Counter-clockwise

1. ## Counter-clockwise

Apart from a number of subdials and power reserves etc, and some of these goofy ones with two counter-rotating hands more interested in being "different" than anything else, are there any watches whose hands turn counter-clockwise?
I was thinking about the contrast between reading analog and digital watches. With digitals one must consciously read the numbers. With analogs one grasps the relative positions of the hands and mentally converts that to the time. Although there are two steps, the analog seems both quicker and easier. Just as an analog speedometer is quicker than a digital one.
But would that be true with a counter-clockwise analog watch? Of course it would take a learning process but I wonder if there is something "natural" about clockwise versus counter-clockwise?

2. ## Re: Counter-clockwise

I once saw a wall clock with counter-clockwise (or anti-clockwise) rotation, with the numbers to match. It was extremely difficult to tell the time and I ended up with a headache.

I'm not sure if clockwise is more natural any more than reading from left to right being more natural. It's just something that people have become used to.

Thinking about it though, it may be related to the number of right handed people there are vs left handed people. A right handed person tends to find clockwise motion more natural than counter clockwise motion. Just a thought.

Here's a link to a backward running clock download for windows, that's if you want to try and get used to it.

3. ## Re: Counter-clockwise

Originally Posted by Phrooq
I once saw a wall clock with counter-clockwise (or anti-clockwise) rotation, with the numbers to match. It was extremely difficult to tell the time and I ended up with a headache.

I'm not sure if clockwise is more natural any more than reading from left to right being more natural. It's just something that people have become used to.

Thinking about it though, it may be related to the number of right handed people there are vs left handed people. A right handed person tends to find clockwise motion more natural than counter clockwise motion. Just a thought.
It's to do with sundials, isn't it? In the Northern hemisphere, the sun would rotate around a sundial as it went from east to west, via south, casting a shadow which would move in what to us, today, would be a "clockwise" direction. (Back then, of course, the term would not have existed.) If sundials and them clocks had been invented in the southern hemisphere, or even on the equator, then things could have been different.

That's one theory, anyway. Personally, I find the CW/CCW affinity thing to be more dependent on whether you drive on the left (where we favour right-hand bends) or the right (other way around).

4.

5. ## Re: Counter-clockwise

Originally Posted by Phrooq
I once saw a wall clock with counter-clockwise (or anti-clockwise) rotation, with the numbers to match. It was extremely difficult to tell the time and I ended up with a headache.

I'm not sure if clockwise is more natural any more than reading from left to right being more natural. It's just something that people have become used to.

Thinking about it though, it may be related to the number of right handed people there are vs left handed people. A right handed person tends to find clockwise motion more natural than counter clockwise motion. Just a thought.

Here's a link to a backward running clock download for windows, that's if you want to try and get used to it.

Thank you the link and for the response. Although I am also English, I have lived in the US for a long time and have had to learn to say counter- instead of anti-, which still comes more naturally.
Interesting that both the first answers to my question were English....... probably something to do with the difference in time.
Fortunately I'm spared the temptation to try to get used to the anti-clockwise computer clock because I use a Mac. Actually, when I thought about trying to get used to it, I was apprehensive!
The second answer, from publandlord, suggests that "clockwise" stems from sundials and I bet he's right. In which case anti-clockwise ought to be more natural down-under.
Since some writing is done right to left, it looks as if there is nothing inherently "natural" about left to right. That could have something to do with whether the bloke who first thought about writing was right- or left-handed, too.

6. ## Re: Counter-clockwise

Originally Posted by publandlord
It's to do with sundials, isn't it? In the Northern hemisphere, the sun would rotate around a sundial as it went from east to west, via south, casting a shadow which would move in what to us, today, would be a "clockwise" direction. (Back then, of course, the term would not have existed.) If sundials and them clocks had been invented in the southern hemisphere, or even on the equator, then things could have been difference.

That's one theory, anyway. Personally, I find the CW/CCW affinity thing to be more dependent on whether you drive on the left (where we favour right-hand bends) or the right (other way around).
I think you're exactly right about sundials....... good thought.
I thought driving on the left was supposed to be based on the fact that it leaves your sword hand nearer the approaching opposition? I've never heard a rationale for driving on the right (wrong) side of the road....... probably just contrariness.

7. ## Re: Counter-clockwise

Originally Posted by artec
I thought driving on the left was supposed to be based on the fact that it leaves your sword hand nearer the approaching opposition? I've never heard a rationale for driving on the right (wrong) side of the road....... probably just contrariness.
Someone once told me that Napolean decided to make the French drive on the right just to be different from the English!

9. ## Re: Counter-clockwise

ANd WOW! If not for the odd backwards movement, this is a FINE looking watch!

http://www.utinam.fr/english/boutiqu...AT_ID=23#lien1

10. ## Re: Counter-clockwise

Really goofy that the hands should counter-rotate!