The Rise of Skeleton Watches (and it’s not even Halloween)
It's not an accident that Skeleton watches are popular. Crafted from luxury materials, and featuring sophisticated design, skeleton watches represent the essence of watch craftsmanship by providing wide open windows to the calibre, the beating heart that powers up a timepiece.
The term skeleton watch denotes a mechanical watch that reveals the internal components of a watch. Because openwork watches have a design that exposes the “bones” - the entire movement of mechanical components - they must meet both internal and external watchmaking standards.
Sometimes you just have to show off what's on the inside. Source: Two Broke Watch Snobs
The amount of technology and craftsmanship in a skeleton watch will vary depending on the specific designs of each manufacturer. The watch's movement, in general, is a blend of modern technology and old-school craftsmanship.
An exceptional movement is what makes a skeleton watch a sophisticated timepiece - but what is the point of exposing the mechanism?
An unmistakable skeleton watch, what with the skull and all. Source: James Edition
Aside from the movement, manufacturers like Richard Mille and Chopard know how to elevate their Skeleton watches with expensive materials and gems.
Skeleton watches continuously rank among the top watches of all time due to the distinctive innovation in each design. “Bone” collectors have a strong bias toward attractive movements. In fact, the more complicated the movement, the better it is to be paired with Skeleton parts.
Three Famous Examples
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Openworked Black Ceramic
The passage of time and the cycle of fashion have no effect on the Royal Oak series of watches. Royal Oak has long been Audemars Piguet's star, with numerous variations in different materials and intricate features.
Thanks again Gérald Genta. You are the master.
The Royal Oak Openworked Black Ceramic is an exceptional timepiece that achieves perfection. The Black Ceramic collection comes with five models:
- Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar
- Perpetual Calendar Openworked
- Tourbillon Extra-Thin
- Tourbillon Chronograph Openworked
- Double Balance Wheel Openworked.
Except for the original model, all the models have exposed movements.
Fancy! Source: Monochrome Watches
The ceramic material used in the case, bezels, and bracelets is worth a look. Royal Oak ceramic watches maintain their beauty and durability in any situation as the ceramic is made via heating at a high temperature until needed hardness manifests.
The ceramic touch is genius and it works well with the skeleton aesthetic. Not all of the Openworked Black Ceramic Royal Oaks are fully exposed; each has a distinct design.
Source: Monochrome Watches
The Tourbillon Extra-Thin is a semi-skeleton watch with a partial cutaway at six o'clock, whilst the latest Double Balance Wheel Openworked offers a complete view of the mechanism.
The openworked timepieces are super comfortable to wear. Each watch is crafted with the finest detail, and they are all amazing to see.
Hamilton Jazzmaster Skeleton
A skeletonized dial with the “Spiky H” is the distinguishing feature that makes the Jazzmaster Skeleton special.
The intricate movement that lies within the Hamilton Jazzmaster Skeleton watch is displayed with the distinctive skeleton design. Its unique H-10-S movement has a power reserve that delivers power for 80 hours.
A look you can't forget. Source: Horobox
The craftsmanship of the Jazzmaster Skeleton is displayed via a dial that is meticulously crafted to create the signature H-sign at the central position.
The case of the Jazzmaster Skeleton measures 40 millimeters and is made of steel. The aesthetics of the watch are enhanced by the nickel-plated sword-shaped hands that are featured on the background of the black or white dial.
In addition, the Super-LumiNova coated numerals at 3 o'clock contribute to the overall charm of the timepiece. The elegant look of the Hamilton Jazzmaster Skeleton is finished off with an alligator grain strap.
Bell & Ross BR05 Skeleton
Bell & Ross BR05 Skeleton made a successful debut in 2019. It is no surprise that the collection is adored by watch enthusiasts, most especially the BR05 Skeleton Blue. Its unique skeletonized dial encased in blue sapphire was a hit when it was released a year after the original Skeleton BR.
No wonder it became a hit. That's gorgeous! Source: SJX Watches
Bell & Ross continues to develop different variants in the series. The BR 05 Skeleton Nightlum, and the BR05 Skeleton Green, both show amazing detail. The round dial and the eye-catching square bezel with four screws defined the brand's design evolution.
The BR05 Skeleton models have an entirely different shape from traditional Bell & Ross designs. They are stunning, elegantly capturing the exquisite beauty of Haute Horlogerie with its skeletonized design tailored to Bell & Ross' aesthetic standards.
The BR05 Skeleton is outfitted with the innovative BR-CAL.322 automatic mechanical movement, which has a power reserve of up to 38 hours and has been calibrated to achieve maximum accuracy in operation.
Your Own Skeleton Watch
The Seiko NH71 Skeleton Movement offers modders a great option for builds that stand out. The cutouts seem as if they are giving you a cross section of the calibre and its various gears, springs, discs and jewels.
Surprise at the back. Source: Watch Review Blog
The skeletonized automatic caliber, which was developed on the base of the well-known NH3 (NH35A) framework, features craftsmanship and functionality.
Even at first glance, the appearance of the Seiko NH71 is fantastic. With a power reserve that lasts 41 hours, the movement can maintain performance endlessly. If you want to make a mod that stands out, this movement is a great choice.
Namoki Skeleton Dials
Just as a display caseback is necessary so you can enjoy your custom rotor, a skeleton dial is the perfect match for a skeletonized movement so that you may admire the movement and its excellent engineering. You can’t use a regular dial with an NH71 because otherwise, what is the point?
Skeleton with a snowflake pattern. Source: @awfulcustoms on IG
Take a look at our AF-001 Skeleton dial. The two-layer dial is great, and would add a lot to any Skeleton mod. It is inspired by the Zenith Defy and the AP Royal Oak, and combining the aesthetics of the two has resulted in this openworked dial. The cutaway details are polished and carved, allowing the complex mechanism behind it to shine. The dial fits perfectly with the NH35, NH38, and NH70.
Black and orange combo. Source: @bbmod_france on IG
Our Skeleton Silver Watch Dial adds the best kind of style to any Seiko mod. It is a great combination with Seiko's skeletonized movements like NH70, NH71, and NH72. The cutouts on this dial are meant to match the ones on the skeleton movement for a seamless look.
Make your Own Classic!
Skeleton watches are wonderful to see, and we love to help people create Seiko Mod Watches. At namokiMODS, we sell some of the best watch mod parts in the industry.
If you are looking for SKX007 parts, or Seiko spare parts, we have what you need. Take a look through our extensive catalog, and find the right watch spare parts for your next build!