In the 1970s, the Swiss watchmaker industry was on the verge of bankruptcy due to the quartz revolution. Quartz watches, which are simple to build, inexpensive, and incredibly accurate, revolutionised the watch business and quickly became the standard timepiece used all over the world.
The high-end watch companies fought back in a desperate attempt with elegance and skill. Skeleton watches, which displayed the technological core of handcrafted mechanical movements, were developed by Swiss watchmakers to demonstrate the benefits of using mechanical movements, which were costly.
The popularity of these clocks among watch enthusiasts quickly increased, and several companies began investing more in developing open-worked watches. Some even established a separate department inside their business called skeletonisation to make only skeleton watches. Since then, the watchmaking industry has seen a new trend.
So, let us explore some great skeleton watches ruling the market.
Bvlgari Octo Finissimo
Bulgari introduced the Bvlgari Octo Finissimo Skeleton Black Edition in 2018, maintaining its renowned ultra-thin casings, distinctive octagonal shape, and ground-breaking Swiss mechanical prowess. The timepiece, which is offered in a classy all-black appearance, is similar to past versions of it.
In addition to the watch's 40mm superlight DLC-coated case and bracelet, it has a skeleton dial that compels you to peer inside the movement's core. The display includes a power reserve indication at nine o'clock in addition to the little seconds between seven and eight o'clock. This watch has faceted and open-worked hour and minute hands, just like the other watches in the Octo Finissimo series.
The only coloured embellishments on the dial are the rose gold finish highlighting each hand. The watch is powered by the BVL 128SK Finissimo calibre, which has a power reserve of 65 hours and beats at 28,800 vph. The BVL 128SK Finissimo movement is one of the thinnest on the market, measuring just 2.35mm overall. It has a black-coated baseplate and bridges with circular satin-brushed ornamentation and chamfering.
Tag Heuer Carrera
The TAG Heuer Carrera Calibre Heuer 01 has a precise chronograph mechanism and a stylish, athletic appearance. The watch has an open-worked dial with a layout similar to previous Heuer 01 models, making it the ideal expression of the brand's preoccupation with mechanical accuracy and passion for high-performance motor-racing timepieces.
There are 12-hour and 30-minute counters at six and twelve o'clock, a date window at three, and a little seconds sub-dial at nine in addition to a central seconds hand for the chronograph. The automatic Heuer 01 calibre, which has a 50-hour power reserve and beats at 28,800 vph, is housed within.
The movement, visible from both sides, has a wonderful architecture, with all of its parts being bright metallic colours and having a black rotor. The timepiece has a 43mm case and a fixed bezel with an etched tachymeter scale, highlighting the collection's connections to motor racing. A variety of materials, including steel with PVD coating and steel and ceramic, are available for the Carrera Calibre Heuer 01 watch.
Moreover, the watch is supplied with three various kinds of straps: leather, rubber, and stainless steel bracelets, all of which are quite pleasant to wear.
Arnold & Son Time Pyramid
Arnold & Son has created a new movement, the Calibre A&S 8615, by starting from scratch once more. This movement obviously has many similarities to the Calibre A&S 1615 installed to the original Time Pyramid, but it differs from the older one in important ways.
As its name suggests, the Arnold & Son Time Pyramid has a tourbillon cage set at noon. Since the tourbillon now includes a seconds indicator, the previous seconds' display is no longer necessary. This has resulted in a new main plate/bridge design, proving that the Maison did not simply "copy and paste" the Calibre A&S8615's design. This tourbillon is a big part of the design, as can be seen, due to the watch's skeleton structure.
Two barrels are placed in sequence and are included in every Time Pyramid type. The right barrel's mainspring is coiled after the left barrel's mainspring has been fully tensioned. Due to the series arrangement of the two barrels, the escapement receives a more steady flow of energy than it would from a single barrel, enhancing accuracy.
Hublot Big Bang Meca 10
The Hublot Big Bang MECA-10 comes in two variations and is housed in the contemporary 45mm-wide Big Bang case (water resistant to 100 metres). Additionally, the latter black ceramic edition is reportedly a part of Hublot's commemoration of the "all black" watch concept's 10th anniversary.
The rack travels gradually to the left of the dial as the mainsprings are wound and gradually to the right as the movement is wound down. Several "H-style" Hublot screws are arranged in a circle on a plate that sits above the mainspring barrels. To offer some great contrast to the deep and welcoming perspective of the mechanism, the movement bridges are either matte-black finished or silvered.