In a world where being right-handed is considered the norm, the inconvenience of being a left-hander can often reveal itself in the most mundane of situations. Take writing with an ink pen and then finding half your palm stained, for instance, or constantly bonking elbows with your fellow colleagues at lunch. Then, there’s the age-old woe of finding a decent watch that will sit pretty on your right hand.
Yet, being left-handed is more common than you think; estimates show that lefties make about 10 per cent of the world’s population. According to IWC, that number balloons to 40 per cent for pilots, proving that there is indeed a real need for a special watch to suit the needs of these aviators — and every other left-hander out there.
Thankfully, more and more watch manufacturers are becoming more inclusive in their offerings. If you’re a southpaw, here are the most impressive left-handed watches to choose from.
This is a name that’s bound to illicit confused back and forths everywhere but IWC is keeping it quite literal here. The IWC Big Pilot’s Watch Edition “Right-hander” is the marque’s answer to this conundrum, and thus made to be worn on the right hand with the crown on the opposite side of the case.
This is the first time a Big Pilot has been tweaked as such, but unfortunately, it will only be a limited edition of 250 pieces. Aesthetically, IWC nails it with a clean slate grey dial and black subdials over a stainless steel case, especially since it was inspired by a model from the 1940s. The old-school aviation theme continues with a matching calfskin strap that’s embellished with rivets. Inside, an in-house IWC movement with a Pellaton automatic winding system provides seven days of power to this time-date timepiece.
IWC might have got the skies above covered for lefties but Tudor reigns at sea. The Tudor Pelagos LHD (for “Left Hand Drive”) reimagines the firm’s most technical dive watch by placing the crown on the left instead.
Like every respectable dive watch, this Pelagos sees features like a helium escape valve and a water resistance of 500m. Tudor’s own in-house caliber MT5612 runs the show here, a COSC-certified movement which supplies a decent 70 hours of power reserve. Cosmetically, the LHD sees fairly minor changes; the “Pelagos” is rendered in red while the date wheel has alternating coloured numbers.
The Luminor has been one of Panerai’s leading watches for decades thanks to its underwater capabilities, but it’s also one of the few where being left-handed is part of its DNA. It was, after all, first made for the commandos of the Italian Navy, of which saw many of its divers prefer to wear the watch on the right wrist, and the compass and depth gauge on the left.
This 47mm model might be made for a more modern audience, but aesthetically it stays true to its roots as a functional piece. The Luminor 1950 case here is slightly updated, and on its black dial sees legible luminous Arabic numerals and hour markers. The P.3000 calibre within is equally impressive, with a water resistance to 100m and a 72-hour power reserve.
Sinn has always been big on producing reliable diving watches, so it comes as no surprise that its arsenal includes some pretty impressive left-handed versions. For starters, the U1000 is crafted from high-strength German submarine steel that’s been specially developed to be seawater-resistant.
Then there’s its water resistance of an insane 1,000m, a diving feat rarely matched save for the Rolex Deepsea and the Omega below. Within this hefty 44mm timepiece is the SINN SZ 02 movement, and on the dial, a 60-second scale for the stopwatch minute. A dehumidifying technology prevents fogging and it’ll also take a good beating from the most extreme of conditions; it’s functionally reliable from -45°C to +80°C.
Launched in 1970, the Omega Seamaster Ploprof (short for “plongeur professionnel” or professional diver in English) was one of the strongest purpose-built diving watch of its time. Its design played a key aspect in this watch’s success, with a protected crown located on the left side of the watch to prevent the hindering of movements by one’s wrist hinge.
Its more recent iteration — the Seamaster Ploprof 1200m — takes this diving finesse down twice the depths to 1200m. Its ceramic bezel is designed to save weight and increase durability, while the titanium case provides extra strength. The trademark crown is retained at nine o’clock, with the now-renowned bezel locking mechanism at the 2 o’clock position and the automatic helium release valve at four.
The Seamaster Ploprof 1200m collection comes available with two movements: the Co-Axial calibre 8500 or the fully magnetic-resistant OMEGA Master Chronometer calibre 8912. Either way, you know you’re dealing with one hell of a diving companion here.