Anticlockwise Watch: What It Is And Why It Is?!

In today’s article we will be talking about the anticlockwise watch. If you ever even hear about this at all, it may also be referred to as a reverse watch, or a backwards watch, etc. You get the idea. But first I’ll briefly describe what an anticlockwise watch even is.

Simply put, an anticlockwise watch, is a watch whose hands tick in the opposite direction as opposed to a traditional watch. That’s it really. It is a watch that runs in reverse. So you may be wondering, why even make or have a watch that runs in reverse? This goes against everything we have ever known about clocks and watches. Most likely many have never even seen a clock or a watch that runs in the opposite direction from the norm.

I think that the first question to ask is, why do watches run “clockwise” anyway? Who decided which way a watch or clock is going to run? When was this decided, and why? These are the questions we must first answer, before we even talk about why you would have an anticlockwise watch.

Why Do Watches Traditionally Run In A “Clockwise” Direction?

why clockwise


sundial clockwise

Part of the answer to this question actually dates back to earlier methods of timekeeping. Much earlier. In fact, we are talking about sundials. Sundials worked by measuring time based on the shadow cast by the sun on the dial. The position of the shadow on the dial marked the time of day. This is all determined by the rotation of the earth.


Of course depending on where you are on the planet, the direction these shadows move in will be different. The Northern Hemisphere is the part of the planet where the direction would be what we know today as “clockwise”. This is because in the Northern Hemisphere, the Sun’s movement is seen as moving from left to right.

clocks hemispheres

On the Southern Hemisphere, the reflection would run counterclockwise, or “anticlockwise”. In the Southern Hemisphere, the Sun appears to move from right to left. So why is the world standard in clocks and watches based on the sundial time in the northern hemisphere versus the Southern Hemisphere?

Likely this has to do with the fact that mechanical clocks, were first invented and produced in the Northern Hemisphere. That being said, the standard was set for the clocks to move in the same direction as the Sun appears to move in that hemisphere. It is entirely likely that if clocks were invented in the Southern Hemisphere, then clocks would default to moving from right to left.

Despite this standard of clockwise motion, there are actual public clocks that use anticlockwise movement.

Examples Of Anticlockwise Clocks

anticlockwise clocks

It seems counterintuitive to have a counterclockwise clock, doesn’t it? It is extremely rare to ever come across anticlockwise clocks, but there are actual examples of clocks that do run counterclockwise. For example, in Central India, there is a state called Chhattisgarh. Here, there is a region known as Gondwana. Within that region, you will actually find people that have adopted the use of counterclockwise clocks.

Also, the Jewish Town Hall in Prague, features a counterclockwise clock. This town hall has two clocks. The upper one, has Roman numeral markings, and runs clockwise like a normal clock. The lower one, has Hebrew markings, and that one runs counterclockwise.

These are just some examples of anticlockwise clocks being used. In these instances, the reason for the anticlockwise movement has a more symbolic or cultural aspect to it. But I’m sure there are probably many more out there, they would just be difficult to find.

What about anticlockwise watches though? Where exactly would you find them and why would you want to wear one?

Why Wear An Anticlockwise Watch?

So we know that there are examples of counterclockwise clocks, but what about watches. Why would you even want to wear one? Well, truth be told, any anticlockwise watch you could get, would pretty much be considered a novelty item. I don’t think people are looking into these types of watches for any real deeper meaning other than just that it’s different.

Most people that look into these types of watches and clocks, do so just for the unique flair that it ads. It is different, so someone might come across an anticlockwise watch and decide that it is worth wearing just for the unique approach at timekeeping.

Where To Find An Anticlockwise Watch?

let’s say you wanted to actually purchase an anticlockwise watch. Due to the rarity of this style, they can be very difficult to find. However, WatchDesign does sell reverse movement watches.

WatchDesign Backwards/Reverse Movement Watch

This one has an analog display, along with a mineral crystal dial window. It uses quartz movement, and of course, this movement runs in reverse to that of a regular watch. The case is made of stainless steel, and the band is silicone. This watch is only water resistant 30 meters, so keep it from being submerged in water.

Other than running in reverse, there are really no other features here. It is a novelty watch basically, but it is worth looking into if you want to own an anticlockwise watch.

Quick Look

  • runs in reverse
  • quartz movement
  • mineral crystal dial window
  • water resistant 30 meters

Final Thoughts

There are many different types of watches out there, with just as many different styles and functions. Some of them are more unique than others. However, the anticlockwise watch goes completely against the grain because of it’s odd reverse movement.

It is definitely one of the rarer movements to see, but the fact is, that these types of clocks and watches do exist. So in that regard, they have their place in horological history!

That concludes our look into the anticlockwise watch. I hope that you found this article to be both interesting and informative! If you would like to learn about other topics of potential interest, then you can check out some of our other informative articles here

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