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21 Best Skeleton Watches (Affordable to Luxury)

Skeleton watches have become more and more desirable over recent years. They offer the ability to view the inner workings and all the moving parts of a watch, visible through the front and often the rear of the timepiece via an exhibition caseback.

If you’re someone who loves the finer details and likes to see how things really work, then this could be the perfect type of watch for you. Nowadays most large watch companies have chosen to release at least one skeleton watch version so there’s all sorts of options and styles to chose from.

Skeleton watches look so unique compared to traditional timepieces. They have intricate, luxurious looking designs that never go unnoticed on your wrist. Being able to actually view what’s going on inside your watch is a complete joy – the reason so many horology enthusiasts love see through watch designs.

Below we’re going to be taking a look at some of the most popular skeleton watches available. We’ve picked out 21 different watch brands to showcase to you just a taste of what’s available. No matter your budget, there really is something here for everyone. We have skeleton watches under $100 and skeleton watches over $1000.

At the bottom of the page there’s some FAQs. If you’re unsure what certain terms mean or how different types of glass compare then head here for a better understanding.

Best Skeleton Watches For Men

1. Stuhrling Original Executive Men’s Automatic Skeleton Watch

Stuhrling Original Executive Men’s Automatic Skeleton Watch

One of the cheapest skeleton watches on our list today is this beautiful Stuhrling model. The Stuhrling brand has many different unique looking watches available in their collections. They’re known for their affordability and value for money.

This Stuhrling Original Executive watch shows off the majority of the inner works of the watch as can be seen through the protective Krysterna crystal. The 44mm stainless steel casing houses the stunning 22 jewel automatic self-winding movement that’s powered by the kinetic movement of your wrist throughout the day.

The watch is finished with a 22mm alligator embossed 100% genuine leather strap that offers comfort and ease of use. The water resistance rating of this Stuhrling watch is 165 ft.

Important Features:

  • 44mm Stainless steel casing
  • 22 Jewel automatic movement
  • Krysterna crystal glass
  • 165ft water resistance rating

2. Invicta Vintage Automatic Rose Gold Self Winding Skeleton Watch

2. Invicta Vintage Automatic Rose Gold Self Winding Skeleton Watch

Another affordable option for skeleton watches is the brand Invicta. Invicta are known for their large range of fairly cheap and stylish timepieces with something to suit everybody. When it comes to see through watches they should definitely be checked out.

This model comes from their Invicta Vintage collection, you can see how they’ve captures an elegant look from the past with their rose gold finish. They’ve also opted to include the original Invicta IV logo dating from 1837.

With a 45mm rose gold plated stainless steel casing this Invicta timepiece is ever so slightly larger than the Stuhrling watch we featured beforehand. It has an automatic self-winding movement as can be seen through the see through elements on the dial design. The Invicta 23636 also features an exhibition style caseback so you can view the inner workings of the watch via the rear of the watch too.

The comfortable genuine leather strap has a width of 22mm which is suitable for the casing size. And protecting the dial is a synthetic sapphire crystal glass, this offers a really good level of protection against scratches. When it comes to water resistance, the Invicta has a 165ft rating.

Important Features:

  • 45mm Stainless steel casing
  • Automatic self-winding mechanical movement
  • Sapphire crystal glass
  • 165ft water resistance

3. Rotary Mecanique PVD Gold Plated Skeleton Watch

Rotary Mecanique PVD Gold Plated Skeleton Watch

Rotary’s Mechanique collection features some of the very best affordable skeleton watches available. They’re a brand that offers the ideal blend between price and style with a variety of timepieces that are suitable for both work and casual dress.

They were established in 1895 as a Swiss watch manufacturer, though a lot of their watches are no longer produced in Switzerland – note that their Swiss made watches will clearly indicate on the dial saying “Swiss made” if so.

At the heart of this open face watch sits a Miyota Japanese made automatic movement. These Miyota movements are well respected for their accurate and reliable timekeeping, you can also see the inner workings of it via the exhibition caseback on the watch.

A mineral crystal glass lens protects the front and rear of this Rotary skeleton watch. Mineral glass offers a good blend of protection against both scratches and shattering. Note that the scratch resistance isn’t as high as a sapphire glass lens though.

The 40mm gold plated stainless steel casing size is typical of Rotary, opting for a more traditional sizing vs today’s larger oversized timepieces. This has been paired with a beautiful genuine leather strap that fastens with a gold plated buckle.

Important Features:

  • 40mm stainless steel casing
  • Japanese made Miyota automatic self-winding movement
  • Champagne dial
  • Mineral crystal glass
  • Basic water resistance

4. Lucien Piccard Automatic Skeleton Watch

Lucien Piccard Automatic Skeleton Watch

Here we have one of the cheapest skeleton watches on our list for today. Lucien Piccard offer a really nice selection of watches, many of which are skeleton open heart design. You can find a lot of these available for under $100 making them fairly good option for those of you wanting a good quality, yet cheap skeleton watch.

In the past Lucien Piccard were a well known high end Swiss watch company that was known for producing luxury watches for thousands of dollars. So howcome they’re now producing affordable watches on mass? Well, as I’m sure some of you could have guessed – the ended up going backrupt before being purchased by a Chinese company – who later moved to mass producing quality, inexpensive watches.

The Lucien Piccard Loft that we’ve featured is built with a 45mm stainless steel casing that has a thickness of 13mm – perfect for most people. I was impressed to see a watch in this price range with a sapphire crystal glass lens – that’s quite a rarity.

This affordable skeleton watch has a self-winding element which means the watch charges itself from the kinetic movement of your wrist throughout the day. Once you stop wearing it for a while it will stop running, but all you need to do is give it an initial wind-up and you can be on your way again.

If you love the idea of watches where you can see the gears then this makes a great little entry model for those of you who don’t want to lay out a small fortune.

Important features:

  • 45mm Stainless steel casing
  • Automatic self-winding movement
  • Synthetic sapphire crystal glass
  • 165ft water resistance rating

5. Bulova BVA Series Automatic Skeleton Watch

5. Bulova BVA Series Automatic Skeleton Watch

Bulova are an American company with a huge selection of watches available for all sorts of price ranges. One of their best known timepieces is the Bulova Moon watch that was worn during the Apollo 15 mission – a very interesting timepiece to read up on if you get the time. These days Bulova are owned by the Japanese company, Citizen watch group.

This is the Bulova BVA 120, it gives you a subtle look at the interior of this automatic watch without revealing too much. They achieve this using what’s known as a keyhole skeleton dial design which only reveals a minimal amount of elements. Of course, for any of those really wanting to see the inner workings of this self-winding mechanical skeleton watch then there’s always the exhibition caseback.

At the heart of this watch you’ll find a high quality Japanese made 21 jewel automatic movement for accurate and reliable timekeeping. The movement is housed in a stainless steel casing that measures 41mm in diameter.

A domed mineral crystal glass lens offers a decent level of protection from scratches and shattering. This can be found on the front and rear of the timepiece.

Important Features:

  • 41mm Stainless steel casing
  • 21 Jewel Miyota automatic movement
  • Mineral crystal glass lens
  • 99ft water resistance rating

6. Hamilton Viewmatic Open Heart Watch

Hamilton Viewmatic Open Heart Watch

Hamilton are one of the best brands when it comes to mid range watches. They’re well known for their Swiss made watches that offer excellent value for money. You may well have heard of their Viewmatic and Jazzmaster collections in the past.

If you’re after an affordable Swiss made skeleton watch then this open heart variation from Hamilton’s Viewmatic collection could be ideal for you. The most noticeable element when you first view this watch is this unique looking dial design that makes use of a partially exposed aperture to show off some of the inner workings of this automatic watch.

Powering this Hamilton watch is an H-10 Hamilton made automatic movement. It has a base ETA c07.111 with a 25 jewel finish and a reserve of 80 hours. It’s an extremely impressive movement that beats at a frequency of 21,600 BPH. If you’re looking for quality and value for money – this is it.

Of course, such an impressive movement has to be housed somewhere – and that’s where the 40mm stainless steel casing comes in. A sapphire crystal glass lens also protects the front and rear of the watch with an extremely high level of scratch resistance. All in all, for Swiss skeleton watches under $1000 it’s a beauty.

Important features:

  • 40mm Stainless steel casing
  • H-10 25 Jewel automatic movement
  • Swiss made watch
  • Sapphire crystal glass lens
  • 165ft water resistance

7. Tissot Men’s T-Complication Swiss Skeleton Watch

Tissot Men’s T-Complication Swiss Skeleton Watch

Tissot are a heavyweight of the luxury watch market since 1853 with some of the best value for money Swiss watches available. They’ve been manufacturing affordable Swiss luxury watches for more than a century.

This Tissot T-Complication sticks to one of the foundations of the Swiss brand – elegant watch design. You can see a large part of the mechanical movement on show through both the dial and exhibition caseback.

Note that this Swiss movement is purely mechanical and will need to be self-wound. There’s no automatic element to this timepiece. So if you’re looking for a solely mechanical luxury watch then this model may be for you.

As you’d expect from a luxury Swiss made skeleton watch this model features a sapphire crystal glass lens for excellent scratch protection. The water resistance rating of this model is 165ft.

Important Features:

  • 43mm Stainless steel casing
  • Swiss made mechanical movement
  • Sapphire crystal glass lens
  • 165ft water resistance rating

8. Fossil Grant Automatic Mechanical Skeleton Watch

8. Fossil Grant Automatic Mechanical Skeleton Watch

Fossil have been making more of a move in to the skeleton watch market lately. All in all they have so far produced an excellent variety of skeleton watches under $250 or so. This makes them ideal for people looking for something a bit more affordable. Their designs are beautiful with attention to detail and quality of build.

Fossil are a powerhouse in the watch industry, not only manufacturing the Fossil label. They also produce plenty of other watches under licence for brands such as Michael Kors, Armani, DKNY, Skagen and Swiss made models like Zodiac.

This Fossil Grant is an affordable skeleton watch with an open heart dial design allow you to see through to the workings of the automatic movement. The stainless steel casing has a diameter of 44mm which is ideal for most people really.

A genuine leather light tan strap with a width of 13mm compliments the whole design and offers a comfortable option for those who dislike metal straps. The straps are interchangeable, meaning you can quickly swap them out in minutes if you want to mix your style up with a different type.

Important Features:

  • 44mm Stainless steel casing
  • Mineral crystal glass lens
  • Automatic self-winding movement
  • 165ft water resistance rating

9. Kenneth Cole New York Automatic Black Skeleton Watch

Kenneth Cole New York Automatic Black Skeleton Watch

Kenneth Cole are another top brand for affordable skeleton watches that offer great value for money. They’re an American designer fashion company that was founded in 1982. Their range of watches is extensive and well worth browsing through for cheap options.

This Kenneth Cole New York watch is built with a 42mm stainless steel black IP casing which shows off a large amount of the interior of the timepiece. The 20 jewel automatic movement looks mesmerising and is complimented by the blue detailing of the watch hands and hour markers.

The water resistance rating of this timepiece is 330ft which is very good to see, higher than many of the previous watches featured in this list.

Important Features:

  • 42mm Stainless steel casing
  • Mineral crystal glass lens
  • 20 Jewel automatic self-winding movement
  • 330ft water resistance rating

10. Akribos XXIV Exclusive Mechanical Skeleton Watch

Akribos XXIV Exclusive Mechanical Skeleton Watch

Next up in our list of the best skeleton watches is this absolutely stunning timepiece from Akribos. Similar to the likes of Stuhrling, Akribos focuses on producing an extensive selection of affordable and stylish watches.

This is another purely mechanical skeleton watch and as such it doesn’t offer the automatic winding feature some of the other watches have. That is however, one of the key reasons it’s able to offer such a beautiful see through watch design. The watch will need to be hand wound when you wear it, but I personally think it’s worth it.

This Akribos XXIV is available in a variety of colour options, obviously just check the link to see what’s available at the time.

The stainless steel casing on this Akribos watch has a diameter of 46mm making it one of the largest watches in today’s list. This gives you this larger looking face which is becoming more and more popular lately. The glass protecting the front and rear of this mechanical watch is mineral crystal, providing you with a good blend of scratch and shatter resistance.

Important Features:

  • 46mm Stainless steel casing
  • Mineral crystal glass lens
  • Mechanical hand-wound movement
  • 99ft water resistance rating

11. Michael Kors Men’s Greer Automatic Silicone Skeleton Watch

Michael Kors Men’s Greer Automatic Silicone Skeleton Watch

Michael Kors are another extremely well known designer fashion brand. As mentioned earlier on, they’re manufactured under licence by the Fossil watch company – experts in the field.

The Michael Kors Greer is an ultra stylish 43mm stainless steel timepiece with a beautiful perforated navy silicone strap which makes it stand out from the rest of our watches today. You can see the inner workings of the watch via the see through hardened mineral crystal glass lens.

A 25 jewel automatic self-winding movement sits at the heart of this timepiece. It also comes with a 165ft water resistance rating. It’s a great all rounder and again, very affordable.

Important features:

  • 43mm Stainless steel casing
  • Mineral crystal glass lens
  • 25 jewel automatic self winding movement
  • 165ft water resistance rating

12. Thomas Earnshaw Longitude Crocodile Embossed Leather Skeleton Watch

Thomas Earnshaw Longitude Crocodile Embossed Leather Skeleton Watch

Love moon phase watches? Meet the Thomas Earnshaw Longitude. Thomas Earnshaw have an excellent collection of timepieces that combine skeletonised dial design with moon phase elements. Resulting in absolutely beautiful watches such as this one.

A high quality Thomas Earnshaw watch like this can typically be picked up for under $200. They have all sorts available and they’re a brand I highly recommend. This particular model features a gold plated 44mm stainless steel casing that’s complimented by a genuine leather strap.

One of my favourite details of this skeleton watch is actually the design of the crown, it’s a little added touch of quality that you’ll appreciate over time. Like many of the other watches on our list today, this model makes use of a self-winding automatic watch that powers itself with the kinetic movement of your wrist.

Important Features:

  • 44 Stainless steel casing
  • Mineral crystal glass lens
  • Automatic self winding movement
  • 165ft water resistance rating

13. Reef Tiger Ultra Slim Skeleton Watch

Reef Tiger Ultra Slim Skeleton Watch

This Reef Tiger timepiece has some excellent components. At the heart of this skeleton watch is a Sea-Gull STR1771 automatic movement. Sea-Gull produce some excellent automatic movements that offer some of the best value for money available.

I love the added detailing on the dial with the colorful jewels that bring a little something extra to the design. Additional features of this watch worth mentioning include the sapphire crystal glass lens with anti-reflective coating and the genuine leather strap with deployment style buckle.

Important Features:

  • 40mm Stainless steel casing
  • Sapphire crystal glass lens
  • Automatic Sea-Gull movement
  • 165ft water resistance rating

14. Maserati Potenza Automatic Skeleton Watch

Maserati Potenza Automatic Skeleton Watch

Masertati probably aren’t one of the first brands that come to your mind when you think of watches. Understandably, they’re more notably well known for their cars. But their collection of watches is certainly worth checking out if you want a timepiece to show off with.

The Maserati Potenza is a sophisticated and elegant skeleton automatic watch with plenty of the inner workings on the movement on display. They’re housed within this impressive, bold rose gold plated stainless steel casing with a 42mm diameter. If you’re looking for a luxury skeleton watch under $500, it’s not to be missed.

Powering the Maserati Potenza is a Seagull TY2809 movement which beats at 21,600 BPH and has a power reserve of approximately 36 hours. This is an affordable yet high end automatic movement that offers fantastic value for money.

A mineral crystal glass lens gives a combination of scratch and shatter resistance which is good to see. It’s not as tough as a sapphire crystal glass lens, but then again, there’s always a trade off to be made with watches when it comes to components and pricing. Taking notice of the 300ft water resistance rating.

Important Features:

  • 42mm Stainless steel casing
  • Mineral crystal glass lens
  • Automatic Sea-Gull movement
  • 300ft water resistance rating

15. Orient Bambino Open Heart Japanese Automatic Skeleton Watch

15. Orient Bambino Open Heart Japanese Automatic Skeleton Watch

If you’re a fan of Japanese automatic watches then the Orient “Bambino Open Heart” may be just what you’re looking for. The Orient brand has been manufacturing high quality mechanical watches for over 65 years. They have ranges available under $1000. under $500 and so on. All of their movements are produced by them in Japan.

This Orient Bambino features the signature domed dial and mineral crystal glass lens with a stainless steel casing diameter of 40mm. The navy coloring of the dial matches up beautifully with the navy genuine leather strap.

The Japanese made F6T22 movement has been built specially for their open heart dials. You’ll also be able to see this via the rear exhibition caseback on the watch.

Important Features:

  • 40mm Stainless steel casing
  • Mineral crystal glass lens
  • Japanese made automatic F6T22 movement
  • 95ft water resistance rating

16. Ingersoll Men’s Stainless Steel Automatic Skeleton Watch

Ingersoll Men’s Stainless Steel Automatic Skeleton Watch

Ingersoll’s selection of open face watches are another recommended collection to check out. They brand was established in 1892 and is responsible for many famous timepieces such as the iconic Mickey Mouse watch.

The Ingersoll Herald automatic features an exquisitely detailed dial and caseback design. It’s another 43mm stainless steel timepiece, this time paired with a grey genuine leather strap with a deployment style clasp.

A large amount of the automatic self-winding movement is visible on this model with much of the dial being see through with just the outer edges remaining. Additional features of this timepiece include the mineral crystal glass lens and a 165ft water resistance rating.

Important Features:

  • 43mm Stainless steel casing
  • Mineral crystal glass lens
  • Automatic self-winding movement
  • 165ft water resistance rating

17. Tag Heuer Carrera Automatic Luxury Skeleton Watch

Tag Heuer Carrera Automatic Luxury Skeleton Watch

If you have a bigger budget then maybe you’ll want to consider a Swiss skeleton watch from the likes of Tag Heuer. Tag Heuer are a very well known Swiss luxury watch brand with most watches costing over $1,000. The manufacturer was founded in 1860 by Edouard Heuer and has grown to become one of the most recognisable Swiss watch brands in the world.

This Tag Heuer Carrera will certainly set you back quite a bit of money, but that’s not surprising considering the luxurious nature of this Swiss brand. You can often pick up one of these watches under $5,000

At the heart of the watch is a Tissot Heuer 01 movement, the crowning jewel of this timepiece. It beats at 28,800 BPH and holds an impressive 50 hours of power reserve. That 28,800 BPH gives you an extremely smooth sweeping seconds hand – a sign of a high quality automatic watch.

Important Features:

  • 42mm Stainless steel casing
  • Sapphire crystal glass lens
  • Heuer 01 Automatic Swiss made movement
  • 330ft water resistance rating

18. Zenith Defy El Primero Titanium Skeleton Watch

18. Zenith Defy El Primero Titanium Skeleton Watch

The Zenith El Primero is reserved for those of you looking to spend over $10,000 – you’re entering an area featuring the highest of luxury Swiss watches.

Zenith has gone all out for their range of luxury skeleton watches. They’ve blended engineering excellence with unique style and produced a timepieces that’s truly extraordinary. Powering the watch is the El Primero Calibre 9004 automatic movement, it’s worth reading all about this on this dedicated review.

The watch is made of titanium, this is an excellent material as it’s lighter weight yet stronger than traditional stainless steel.

Important Features:

  • 44mm Titanium casing
  • Sapphire crystal glass lens – curved with anti-reflective coating
  • Swiss made 9004 Calibre automatic movement
  • 330ft water resistance rating

19. Piaget Altiplano 18-karat White Gold Case Skeleton Watch

Piaget Altiplano 18-karat White Gold Case Skeleton Watch

Piaget are a luxury brand that was founded in 1874. They specialise in creating ultra thin watches such as this.

This ultra expensive skeleton watch, the Piaget Altiplano, is built with a luxurious 18 karat white gold casing. One of the most impressive aspects of this watch is just how thin it is at just 3.65mm, that’s some seriously impressive engineering. The casing houses the high end mechanical movement that keeps this timepiece running.

Important Features:

  • 45mm White Gold casing
  • Sapphire crystal glass
  • 20 Jewel mechanical movement

20. Maurice Lacroix Masterpiece Skeleton Automatic Watch

Maurice Lacroix Masterpiece Skeleton Automatic Watch

Maurice Lacroix happen to be one of my favourite luxury Swiss watch brands. They’ve been manufacturing beautiful watches in their state of the art workshops at Saignelegier for the last 40 years.

The Maurice Lacroix Masterpiece skeleton watch is built with a large 45mm casing and is going to set you back just shy of $10,000. It’s designed from head to toe to grab attention with its see through chronograph style dial and blue accented hand.

As expected, a high quality anti-reflective sapphire crystal glass lens protects both the front and rear of the timepiece. This provides you with some of the best scratch protection money can buy.

At the heart of the watch is another extremely high quality automatic self-winding movement. The movement features 25 jewels and beats at 28,800 BPH giving you a wonderful sweeping seconds hand. It also has a power reserve of 48 hours.

Important Features

  • 45mm Stainless steel casing
  • Sapphire crystal glass lens
  • Swiss automatic movement
  • 330ft water resistance rating

21. Hublot Classic Fusion Tourbillon Luxury Skeleton Watch

Hublot Classic Fusion Tourbillon Luxury Skeleton Watch

This is one of the most expensive skeleton watches in the world. Anyone with an interest in high-end luxury watches is going to know Hublot.

Say hello to the Hublot Classic Fusion Manual Wind Tourbillon 5 Days Power Reserve Orlinski King Gold Watch. A timepiece that will set you back around $85,000 – there’s no typo there.

I’ll link off to a couple of places you can learn all about this timepiece as there’s a lot more details to go into than we would normally cover in this type of article.

Skeleton Watches Buying Guide – FAQs

What’s a skeleton watch?

A: A skeleton watch is essentially the same as any other standard watch, the key difference is that they allow you to view the movement whilst it’s working away. This process is normally hidden away from view behind the dial, but it’s actually pretty cool to be able to see all the little gears doing their thing. We personally find them to be great conversation starters.

What’s the difference between hand wound and self winding watches?

A: There is an important difference between a standard hand wound movement and a self-winding movement. Whilst both of them can typically (not always) be hand-wound, only self-winding movements are able to harness the kinetic movement of your wrist and continue to charge themselves throughout the day.

Which watch glass is best?

A: This is highly dependent on the type of watch and what you’re using it for. There’s 3 classic types of lens found on watches. There’s acrylic (plastic), mineral, and sapphire. A little about each of these below.

Acrylic is a very cheap and basic lens found on some of the most inexpensive watches. In reality you only ever normally see this on children’s watches and sometimes nurses watches. Both situations make a lot of sense when you think about it.

Mineral crystal is a specially hardened glass that offers a good level of resistance against both scratches and shattering. This is found in lots of affordable watches, and even some very expensive ones depending on the use of the watch. If you were buying a tough, durable watch like a G-Shock you’d rarely want a sapphire crystal glass as they’re more prone to shattering than a mineral.

Sapphire crystal glass offers some of the best protection from scratches with a Mohs hardness rating of 9. You’d effectively need an item with the hardness rating of a diamond to cause a scratch on the glass of one of these watch lenses. The downside to sapphire glass however, is that they don’t have a great level of shatter resistance – this is only really relevant if you’re likely to drop your watch or you’re doing something like mountain biking whilst wearing it. A lot of higher end diving watches will also opt for mineral over sapphire too.

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