There is something mesmerizing by skeleton watches. They show it all, allowing its owner to dwell on all the marvelous little parts that combined formed the movement. With nothing to hide, the watchmaker has to be at its best. Not only will every flaw in the finish of the movement be painfully visible, they also need to construct the movement with a minimum of metal used for bridges and other parts that can obstruct the view. Not an easy task, yet for some watchmakers a challenge too good to pass up on.
A very classical watch like the Louis Cartier Tank almost undergoes a full transformation when presented as a skeleton watch. Cartier brought contrast into the watch by arranging the skeleton movement in a circle, and sandwich it between sapphire crystals so that the movement almost seems to float inside the case.
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Double Balance Wheel Openworked
When Audemars Piguet fitted the movement in this Royal Oak with a second balance wheel and balance spring on the same axis, they only did so to improve the stability and precision of the movement. However, they also improved the visual impact as well. Of course, the prominent bridge that secures the balance wheel plays an important role into this, just as Audemars Piguet decision to give the open worked bridges a slate-grey finish.
Roger Dubuis Automatic Skeleton
This Roger Dubuis takes skeleton watches to a whole new level. At first, you might even wonder if all essential parts of the movement are even connected to each other. Not only did Roger Dubuis accomplish that, but they were also able to arrange the very thin bridges into a star-shape. Even the micro-rotor, located between ten and eleven o’clock, is skeletonized. Held together by a carbon fiber case, this Roger Dubuis Automatic Skeleton is featherlight as well.