Skeletonization means carving away the bridges and plates of a movement so that only the bones remain, offering a glimpse of the movement. Technically, a watch is “skeletonized” when what is left of the movement is decorated by engraving, gemsetting or filigreeing, and when it is viewed through sapphire crystals at both front and back. Many other watches with movements that are cut away but not decorated and/or only shown through a sapphire crystal at the front, are referred to as openworked rather than skeletonized, but are just as alluring. Here are a few new watches introduced at SIHH that, either way, reveal their inner beauty.
Vacheron Constantin Metiers d’Art Mechaniques Ajourées, with the skeletonized Caliber 4400 movement inspired by the architecture and clocks of 19th century European railway stations. With a black inner bezel ring rendered in grand feu enamel and baguette diamonds on the outer bezel.
Piaget Emperador Coussin Tourbillon Automatic diamond-set skeleton exceptional piece, with the ultra-thin tourbillon Caliber 1270D. Baguette diamonds are set around the bezel and the subdials of the tourbillon carriage and rotor as well as into the oscillating weight itself.
Cartier Tank Louis Cartier Skeleton, with a transparent plate partially created from sapphire crystal as part of the movement, Caliber 9616MC, inspired by the Mystery Clocks of 1912. The case is an elegant 30mm wide and 7.45mm thick.
Richard Mille 35-01 Rafa Nadal, with an NTPT carbon case, openworked, manual wound tourbillon movement. The base plate, bridges and balance cock are made of grade 5 titanium, providing stability despite skeletonization.
Montblanc TimeWalker Chronograph 100, which measures elapsed intervals to 100th of a second, with the Caliber MB M66.25 developed in its Minerva workshop. It vibrates at a frequency of 50 hertz or 360,000 vph, with two balance wheels.