Under the spotlight - Six of the best skeleton watches

First published: 20-06-2016

texture of parts for mechanical watches

Under the spotlight: six of the best skeleton watches

Behind every watch is the technology ticking away, making timekeeping a reality.

Skeleton watches celebrate the engineering of watch-making and use the moving parts for aesthetic appeal. The mechanics are exposed, most commonly in the front of the watch, so you can see the skeleton - the fundamentals of the watch.

First created in the 1760s, skeleton watches have stood the test of time and are still loved by watchmakers and customers alike. Modern designers have tapped into the trend and men and women are now spoilt for choice when it comes to picking a skeleton watch.


This striking silver and gold men's watch from the Rotary range, is a subtle introduction to skeleton watches.

Rotary Men's Automatic Watch

The centre of the dial is cut-out, revealing the inner workings of the watch. This allows the wearer, or admirer, to see the many levels of wheels and cogs that make the watch tick.

Rotary watches are renowned for their blend of traditional and modern, and the combination of the two-tone steel/gold plate bracelet with the classic skeleton dial fits this brief perfectly.

Dreyfuss and Company

Dreyfuss and Company make their own chronograph movement, securing their position as a top-quality watchmaker - and their skeleton detail is very subtle.

Their 1925 chronograph watch has a skeleton date aperture, giving the wearer a sneaky peek into the mechanics of the watch. It also has an exhibition case back - giving insight into the front and back of the timepiece.

Dreyfuss Co Men's Dreyfuss & Co 1925 Half Skeleton Automatic Chronograph Watch

The genuine leather brown strap complements the rose gold PVD stainless steel case, giving this watch old-school attraction. This watch combines glamour with gadgets - the chronograph feature means it doubles up as a stopwatch as well as telling the time.


In jet black, ToyWatch Toy2Fly skeleton watch is an attention grabber.

ToyWatch Men's Toy2Fly Skeleton Watch

Paired with the beautifully intricate mechanics of the watch that fill the majority of the dial, this is a watch worth serious style points. When displaying the inner workings like this, each wheel, barrel and spring is on show, every piece needs to be exquisitely crafted and polished - and they are.

The champagne dial, combined with the black leather strap exude a sense of luxury - especially when the mechanism catches the light. The quartz movement is on full show both at the front and back of the watch, making this a standout piece.


Swatch take an inventive approach to the skeleton watch, and while they do expose the inner workings, they've taken the time to colour coordinate the mechanical bits and pieces with the rest of the Swatch Infrario, branching out from classic metallic hues.

Swatch Unisex Infrario Watch

Blues, yellows and greens combine on this timepiece to create an attention-grabbing watch, typical of Swatch, known for their funky designs and varied range of timepieces.

The rubber strap and plastic case make this a hardy watch - suitable for a number of different activities. And it's Swiss-made, so you know it's top quality, and built to last.

Kenneth Cole

This ladies' watch from Kenneth Cole is a stunning example of the skeleton watch.

Kenneth Cole Ladies' Automatic Watch

The entire timepiece is PVD gold plated, and is fitted with an automatic movement, that the skeleton dial lets the wearer see, tick by tick.

The skeleton detail is incredibly intricate and adds to the aesthetic appeal of the watch; the metallic silver mechanics are enhanced with bronze wheels and purple features, while the hands are still easily seen, in order to tell the time.

The gold-tone metal bracelet contrasts against the silver face - creating an elegant timepiece for any lady looking for a skeleton watch.


This ladies' skeleton watch from Zeppelin is a celebration of the intricate watch aesthetic.

Zeppelin Ladies' Princess Automatik Automatic Watch

With the thin leather strap and minimal PVD rose plating casing, the skeleton dial is at the forefront of the design. The technical refinement is evident in the exposed inner workings of the watch, and through the crystal exhibition back.

This mechanic, self-winding timepiece can also be worn on a neckband - making this a versatile, innovative piece. It's a fantastic ladies skeleton watch that will look elegant on any wrist.

Skeleton watches are a fascinating kind of watch, they celebrate the intricate inner workings of these technical masterpieces, by displaying the engineering that is usually out of sight.

Using the function to enhance the aesthetics of each piece is a clever move that creates individual pieces, which others will undoubtedly look upon with envy. Whether you want classic leather and gold, a sturdy stainless steel number, or modern day bright and bold, there is a skeleton watch for you.


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