“Show, don’t tell” has been the mantra of motion pictures since the early days. Nowhere in the watch world is this dramatic maxim more visible than with skeleton watches.
With watch dials largely stripped away, we get to see the full artistry of movement in motion. If you are thinking of joining the ranks of watch aficionados who love to let their technical sides shine, here are some of the best skeleton watches on the market today.
1: Hamilton Jazzmaster Viewmatic
The luxurious watch has a 25-jewel automatic movement featuring graceful elements that join to form a unique H-pattern. The case is made of stainless steel and an exhibition dial that has silver-tone hour markers. Watch components including the barrel, hairspring and escapement work away with precision under a sapphire crystal case. An elegant alligator strap finishes this exquisite timepiece.
2: Maurice Lacroix Masterpiece Chronograph
Maurice Lacroix isn’t exaggerating when they call this watch a masterpiece! A curved anti-reflective crystal sits atop a housing that holds a Caliber ML 206 automatic movement with 48 hours of reserve power. Just beneath the chronograph counter, you can watch the disks, bridges and wheels whir in balletic motion. A stunning presentation piece, the Masterpiece has the trademark Maurice Lacroix “Grand Colimacon” finish that flawlessly reflects light.
3: Tag Heuer Carrera Calibre Automatic
Tag Heuer is one of the world’s best-selling high-end watch brands in the world.
The Carrera Calibre Automatic combines many of the elements that have led to their success. Perfectly paired with a sturdy leather strap, this watch features a fine-brushed and PVD-coated body case that houses a self-winding automatic movement.
4: Stuhrling Original Men’s Symphony
An amazing watch for an amazingly low price, you can pick up a Stuhrling skeleton from $100 to $150! On the Original Men’s Executive model a shatter-resistant Krysterna crystal protects a self-winding movement that looks and functions as well as timepieces in much higher price ranges. The round stainless-steel case meets an elegant leather strap that further adds a higher-end look to this lower-end timepiece.
5: Audemars Piguet Millenary 4101
One of the most exquisite skeleton offerings on the market is by Audemars Piguet. It’s also one of the most-recognizable to serious watch collectors. Launched in 1995, the Millenary collection earned an almost immediate spot in the catalog of iconic watches. The 4101 models let you get a look at what’s going on in the case. It has a glare-proof sapphire crystal on the front and back. And in reverse! Audemars Piguet flipped the movement of this timepiece so that the dial side displays what one would normally see on the rear. The gorgeous anthracite-and-black dial and 3D design with off-centered discs are complemented by an equally luxuriant brown crocodile strap.
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6: Tissot T-Complication Squelette
Tissot has over 150 years of watchmaking experience. It’s no surprise that Tissot is the official timekeeper for world-class sports. Sports from cycling, basketball and ice hockey to international events such as the Pan American Games. You can see all of this history in the Tissot T-Complication Squelette, almost literally. You can see it at work under a scratch-resistant domed sapphire crystal featuring anti-reflective coatings on both sides. Nothing is left to the imagination. As you can see all of the essential components are on full display. It exudes sophisticated style with a black leather strap and stainless-steel case.
7: Bulova’s Classic Automatic
While Bulova’s Classic Automatic collection adds a sporty edge to skeletons, the models are notable for the components they display. And the unique design with bold Roman numeral markings seriously makes its elegance quotient. A mineral-dial window protects an analog display of self-winding movement behind subdials. You can also watch the components at work through an exhibition case back. It was built to withstand the toughest conditions. These timepieces are water-resistant up to 100 meters yet show a refined side when worn with a supple calfskin leather strap.
8: Breguet Tradition Black Skeleton Watches
If you want to get noticed, strap a Breguet Tradition skeleton watch to your wrist. It combines gears in a collage of movement across a pitch-black dial and under a sapphire crystal window. An 18K white gold case and bezel add a luxurious slant to the steam-punk aesthetics. This luxury watch tells the world you understand the delicate dance between form and function.
Maybe it’s time to go skeleton and pull back the veil to show the true inner side of your luxury watch.
On a budget? Find out which affordable skeleton watches are right for you.