Top 4 Most Stylish Types of Watch Hands


In late 2020, a rare vintage Rolex Daytona went under the hammer at Sotheby’s UK. It sold for a shocking £1,215,000 (over $1.6 million), breaking numerous watch sales records.

The watch is coveted for many reasons: one is the gold and black color scheme which resembles the Lotus F1 team colors. Indeed, the striking gold hands stand out brilliantly against the black dial.

While they might seem like a small detail, choosing suitable types of watch hands is integral to timepiece design. Read on to find out about five of the most commonly used options.

1. Arrow Watch Hands

Arrow watch hands are the hands you likely think of when you sketch a watch. There’s something natural about the arrow-tipped design.

The often oversized arrow on the end draws the eye toward the number it’s pointing at, making reading the time quick and easy. The hands are often illuminated for the same reason.

They feature on all types of watches, though most typically on sports, sailing, and dive watches–where quick legibility is needed. For example, one of the most iconic watches to feature this hand style is the Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean.

2. Leaf Watch Hands

If you’re eyeing up elegant or refined wristwatches, chances are they’ll feature leaf (or feuille in French) hands. These botanically designed dial adornments typically are typically ovoid, with finely pointed ends. Hence the leaf reference.

They’re usually used as another more subtle, soft option to the more straightforward stick or baton hands. Luxury watch brand Longines often employs leaf watch hands, particularly the deep blue hands of their Master Collection Annual Calendar.

Browse the watches at to see examples of leaf hands in action.

3. Dauphine Watch Hands

Dauphine hands are a favorite of makers of luxury watches. They have a distinctive shape, but it’s flexible regarding the variations available: flat or tapered, polished or brushed, faceted or plain.

They might seem similar to standard alpha hands at first glance. But if you look closely, Dauphine hands don’t taper at the base. It’s because of that sharp, sleek look that you’ll find this style of writing on many high-end watches, from Patek Philippe to Rolex and Piaget.

4. Baton Watch Hands

Though different types of watches sport hefty baton watch hands, these simple, uniform hands are often spotted on watches with a minimalist design. After all, straight lines never go out of style. This hand leaves more room for the watch design, letting attractive watch face and dial details shine.

Think watches coming out of Nordic countries like Denmark or contemporary dress watches that emphasize style over legibility. These hands can be hard to distinguish from stick-style hands, but just remember that baton watch hands tend to be thicker in profile.

Know Your Types of Watch Hands

This article just scratches the surface of all the different types of watch hands adorning vintage and contemporary watches. In fact, there are well over 20 different types, not counting custom and unique designs. For most people, though, easily readable hands are what matter the most.

If you’re interested in more fashion insights, head back to our blog to read our other articles.

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