Celebrate The Art Of High Watchmaking With Skeleton Watches That Pack A Punch

14 Jun, 2023 Chat 0
Celebrate The Art Of High Watchmaking With Skeleton Watches That Pack A Punch

Skeleton watches are highly coveted timepieces that showcase intricate mechanical movements through open-worked dials, allowing the wearer to appreciate the inner workings of the watch. These watches have a fascinating history and appeal to watch enthusiasts and collectors for several reasons. Their genesis can be traced back to the 18th century, during the era of the Enlightenment and the advancement of horology. The invention of the balance spring and the development of more accurate timekeeping mechanisms led to an increased interest in the inner workings of watches. Watchmakers began to experiment with skeletonizing their timepieces by removing excess metal from the movement’s plates, bridges, and other components, creating a transparent or open-worked design. The idea behind skeleton watches was not only to showcase the intricate craftsmanship and technical expertise of the watchmaker but also to provide a mesmerizing visual experience for the wearer. By exposing the gears, wheels, and other parts of the movement, skeleton watches offer a captivating display of horological artistry in motion.

Over the years, several watch brands have mastered the art of skeletonisation, incorporating it into their collections with exceptional skill and creativity. Here’re the top skeleton watches at Second Movement:

Zenith Defy 21

Zenith Defy 21 95.9000.9004/78.R782
Zenith Defy 21, reference 95.9000.9004/78.R782, is powered by the COSC-certified El Primero movement that measures 1/100th of a second as its oscillating system beats at a staggering rate of 3,60,000vph. Zenith ensures a first-hand view of this amazing feat with a skeletonised dial

First introduced in 1969, Defy by Zenith is as sturdy as it is exquisite. And the Zenith Defy 21 is a testament to how the collection has improved over the last 50 years. With a 44 mm dial, the transparent skeleton dial shows off almost all 293 components of the latest El Primero 21 movement, which counts up to 1/100th of a second effortlessly. To make this happen, the internal structure consists of two independently-regulating organs – one that tells you the time by beating at the rate of 5Hz, and a second one that beats at the astonishing rate of 50Hz, allowing the chronograph hand to count time up to 1/100th of a second. The skeletonised dial allows you to witness exactly how the two organs can work simultaneously to achieve this impressive watchmaking feat.

Zenith watches

Zenith Defy 21 is powered by an extremely high-performance El Primero movement that measures 1/100th of a second - the elevated mechanism visible conspicuously through the skeleton dial and sapphire crystal caseback

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Breguet Tradition 7027

Inspired by vintage pocket watches, this Breguet Tradition epitomises class and luxury. It features a skeleton dial protected by sapphire crystal glass, perfectly showcasing the manual winding mechanism, Breguet calibre 507DR. In addition to the visuals of the movement, another striking element is the off-centre dial placed at noon and designed classically with Roman numerals. The mainspring barrel at the centre operates the 50-hour power reserve that you can track with the help of a singular Breguet signature hand placed on the left of the main dial.

But that is not where the charms of this watch end. The rear of this timepiece is also skeletonised, allowing you to marvel at the intricacies of the power reserve hand. The watch measures 37mm, while the traditional design pays homage to the founder, Abraham Louis Breguet.

Breguet watches
Breguet Tradition
Breguet Tradition 7027BA/11/9V6
Tradition 7027BA/11/9V6
Breguet 7027BA/11/9V6

Arnold & Son Tourbillon Chrono 36

Another creation that exudes elegance and sophistication is the Arnold & Son Tourbillon Chrono 36. Paying homage to the first chronometer watch created by John Arnold in 1776, the Tourbillon Chrono 36 is also the first COSC-certified tourbillon. It proudly displays its complex mechanism, the manual-winding A&S8600 calibre with a 4Hz frequency. One of the main attractions of this timepiece is the tourbillon escapement placed at five o’clock on the dial. Also on display from the front are the two main spring barrels at the top, held in place by two brushed bridges. 

Arnold & Son Tourbillon Chrono 36

Elements of the COSC-certified calibre A&S8600, such as the two mainspring barrels, the entire gear train, and the tourbillon escapement, are all proudly visible through the meticulously skeletonised dial of this Arnold & Son Tourbillon Chrono 36

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Apart from the front, the rear also boasts a partially skeletonised construction. While considerably simpler than the front, the back gives you a peek at the main barrels and the tourbillon, so you can witness this class act at work from the back. With a power reserve of up to 90 hours, this piece is one of the best options if you wish to bring an Arnold & Son creation home.

Arnold & Son Tourbillon Chrono 36
Arnold & Son watches
Magnificently designed to display all the significant elements of the high-precision COSC-certified movement A&S8600, this Arnold & Son Tourbillon Chrono 36 comes with a 46mm stainless steel case and creates a dominating presence on the wrist

Girard-Perregaux Free Bridge

What started as a revolutionary pocketwatch released in 1867 transformed over time to create an entire collection based on the revolutionary concept of the wheel and escapement balanced over bridges. And a result of this continuous transformation and innovation is the Free Bridge. Boasting a classic yet contemporary design, the most striking element of the Free Bridge is the beautifully sculpted bridge sitting atop the swinging balance at the bottom of the dial. This bridge, combined with the partially floating logo of the brand at 12, lends a captivating 3D look to the timepiece.

Girard-Perregaux Free Bridge 82000-11-631-FA6A
Free Bridge 82000-11-631-FA6A
Girard-Perregaux 82000-11-631-FA6A
Girard-Perregaux Free Bridge

Above the single black bridge, at the centre sits the mainspring barrel. Providing legibility are the dauphine hands that match the hour indexes in luminosity. The watch is powered by calibre GP01800-1170, which beats at a frequency of 28,800 vibrations per hour. With a power reserve of 54 hours, this beauty is a pleasure to own and observe.

Audemars Piguet Millenary 4101

Being among the most revered and renowned names in haute horlogerie, Audemars Piguet watches are known for their craftsmanship, innovation, and iconic designs. And the Audemars Piguet Millenary 4101 is no exception. True to the classic Audemars Piguet fashion of creating distinctive and avant-garde pieces, this beauty boasts an unconventional oval shape measuring 47 mm. It comes with an off-centre dial layout. While the primary hours and minutes dial featuring Roman numerals sits to the right at three o’clock, the seconds sub-dial is at approximately seven o’clock.

Audemars Piguet Millenary 4101
Audemars Piguet watches
Millenary 15350ST.OO.D002CR.01
The Audemars Piguet Millenary 15350ST.OO.D002CR.01 shines with an unconventional oval shape and a skeletonised dial that displays the in-house calibre 4101
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Beneath the dials, the elegant Cotes de Geneve striping on the bridges and mainplate adds dimension and charm as the openwork design showcases the busy workings of the gears and springs. Beating at a frequency of 4Hz is the calibre 4101 movement, which is visible on the rest of the dial side and the rear. The rear plates also feature a circular graining that complements the striped design at the front perfectly. With a power backup of up to 60 hours, each element of this exquisite Audemars Piguet works together to make this model a guaranteed conversation starter.


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