With Halloween only a day away, we wanted to take a look today at 4 of the most impressive skeletonized watches seen last weekend at WatchTime New York 2019. None of these watches were too spooky, but they do represent a growing trend of skeletonized dials in both the luxury and haute horlogerie sectors—a frightening prospect for solid dials, everywhere.
- Oris Big Crown ProPilot X Calibre 115
The first on our list is the Oris Big Crown ProPilot X Calibre 115. Upon this watch’s release earlier this year, it was an instant hit among media and consumers. At WatchTime New York 2019, the watch was just as popular, with fans of the brand swarming their place at Gotham Hall with questions and requests for the uncommon watch. It’s undeniable that the watch is a major jump by the brand—being priced significantly higher than any of Oris’ current offerings, starting at $7,200— but for this gamble it seems to be generating a large amount of interest.
The new Big Crown ProPilot X is a 44-mm matte titanium watch unlike any of piece in Oris’ collections. With a knurled crown and bezel, both inspired by jet engine turbine blades, the watch is clearly a future-forward edition to the Big Crown line, and one made even sportier by its use of faceted crown guards and unique bracelet. Its skeletonized dial showcases the new Calibre 115 the latest evolution of the brand’s in-house Caliber 110, capable of a 10-day power reserve through a single, extra-large barrel. This movement is further able to be viewed through the watch’s sapphire case back— also outlined using a knurled-style— which showcases the massive barrel among the brands clearly expert finishing.
- Bell & Ross BR 05
At the Bell & Ross booth, no watch was as popular as the BR 05, and among these new pieces, none were as requested for photography as the new skeletonized model in the new series. The new BR 05 Skeleton is a 500-piece limited edition in a steel case with the skeletonized BR-CAL.322 visible through a clear dial. The model represents another relatively rare horological venture for Bell & Ross, which had previously reserved skeletonization for only its rarest and most haute-de-gamme pieces. For reference, Bell & Ross is famous for these “skeletonized” watches, or more specifically their “skull” watches like the BR-01 Laughing Skull. But this year the brand has clearly upped the ante with the officially skeletonized BR 05.
As for the technical aspects of the special model, it uses a 40-mm integrated steel case, with its outline clearly in the vein of Bell & Ross’s popular square style. With four screws on its bezel and ovular hands and hour markers, it also clearly evokes other sports watches deeper into the luxury field. Though the watch is clearly distinguished in its use of the specialized caliber BR-CAL.322 (compared to the standard, less expertly-finished BR-CAL.321 used in the other BR 05 models), as well as in its case’s crown guards which are unique to the brand. The BR 05 Skeleton (limited to 500 pieces) is priced at $5,900 on a strap, and $6,400 on a metal bracelet.
- Christophe Claret Angelico
The third important skeletonized watch we saw was the Christophe Claret Angelico, which takes a large jump from our previous two models covered into super-luxury haute horlogerie.
First seen at SIHH in January, the new 45.5-mm Angelico timepiece combines a tourbillon with a long detent escapement and a cable-type fusee transmission system. This combination is a first in wristwatch history and was more commonly associated with the usage of marine chronometers in the 18th century. Not only does the Angelico feature this noteworthy first application, it is further complemented by a jumping dual-time display, a day/night indicator, and a power reserve display to showcase its 72 hours of running autonomy courtesy of two parallel-mounted mainspring barrels.
The nano fibers of the watch, clearly visible on the face of the watch, are the star of the piece. With a thinness of just 0.18-mm in diameter, the super-strong fibers efficiently transfer energy, while offering its wearer an incredible view of the skeletonized movement. The Angelico watch is limited to 20 total pieces, with 10 in 5N red gold at CHF 238,000 (or about $238,00 USD), and 10 in grade 5 titanium at CHF 218,000 ($218,000 USD).
- Akrivia AK-06
The final watch on our list is the new Akrivia AK-06. For those unfamiliar, Akrivia is a young haute horlogerie brand that was founded in 2012 by the young, gifted watchmaker Rexhep Rexhepi. The new AK-06 is the brand’s first non-tourbillon piece and offers collectors a full view into the brand’s expert and uncommon skeletonization work.
Distinguished by a steampunk-esque dial design that incorporated exposed parts of the movement in the dial, the AK-06 introduces a hacking-second/zero-reset mechanism into the brand’s movement line-up. This action is wholly visible on the dial itself through its exposed parts. The dial also features a small-seconds at 6 o’clock, which is complemented by the circular, 100-hour power reserve indicator at 12 o’clock. Throughout the watch, the finishing and attention to detail are clear, in the unique styling of the hands, to the hand-hammering on the base of the dial, and to the impressively finished and sapphire-protected symmetrical case back offering a clear view into the heart of the movement.
The new watch, available in titanium and steel, begins in price at $79,000 and will be limited to 25 editions in both metals.