Futuristic Skeleton Watches – COOL HUNTING®
In Geneva, the prestigious Swiss Watches and Wonders fair, where dozens of luxury watchmakers present their annual “novelties”, an industry term meaning new releases, VIP collectors and journalists (COOL HUNTING among them) have Had plenty of opportunities to peek inside on display. – functioning of skeletonized timepieces. Skeleton classification refers to a technical and aesthetic style, in which the mechanical components that power a watch are visible through the dial and an exhibition caseback. While the category is always intriguing, this year’s fair provided some truly mind-blowing innovations. For Watches and Wonders 2022, we have already documented wristwatches with surprising visual texture; here we relate seven openworked timepieces of exceptional value.
For many, including us, Cartier’s Masse Mystérieuse marked the culmination of Watches and Wonders 2022. A creation of stunning genius, the automatic timepiece condenses an entire movement (the module that powers a watch) into one mass semicircular and skeletonized oscillating. visible through sapphire discs on the front and back. It took a team of 10 engineers eight years to set it up. This in-house innovation is not only a technical feat, it is simply breathtaking to observe the swirls around the inside of the case. Only 30 pieces of this 43.5mm platinum wristwatch will be produced.
Pioneering Swiss house Vacheron Constantin has garnered a lot of attention for the updated reissue of one of its 70s icons, the “Jumbo” 222, now affectionately referred to as Historiques 222. The fervor was deserved and the watch is a undeniable masterpiece of design. It was, however, far from the only novelty that caught the eye. The Overseas Tourbillon Skeleton is equipped with a redesigned and ultra-thin openworked Manufacture Caliber 2160 movement of immense complexity. It places a tourbillon complication at six o’clock in a cage inspired by the brand’s Maltese cross iconography, an inspired invention.
Using a movement (titled Caliber 9ST1) comprised of 340 components, which has been re-engineered from a 2020 concept, Grand Seiko’s Kodo Constant-force Tourbillon is a record-breaking first for the brand. As its name suggests, it incorporates a mechanical constant-force mechanism and a tourbillon, both made here for the first time. All of this technical mastery is visible through the Kodo’s skeletonized presentation – an apt name as it’s a word that means “heartbeat” in Japanese. Limited to 20 pieces, the watch comes on a calfskin strap treated with Japanese Urushi lacquer made from sap harvested from Japanese trees.
Housed in a playful purple sapphire crystal case (a technical feat in itself), the skeleton movement of Hublot’s Big Bang Tourbillon Automatic Purple Sapphire incorporates a tourbillon, a micro-rotor and three sapphire bridges. This skeletonized power source, dubbed the HUB6035 Manufacture Automatic Tourbillon Movement, is a new in-house invention and is a marvel to watch in motion. As for this vibrant violet hue for the case, Hublot called on expert chemists. The result is a coveted 44mm wristwatch limited to 50 pieces.
While the diamond pavé on Piaget’s Polo Skeleton may be the most pronounced attribute (thanks to a whopping 1,747 brilliant-cut gemstones), it’s the ultra-thin skeleton movement that’s the most powerful demonstration. of the house’s watchmaking know-how. In fact, the 2.4mm thick caliber 1200S1 of the Polo Skeleton is one of the thinnest self-winding movements in the world. It’s masterfully complex and mesmerizing to look at.
Part of a refreshing range of debuts from Parmigiani Fleurier that affirm its sophisticated yet understated design language, the Tonda PF Skeleton is built around the new caliber PF777 movement, which was designed to be seen. Inside the 40mm case, the hand-chamfered latticework of the graphite-colored openworked dial gives it the look of an artistic sculpture. Even the hands are skeletonized.
H.Moser & Cie
Known for its lively smoky dials (among many other top-notch attributes), Schaffhausen-based independent watchmaker H. Moser & Cie has deftly incorporated something similar into its Pioneer Cylindrical Tourbillon Skeleton. Sitting atop the symmetrical skeleton architecture, Moser’s domed “Funky Blue” sub-dial (where the time can be read) aligns this version with their beloved aesthetic codes. Just below, a one-minute flying tourbillon acts as a fascinating complication. It’s the first of its kind from a brand that knows how to inject substance into the show.
Hero image courtesy of Cartier