Chances are, you’ve seen some people wear watches on the inside of the wrist, or upside down as some people refer to it as (whilst technically not correct). Since this is not the most common way to wear a watch, you’ve probably thought about why you would wear the watch on the inside of the wrist, and what the benefits (and reasons) of doing so are.
The answer to that question is that it’s not because people don’t know how to wear it properly. In fact, there are actually some good reasons behind it.
Wearing wristwatches on the inside of the wrist was primarily a trend back in the days, in particular between the 1940s and 1960s or so, but in more recent times, it has gotten more uncommon. Still, some people wear their watch in this way, and if you want and prefer, you can too. In general, there are no real rules for how you should wear your watch, only general guidelines that help you wear it as stylishly as possible.
Why do people wear watches on the inside of the wrist?
Some of the reasons why people wear their watch on the inside of the wrist include comfort, easier legibility, protecting the watch, and pure habit. In some professions, for example, it has become standard to wear the watch on the inside of the wrist. This is done for purely practical purposes.
Without further ado, let’s look closer at the reasons and benefits of wearing watches on the inside of the wrist.
Easier to read the time
This is one of the main reasons why people wear their watch on the inside of the wrist. In general, you’ll most often see older people wear it this way, but also in some professions, in particular for people who work with weapons or tools, including police and particularly in the military.
For example, when you are carrying your firearm, you have the inside of your wrist pointing at you. Because of this, you can simply glance at the wrist and immediately know the time. If you are carrying a gun and have to rotate your wrist, however, it’s a bit more complicated. As a matter of fact, turning your wrist to check the time is a rather unnatural movement that can take a few seconds - seconds that may be crucial when you are in battle or during a mission. This is the foremost reason why the military wears their watch in this way. With the watch on the inside of the wrist, you can continue to aim your weapon at all times without having to pause your aim just to check the time. This enables the wearer to time attacks and missions more easily by aiming and looking at the time simultaneously.
Furthermore, it’s not necessarily only about the access to viewing the watch, but also how it is presented. In many cases, it may also help reduce glare, which is something that will also affect how easy it is to read the time. You may have experienced that when you are in direct sunlight and look at your watch, reading the time can be rather difficult due to the glare that the sunlight is causing. This is especially true if your watch doesn’t have an anti-reflective crystal. Wearing a watch upside down prevents this to a large extend by keeping it in the shadow as it is pointed against you and not against the sun.
In addition, there are other situations where it is also easier to read the watch when you have it on the inside rather than on top of the wrist. If you, for example, work a lot with your arms and have them in a fixed position, it may make reading the time easier. Ultimately, this depends a lot on your profession and what you do. For some people, it may be easier to read the time in this way, for others, it may not be. Nurses, military, police, engineers, are just some examples of professions that may find benefit in wearing it this way.
This brings us to the next point...
It’s a matter of preference
At the end of the day, when it comes to the people who wear their watch on the inside of the wrist, it is for the most part a matter of preference. Just like some people prefer to wear their watch on the right wrist, others may have gotten used to wearing it on the inside of the wrist. If you have gotten used to wearing your watch in a certain way, then that will become the new natural for you.
As you may have noted, most people who wear their watch this way are older people. And this is not so surprising, because back in the days, it was almost more common for people to wear their watch this way than on top of the wrist. The way we worked and lived back in the days also differs a lot in many ways from how we live today as well. For example, if you worked in a workshop, it may have been the most convenient way to wear the watch. However, today, a lot of people work on the computer, and in this situation, having the watch on the inside of the wrist will only get in the way and scratch against the table and keyboard.
What’s interesting is that style and fashion change over time, so in that sense, it can also be a fashion statement. If you’re looking to achieve a classic and traditional style, wearing your watch on the inside of the wrist can help complement this. In the same way that the watch you choose is a way to express your personality and style, the way you wear it is also just that.
Protect the watch
In many situations, wearing the watch on the inside of the wrist will help protect the watch. Obviously not when you are sitting at a keyboard, as just discussed, but for example when you are out and about or working with machinery or tools, it can be an effective way to avoid hitting the watch in various objects.
Therefore, if you are in situations where you are afraid that you may accidentally knock and damage your watch, you could change the way you wear it.
If you have noticed that the profession you work with results in you often hitting and scratching your watch quite frequently, you may want to try wearing it differently.
It is more discreet
Naturally, wearing your watch on the inside of your wrist will be more discreet than having it on top of your wrist for everyone to see. Some people prefer to be flashy and want people to see what is on their wrist, but others prefer a more discreet style. Having it on the inside of the wrist can thus be a good solution.
What is also interesting is that this is not only a way to be discreet about the watch that you are wearing, but it also allows you to discreetly look at the time. Glancing on your wrist when you are in a meeting will require you to rotate your wrist so that everyone notices. But if you want to be more discreet about it, you can have your watch on the inside of the wrist and read the time without anyone noticing it.
Limited arm movement
As discussed, it is quite common to see elderly people wear their watch on the inside of their wrists. Apart from habit, it can actually have to do with limited arm movement ability or other issues like arthritis. With this in mind, having the watch on the inside of the wrist eliminates the need to rotate the wrist in this unnatural way, thus making it easier to read the time.
Easier to use and operate a smartwatch
If you own and wear a smartwatch, you know that it can be a bit difficult to operate it sometimes when wearing it on top of the wrist. Wearing it on the inside of the wrist can make access easier and interacting with the screen more effortless. Just try it sometimes and see if you find it more convenient when you are interacting with your smartwatch the next time!
At the end of the day, wearing your watch on the inside of your wrist is a matter of preference. To answer the question, yes, you can wear your watch exactly how you please and prefer. In general, this is a style that was more common back in the days, and whilst most people wear their watch on top of the wrist, some people still prefer to wear it on the inside.
For a lot of people, it’s simply a matter of preference and habit, but for others, it is because of more practical reasons, of which the most important ones we discussed above.
There is no real right or wrong in wearing a watch, just general guidelines, and if you want, there’s certainly nothing wrong with wearing it on the inside of the wrist. In addition, in a world where most people don’t wear it this way, it can also work as a fashion statement and a way for you to stand out as well.