Are you a watch aficionado who loves to see the inner gears of your watch exposed on display behind the viewing glass? Well, just like you, we understand how satisfying it is to see the mechanism within a skeleton timepiece.
Seeing the intricate craftsmanship in motion is just fascinating and intriguing, isn’t it? You can wear it as an everyday style or consider it a luxury timepiece. An automatic skeleton watch is also very fashionable, primarily because it shows off engineering and craftsmanship and it just downright looks incredible.
And if you think owning these stylish skeleton watches means splurging money, then think again. In fact, there are quality automatic skeleton watches that you can own on a budget. They need not be expensive.
Take a look below at the best Skeleton timepieces Under 500 that are worth owning.
Top 5 Best Skeleton Watches Under 500
The Stuhrling Original Men’s automatic skeleton watch comes with a unique buckle and case made of stainless steel with a black premium leather strap (22mm). It also has an exhibition case-back, allowing you to see how this timepiece marks the passage of time.
Named after a master watchmaker, this luxury watch with stainless steel case does not require a battery since it harnesses energy via the natural motion of the wearer. In short, it is automatic self-winding. It just keeps running for as long as you’re wearing it.
This timepiece is covered with a comprehensive 2-year warranty, guaranteeing you 100% customer satisfaction. It also has a Sun/Moon sundial and tracks day and night.
- No batteries needed
- See-through skeleton dial
- Stainless steel case
- With Sun/Moon sundial
- Good value for money
- The leather strap is fairly easy to replace
- Few users find the stainless steel case a bit thick than other skeleton watches
- There may be several seconds of variation in the time since its an automatic skeleton timepiece
A stylish and expensive-looking watch but is sold at an affordable price than its look, this Invicta Men’s Russian Diver Mechanical Watch is surely a must-have for watch collectors! Just look at that Rose Gold stainless steel case that makes this timepiece super elegant.
It also has luminous hands, meaning you can still view the time in the dark. It also sports a Chinese Mechanical hand-wind movement and is water-resistant.
As for the material of its dial window, it’s made of synthetic sapphire. This makes your watch virtually scratchproof.
- Attractive Rose Gold stainless steel case
- Luminous watch hands
- Water-resistant (up to 50 meters)
- Mechanical Hand Wind movement
- 16 millimeters case thickness
- Very few users said the hour and minute hands are sometimes randomly displayed during simple arm movements
Another extremely beautiful and excellent timepiece is the Bulova Men’s Automatic Self-Wind Watch (Grey) has a gunmetal IP-plated stainless steel case, meaning you can ensure its durability.
You will also like its exhibition case that provides you a glimpse into the layers of Bulova Men’s Automatic watch, including the hands’ automatic movement.
This watch is water-resistant for up to 100 m. and has a 40-hour power reserve, removing the guesswork of how long this automatic movement watch will run without having to be wound by hand for it to work.
- Stylish black inner dial ring
- Gunmetal IP Stainless Steel Case
- Exhibition case back
- 40-hour power reserve
- Sapphire crystal glass (scratch-resistant)
- Black dial with silver accents
- Value for money
- Double lock clasp
- Covered with warranty
- Hands are not illuminated for night-time viewing
- It may not be shock-resistant, contrary to its advertisement. It may not shatter but it could stop working when dropped
The Stuhrling Stainless Steel Automatic is another quality timepiece worthy to be on the list of stylish but affordable skeleton watches in the market today. It has a stainless steel bracelet with a link pattern.
Like other automatic self-winding mechanical movement skeleton watches, this timepiece from Stuhrling also utilizes the wearer’s natural movements to keep it running. It can keep track of time in two separate time zones through its GMT sundial and it can also keep track of night and day with sundial for Sun/Moon.
- Comprehensive international warranty
- Functional GMT sundial/ AM-PM
- Automatic self-winding mechanical movement
- Stainless steel bracelet
- Pendulum winds only with a swing in one direction so you may lose time (inaccurate time) if you don’t wear it for a day.
A skeleton watch that is also on our list of favorites is the Kenneth Cole New York Men’s Automatic Stainless Steel Dress Watch. This silver watch sports an automatic self-wind movement and features a skeleton dial with an exhibition case back.
To provide this skeleton watch with energy, it uses the motion in your arm or by the crown in the watch itself. It is water-resistant for up to 30M or 99 feet and is covered by a limited lifetime warranty.
And since it is water-resistant, it is suitable for a short period of recreational swimming, although not for snorkeling and diving.
- Solid stainless steel case
- Water-resistant (up to 30m or 99 feet)
- With exhibition case back
- Super attractive and classy timepiece
- Affordable than high-end skeleton watches
- Some users said this skeleton watch is not scratch-resistant
What to Look for When Buying the Best Skeleton Watches Under 500
Design and Style
Every person has their style and design when it comes to watches. So, we cannot say if one design is good for you or not. But a quality skeleton watch should, at least, be made of stainless steel or ceramic which is durable.
It should also have a PVD coating to ensure that black, silver, rose gold, or gold watch reserves its color as years pass.
Almost nothing is more damaging to a skeleton watch than water. So, it is best to find a timepiece that is water- or splash-resistant. Take note that water resistance also has different degrees. A good watch for recreational swimming should have at least 10ATM water resistance.
Quality/ Kind of Watch Glass
If you’re planning to use the watch as an everyday style, it would be best to opt for a timepiece with scratch-proof sapphire glass. But if you are someone who doesn’t easily bump the watch, then you can instead opt for crystal or mineral glass instead of sapphire glass.
If something is wrong with the watch that you just purchased, a good and reliable brand can give an extra bit of security to you that they will deliver the spare parts, for instance. As such, take a few moments to consider the watch’s brand before buying it.
Just because a watch is affordable does not mean you should comprise its function and quality. A good yet affordable watch should at least have quartz or self-winding movement. You can guarantee that if maintained properly, the watch can last a few decades.
Final Verdict: Which Skeleton Watch Should You Buy?
Although these watches may not compare to high-end and more expensive skeleton watches, they are also not to be considered as a “poor man’s Rolex.” And if we are to choose only one in our list, it would be the Invicta Men’s Russian Diver Rose Gold Mechanical Watch.
It is not the most expensive on this list, but we can say it’s made to be seen! We believe its price, design, and function stand out. It also makes a great daily wear watch. It may not be lightweight but is just right for its size.
Thus, we think it’s a good investment and is the best skeleton watch on this list for its price point.
How about you? Which of these skeleton watches under 500 caught your fancy?
If you liked this article, you might want to read our other reviews at EvesWatch.com
My name is Eve Acosta and I’m the person behind this site. Watches are what get me ticking ;).
No, but seriously, I just love watches, I have over 30 myself. It’s an obsession of mine, which is why my husband recommended me to put my hobby into some good use and build this site – so I did.
My passion for timepieces came from the fact that my parents own a small chain of shops selling timepieces. I’ve worked at the shop since I was 11 and fell in love with the merchandise.