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The Complete Guide to Skeleton Watches

To a luxury watch enthusiast or a collector of high-end Swiss watches, there is simply nothing more satisfying than watching craftsmanship in motion – each and every finely tuned component of a watch’s movement put on show. Skeleton watches are some of the most technically refined and stylish timepieces on the market today, and we here at Berry’s are about to give you a run-down of our favourite open worked wristwatches, together with reasons as to why they make for such a good companion for the wrist.

Skeleton watches reveal as much of their mechanical movement as possible. In a way, exposing the most intricate and complex aspects of a watch is also to strip it down to its bare essentials, allowing for the wearer to see how these components all work harmoniously together. Lots of watch connoisseurs today are wanting to delve deeper into the craftsmanship of a luxury wristwatch. They want to see what they are spending their money on. To become more knowledgeable about the way in which your watch works is to be able to admire its performance through the back, the front or an open heart feature on its dial. Put quite simply – the more you learn, the more you want to know.

The focal point of every luxury wristwatch is of course, its face – home to the hands and the hour markers that tell the time, and other complications like moon phases, date windows, chronographs and complete calendars if you’re that way inclined. So, what better place to offer a glimpse into the workings of a finely tuned pedigree watch than through the watch dial itself?  Skeleton watches refer to those that feature a transparent dial as opposed to a solid one, and take considerable time and skill to create, the owner of a watch is not only able to appreciate the craftsmanship gone into the timepiece but can admire it for its intriguing character. True skeletonization of a watch also includes the stripping back of any non essential metal on the bridge, the wheel train or the plate. The remaining movement which is thinned out, is decorated with elegant engraving.

As time goes on, manufacturers are becoming more creative with the way in which they develop a skeleton watch. If you are unsure what style of skeleton watch to go for, we always recommend getting to know the brands renowned for crafting luxury skeleton watches. If you’re already familiar with the likes of Hublot and their extensive collection of skeleton watches, the Hublot Classic Fusion Extra Thin watch is a design worth exploring. The watch which sits against the wrist with a discreet depth bears a case crafted from black ceramic with a matching bezel sealed to a scratch resistant sapphire glass lens. The openwork dial is surrounded by the iconic screws bottled onto the top of the watch – a distinct hallmark of Hublot manufacture. The thin movement sitting inside the case of this Hublot Classic Fusion Extra Thin watch promises an impressive 90 hour power reserve and provides small seconds in the unusual location of 7 o’clock. A black rubber and alligator strap with black PVD coated steel buckle finishes this modern and ergonomic design perfectly.

View the Hublot Classic Fusion Extra-Thin Skeleton Dial Watch here

Priced considerably more is the Hublot Big Bang Ferrari Unico watch which celebrates the company’s inextricable links to luxury car manufacture. The partnership between Hublot and Ferrari is cemented in the sporty aesthetics of this feature-packed timepiece, including the chronograph with flyback function and vibrant red-tipped hands. As well as the eye catching date window dressed against a stunning yellow background, this timepiece is 1 of 1000 pieces worldwide, and features “Applique”-style Arabic numerals, a sporty black rubber strap and a stealthy Unico HUB1241 movement with a 72 hour power reserve. The openwork dial of this watch boasts micro blasted anthracite ruthenium plated main plate and bridges, alongside satin finished black push pieces for easy handling over the chronograph features.

View the Hublot Big Bang 45mm Ferrari Titanium Men’s Automatic Chronograph Watch here

Breguet skeleton watches are synonymous with quality and superb, premium finishes. The company has been in manufacture for hundreds of years, claiming to be one of the oldest Swiss family-run watch companies in the entire world. Their openwork dials add more than aesthetical value to a watch alone, they are a window into the heart of authentic Breguet manufacture. The likes of the Breguet Tradition 40mm White Gold watch with off-centre main timekeeping dial, boasts the classic Breguet-style hands that the company first became so famous for, alongside other hallmarks like their engine turned dial technique applied to the silver background of the main dial, and an unusual retrograde seconds indicator at the 10 o’clock location. The heart of this Breguet Tradition watch is put on display – the 505 SR1 manual winding movement, complete with a 50 hour power reserve, encased within a sapphire glass lens and a 30 meter water resistant steel case. If you like your watch to retain a traditional and classic feel whilst showcasing a layered dial that peels back to feature the complexities of an experienced wristwatch manufacture – then the precision-perfect Tradition skeleton watch from Breguet is certainly an option for you.

View the Breguet Tradition 40mm 18ct White Gold Off-Centred Dial Automatic Watch here

The new SEVENFRIDAY T-Series watch collection comprises the Gradient Blue dial “Engine” watch and the Gradient Green “Revolution” – both as industrial-inspired as they come. The archetypal square case shape adds instant status to the wrist, equipped with hardened K1 mineral glass and a skeleton dial with flash treatment. The two watches show-off their movements from inside their tough stainless steel and black PVD coated cases, with printing in red & white and cream & white for legible reading of the time. SEVENFRIDAY are world-renowned for their skeletonized dials and continually evolve their collections by finding new and innovative ways in which to show off the mechanical movements of their watches through powerful, industrial-inspired aesthetics.

View the SEVENFRIDAY T-Series “Revolution” T2/01 Gradient Green Dial & Canvas Strap Watch here

View the SEVENFRIDAY T-Series “Engine” T3/01 Black PVD & Blue Leather Strap Watch here

For a watch that combines technical beauty with sporty elegance, the Tag Heuer Carrera Calibre 01 45mm Aston Martin Special Edition watch features a honeycomb dial that barely exposes any of the movement through its surface. The discreet skeletonized dial is infused with functional sophistication – a chronograph and date display at 3:30 accompanied by the famous Aston Martin logo. If you like a Skelton watch that screams technical sophistication, you’ll certainly appreciate the way in which Tag Heuer have integrated a fixed black ceramic tachymeter scale on top of a 45mm robust stainless steel case. The black rubber strap finishes the design of this TAG Heuer skeleton watch perfectly – a design that, like many luxury skeleton watches these days, combines a rugged, sporty case profile with technical sophistication.

Vew the TAG Heuer Carrera Calibre 01 45mm Aston Martin Special Edition Watch here