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Choose Your Weapon: Which Watch Hands Would You Take Into A Gladiator Match?

Nobody asked, but we have the answers! The Colosseum is calling and it’s time for some, well, hand-to-hand combat.

By Thomas Hendricks

Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears! The world of watch journalism can get repetitive quick, so we decided to shake things up with a little hypothetical horological hellraising.

Inspired by a recent viewing of 2000’s sword-and-sandals epic GLADIATOR (it’s aged well, by the way), we’re asking you to don your armor and grab your best defense. After all, a few hands are named after weapons already.

“Gladiators...I salute you.”

Sword Hands

Sword hands - the natural choice. While these won’t necessarily earn you any extra style points, they’ll get the job done. Found on watches like the Cartier Tank and Omega Seamaster, they’re the go-to option for looking good and doing damage.

Arrow Hands

A regular on Omega watches, arrow, or “broad arrow” hands will land hits without getting your hands dirty. If we're playing basketball, these would be for the guy who’d rather drain threes than charge the paint. 


Fleur de Lis Hands

These are the fanciest of all the watch hands on this list and perhaps not the most effective. Our advice: don’t choose the ones with “flower” in the name. If you do, at least you’ll be dressed for your own funeral.

Plongeur Hands

Consider the Romans masters of ridiculousness. When watching homicides in real-time got a little boring, they would fill the Colosseum with water and reenact Naval battles, because, why not?

So if you’re a gladiator, and your day at the office includes indoor sailing with the possibility of massive blood loss, go the dive watch route and choose the plongeur hands.

Snowflake Hands

Most commonly spotted on the Tudor Black Bay are snowflake hands. It may feel like you’re fighting with a street sign, but at least you can show them you’re no snowflake.

Spade Hands

The perfect choice for saying “Off with his head!”

Syringe Hands

You’ll find syringe hands on Sinn watches, Breguet's Type XX, and Patek’s Perpetual Calendar 520G. They’re sharp, pointy, and there’s a good chance your competition feels icky around needles.

Are you not entertained?!

(Modified images from the movie GLADIATOR are used purely for satirical purposes)

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