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Skeleton watches are awesome! They display the inner workings of the watch in real-time and are very telling of the price of the timepiece.
But given the wearer’s different styles, preferences, and budget, we decided to give you a list of timepieces from watchmakers we love and we also considered the technical aspects of each watch beyond just their designs. That way, you’ll never run out of excellent watch models to choose from!
So, whether you’re looking for affordable but stylish timepieces or luxury watches that cost as much as a new car, here’s a rundown of the best Skeleton Watches in no particular order!
Top 10 Best Skeleton Watches (From Affordable to Luxury)
- Case diameter: 43 millimeters, thickness: 12 millimeters
- 46-hour power reserve
- Scratch-resistant sapphire crystal window
- Band Material: Leather
- Movement: Mechanical Hand Wind
- Weight: 1.1 Pounds
- Dial color of this Tissot watch: Skeleton
- Water-resistant to 50 meters
Tissot watch company is known for its affordable Swiss luxury watches, including the Tissot T-Complication Squelette Mechanical watch. It has a wheel-inspired design and is an excellent choice if you want to see all the precise movements of a high-quality watch.
With a case diameter of 43mm and a case thickness of 12mm, the Tissot T Complication Squelette features a stainless steel case and is complete with a black leather strap with hand-wound mechanical movement. You’ll see the movement through the dial and you get to appreciate the intricacy of watchmaking.
This great timepiece has an added bonus. That is, it is stylish enough to go with any outfit. This Tissot watch also has a water-resistant feature of up to 50m and a scratch-resistant domed sapphire crystal.
2. Swatch Sistem Thought Skeleton Swatch
- Movement: Automatic
- Strap Material: Leather
- Water Resistant: 30 Meters
- 90-hour power reserve
- Exposed date wheel/ gear train
Swatch, a subsidiary of Swatch Group, is among the most popular watch brands in the market today for being made to look good on both men and women. Aside from flexible design, Swatch watches are also unique in their look, colors, and design.
And if you’re looking for the best skeleton watch, the Swatch Sistem Thought Skeleton Swatch should definitely be on your list. The Sistem51 skeleton watch has a round shape, brown strap color, and stainless steel case material.+, meaning the material used can resist many chemical reactions and forms of corrosion.
This Swiss-made automatic watch also uses an anti-magnetic alloy of copper, zinc, and nickel. To be more exact, it comprises a proprietary group of alloys (ARCAP) so you can guarantee its durability. We can surely say this timepiece is one of the best skeleton watches under 300.
Powered by an automatic movement and developed following the Quartz Crisis, the Swatch Sistem Thought Skeleton Swatch also has a contemporary brushed case and when you flip it over, you’ll see the mechanics inside this watch.
It is known for its playful design and affordable price. There’s also a classic skeletal watch from Swatch that is worth checking out. It’s the Swatch Big Bold Transparent that features Swiss quartz movement.
- Water resistance depth: 165 feet
- Automatic movement
- Special features: second-hand
- Dial window material type: Krysterna Crystal
- 46 millimeters case diameter, 15mm. case thickness
- Stainless steel case and bezel
The Stührling watch company offers stylish and aesthetically majestic timepieces that can be compared to world-famous watches from renowned brands. One of their best offerings is the Stührling Anatol 371.
The 46mm Stuhrling Original 371 automatic skeleton watch features a stainless steel bezel and case, hour markers, blue hands, an alligator embossed leather strap, and a time zone subdial that could be useful for travelers. It also has a rotating AM and PM indicator.
We consider it as one of the best skeleton watches in the market today because it gained good reviews online, with buyers highlighting its good automatic movement and looks. From the Stuhrling Original label, golden balance wheel, GMT, and other distinct elements on its dial, the whole design and compound harmonize with a blue tint of indices and hands.
There’s also the Stuhrling Original Modena 889 Automatic skeleton watch that is about the same price as this watch that you might want to check out.
- 80-hour power reserve
- Water-resistant for up to 100 Meters
- Black leather strap
- 43mm case diameter
- Analog display type
- Dial window material type: scratch-resistant sapphire
- H-20- Hamilton’s skeleton movement
The Jazzmaster Viewmatic Watch is a stunning Swiss timepiece from Hamilton. It is a luxurious watch with a 25-jewel Swiss automatic movement that features graceful elements joining together to form a unique H-pattern.
The Hamilton Jazzmaster also has an exhibition dial with silver-tone hour markers, a case made of stainless steel, and its watch components include an escapement work, hairspring, and a barrel with precision under its sapphire crystal case.
The automatic mechanical movement powering this Hamilton Jazzmaster Viewmatic skeleton watch boasts an 80hour power reserve and its inner workers are visible for all to admire from its transparent case back to the cut-outs on the dial. This watch is also accurate, as expected from a famous Swiss watchmaker.
As one of the best skeleton watches for men, the Hamilton Jazzmaster Viewmatic is neither large nor small and stands at 40mm case size. This watch is also water-resistant for up to 100 Meters, meaning it is protected from slight immersion with water or rain but not from serious water activities. Then, an elegant black alligator strap completes this beautiful timepiece.
- hour power reserve
- 41mm. Cobalt alloy case
- Case thickness: 2mm. (world’s thinnest hand-wound mechanical watch)
- 02 ATM waterproof
- Metal weight: 14.2g
- Strap color: blue, buckle: Ardillon
Piaget is famous for their ultra-thin movements. In 1957, the brand introduced the thinnest mechanical movement watch model ever to be created that was only 2mm thick. Then, three years later, they again introduced the thinnest automatically wound movement caliber 12P that was just 2.3mm thick.
Now, they introduced this limited series and customizable skeleton watch, the Piaget Altiplano Ultimate Skeleton Concept Watch.
On the technical side, this Altiplano luxury watch features 41mm. Cobalt alloy case and is a record-holder for being the world’s thinnest mechanical hand-wound watch that is 2mm thick.
This Piaget skeletonized dial watch also features a blue polyamide strap with a polyurethane coating and an ardillon buckle or tang buckle. Its openwork style shows the movement that makes an impact wherever you go.
Taking ultra-thin watchmaking to another level, this “Aiguille d’Or” Grand Prix: Piaget Altiplano Ultimate Concept even won during the 2020 Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève (GPHG) as the best overall watch in terms of the quest for excellence and creativity.
If you prefer a white gold case, we recommend the G0A44532 Altiplano Watch. It’s a luxury watch set with 48 brilliant-cut diamonds.
- hour power reserve
- Titanium skeleton case: Black DLC titanium container and red crown
- Water Resistance: 5 BAR (50m)
- RD505SQ skeleton flying tourbillon movement
- Black rubber strap
- 163 components
- Unique Astral theme
In 1915, Swiss watch manufacturer Roger Dubuis focused heavily on skeletonization and it became more obvious when they introduced the Roger Dubuis Excalibur Skeleton Double Flying Tourbillon (RD505SQ model).
All watch models, including this skeleton watch, have undergone strict specifications of the Poinçon de Geneve. This Geneva Seal is a mark of Geneva’s watchmaking expertise and is synonymous with reliability, craftsmanship, provenance, and quality. It also indicates that the timepiece has remarkable decorative details and finishes.
As for the Roger Dubuis Excalibur skeleton watch, it has an ample negative space that combines with beautiful design and finishing. The RD505SQ has 163 components visible in all its glory and it has undergone 700 hours of manufacturing, including 200 hours to the Poinçon de Geneve.
Made of Titanium, this skeleton case is 47mm wide and 14.95mm thick. Some parts of this watch are coated with Black DLC and there’s also a red crown visible through the open-worked flange. To complete its look, this watch is fitted with a rubber strap with a titanium folding clasp.
- 50-hour power reserve
- Self-winding movement
- Vibrations per hour: 28,800
- Scratch-resistant sapphire
- Luminescent Hands and Hour Markers
- 43mm case diameter
Tag Heuer is one of the best-selling high-end watch brands in the world. Designed from an affinity for high-performance motor-racing and thirst for mechanical precision, this TAG Heuer Carrera CAR201V.BA0766 revealed 36 jewels and features self-winding movement through an aesthetic design using silver, white, and black with flashes of red!
What makes this TAG Heuer Carrera from other skeleton watches for men is its Rhodium-plated luminescent indexes as well as its black finish. This model is water-resistant for 100 meters and has a 50hour power reserve. Focusing on the watch face, the CAR201V.BA0766 features anti-reflective sapphire and a gray tachymeter scale.
As for its modular case, it is made of various materials layered together in construction. This includes the black titanium-coated stainless steel with the brush finish on the case back, the ends of the lugs, and the middle case. The same finish and material are used on the watch bezel.
Born on the race tracks, this TAG Heuer Carrera sports watch is truly an assertive statement of striking luxury and elegant design!
- Japan Seiko VK 68 Quartz
- Genuine Leather Strap with Deployment Buckle
- Fixed steel bezel
- 17mm stainless steel case
One of the best high-end watches is the Reef Tiger Skeleton Sport Chronograph Watch. It looks luxe and sophisticated. Among the interesting features of this skeleton watch are a calfskin brown leather strap, quartz movement, and a 45mm stainless steel case (round case).
And don’t worry if you’re not that familiar with its brand. It’s not really a new watch company as they’ve been in the industry since 18989 and were even started by famous Swiss watch designer Stephane Reef and designer Leandro Tiger, thus the brand Reef Tiger.
The RGA792 chronograph Skeleton watch model, to be precise, has a solid case back, with a 60-minute counter at 9:00 o’clock and small seconds counter at 6:00 o’clock, with 3D visual art anti-scratch mineral crystal, and is water-resistant for up to 50 meters.
This chronograph skeleton watch is available at an affordable retail price. Its overall look is easy to fit your taste, budget, or personal style.
- Automatic movement
- Black sunray dial
- Black leather strap
- Composition 70% Stainless Steel, 15% Leather, 12% Crystal, 3% Plastic
- stainless steel 43mm case, 5atm
Just because Emporio Armani is a high-end brand in the luxury fashion industry does not mean its skeleton watches are not accessible to the public. Take, for instance, their best designer skeleton watch with a unique design.
This 43mm sophisticated timepiece has rose gold-tone stick indexes, a black leather strap, and automatic movement. And best of all, the price of writing is even below $500. They are surely not out of reach and the watch itself looks modern and sleek vs. other high-end watches in the world.
It does not have an exhibition case back, but you can see the automatic movement and its inner mechanics on its dial. You can wear this anytime and its overall look is a combination of dressy and sporty.
- Analog display type
- Water-resistant to 30 M (99 feet)
- Case diameter: 42 millimeters
- Japanese automatic movement
- Band: leather
- Clasp Type: buckle
Next on our list of the best skeleton watches is the Kenneth Cole Men’s 3 Hands Skeleton watch (KC50227001 model). Weighing 71 grams and with a 42mm case diameter, this sleek watch has an open back and features a scratch-resistant mineral crystal. It’s a cool combination of black leather and a silvery stainless steel case.
Just like other timepieces from Kenneth Cole, this watch uses anti-allergenic materials and is comfortable to wear. You can wear it for every occasion. Overall, this is the perfect watch for gentlemen who want to make a statement.
What to Look for When Buying a Skeleton Watch
1. Watch Dial
Skeleton watches show as much of their movement as possible in a way that you’d see its complex aspects or most intricate parts. And what better way to see how your watch works and admire its performance than the watch dial. Does it complement the bracelet, case, or the leather strap of your watch perhaps? Some of the best timepieces with sophisticated watch dials include Tissot, Tag Heuer Carrera, and those watch models we included in this list.
2. Engraving/ Craftsmanship
When it comes to buying a skeleton watch, especially if it’s a luxury watch, craftsmanship matters! Yes, what’s inside your skeleton watch matters the most. Like purchasing a customized suit, buying a luxury watch represents accomplishments that go beyond just owning an elegant timepiece.
Remember that the standard for time accuracy, durability, and precision don’t apply only to the final product but to every material that goes into making such a skeleton watch. Take a look at the parts, the engraving, and the stamp of an icon as well!
What is your skeleton watch made of? From simple stainless steel material to complex carbon composites, there is a broad range of materials used in making a skeleton watch. By far, steel is the most popular material for a watch case and it’s hard-wearing and for a good reason. But apart from a stainless steel case, platinum, titanium, and gold (rose gold, white gold) are also used.
Another thing you have to consider is the material used in the case, bands, and dial. Would you prefer a black rubber strap or a leather strap? Perhaps, a luxurious gold case is what you prefer? You may also want to go for a sapphire crystal window because this material is completely resistant to common scratches.
In the world of watchmaking, finishing is the decoration of a watch movement. It covers an array of techniques used on the watch components. The process can be simple, hand-engraved balance bridges, or machine-performed engraving on the rotors.
Hand-finished skeleton watches for men are common in high-end brands, like Breguet, Tag Heuer, and A. Lange & Söhne for instance. This is also the reason why some brands have higher price tags than other watches because of the level of finishing used.
Some of the techniques used are hand-engraving, Côtes de Genève, Perlage (or stippling), Blued Screws, and Bevelling (one of the most difficult methods to finishing a movement).
Whether you’re a watch enthusiast or not, you know that skeleton watches for men come in a range of prices. Some are expensive, but you can also find some of the best skeleton watches under 500. The movement, the brand, its unique design, and the features of the watch affects the prices and it is for you to decide if you’re willing to pay a premium price for such craftsmanship or brand.
FAQs on Skeleton Watches
What is a skeleton watch?
A skeleton watch is a timepiece with an open construction or a skeleton dial that allows you to see through its parts and movements. Well, technically, it does not have a dial but decorated “bridges” instead that have various cutouts so you can see the watch movement. They are generally designed mechanical because of the many moving parts, although there are some watches that use quartz movement.
There are some skeleton watches that have see-through case backs that also allow you to see the craftsmanship of the skeleton watch even at the back. These watches vary in design.
Some are fully skeletonized while others are fully skeletonized. Skeleton watches were originally built during the 18th century but they remain popular today with few improvements.
How much do skeleton watches cost?
Some of the most luxurious see-through watches are within the US$300,000 to $100,000 price range. Consider for instance the Audemars Piguet Edward Piguet Tourbillon luxury watch, which is among the most expensive skeleton watches in the world as of writing.
But it does not mean there are no affordable skeleton watches. You can even find the best skeleton watch under 1000!
Why are skeleton watches expensive?
The best skeleton watches vary in design, brand, features, and materials. Not to mention that they have a unique type of movement. There’s also a lot of craftsmanship with great attention to detail that goes into the design to make visible the inner workings of the skeleton watch. So, it’s only natural that they are expensive. However, you can also find affordable skeleton watches that cost less than 1,000 or less than 100.
Are skeleton watches tacky?
Some skeleton watches for men do look a bit tacky but there are pretty nice skeleton watches that are best for men and women who admire the inner workings and intricate design of a watch.
Final Verdict: Which Should You Buy?
We all have our preference for watch types so our top pick may not match your personal style or taste. Still, if we consider the reviews it gained online, its features, materials used, the craftsmanship in making this timepiece, our top pick in this list would be the Piaget Altiplano Ultimate Skeleton Luxury Watch.
This cool watch is the world’s thinnest mechanical hand-wound watch, is lightweight, and has a very nice display. Truly, very neat to wear. It does not have an open back unlike other skeleton timepieces in this list, but the micro-engineering that goes beyond making this watch is such a delight even if you’re a watch collector or not.
If you like this review, 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.