As of recent, watchmakers have been giving more attention to releasing models with the crown (and pushers) on the left side of the case rather than the right. But why has this just become a thing? Earlier this year, we saw Rolex, and quite recently, Patek Philippe launch timepieces with the southpaw characteristic. While they might be a rarity in the history of those brands, that doesn’t mean that they are rare in general. Sinn has made quite a few watches with the crown on the left side, as did Rolex’s sister brand Tudor. Even Panerai and TAG Heuer have joined in on the inclusive design choice.
Of course, so-called ‘lefty watches’ have never been produced in quite the same numbers as their right-crowned siblings, which always gives them a kind of exclusive appeal. To a certain extent, this stills surprises me. While I wear my watch on my left wrist, a lefty watch sits actually much more comfortable as the crown points towards my upper arm instead of my wrist. Especially with larger chronographs and divers’ this means that the crown isn’t in the way when moving my wrist.
As they are less common, watches with the crown on the left side tend to draw more attention, regardless of which wrist you wear them on. This might also be the reason why Rolex and Patek Philippe got so much attention for their releases. While it might be easy to mistake the new ref. 5811 Nautilus for a ref. 5711, which doesn’t seem like much of a problem to me, you can avoid all that with a ref. 5373P-001. Even years from now, it will remain a unique, slightly exotic, proposition within the history of Patek Philippe, ensuring even more prestige in ownership than wearing one of the other timepieces from the brand, regardless if you wear it on your left or right wrist.