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Fifteen watches with nothing to hide
Trend Forecaster

Fifteen watches with nothing to hide

Thursday, 07 March 2019
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Christophe Roulet
Editor-in-chief, HH Journal

“The desire to learn is the key to understanding.”

“Thirty years in journalism are a powerful stimulant for curiosity”.

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5 min read

A rarely seen exercise in style ten years ago, skeleton watches are now part of the regular collections at brands intent on showing off their watches’ inner beauty.

Skeleton movements, dials that open fully or partially onto the mechanism below, or no dial at all, only wheels, cams and bridges stripped to the minimum. Watchmakers deploy no end of skill and imagination to allow their mechanisms to speak for themselves. Too numerous for them all to feature here, we’ve made our selection of fifteen models from the new releases of January and February this year.

Armin Strom Dual Time Sapphire Cobra

How to give a 360° vision of the intricacies of watchmaking? Armin Strom’s response is to take transparency to its ultimate level, and surround side-by-side mechanisms with an impressive sapphire case. This is a visual immersion into the deepest recesses of two independent movements in resonance.

Dual Time Sapphire Cobra © Armin Strom
Dual Time Sapphire Cobra © Armin Strom
Bovet 1822 Récital 26 Brainstorm Chapter One

Just one of the prowesses of this watch, the asymmetrical, slope-sided case in sapphire becomes a wide-open window onto the intricacies of an entirely new movement, in which a patented double-sided flying tourbillon joins a three-dimensional moon phase, a large date display and an indicator for the ten-day power reserve.

Récital 26 Brainstorm Chapter One © Bovet 1822
Récital 26 Brainstorm Chapter One © Bovet 1822
Bulgari Lvcea Skeleton

The Lvcea Skeleton is the first in the collection to use skeletonization to reveal the watch’s inner workings. As well as being a major technical evolution for the Lvcea, launched in 2014, it’s also the first to take the letters in the Bulgari logo and build them into its design. This pre-Baselworld version is smothered in sapphires and diamonds.

Lvcea Skeleton © Bulgari
Lvcea Skeleton © Bulgari
Cartier Santos Skeleton

Santos de Cartier is one of the brand’s most recognisable styles. Imagined in 1904 for the trailblazing aviator Alberto Santos-Dumont, it was the first watch made specifically for the wrist. After a 2018 makeover, it returns this year in a skeleton version – an avenue already explored in 2011 – with the added interest of a SuperLuminova treatment.

Santos Skeleton © Cartier
Santos Skeleton © Cartier
Chanel Boy∙Friend Skeleton Black Edition

As a preview of what to expect at Baselworld, Chanel presents a Black Edition of its much-feted Boy∙Friend Skeleton, first shown last year. The movement inside is the Calibre 3, the brand’s third Haute Horlogerie movement. Three years in development, it is equally beautiful front and back thanks to its floating-in-air interlocking circles.

Boy∙Friend Skeleton Black Edition © Chanel
Boy∙Friend Skeleton Black Edition © Chanel
Christophe Claret Angelico

Christophe Claret celebrates the 30th anniversary of his manufacture and the 10th anniversary of his brand with the Angelico wristwatch that combines a tourbillon with a long detent escapement and a fusee transmission. The latter connects to the two mainspring barrels by an extraordinarily thin (0.18mm) Dyneema nanofibre cable.

Angelico © Christophe Claret
Angelico © Christophe Claret
De Bethune DB 28GS Grand Bleu

Mention sport watches, and De Bethune isn’t the first manufacturer to spring to mind, yet here we have it. A dive watch that serves up a new calibre, excellent legibility thanks to a light source from inside the movement, a bezel that rotates with the crystal to indicate dive times, and a super-light titanium case.

DB 28GS Grand Bleu © De Bethune
DB 28GS Grand Bleu © De Bethune
DeWitt Academia Hour Planet

Earth seen from the sky: the latest proposition from DeWitt captures the GMT function in a textured terrestrial globe which, driven by a chain made from 192 components, moves from one colour to another as it rotates to indicate day/night.

Academia Hour Planet © DeWitt
Academia Hour Planet © DeWitt
Franck Muller Vanguard Lady Skeleton

It would be loutish, not to say downright insulting, to think otherwise: women do not need a watch to be dripping with sparkling stones in order to appreciate the beauty of its mechanism. Franck Muller proves the point with this skeletonised interpretation. The delicious curves of the tonneau-shaped case are crafted in gold or in steel.

Vanguard Lady Skeleton © Franck Muller
Vanguard Lady Skeleton © Franck Muller
HYT H²0 Time Is Fluid Gold

HYT captures the flow of time by the movement of red and transparent liquids through a circular capillary tube. The diamond-patterned guillochage of the minutes and seconds discs confirms the brand’s determination to associate the traditions of watchmaking with its contemporary vision of time.

H²0 Time Is Fluid Gold © HYT
H²0 Time Is Fluid Gold © HYT
Richard Mille RM 07-03 Myrtille

Richard Mille takes the lid off the candy jar in a new collection for women, filled with sweet treats and slices of candied fruit. For this RM 07-03 Myrtille (Blueberry), four swirly lollipops, two gummy ribbons and two sugar canes add a pop of colour to the meanders of the in-house movement.

RM 07-03 Myrtille © Richard Mille
RM 07-03 Myrtille © Richard Mille
RJ Arraw Two-Face

RJ devotes its talents to bringing the twisted souls of Batman’s greatest enemies to life: something this Two-Face watch does to perfection. The manually-wound skeleton movement is partially exposed, but the real standout feature is the laser treatment on the watch’s right-hand side, in particular on the bezel.

Arraw Two-Face © RJ
Arraw Two-Face © RJ
Roger Dubuis Excalibur Shooting Star-blue

This 36mm Excalibur for women stays true to Roger Dubuis’ high-mech approach to watchmaking by incorporating a flying tourbillon into its skeleton movement. It takes its name from the pink gold shooting star that streaks across this kinetic backdrop, escorted by two blue enamel stars against a blue decor.

Excalibur Shooting Star-blue © Roger Dubuis
Excalibur Shooting Star-blue © Roger Dubuis
Speake-Marin One&Two Openworked Dual Time

This is the first Speake-Marin watch for travellers to display local time in the centre and home time over 24 hours on a subdial. Subtle changes have been made to the Piccadilly case, in pink gold, for a more ergonomic fit and fluid lines.

One&Two Openworked Dual Time © Speake-Marin
One&Two Openworked Dual Time © Speake-Marin
Ulysse Nardin Skeleton X Blue

Remodelled and presented as 42mm and 43mm diameters, the Skeleton X stands apart from other skeleton watches for the emphatically geometric architecture of its movement. Four indexes form an X, framed by a rectangle itself set into the round shape of the case. All with a rarely seen degree of transparency.

Skeleton X Blue © Ulysse Nardin
Skeleton X Blue © Ulysse Nardin
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