Wrist Watching: Serena Williams Wearing Her Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Chronograph 37mm Upside Down At Wimbledon 2019

Wimbledon 2019 is well underway, and Serena Williams has been wearing a 37 mm Royal Oak Offshore Chronograph in stainless steel with a diamond bezel alongside a host of other jewels (in fact, jewelry expert Marion Fasel writes that she wears more jewelry on court than Kate Middleton, Duchess of Cambridge, wore while watching her play from the royal box in the first week).

Serena Williams recently became the second African-American female tennis player (after the great Althea Gibson) to appear on the cover of the orange Wheaties cereal box, an honor reserved for the world’s greatest athletes.

Serena Williams wearing a unique-piece left-handed Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Quartz on Wheaties cereal boxes

The photo that appeared on the box was taken at Wimbledon in 2016 and features Williams wearing a unique left-handed Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Quartz. I was the first to notice this back in 2016, and Audemars Piguet USA confirmed at the time that it was a special piece made for her. Williams requested the change in crown position to improve ergonomics.

During the 2019 edition of Wimbledon, Audemars Piguet ambassador Williams has been wearing a 37 mm Royal Oak Offshore Chronograph in stainless steel with a diamond bezel.

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Chronograph 37mm

I noticed something peculiar about the way Williams was wearing her watch while playing, though: she has been wearing it upside down!

You can see the subdials are the wrong way up, which threw me at first. But after taking a closer look, I realized she was doing this so that the chronograph pushers and crown didn’t dig into the bottom of her wrist.

I don’t think it’s accidental as it would be immediately noticeable when looking at the time. Which begs the question: does she look at the watch for the time?

It’s certainly a very odd thing to do, and it will be interesting to see if Williams wears the watch right way up in her upcoming matches or continues to wear it upside down.

For more information on the watch, please visit www.audemarspiguet.com/en/watch-collection/royal-oak-offshore.

Quick Facts Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Chronograph 37mm Ref. 26231ST.ZZ.D010CA.01
Case: 37 x 12.4 mm, stainless steel
Dial: silver-toned dial with Lady Tapisserie pattern, blue counters, blue flange, white gold applied hour markers, Royal Oak hands with luminescent coating
Movement: automatic Caliber 2385 (base Frédéric Piguet 1185); 21,600 vph/3 Hz frequency; 40 hours power reserve
Functions: hours, minutes, seconds; date, chronograph
Price: 29,500 Swiss francs

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7 replies
    ANTHONY says:

    I’ve always said that left handed people have it better when it comes to watch comfort and safety. The crowns can’t be fiddled with when wearing but otherwise it’s better to have them away from the wrist.

  2. Tom
    Tom says:

    I always thought that tennis players wore watches on court because the brand’s paid them to do so; not to tell the time. Ms Williams might be contractually bound to wear the watch but chooses to wear it in a way that minimizes the impact on her game.

    • Elizabeth Doerr
      Elizabeth Doerr says:

      I do not believe she is contractually obligated to wear her watch on court. To my knowledge, there is only one brand that obligates its ambassadors to wear watches during competition, and that’s Richard Mille. That’s really the crux of why we find her wearing this watch the wrong way around so “interesting”: 1) we don’t think she is contractually obligated to even wear the watch on court, and 2) as Nick wrote, she has a watch that solves the poking crown situation. So why is she wearing this watch the wrong way around? We’ll probably never know. As a tennis player and a watch fanatic myself, I find this silly.

  3. Leonardo Laviola
    Leonardo Laviola says:

    Hi, I buy the argument that she wears it upside/down on court for ergonomics even if AP does not obligate the athletes to wear their watches while performing. The interesting thing however is that even during the press conferences she wears the watch upside/down, which leads me to believe that is a way of showing better the watch to the outside viewers…..certainly she doesn’t check the time on her wrist.

  4. Oliver Lucas
    Oliver Lucas says:

    Alternatively why not wear on her right arm? No need to be upside down and the pushers would not bother her either!


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