The two-sided thing isn't uncommon among the higher end. Jaeger Lecoultre have been selling the Reverso since like 1931, for example.
As manufacturers cram more and more functionality into the things they totally run out of room, and as such take to the back.
You're right about it not being good design... on an absolute scale. There's far too much information in far too little room. But "far too much information" has been a selling point of watches for a very long time. Anything beyond "telling time" is a "complication" and that includes coaxial seconds. Vacheron Constantin claim to be the first maker of "complicated" watches in 1790.
I mean, take that Reverso. The argument could be made that if you need a white watch and a black watch, buy two goddamn watches after all you're rich enough to afford a six thousand dollar Reverso. But that's not how they sell them.