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Skeleton watches  - Skeleton: A Watch by Any Other Name

Skeleton watches Skeleton: A Watch by Any Other Name

Skeleton watches exist in all colors, styles, materials and dimensions. What once was an exotic speciality is now a staple of the watchmaking repertoire

A long long time ago, skeleton watches were in fact skeletonized. Openwork movements were not born that way but full and solid. They had to be trimmed from within, in their very matter. Craftspeople at Vacheron Constantin, Audemars Piguet, Breguet or Patek Philippe dug their way through brass, with hacksaw and file, to turn it into metallic lace. Somewhere in the 00's, there was a tipping point. Watch pieces began to be skeleton-made, i.e. machined directly in their skeleton state. And so movements were designed and born half-full of void. The pioneering work of Roger Dubuis, Richard Mille, Arnold&Son or Cartier now runs deep. Especially since these four, just to name them, belong to very different circles of watchmaking.

 

Le squelette est une montre comme les autres

Roger Dubuis Excalibur Monobalancier © David Chokron/WorldTempus

This variety in origin almost immediately affected the way brands envision their product portfolio. Each had to have a certain number of specialties on offer. They engaged in the definition of their own version of a skeleton watch, of their own openwork style and shapes and of their own balance between full and void. And this in turn quickly led to a definition of color codes. As a result, the art of the skeleton watch has now reached a plateau in maturity, recognizable by the variety of choices it encapsulates. Prices notwithstanding, a skeleton watch is a watch by any other name : it follows the same rules, trends and zeitgeist as the rest of them, integrated steel bracelet included.

Skeleton: A Watch by Any Other Name

Richard Mille RM 65-01 © David Chokron/WorldTempus

A skeleton can be everything and anything. It knows how to be sporty chic, like the Overseas Tourbillon Skeleton, or hardcore like an RM 65-01. Radical as a Spirit Of Big Bang Tourbillon Carbon Green 42 mm from Hublot, or refined as a Tonda PF Skeleton. Strictly metallic like Grand Seiko does, or profusely lacquered like a Cartier Tank Chinoise. Purely functional, made of light components resting on an Angelus carbon mainplate, or adorned by signature patterns, like the 5-branch star on the new Excalibur Monobalancier, which lies above the movement.

Skeleton: A Watch by Any Other Name

Cartier Tank Chinoise © David Chorkon/WorldTempus

The relatively new part is the fact that the latter is now colored from within. It already partially was thanks to the traditional repertoire of galvanic treatments. They deposited shades of gray and gold which are now supplemented by the array of PVD colors. Blue for Piaget, red at Chanel, purple for Zenith, the old bag of bones turns out to be incredibly lively. 

 

Lecture 1 Comment(s)

3 January 2023
arnaud vig
montres skeleton sublimes et merci davoir inclus un photo portée de la superbe limited edition cartier tank chinoise : le graal !! arnaud

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