Why Do People Wear Watches Upside Down?

why do people wear watches upside down
Photo by Vincenzo Malagoli from Pexels

It’s interesting to know that some people actually wear their watches upside down. This is not the standard way most people tend to wear their wristwatches. Note that everybody is unique and different people naturally will have individual tastes and preferences. Whichever way you decide to wear your watch, it’s totally dependent on what you prefer.

It’s also interesting to note that even though wristwatches are simply accessories, they tend to bring up varying options. This can lead to heated debates over watch fanatics on issues like features and style.

Whatever watch enthusiasts choose to argue over, they usually don’t hold back in expressing their opinions. One of these debates is the correct way a watch should be worn.

In this article, we’ll answer the question, “why do people wear watches upside down?”

Why Do People Wear Watches Upside Down? 

The truth is that for those who wear their wristwatch with the right side up i.e. the face on top of their wrist, this wasn’t always considered normal.

This is because, in a wide variety of professions, it was actually quite common practice for owners to wear their watches with the case facing down. Most found it to be not only practical but also convenient.

In today’s modern-day world, wearing a watch this way is not “the norm,” however it’s still a preferred method for some watch wearers.

Now that we know a few reasons why some people tend to wear their watches upside down, let’s explore some additional reasons why this is so.

Additional Reasons People Wear Their Watches Upside Down

According to the genius scientist Einstein, “everything is relative.” This simply means that some watch wearers may consider their watch right side up. On the other hand, some watch wearers see what is right-side up as the wrong side up. So what this means, essentially, is that it’s all a matter of perspective.  

Whatever the case may be, the fact still remains that some people have always worn their watch upside down. It’s normal for them and has been for a very long time and for these people that won’t be changing any time soon.

Now, there are some pretty sensible reasons why some people go against the grain and wear their watch upside down. Regardless of whether other people like it or not, here are some of the reasons why they do.

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1.   To Enable Them Read Their Wristwatches Easily

To some people, this may sound strange because they figure, it’s actually easier to read the watch when they can actually see it on top of their wrist.

They also figure this is the main reason why more people than not wear their wristwatch this way. This may be true for a lot of people. However, in a lot of other situations, this truth doesn’t always apply.

For people who work regularly with weapons or tools or for those whose job requires them to hold their arms in a particular position, then it makes sense they would wear their watch upside down.

Now try to imagine a workman who is fixing a pipe and needs to hold a wrench to do so. If he needs to check his wristwatch to determine the time, he won’t need to stop in the middle of his work to do so. All he needs to do is simply check the time because his wristwatch is already facing him.

Picture once again people whose jobs require them to handle a gun, especially a gun which has a long barrel. The person’s non-trigger hand’s normal position is for his/her hand to face away from him/her. Now imagine they need to turn their wrist around suddenly while holding a gun. Can you see why this is a literal example of a life or death situation?

This scenario we described above also applies to medical professionals. So some nurses wear their watches upside down to make the process of taking patients’ vitals easier.

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2.   Protecting Their Wristwatch From Damage

If you’re an avid reader of wristwatches and their history, you’ll know that making a watch as durable as possible has always been a priority for watchmakers.

This is mostly due to the fact that wristwatches tend to be worn on the wrists and wrists are the body part very likely to withstand impact and get damaged.

In the 20th century and also the 21st century, a lot of progress was made to ensure that wristwatches became as durable as possible. Progress included the invention of the G-shock wristwatch line manufactured by Casio. Including using titanium as a component in wristwatches to make them as durable as possible.

Prior to these improvements even wristwatches which were considered very durable were not exempt from blunt force trauma and a few scratches. Sometimes they even got crushed amongst other problems. It was issues like these drove manufacturers to become more creative, inventive and develop more durable watches.

Watch wearers while they waited were also driven to become more creative in the way they solved this problem. This is one of the reasons why some watch wearers started to wear their watches upside down.

Now if you happen to be involved in a pretty serious car accident your watch may not be fully protected. However, it could prevent your watch from getting scratched by attendant contact.

Wearing your watch upside down in smaller collisions and impact situations may also prevent colossal damage to your wristwatch.

Due to the nature of life, occasional accidents are completely unavoidable. We understand it can be frustrating for some watch owners to have their watch damaged as a result of an accident. 

This is especially true if it was an unavoidable one. If you do decide to wear your watch upside down, then you can rest assured that you won’t have this frustration.

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3.   To Evade Reflection And Glare

If you’re a regular civilian then you may not have to worry about having this issue anytime you put on your wristwatch.

If you occupy a Military position, then it could be a source of concern for you. This is because, for Military personnel who sometimes find themselves in situations requiring secrecy and stealth, they can’t afford for their wristwatch glare to give them away.

This is one of the reasons why Military personnel wear their wristwatches upside down. This is so they can prevent their wristwatch from giving off a glare when the sun is shining brightly.

In regular everyday civilian life, it can be just as important to avoid your wristwatch giving off glare from the sunlight. After all, it’s not everyone who particularly enjoys nearly being blinded by a stray sunbeam.

Notwithstanding, we do have to mention that it’s not likely to be an everyday problem however for those who would rather not have it, this is one of the ways to avoid the problem.

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Categories Of People Who Typically Wear Their Watches Upside Down

Like we mentioned earlier and to quote Einstein again “everything is relative.” Some civilians enjoy wearing their watches upside down for reasons best known to them or just because they prefer it that way.

For a majority of others, it’s as a result of their profession. These categories include police officers and military personnel. People who also work in war zones also prefer to wear their watches this way.

For others who need to use a gun also prefer to wear their wristwatches upside down. This is primarily because gun users realize every point of advantage is critical especially when it’s a life or death matter.

Military personnel are well known for their preference for wristwatches which are not only reliable but strong as well. If you didn’t know, some manufacturers actually design wristwatches, especially for military personnel.

Companies that manufacture watches like these don’t only want them to be high quality but they also want them to be valuable in a field setting as well.

In today’s modern watch market, watches like these are less susceptible to being damaged. For present-day military personnel, a watch that does not glare and is easily read are the two major reasons very applicable to them.

Other professionals that prefer to wear their watch this way include emergency medical technicians and paramedics.

For more amazing content about wristwatches, click here to learn how watches work.

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