The best skeleton watches will truly honor the unique complexities that go into producing a wristwatch.
With their transparent design, skeleton watches not only allow the wearer a peek at the inner-workings of their watch, but also convey a sense of sophisticated style.
At price points below $100 and north of $1,000, any one of the fine skeleton watches listed below will work into any man’s budget.
Of course, as often the case when it comes to luxury, and watches in particular, the price point oftentimes takes a lot of variants in to account.
For instance, watches like the Tissot T-Complication is a expertly made Swiss watch that is often regarded highly by watch collectors worldwide. Given it’s Swiss heritage coupled with the sapphire crystal face, it’s no wonder that it commands such a lofty price tag.
Contrary, if you are just stepping your foot into the watch game and aren’t ready to put down more than a couple hundred bucks, then the Carrie Hughes Steampunk Automatic Watch can be a great starter piece.
However, with the Carrie Hughes piece, don’t expect it to last a lifetime as the window is constructed from mineral glass (far softer than its sapphire brother found in higher end watches).
Without further ado, here is a list of some of the best skeleton watches currently available.
Best Skeleton Watches For Men
Bell & Ross Aviation Watch
The Bell & Ross Aviation watch captures the essence of flight in a small accessory.
This mechanical watch is stylish and simple, but also has numerous features that make it an essential part of any man’s wardrobe.
For starters, the sleek case is brushed with polished stainless steel, making it less prone to showing scratches and scuffs. It also has a sapphire crystal cover that also resists scratches, which is great for people who have a tendency to work with their hands a lot.
The black leather strap is perforated to show off another layer of vivid red coloring that accents this piece so well. It is truly a timepiece that captures the essence of a man and put it into a watch.
It features a dial for keeping track of the date as well as an internal stopwatch dial for even more precise timekeeping when you need it.
The hands and the numeral markers light up so that even in low light conditions this watch can still be read.
The only downside that may present an issue is the price tag, but even then, it is a solid purchase for the quality and the seal of authenticity. It’s a great watch, long lasting, and a solid manufacture that works as hard as you do.
Bulova Accutron II
Those who remember the old 1960’s Accutron Spaceview watch may recognise the classic style returning in the Accutron II. The teal-green face and the light gold plate both pay homage to a time long past, but the look certainly has not aged at all. It even features the Bulova insignia on the gold plate, signifying that this is a truly authentic piece. However, there have been some changes in the internal design; for starters, the watch has upgraded from a tuning fork to an internal quartz mechanism to keep time more accurately. The face plate shows off the internal workings of the watch in keeping with the original model’s influence. It is a very nice piece that makes for a great sequel to the original.
The new Accutron II does have some drawbacks. The internal mechanisms are all upgraded, and as such, they take up more space. This watch is significantly bigger than its predecessor and shows it. It is a 9.1 ounce watch that, while it does have some heft, it is certainly not too weighty to wear on a day to day basis. Comfortable, stylish, and clearly a timeless classic, this is a perfect watch for collectors or for people who want to wear their nostalgia on their wrist.
Bulova Self-Winding Mechanical Watch
The Bulova Self-Winding watch is a statement to gentlemanly fashion. Featuring a 3-inch face and a warm brown color scheme, it is impossible to pass over this product as just another watch on the market.
It is a mechanical watch, so you never have to purchase batteries, nor do you have to worry about leaking battery acid. Instead, it relies on an internal mechanism that works to keep time based on the motions of the wrist or arm.
Mechanical watches on the whole have been quickly replaced by battery-powered quartz core watches, but today mechanical watches are coming back in droves as a symbol of wealth and status.
The Bulova watch is a perfect model to get into mechanical watches without needing to be of noble birth to get your hands on one.
The faceplate on this magnificent watch is as handsome as the rest of the watch, patterned to catch light at just the right angle so that the watch sparkles. The gears can be seen around the hour and second hand holes, making this a visually stunning piece all-around.
The leather band is a little stiff at first, but will become more flexible with constant wear. If you do not like the brown and stainless steel, brown and gold is another popular choice that brings out the warm tones in the watch.
Perfect for business casual wear, but because it is not very water resistant, try and keep this watch out of the rain.
Carrie Hughes Men’s Steampunk Automatic Watch
Watches are an essential part of any complete outfit. Like ties and cufflinks, a watch can be a fashion statement that will have the whole office talking.
Electronic watches can now take phone calls, send messages, and even schedule appointments, but nothing beats a simple, manual watch that’s pleasant to look at and easy to read.
A skeleton watch is simply a watch where you can see the inside of the time piece, and watch the gears as they keep time.
The Carrie Hughes Steampunk watch is just one of many skeleton watches out on the market. This watch is automatic, which means it keeps time thanks to your daily arm and wrist movements.
No batteries are needed to run the watch, and it maintains accuracy for a long while.
Of course, if you do not wear it for a while there is a chance it could lose its accuracy, but the problem is easily rectified by winding it up again and wearing it regularly.
This particular model of watch features a photochromic glass, which gives it a different tincture depending on the angle of viewing as well as the level of light.
This does not impede viewing in any way, but instead gives your watch a beautiful sheen that captures light for a beautiful twist. The hands glow in low and dark light conditions, allowing you to read this watch even in pitch blackness.
This watch is also moderately waterproof; while you can stand to wear it out in the rain or even in a light spritzing, it is not suitable for under water wear.
Overall, this watch is gorgeously beautiful and a pleasure to wear with any outfit.
Charles-Hubert Paris Men’s Premium Collection Watch
When looking for a watch, you want one that looks good and feels good to wear. The Charles-Hubert Premium mechanical watch pairs style with function, and demonstrates that analog watches do not have to be plain.
This watch features a gold colored face that is positively striking against the stainless steel frame, and the multi-colored embellishments are subtle but stunning in the light.
The watch’s hands are blue, which pairs very well against the gold of the face. The skeleton face design is a sure conversation starter, and is a social status marker among the elite; wearing this will make you feel a part of the 1% without having to pay a fortune.
Other features of this watch include being very slightly water resistant; it can handle splashes and even rain, but do not expect to go swimming with this watch on.
Overall, the design is spectacular and the engineering is of a high quality. Obviously, not wearing this watch on a regular basis will cause it to become more inaccurate very quickly, but with constant attention and a shake of the wrist, you can expect this watch to keep on track for a good long time.
Additionally, the manufacturer has a 3-year limited warranty in case there is something wrong with your watch when you receive it.
Charles-Hubert Paris Men’s Stainless Steel Mechanical Watch
Watches are tricky accessories that say a lot about a man’s style choices. The multitude of options regarding which watch you should wear when can be confusing and sometimes even overwhelming.
There are, of course, the old standbys. The classic watches that have been timeless timepieces since watches were made. In an age overrun by digital devices and “smart watches”, it can be a relief to own a watch that isn’t always connected to the Internet.
The Charles-Hubert Paris mechanical watch is one that speaks of a simpler time, however it is very much technologically advanced. It doesn’t stream Twitter, nor does it make phone calls, but it also does not require a battery to function. The joy of mechanical watches stems from the internal mechanism that keeps time automatically.
This mechanism must be wound periodically, but otherwise is as accurate as a battery powered watch.
The face of this model is intricately carved, and set with numerous gemstones that give this watch considerable appeal.
It is designed as a luxury item, but the genuine leather strap makes it seem as though it is a more casual piece than one would initially think. This watch is also water resistant up to 99 feet, but it is not recommended for submersion or long exposure to water elements.
The water could cause the mechanical mechanism to malfunction or fail entirely.
Thankfully, this watch has a lifetime warranty, so accidental water exposure should be easily covered.
Hamilton Ventura Analog Display Watch
Looking for something uniquely different, without going too crazy?
The Hamilton Ventura watch is a skeleton watch, but it is unlike other skeleton watches in that it is not busy with gears all over the face. The watch features a stainless steel, triangular face-plate that has specially designed holes for viewing the internal mechanisms of the watch, except the gears are mostly hidden by one big gear.
It creates the illusion of the traditional skeleton watch design without being too aggressive. It’s a subtle way to accent your look without drawing a lot of attention.
The unusual triangular watch shape will do plenty to draw interested glances your way.
The brown leather strap is a classic addition to any watch, but on this model the watch band accents the stainless steel and offers an interesting contrast between the two colors.
The fastening clasp on the wristband is certainly different, but it does secure the watch to your wrist effectively. You can also partake in light swimming activities, but don’t expect to go diving with this watch as it is not designed to keep out water past 5 ATM of pressure.
Other than that, it is a perfectly good watch to wear casually, for business, or even for occasions where you need to dress up. A solid, timeless timepiece.
Ingersoll Automatic Stainless Steel Watch
Casual watches are simple in design, but make a great addition to any outfit. Skeleton watches especially are fine add-ons due to their unique design and compelling properties.
These watches allow you to see the numerous parts move and work, perfect for striking up conversation with your co-workers, or as a means to entertain yourself while you wait for quitting time.
The Ingersoll Automatic watch is a statement all on its own, with a decorative face that surrounds and accents the gears underneath the hands. This face plate is intricately decorated with a classic swirl pattern, further complementing the watch’s design.
The leather band is a light gray, and features a crocodile skin pattern that is subtle, but still prominent on the wearer.
It is also a water resistant watch up to 165 feet, which is good for people who do not like taking off their watches in the pool.
However, it should not be taken with you for activities such as diving, as any amount of water getting into the watch mechanisms will cause the watch to fail. Its face is modestly sized at a little over 1 inch in diameter, so watch fanatics should have no issues slipping into this stately timepiece comfortably.
This watch works best for casual occasions or informal occasions.
Invicta Men’s “Reserve” Automatic Stainless Steel Watch
The Invicta “Reserve” is a unique watch in that it features a completely transparent face.
Aside from seeing the individual gears through the clear glass, you can also easily keep time thanks to the indented markings present at the key points around the watch. The case is a little over an inch and a half wide, which makes for a decently large, but not too large, clock face that is easy to read even at a glance.
At night, the watch hands glow to ensure that even in the dark, you will always know what time it is.
This is a decidedly casual piece, thanks to the thick leather band that holds the watch to your wrist. The leather band is very classy, featuring a bright red inside that shows just a little while the watch is being worn.
It is one of the few aesthetic touches that really makes this watch stand out.
Unlike other mechanical watches, the “Reserve” does not feature any other complications, and focuses entirely on being a watch first and foremost.
The anti-reflective sapphire face prevents glare that could detract from the transparent face, and ensures that this watch looks great for the entirety of its life. A perfect casual watch for any collector.
Invicta Subaqua 18k Gold Plated Watch
Gold has widely been recognized as a symbol of wealth and prosperity through the ages; the more you had, the better off you were.
Today, everyone has at least one item of gold jewellery that serves as a beautiful addition to their daily wardrobe. The Invicta Subaqua mechanical watch is a perfect addition to those who adorn themselves in gold or gold-plated things.
This watch uses ion-plating to get its signature golden sheen, and at 18 karats it is certainly nothing to scoff at.
The watch itself is decently large, sitting at a little over 2 inches diameter from opposite sides of the case. Naturally, the watch is also very hefty at a monstrous 18 ounces.
That is almost as heavy as an entire can of beans. It’s great for when you really want to feel like you are wearing something on your wrist, but it certainly is not for everyone.
The Invicta Subaqua, like its name implies, is able to be submerged in water. It features a water resistant depth of 1640 feet.
That is incredibly tough for mechanical watches, and especially so for mid-range watches such as this. You can go swimming, to the lake, or even to the ocean and have this watch still working.
Be careful that you don’t lose it in the water, or you may have other issues on your hands. This is a very sturdy, very heavy duty watch that feels great to wear. The only drawback is that the weight may take some getting used to.
Lucien Piccard Paragon Skeleton Dial Men’s Watch
A casual watch doesn’t have to be boring. Upgrade your battery-powered watch to something far more intuitive; automatic watches are a way to stay true to traditional with a little twist.
The watch doesn’t run on batteries, making it even more environmentally friendly than even solar powered watches.
Lucien Piccard has created a luxurious looking watch face in business-causal clothes.
This watch has a skeleton face, so you can see inside it as the little gears move to keep time. The design of this watch is spectacular, and the face is made from sapphitek crystal making it scratch and scuff resistant.
The body of the watch is made from black PVD stainless steel with a PVD bezel gives it a sturdy build for those people who like to work with their hands. The leather strap is durable and handsome, offering a classic look to an otherwise dressy watch.
Because of this, it makes a great casual watch for every day wear. As an additional bonus, this model of watch is water resistant up to 100 feet; while not as water resistant as other watch models, this will still work perfectly fine in light water weather such as rain.
In low light conditions the hands and the markers glow to make reading the time easier than ever.
It makes a great gift for the everyday man who wants a nice looking watch without breaking the bank.
Maserati Potenza Men’s Watch
Some watches tend to focus more on form than function, which results in visually appealing time pieces, but ultimately, they lack in terms of important features like readability.
The Maserati Potenza watch is one such example of this, with a beautiful skeletal face that showcases the very essence of the watch itself, and leaves out a couple of the five minute markers for aesthetic.
It is not necessarily a bad thing; after all, an analog clock can be read very easily even without numbers or markings of any sort.
No one looks at a watch and says that it is exactly 2:38. They would say it’s about 20 minutes to three o’ clock. Efficiency over exact measurement is what gives this watch a pass.
The overall color scheme of this watch is a very elegant contrast between gold, silver, and black. The leather wristband offers a lovely contrast between the two metallic colors, and the black face creates a nice canvas for the gold minute markers and hands.
The Maserati logo is perfectly carved to allow the best view for the gears partially hidden beneath.
This is an automatic, self-winding watch, which uses your movements to power its timekeeping mechanism. Be sure to wear it semi-frequently to keep it as accurate as possible.
Moog Paris Chameleon Automatic Skeleton Watch
Elegance and sophistication are both key factors in watch making. Watches that successfully manage to balance both of these factors wind up being some of the most magnificent watches.
The Moog Paris Chameleon watch is both a functional time piece and a work of art, decorated by small Swarovski crystals around the case. These crystals catch the light and turn it into something beautiful.
This shimmering watch will be the talk of everyone who sees it, thanks to the shining stainless steel and the elegant skeleton manufacturing.
The gears of the watch are clearly visible, seen working every time you glance at your watch. From a purely aesthetic standpoint, it is stunning.
With that being said, telling time with one of these watches comes as a bit of a challenge, especially if you are used to seeing numbers on your watch faces.
This has no numbers; instead, there is a shining bar at each 5-minute marker. While reading an analog clock face is none too difficult, you do have to spend that extra second or two to gather what bars equate to which numbers.
The face is clear right through the back, and turning this watch over will reveal that you can see the gears even through the backside. The leather wrist strap is also a nice touch that completes the overall look of this watch nicely.
This watch is definitely more suited for dressed up occasions rather than casual events, though it does look nice for every day wear as well.
Perrelet Chronograph Split Second Skeleton
There are no gemstones to speak of in this watch, but the manufacturing is still very impressive.
The Perrelet Chronograph watch is an automatic, manual winding watch that looks complicated at a glance, but in reality is very useful for all of your time-keeping needs.
As the name implies it does have a chronograph feature, which is just a fancy way of saying “stopwatch”, so you can use it to measure more precise measures of time. The watch itself is automatically run, using motions of the wrist to power itself with a great deal of accuracy.
Make sure that you wear this watch relatively often to maintain accurate time readings.
The case is a sleek black stainless steel, and the black face perfectly frames the silver gears just beneath.
Measuring at just over an inch in diameter, it is an easy watch to wear in both casual and formal occasions. The whole look of the watch screams of a steampunk era, but it is a smart looking watch even up close.
The face is protected by sapphire crystal (toughest of all watch faces), so it will resist scratches in the event you perhaps accidentally bump against a table or some rough surface.
This watch is made to last, and the timepiece is sure to wow and please watch collectors around the globe.
Stuhrling Original Delphi Stainless Steel Self-Winding Watch
Without a doubt, Stuhrling makes gorgeously handsome watches. However, something should be said about the Delphi watch, as it is wonderfully dressy without being too formal.
This automatic watch has numerous features to keep you informed throughout the day, including a day/night cycle dial that rotates continuously for every 12 hours.
The dual time zone dial lets you keep track of any other time zone in the world, for when you need a quick reference. It is easy to set either watch face; push in or pull out the crown to switch between which watch you want to set.
With continuous use, this Stuhrling product will not lose time too quickly, however if you continuously go for longer than 8 hours without wearing it, you could need to rewind it every couple of days.
The watch face is detailed with little ribs to show off texture and to reflect light to create depth. The skeleton frame shows off the mechanical portion of the watch which creates additional allure.
This watch works well for any light settings, but the hands and the numbers are not equipped with any luminescence, and may be difficult to read in low light conditions.
It is also not suited to wear while swimming, partly due to the genuine leather wrist band, and because the watch face itself is not designed to keep out water. Keep it safe during heavy rain, and you will see the quality of this watch over the years.
Stuhrling Original Men’s Leisure Gen-X Skeleton Watch
Many skeleton watches aim to do something to stand out among their competitors; some models show off all of the gears on the face of the watch, while others merely show a small portion.
Companies are becoming more inventive with how they show off their product that they seem to lose sight of what makes a watch really stand out.
The Stuhrling Gen-X watch is a testament to how little will go a long way when making a watch. It features a plain, matte black frame that surrounds a mostly black face.
The face highlights the inner gears by framing it with two black plates, letting the gears show through in the middle for a simple but striking statement. The hands are tipped with red, which looks fantastic with the black base it is held against.
Well marked numerals adorn the “nine” and the “three” hour markers to make reading this watch easy, while also not cluttering up the face with needless information.
Krysterna crystal protects the front and back of this great looking watch from scratches, ensuring that you have a flawless watch for years to come.
If you want to bring it into the water, it is water resistant for up to 150 feet. Great for showering, swimming, or bathing. However, it is not a waterproof watch, so care must be taken when engaging in water-based activities.
It is a very sleek watch for casual occasions, and is not inclined to slip off of your wrist thanks to the silicon strap and the ion-plated tang buckle. Perfect for men who prefer a subtler watch.
Stuhrling Original Wild Axis Automatic Watch
As far as most watches go, nothing can beat a plain, circular case. Circular watches have survived through decades, and have been around since the conception of clocks.
Because watch-makers are constantly trying to invent new ways to get noticed, it is unsurprising that different shapes have been surfacing. As long as numbers can feasibly be put around a face to keep time, any shape is fair game.
Perhaps that is why Stuhrling, with their top quality watches, has decided to use a square for their Wild Axis watch.
It is a venture into watch design not often seen by too many watch products. For starters, it is tinted blue instead of keeping with the industry standard of stainless steel or gold, and the body of the watch is black. Both colors work together flawlessly to create an edgy, but sophisticated look.
The band material is made out of rubber, which for a watch like this does feel like an odd design choice. It certainly makes it comfortable, however a black brushed stainless steel band may have also looked very nice.
Design choices aside, this watch is sure to wow even the pickiest of watch collectors. The skeleton face manufacturing is a rising trend among watch enthusiasts, and works very well for a watch like this.
It is not too busy, and not too subtle that it will go unnoticed. A watch like this is best suited for casual situations.
Thomas Earnshaw Men’s Grand Calendar Automatic Watch
When looking for a watch, you want something that is durable, comfortable, and complements your look. There are numerous watches on the market that do incredible things, such as keeping you informed of the news, and answering e-mails.
But if you don’t want a watch that is always connected, the Thomas Earnshaw Calendar watch ensures that you will never lose track of the date even if you don’t have Wi-Fi.
This handsome watch features a genuine leather strap that is both comfortable and sturdy, and the face is a striking black and stainless steel to really make the numbers pop. The unique calendar display shows the entire date to help you keep track of your week.
What makes this watch especially different is the fact you can see the gears and dials inside the watch body, a trait shared by many ‘skeleton’ watches.
This watch is also automatic, which means it doesn’t require a battery in order to operate.
Instead, it relies on your daily movements, no matter how subtle, in order to maintain the correct time. Over the course of the watch’s life, you may notice that the watch slowly loses accuracy, however this can be rectified with a simple wind.
It will not lose accuracy very quickly, unless you shake it aggressively over long periods of time.
The Grand Calendar watch is waterproof up to 165 feet to withstand water activities such as swimming or showering. A good quality, low impact watch that is brilliant to look at as well as accurate.
Tissot T-Complication Squelette Analog Mechanical Watch
Luxury watches both look good and feel good, and the Tissot Squelette watch is no exception.
This watch has numerous features, or “complications”, that enhance this product and make it more functional.
The first and most prominent of this watch’s features is that it is a skeleton watch; the gears are showing through the face to give the watch another layer of beauty. Skeleton watches have been around for quite some time already, but manufacturers are getting more and more creative with how they display them.
This watch shows all of the watch parts full bare, allowing you to essentially ‘watch’ your watch as it ticks. This piece is also mechanical, so it does not rely on batteries to operate. Simply moving your wrist is enough to keep this model going throughout the day.
The downside to this is that if you do not wear your watch very often, the time can become desynced, requiring a rewind and a reset of the time.
On the plus side, you never have to worry about batteries, so that is a huge bonus.
This watch is of Swiss origin, and many watch aficionados know that the very best comes out of Switzerland. As a result, this watch is incredibly expensive, even on sale.
However, it is also of superior quality and is a quality investment to both collectors and non-collectors. The face is beautifully crafted, the case is a shimmering stainless steel, and the leather wrist band is made out of 100% genuine calf leather.
This leather ensures that your wrist band is soft and pliable right from the start, and with proper care will last for quite some time.
ToyWatch Toy2Fly Skeleton Watch
Automatic watches are an amazing feat of human engineering, as they require no batteries or external power sources other than the movement of your hands.
These types of watches usually run fairly expensive, but with good care even the cheaper watches will last you for years. The Toy2Fly Skeleton watch is one such watch, being very inexpensive as far as these types of timepieces go.
It features a crystal clear watch face that lets you see the inner workings of the watch you are wearing, giving you greater insight to the intricacies of watch manufacturing. The numbers are no more than lines on the watch’s face, but you can still accurately tell time with just a glance.
Etched onto the glass face are markings for three, six, nine, and a triangle for twelve, which are all visible on the hour markings in solid black lettering.
This does detract from the overall look of the watch somewhat, but it does make reading the watch a lot easier in the long run as well.
The watch strap is made out of stitched silicone, which is certainly not as flashy as a metal band. However, it does work well keeping the watch on your wrist, especially when putting the watch in water. This model is water resistant up to 150 feet, so you can wear it in the rain or even in the shower.