do if you’re tired of fumbling around with a watch that’s not best suited to your needs? Get yourself a left-handed watch, the kind designed specifically for lefties, yet able to be worn by mostly anyone who favors a stylish, well-made watch.
1. Seiko Stainless Steel 5 Sports Automatic Watch
Every watch in your rotation should arguably serve a specific purpose (even if it’s only to look mighty stylish), yet this Seiko lefty watch goes above and beyond in each department. How so? It’s a sport watch made from durable stainless steel, outfitted with the proper “Southpaw” design your collection needs. The oversized case makes it durable and sturdy, and the multi-sport functionality provides bang for your buck from day to night.
2. Nixon 51-30 Chrono
When you need a watch that hits the right balance between performance on the slopes (or in the water) and standout style when the day’s adventures are done, one might say you need a watch from Nixon. The 51-30 Chrono — so named for the bold and oversized 51mm dial design — is durable, dependable and made to withstand plenty of dings and bumps along the way. Plus, the oversized chrono pushers and crown are naturally set up on the left side of the watch, as is the case with the best left-handed watches on the market.
3. Citizen Eco-Drive Promaster Diver
BEST DIVE WATCH
Left-handed watches solve a common problem, to be sure, and they also tackle plenty of other functional needs along the way. Because fumbling around with bezels and the watch crown can be so tricky at times, you’ll often find that a left-handed watch has been designed to suit sporty needs — like this rugged, classic Citizen Eco-Drive Promaster dive watch. The sturdy build makes it ideal for going deep on professional diving trips (or daytime excursions).
4. Tudor Pelagos LHD
BEST STAINLESS STEEL
Within the left-handed watch market — and indeed, the watch market in general — Tudor doesn’t cut any corners nor offer up any disappointing models, it seems. They’ve even addressed things right from the get-go in the name of the revamped Pelagos tool watch. The date window stays at 3’o-clock, but the crown is flipped over to the left side, and the company specifically designed the movement to meet the needs of left-handed wearers. It’s well-considered, well-made and worth the investment.
5. Rolex GMT-Master II
Rolex watches are always an investment when you decide to take the plunge and pick one up — perhaps it’s even been years in the making for you. But this version of the GMT-Master II especially fits that category, with an all-new color scheme and a bezel that’s been adjusted 180 degrees, plus the flipside version of the crown and date. You’ll wear this watch comfortably for years to come thanks to the new “lefty” design.
6. Stuhrling Original Men’s Aviator Watch
Every man’s watch collection deserves a durable leather watch — all the more if you need a new left-handed watch to add to your rotation. For the right price, Stuhrling delivers a durable pilot’s watch with both the sub-dial and crown positioned smartly on the left side. Bonus points for the fact that the brown dial contrasts handsomely with the cognac leather strap.
7. Sinn EZM Diving Watch
BEST TOOL WATCH
Tool watches, as we mentioned earlier, were made for a specific purpose and often geared towards going into the field or going off-land. And all that utilitarian design lends itself well to a durable left-handed watch, one with an easily accessible crown and bezel. Sinn puts plenty of necessary bells and whistles into this dependable tool watch, including a clean and easy-to-read dial and a visually striking design. Taken together, it’s a watch you can rock nearly every single day, no matter what adventures are on your plate. This limited-edition watch, luckily, is still up for grabs on some resale sites, too.
8. Panerai Luminor Left-Handed 8 Days
There’s plenty to love about the iconic Panerai Luminor, including the fact that it exudes the ideal blend of both sporty appeal and extraordinary luxury in whatever model you happen to invest in. It’s a wish list-worthy watch, no doubt, made all the better here by the astounding eight-day power reserve, the bold 44mm case diameter and its 300 meters of water resistance. Subtle hints of blue throughout make this one a visually striking design at every turn, too.
9. Invicta 2771 “Force Collection” Leather Watch
Invicta embraces the spirit of aviation with this action-packed pilot’s watch that helpfully takes its cues from some of the other best left-handed watches on the market. In this case, that means the customary swapping of the chronograph pushers and crown, plus the use of three sub-dials positioned now on the right side of the dial (another nice change of pace). The result is a timepiece that performs as great as it looks, and it’s all set on a handsome leather strap.
10. Oris Aquis Red Limited Edition
Scouring the market for one of the best left-handed watches can prove a quest all its own — truly, fitting the definition of scouring and searching high and low. Take the guesswork out of the equation by finding a sturdy, solid and stylish-as-can-be left-handed watch from a revered brand like Oris for under $2K. Hits of red on the dial and bezel add a dash of style, and the design is actually well-suited to be worn on either wrist (but we know which one you’ll prefer).