In skeleton watches, the watchmaker strips the watch’s dial and/or movement to their bare essentials, revealing as much of the watch’s interior as possible. For watch aficonados who love the technical “openwork” artistry that goes into skeleton watchmaking, these timepieces give them a detailed look at a watch’s inner workings. Below we take a look at 10 skeleton watches introduced in recent years.
1. Blancpain Squelette 8 Jours
The Blancpain Squelette 8 Jours (Ref. 6633-1500-55B), from the brand’s elegant Villeret collection, offers one of the most intricately executed openworked movements on the market. The manufacture movement on display through the front and back sapphire crystals is the manual-wind Calibre 1333SQ, which is equipped with a titanium balance, a Breguet balance spring, and three series-coupled barrels that provide the timepiece an impressive eight-day (“8 Jours” en Francais) power reserve. Click here for more details on the Blancpain Squelette 8 Jours.
2. Chronoswiss Timemaster Chronograph
At Baselworld 2014, Chronoswiss released, for the first time ever, a skeletonized version of its sporty Chronoswiss Timemaster Chronograph, which allows wearers an unencumbered view of the watch’s filigreed and decorated automatic movement and offers two different dials, both surrounded by robust, DLC-coated bezels. Both versions of the Chronoswiss Timemaster Chronograph Skeleton have stainless steel cases (44 mm in diameter and 15.3 mm thick) with bezels made of polished, black DLC. For more details on this watch, click here.
3. Glashütte Original Senator Manual Winding Skeletonized Edition
German luxury watch brand Glashütte Original introduced the Senator Manual Winding Skeletonized Edition at Baselworld 2014. It features an all-new, skeletonized movement created in-house, Glashütte Original Caliber 49-18. The watch, which has a 42-mm-diameter case made of polished 18k rose gold, showcases its intricately openworked movement in the center of its galvanized silver, openworked dial. A black railroad track minutes ring and finely drawn Roman numerals decorate the dial’s periphery, while blued, stainless steel hour and minute hands keep the time. Click here for more on the watch.
4. Hublot Classic Fusion Classico Ultra-Thin All Black
Recently, Hublot introduced a new addition to its line of Classic Fusion skeleton watches: the Hublot Classic Fusion Classico Ultra-Thin All Black. The ultra-thin watch has diameter of 45 mm and a case thickness of just 8.3 mm. The skeletonized movement, Hublot’s manual-winding HUB1300 “Classico” caliber, was designed and built entirely at the brand’s manufacture in Nyon. Composed of 130 parts, including 23 jewels, it measures a wafer-thin 2.9 mm in thickness. Because of the openworked structure of the movement, wearers can view the watch’s regulating organ, its balance and its escapement, at work even while they’re reading the time. The Classico beats at a frequency of 21,600 vph (3 Hz) and boasts a 90-hour power reserve.
5. Maurice Lacroix Masterpiece Squelette Torque
Maurice Lacroix recently added the Masterpiece Squelette Torque to its Masterpiece collection. This skeleton watch has a 43-mm stainless steel case with a domed sapphire crystal to show off the skeletonized Caliber ML 134. which features automatic winding and as 45-hour power reserve. The bridges, disks, and wheels are on full display; the bridges are treated with tantalum or gold-colored PVD and coated with a satin finish. The main bridge is decorated with Maurice Lacroix’s familiar “Grand Colimaçon” finish and sandblasted.
6. Piaget Altiplano 38mm Only Watch 2013 Skeleton 1200S
Made for the Only Watch 2013 charity auction, this Piaget watch shattered another record for thinness, a skill for which this brand is well-known. The watch contains in-house Caliber 1200S, the world’s thinnest automatic openworked movement (2.40 mm thick). In this unique piece, Piaget has treated both the movement and the 18k white-gold case with a black PVD finish. The watch, with a case measuring only 5.34 mm thick, is the most slender in the world equipped with an automatic skeletonized movement.
7. Roger Dubuis Excalibur Spider Italdesign Edition
The Roger Dubuis Excalibur Spider Italdesign Edition, limited to just eight pieces worldwide and was released alongside the “Italdesign Automobili Special,” an ultra-limited series customizable car from Moncalieri, Italy-based Italdesign, a renowned producer of cutting-edge prototype show cars. The eight pieces will be available exclusively in Roger Dubuis boutiques. All info about the watch here.
8. Tissot T-Complication Squelette
The Tissot T-Complication Squelette has a wheel-inspired design, with five spokes, behind which can be seen the skeletonized movement. The seconds counter is located on one of the spokes, engraved with the word “sec.” The lugs on the stainless steel case are shaped to resemble the spokes of the dial, as well. the watch is powered by a manual-wind movement exclusive to Tissot.
9. Ulysse Nardin Skeleton Manufacture
Ulysse Nardin launched its Skeleton Manufacture, its first watch with a skeleton tourbillon movement completely developed in-house, in 2013. The manual-wind mechanical movement contains a flying tourbillon that comprises a balance spring, anchor and escapement wheel made of silicon. Below the 12 o’clock position is a ratchet wheel, engraved with the brand’s name, and an indicator for the impressive 170-hour power reserve. On the rose-gold version (seen here), each train wheel is rhodium-plated, while those of the platinum version are finished in 18k yellow gold. The Ulysse Nardin Skeleton Manufacture is available in two limited editions: 99 pieces in rose gold and 99 pieces in platinum.
10. Vacheron Constantin Métiers d’Art Mecaniques Ajourées blue
According to Vacheron Constantin, the inspiration for its Métiers d’Art Mecaniques Ajourées collection (“ajourée” is French for “openworked”) came from the architectural design of 19th century European railroad stations — the Gothic arches and airy vaults of the Industrial Revolution, along with the distinctive railway wall clocks and their Roman numerals. The movement in these watches, Caliber 4400 SQ (“squellette”) is described by the company as “hand-sculpted,” featuring manual beveling, engraving, and straightening, fine interior angles and contrasting brushed and polished finishes. The outer rings (in black, gray, or blue; there is also a high-jewelry version with baguette diamonds on the bezel) are made of grand feu enamel. The white gold cases are 40 mm in diameter, and the movement bears the Geneva Hallmark. to see other watches in this collection, click here.
This article was originally published in 2013 and has been updated with new material.