Wednesday, April 6, 2022

Left-Handed Rolexes Uncovered

When Rolex Took a Left Turn

Rolex's New Left-Handed

Was Not Its First 

By Danny Crivello

The new black-and-green GMT-Master II with the crown on the left, released on March 30, 2022, surprised the watch community and industry experts. The current CEO of Rolex, Jean-Frédéric Dufour, is left-handed and Rolex insiders say he instigated the project for a watch that can be worn on the right wrist.

Rolex told me it won't market the watch as a watch for lefties. After all, right-handed Rolex lovers might want to wear it too. It will simply call it the GMT "with the crown on the left" and let clients decide how they want to wear it. Still, this is not the first time the brand has made a left-handed watch.

But this watch is a first for Rolex in two important ways: 

1. It is the first time a Rolex watch has a date on the left. 

2. It is the first time Rolex is mass-producing and marketing the watch "with a crown on the left." Until now, unusual and rare "Destro" Rolexes have surfaced during auctions. But the brand had never advertised left-crown watches though it occasionally made some. Jake spotted a Destro Rolex and posted a picture in these pages 14 years ago.

Among the famous, Charlie Chaplin, who was left-handed, owned a Rolex ref. 4453 made in 1945 with the crown on the left. 

Here are other (rare) examples of Rolex watches with the crown on the left: 


A big thank-you to James The Jeweller for his research. 

Jake's Take

Danny's idea to write a story about left handed Rolex watches took me by surprise and is a BRILLIANT idea. 

You probably noticed Danny showed a left-handed Rolex owned by legendary comedian, Charlie Chaplin. This is kind of profound if you think about it, as Chaplin in real life was a man who was extremely debonair and elegant, yet his on-screen identity/persona was the opposite. 

Chaplin's onscreen persona was very entertaining, expressive and outstanding, and that is what Rolex's new Green Lefty GMT-Master reminds me of. In other words, the regular GMT-Master models are Charlie in real life, and the Sprite/Green Hornet/Riddler GMT is Chaplin on screen.

As you may be aware, I tend to associate stories with songs, and the second song that came to my mind when I first saw the left handed GMT-Master showcased at Watches & Wonders this year was Foreigner's Double Vision: