By their very nature, skeleton watches tend to be big-ticket items in the world of horology: not only do they require mechanical movements, but to reach their full aesthetic potential those movements need to be stripped down to their most basic essentials to show off as much of the inner workings as possible — a time-consuming and, hence, often costly step in the production stage. So when we come across a Swiss-made skeleton timepiece that can be had for under $2,000 — such as this week’s Watch to Watch, the Raymond Weil Maestro Skeleton — we feel it deserves its moment in the spotlight.
The Raymond Weil Maestro Skeleton is the first skeletonized timepiece in the brand’s classically elegant, round-cased Maestro collection. Here the case is made of stainless steel and measures 39.5 mm in diameter, with a silvered galvanic dial whose large aperture — studded with blued steel hour markers — frames the front-side display of the openworked, automatic movement, Caliber RW4215 — the same Sellita-based movement that powered last year’s Freelancer Skeleton, which features 26 jewels and a 38-hour power reserve.
Beneath the sapphire crystal covering the dial, and swept over by baton-shaped, blued-steel hour, minute and seconds hands, the movement’s visible elements include the balance wheel and the openworked spring barrel. Behind another sapphire pane in the caseback is a view of the rotor, decorated with a Raymond Weil logo. Raymond Weil’s “RW” monogram can also be found on the fluted, polished steel crown on the side of the case, which is 9.2 mm thick and water-resistant to 50 meters.
The Raymond Weil Maestro Skeleton comes on either a genuine black calfskin strap (with an alligator-skin finish) or a stainless steel link bracelet (below), both equipped with an “RW”-styled folding clasp with a double-push security system. Prices are $1,950 for the watch on a strap, and $1,995 on a bracelet.