The joy of appreciating the elaborate mechanism. How to enjoy skeleton clocks and 14 recommended selections
A skeleton watch that has become an immovable major genre. In this article, we will introduce how to enjoy it and 14 recommended watch models. Lead you to a deep skeleton world!
A skeleton watch is a wristwatch with a part or whole of the dial hollowed out. Broadly speaking, there are “full skeletons” where you can see the movement from the dial and back cover, and “semi-skeletons” where you can see the internal structure from the hollowed out part of the dial. It is said that this skeleton watch originated from a watch without a dial made by a watch maker in France in the 18th century. And, the skeleton watch made by the genius watchmaker Breguet by Queen Marie Antoinette of Louis XVI became widely known to the world. The best part is that you can see the internal structure that you can’t see with a normal watch. The appearance and movement of the movement, which is a condensed version of the watch brand’s transcendental technique, makes watch lovers feel the joy of owning it.
Needless to say, a wristwatch is a tool for knowing the time. However, the intellectual curiosity of watch lovers is not satisfied by the time alone. For example, the movement of parts that tick inside a mechanical watch. The delicate parts such as escape wheel, balance, and royal fern work together to keep accurate time, which makes you feel the mystery of time and the essence of technology. In addition, there is a big merit in dressing, and the impactful design that you can see the internal structure is perfect for accenting your arm. In addition, a complicated mechanism that can be said to be a proof of technical ability enhances the dressing. A skeleton clock that literally has flowers and fruits. This is why this watch continues to be loved over time.
Aesthetics and trade-offs. Know the potential disadvantages of “back scale”
See-through back models with a glass back cover are also common on skeleton watches. It is generally called “back scale” and is used by many luxury watch makers. While it has the advantage of being able to appreciate the movement, it also has the disadvantages of making the movement’s oil easier to dry and reducing its airtightness and magnetic resistance. However, many of the current skeleton watches have cleared such problems by devising parts, and in most cases you will not feel any practical disadvantages.
The movement is also a work of art. 8 masterpieces of skeleton watches
If you love mechanical watches, you’ll want to add a skeleton watch to your collection someday. Nowadays, various luxury watch brands have a lineup of models full of individuality, and there are various design variations. In this part, we will introduce 8 famous skeleton watch masterpieces.
“Edox” Delphin Mechano Automatic
The first skeleton model in the collection has joined the icon model “Delfin”, which was developed by “Edox” in 1961 and equipped with the patented waterproof mechanism “Double-O-ring”. From the full skeleton dial with modern cutwork, you can appreciate the elaborate movements such as balances, escape wheels and barrels. 316L SS case. Size 43 mm. Automatic winding.
“TAG Heuer” Carrera Caliber Heuer 02 Chronograph
A chronograph that has joined the symbolic “TAG Heuer Carrera Collection”. In addition to the skeleton dial, the back cover is also see-through, so you can enjoy the movement of the Heuer 02, a new movement made in-house that uses a column wheel and a vertical clutch. The counter on the dial at 3, 9 and 6 o’clock is in the same position as Carrera in 1963. SS case, size 45 mm, self-winding.
“Zenith” El Primero 21
This is a modern update of the classic “Defy” that was developed in the 1960s and 70s. The movement seen from the skeleton dial, which is based on a refreshing blue color, is the El Primero 9004, which can measure up to 1/100 second. It is a new movement with improved magnetic resistance by adopting carbon nanotubes for Higezenmai. TI titanium case, size 44 mm, self-winding.
“Ulysse Nardin” Skeleton X
A skeleton masterpiece owned by a Swiss brand that has been around since the 19th century. The dial that expresses the letter “X” by emphasizing the index at 1, 5, 7, and 11 o’clock has a great impact. The movement that looks as if it is floating in the air is UN-371, which uses a magnetically resistant silicon balance wheel. The 96-hour power reserve is also a point. Titanium case, size 42 mm, hand-wound.
“Franck Muller” Vanguard 7 Days Power Reserve Skeleton
The ultimate hand-wound watch that brings together the technologies of the brand and enables long-term driving for about 7 days. The base of the model is “Vanguard”, which features a case with a built-in strap. The skeleton specification with a see-through case back makes it a gem that you can enjoy the elaborate appearance of the original geometric bridge work and hand-wound movement from the front and back. PG case, size 53.7 x 44 mm, hand-wound.
“Corum” Golden Bridge Rectangle
The new model of “Golden Bridge Rectangle”, which can be said to be the icon of “Corum”, is an original design that increases the see-through area by removing the Roman index from the conventional model. The minimalist impression is strengthened, and the beauty of the inline movement is even more striking. The crown placed at 6 o’clock also gives off a strong presence. 18KRG case, size 42.2 x 29.5mm, hand-wound.
“Maurice Lacroix” Masterpiece Skeleton
The skeleton technology, which can be said to be the brand’s specialty, is one of the eye-catching six arms overhanging the sapphire crystal. The self-winding caliber 206, peeking through the dial, has a black gold DLC coating that enhances the refined impression of its chic contrast with the clear satin-finished underlayer. SS case, size 43 mm, hand-wound.
“Girard Pergo” Vintage 1945 XXL Large Date Moon Phase
A skeleton model of the “Vintage 1945 Collection” featuring a rectangular case with the aesthetics of Art Deco. The movement that can be seen through the blue dial is impressive. Details such as the Arabic numeral index, small second counter, and railway scale follow the original. SS case, size 35.25 x 36.1 mm, self-winding.
Although it is a skeleton that can be said to be a classical design in the world of wristwatches, many people may hesitate to aim for a high-priced model suddenly. Therefore, I would like to recommend models in the 100,000 to 200,000 yen range developed by full-scale watch brands. Even though the price range is easy to reach, there are gems that you can enjoy the charm of skeleton watches, such as movement movements and decorations that make full use of craftsmanship. It is also recommended as a first choice.
“Hamilton” Jazzmaster Skeleton Djent Automatic
If you want to enjoy the craftsmanship of “Hamilton”, this model. From the boldly cut-out dial opening, you can watch the movement of the balance spring, escapement, and barrel of the H-20-S self-winding movement. The details such as the brushed rotor and H patterns everywhere also enhance the class feeling. SS case, size 40 mm, self-winding.
“Tissot” T-Classic Cheman de Turrell
The masterpiece of “Tissot”, “Schmann de Turrell”, where you can fully appreciate the elaborate hand-wound movement with a perlage finish. From the background that has been positioned as a popular work for a long time rather than a new work, you can see that it is a reliable model. Both the index and the hour and minute hands have been simplified to the utmost so as not to interfere with the skeleton specifications, but in combination with the rose gold case, it conveys elegance firmly. This sense of balance is also a popular secret. SS case, size 42 mm, hand-wound.
“Orient” Orient Star WZ0031DX
Here is the skeleton model of “Orient Star,” which has been responsible for the history of the Manufacture in Japan. Peeking through the dial and case back is a hand-wound 46-series movement that the brand has matured over time. Ingenuity that demonstrates high technology, such as wavy and vortex patterns created by cutting by skilled craftsmen and artificial rubies that reduce shaft wear, shines everywhere. The Roman index arranged at 12 o’clock and 6 o’clock also contributes to the dressy taste! SS case, size 39 mm, hand-wound.
“Epos” 3435HSKRBK LTD888
The skeleton watch, whose off-center dial creates a classic atmosphere, is a world-limited 888 premium model. From the open heart on the dial, you can enjoy the real pleasure of mechanical watches, such as the hand-wound movement mounted on the front and back, and the movement of the Unitas balance. The case back also has a pulse meter function that can measure the pulse. SS case, size 43.5 mm, hand-wound.
“Mido” Commander Gradient
The model that joined the “Commander” collection, which debuted in 1951, is a full skeleton model that allows you to appreciate the caliber 80 movement from both sides of the dial and case back. The smoky gradation color from the center of the dial to the edge is also fresh. The case is black PVD processed, and the black textile belt has orange stitching in the icon color. SS case, size 40 mm, self-winding.
“Gaga Milano” Manuare 48MM Skeleton
The gorgeous color of the Milan brand is doubled by the skeleton design. The thick matte silver 48mm case, the lugs that pop out in all directions, and the onion crown on the top with a pocket watch as a motif show an outstanding presence. The appearance of the Swiss-made hand-wound movement that can be seen from the dial and case back is also an element that makes you feel more than the price. SS case, size 48 mm, hand-wound.