Tuesday, September 01, 2009


This was the question posed by Jimbo in a recent post.

As Jimbo points out, it’s not a matter of politics. It’s all about wristwatches. Namely, on what wrist do you wear your wristwatch?

Most right-handers will wear their watches on their left wrist, the better to be able to access the stem of the watch. Also, because the left hand is used for fewer routine tasks, the watch is subject to a skosh less abuse.

The southpaw, on the other hand (sorry, I couldn’t resist), has a problem. If he or she wears a watch on the right wrist, the damnèd stem is still on the right side of the watch, where it is a pain in the ass to reach without taking off the watch. The left-handed wristwatch does, in fact, exist, but it is a rara avis.

Jim’s soi-dise penetrating question is as follows: On which wrist do you wear your wristwatch? Is your wrist of choice your dominant or non-dominant hand? Why is it your wrist of choice?

And here’s my equally penetrating answer: On most weekdays, I wear my watch on my right (dominant) wrist until about 8 am, after which I transfer it to my left (non-dominant) wrist, where it stays for the rest of the day.

Saturdays and certain holidays, it starts out on the left wrist and stays there.

Why the complexity? you may ask.

On most weekdays, I attend morning worship services over at the local Jew-Church synagogue, brief affairs that typically run 30-45 minutes depending on the Order of the Day. On those days, I will wear tefillin, AKA phylacteries (not to be confused with prophylactics) - leather boxes containing passages of Scripture that are affixed to the non-dominant arm and the head by leather straps. Since it’s not appropriate to have a wristwatch come between the leather straps of the arm-tefillin and the arm, I wear the watch on the other wrist until after services are over - then, if I remember to do so, I switch it to the normal (left) wrist.

On Saturdays, and on certain Jewish holidays, tefillin are not worn... and so I simply put my watch on my left wrist.

Davenin’ Elisson
Elisson, wrapped up in tallit and tefillin... and thought.
[Image by John Spink, Atlanta Journal-Constitution.]

So: Any questions? Well, I have Jimbo’s, from the top of this post:

What wrist do you wear you watch on... and why?

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