skeleton watch

Skeleton Watch Guide: What Is A Skeleton Watch & How Do They Work?

Modern skeleton watches are all the rage at the minute, but did you know there’s nothing new about them? This type of timepiece has a rich history, yet it flew under the radar for many years before it was wholeheartedly embraced by the watch aficionado community. So, what makes the skeleton watch attractive?

For watch connoisseurs, appreciating the mechanism of a timepiece is essential. As the inner workings are visible, it’s practically impossible not to admire them.

Ultimately, the skeleton watch is more than just a timekeeping device. It’s a reminder of a watch’s beauty. 

If you need that reminder today, read on to learn all about this enchanting type of watch.

What Is A Skeleton Watch?

skeleton watch

Put simply, a skeleton watch is a type of watch where the inner workings are exposed. 

Watches can be skeletonised by reducing the mechanism until only the most essential parts are left.

All non-essential metal is whittled down until gaps are left in the dial.

The History Of Skeleton Watches

skeleton watch

The world was introduced to skeleton watches in the 1700s, thanks to successful clockmaker André Charles Caron.

Caron wasn’t just any old clockmaker. He worked for Louis XV, the King of France, for 40 years.

During his time as a royal employee, he was training up his son in law ready for his retirement. In 1760, just before said retirement, Caron fashioned the very first skeleton watch.

How Do Skeleton Watches Work?

skeleton watch

The aforementioned process of skeletonisation is employed by many brands to produce skeleton watches.

Once the dial has been reduced and only the vital elements remain, each individual part is polished. It is then either stamped or engraved.

Often, the engravings are incredibly intricate as this produces a unique look that many watch aficionados seek out. What’s more, it encourages the consumer to admire the unique pattern. As well as the exposed mechanism.

Characteristics Of Skeleton Watches

black timepiece

Evidently, these watches all have one concrete thing in common: they possess an exposed mechanism (to various extents). 

But, what are the other key characteristics?

Often, this type of watch is mechanical, making it a traditional choice for a timepiece. Many watch aficionados prefer skeleton watches to be mechanical as it allows for a more intricate display of the inner workings.

Additionally, skeleton watches have a reputation for being quite expensive, owing to the detailed engraving. Many high-end brands sell skeleton watches which makes them very sought-after. Only adding to the price.

However, the beauty of these watches is that the only requirement for a watch to fit this genre is an exposed mechanism. While there is a trend for these watches to be mechanical and expensive, this isn’t the case for every skeleton watch.

You can have a skeleton automatic watch or a skeleton manual watch. A skeleton wrist watch or a skeleton pocket watch. A modern skeleton, or a traditional skeleton.

As you can see, variety is a big part of the identity of skeleton watches. Whatever your taste as a watch consumer, there is an ideal skeleton watch out there for you. 

Which Brands Sell Skeleton Watches?

So, where can you find this ideal skeleton watch?

Countless brands sell skeleton watches. But, we’re going to name five key companies today.


cartier watch

Firstly, we have Cartier. Promising ‘cutting edge technology, passion and elegance’, the luxury French brand is always on top of the trends.

As a result, we are blessed with many Cartier skeleton watches to choose from.

Our personal favourite is the Cartier Santos de Cartier Large 18CT Pink Gold Skeleton Dial. Which flaunts a charming minimalist skeleton dial.


bulova watch

Next, we’re honouring the Americans with the adored brand Bulova.

Prioritising innovation, Bulova is the expert of releasing creatively designed timepieces.

Thus, it wasn’t hard to find our favourite, the gorgeous Men’s Yellow Gold Sutton Skeleton Strap Watch.


tissot watch

We all know Swiss-made timepieces are superior, so you’ll be delighted to know the Swiss luxury brand Tissot sells a wealth of skeleton watches.

Our recommendation? The Skeleton 43mm Mens Watch T0704051641100. An ultra-masculine, ultra-creative design that gives a good name to the wonderful genre of these watches.


rotary watch

Another of our favourite Swiss luxury brands, Rotary, is also famed for selling high-quality skeleton timepieces.

An excellent example is the Greenwich Men’s Two-Tone Skeleton Bracelet Watch. Which boasts a gorgeous dual-toned gold and silver colour.

Emporio Armani

Emporio Armani

Finally, everyone knows Emporio Armani for its luxurious products, but did you know you could acquire an Armani skeleton watch, such as the R4230 Meccanico Skeleton Dial Brown Strap Watch?

Traditional through and through, this men’s watch features a classic square dial that’s home to a lovely intricate skeleton display. 

Our Final Thoughts On Skeleton Watches

black timepiece

If you find yourself gazing longingly at your watch collection, admiring each glossy dial and sleek metal bracelet, it might be time to purchase your first skeleton watch.

Skeleton watches were practically made to be cherished. When you first lay your eyes on the exposed dial, it’s impossible not to appreciate the intricate workings of the timepiece.

However, it has to be said that this innovative design isn’t for everyone. If you prefer for watch mechanisms to be tucked away neatly and covered up, we have plenty of options for you, too.

Right here on the Uniform Wares website, you will find a variety of Swiss-made watches for men and women. From petite large chronographs to petite rose gold products.

So, what are you waiting for? Browse our watches for sale today!

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