A Guide to “Destro”: Watches from Sinn, Mühle, Citizen, and More

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The vast majority of watches on the market feature a crown at 3 o’clock. Some manufacturers play around with the positioning of the crown, though most generally stick to the right side of the case. A small number of watches, however, have crowns on the left side of the case; these watches are called “destro.” It’s something that’s relatively uncommon, despite the obvious advantages of this configuration. Beyond being a natural fit for left-handed people or those who prefer to wear a watch on their right wrist, a destro watch is arguably more comfortable. The crown will never dig into your wrist, nor will it snag on anything. It is precisely this reason that brands producing real-world tool watches tend to lean toward destro designs.  Below, we’ve rounded up seven of our favorite destro watches, most of which are unsurprisingly tactical. Enjoy, and let us know which destro watch is your favorite in the comments section below.

Aevig Corvid MK2

Every watch collection needs a quartz beater watch—one you won’t regret scuffing up while mowing the lawn or playing with the kids. One of my favorite affordable quartz watches in recent memory is the Corvid MK2, a field watch from Netherlands-based brand, Aevig. The Corvid has a familiar design, but mixes things up a bit to stay fresh. Visually, it’s styled as something of a field/pilot watch hybrid, with a certain Bauhaus sensibility tying the whole thing together. It’s clear the watch was created with a designer’s eye; there’s no embellishment, and the blend of visual elements and bold use of color brings to life a watch that might have been dull in the hands of a different brand. The Swiss-made Ronda 703 quartz movement boasts a 6-year battery life, and the screw down crown at 9 o’clock ensures a water resistance of up to 100 meters. The Corvid MK2 is nearly sold out, so get one while you can.

AEVIG_CORVID_5

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Citizen “Eco-Zilla” Eco-Drive BJ8050-08E

If you’re in the market for something a bit more robust, then look no further than the “Eco-Zilla,” Citizen’s flagship Eco-Drive diver. “Built like a tank” and “bomb-proof” are two ways I’d describe this watch, and at 48mm it certainly earns its nickname (though it is lugless*). With a case diameter that big, it’s a good thing the watch sports a destro configuration. That said, the Eco-Zilla is a tool instrument through and through with nuclear lume, an indestructible movement that will never need a battery swap, and 300 meters of water resistance, so if you’re a weekend adventurer who likes to get his hands dirty (or wet), this might the beater for you.

*Should you want lugs, you can order a machined set from Suppa Adapters.

Dievas Vortex Tactical Diver

German brand Dievas debuted the Vortex series in 2011, and since that time they’ve expanded the collection to include the Vortex Professional and my personal favorite, the Vortex Tactical. As the name implies, the Vortex Tactical takes their flagship model and plasma (DLC) treats the aerospace titanium case, giving it a stealthy matte black finish. One thing to note about Dievas is that their cases are manufactured in Germany with a significant amount of hand finishing involved. Though not applicable to this watch, Dievas also works with a proprietary steel called 6Steel, an alloy that’s approximately six times harder than normal steel. As far as legibility goes, the Vortex Tactical was designed with the military in mind.  The black dial and case are contrasted by stark white markers and large sword hands. The case is also rated to an impressive 500 meters.

Sinn EZM 3

Sinn is known for producing watches intended for real-world use, and nothing embodies that ethos like their Einsatzzeitmesser/EZM (“mission timer”) series. One of my personal favorites in that collection is the EZM 3, a watch created specifically to meet the needs of German Police Special Forces (GSG-9) for underwater operations. Designed to be used in extreme conditions, the EZM 3 is purposeful in its build; it’s a tool diver with 500 meters of water resistance, AR-dehumidifying technology, an iron core to resist against magnetic fields, and the reason it’s on this list, a destro crown so as to prevent any sort of unintentional snagging or inference with equipment. All of this, it should be noted, is accomplished in a rather svelte body, proving that size need not dictate function when it comes to a dive watch. If you’re a fan of tool watches with some rather cool details (like that killer red-on-black date wheel), the EZM 3 is definitely one to consider.

I would be remiss if I didn’t also mention two other watches in the same breath—the EZM 13 and the EZM 1, both of which share the same DNA as the EZM 3. For those interested in even more functionality, the EZM 13 is a 500-meter diver with a chronograph function (also destro) that can be used while the watch is submerged. The EZM 1, now long-retired, remains one of Sinn’s coolest watches; it’s an austere chronograph boasting a Lemania 5100 movement and an iconic military design.

EZM 3
EZM 13
EZM 1

Mühle Glashütte S.A.R Flieger Chronograph

Make no mistake about it—the S.A.R Flieger Chronograph is a beast of a watch. Designed specifically for use by German Navy Search and Rescue pilots, the S.A.R Flieger Chronograph puts functionality at the forefront. Just as the Sinn models mentioned above, the Flieger Chronograph features pushers and a crown mounted to the left side of the case. The dramatic elongated pusher at 8 o’clock actuates the chronograph function, and if worn on the left hand is meant to be started with the thumb of the right. Ticking away inside is a Valjoux 7750, but being that Mühle is a Glashütte-based brand, the movement is modified to meet Glashütte standards.

Guinand Chronograph 40.50.07L

Guinand has an incredibly rich history, and it’s one that we covered here. After a brief hiatus in 2014, Guinand made a quiet return earlier this year under new ownership. Since its relaunch, the brand has updated its catalogue, cutting the fat in some areas and expanding the collection in others. One of Guinand’s coolest offerings is the 40.50.07L, a Valjoux 7750-based chronograph with destro controls and—if you’re a fan of vintage chronographs and German watches—an all-too-familiar case. That, of course, can be credited to the fact that Helmut Sinn once owned Guinand, so the aesthetic is very much in line with the Sinn of old. The 40.50.07L features a 40.6mm polished stainless steel case, a black electroplated dial, and a highly decorated movement to boot.

Tag Heuer “McQueen” Monaco Calibre 11 CAW211P

The “McQueen” Monaco is perhaps one of the watch world’s most famous racing chronographs, but it might surprise you to read that in the 47 years since its release there hasn’t been a faithful reissue of that fabled watch until 2015. Well, that’s not exactly true; Tag Heuer did release a limited edition in 2009 that aside from being exorbitantly priced was also limited to 1000 pieces.

But in 2015, Tag Heuer—clearly on a heritage kick given the boundless popularity enjoyed by the brand’s back catalogue—released the Monaco “McQueen” Calibre 11 intended to be a mainstay in the brand’s modern collection. Now, it’s not a true Caliber 11 (that would be incredible), but rather a Sellita base with a Dubois-Depraz chronograph module.

Tag-Heuer-MonacoThough the dial is largely identical to that of its historical counterpart, the module adds a running seconds counter where the original had a 30-minute chronograph counter. Beyond that, you can hardly tell the two apart. And just as it was on the original, the crown on the reissue is on the left side of the case and the pushers on the right. Needless to say, it’s a timeless design, and while not cheap, current pricing is in line with Tag’s plans to move further toward the more affordable end of the pricing scale.

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Ilya is worn&wound's Managing Editor and Video Producer. He believes that when it comes to watches, quality, simplicity and functionality are king. This may very well explain his love for German and military-inspired watches. In addition to watches, Ilya brings an encyclopedic knowledge of leather, denim and all things related to menswear.
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  • Luciano

    No example from Panerai which has several destro models?

  • Stephen Scharf

    I initially thought that destro-crowned watches were “strange”, but after owning a Sinn EZM3, I can attest to the fact that it is indeed more comfortable to wear on the left wrist than a right-side crown watch. Here’s my bad ass EZM3, taking a page out of the W&W playbook and photographed on denim.

    • Julius Swerving

      I own an EZM 3, and it’s an absolutely amazing watch.

      • Stephen Scharf

        Agreed. It’s the best watch I own, hands down. Most accurate, rugged, well-built, toughest, robust, with excellent legibility. Mine is 11 years old and does not have a mark on it. Never been serviced, yet keeps to +0.75 sec per day.

  • David Christie

    My favourite destro watch is the Omega PloProf. An acquired taste all round, but very comfortable to have the crown away from the back of your hand, even at the size and weight of the PloProf.

  • yb

    Ilusha Добавь мои часы в твой список

  • the

    If you have an eta 2824 watch but without date it’s quite easy to mod it to be a destro! I modified my steinhart ocean vintage military because the crown was always digging into my wrist! It would be possible to modify any 2824 watch, but you need to swap the date wheel or the date window will constantly see in the middle of two numbers!

  • Никита

    Are there any other destro chronographs except Heuer McQueen Monaco?

    • Chester Snapdragon McPhisticuf

      The Hamilton Chrono-matic has the crown on the left side of the case and the pushers on the right, like the Monaco.

      • Никита

        Thanks. Are there any new watches like this?

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