15 BEST Skeleton Tourbillon Watches for 2024 (Aesthetic Marvels)
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15 BEST Skeleton Tourbillon Watches for 2024 (Aesthetic Marvels)

This article is a celebration of two of the most admired watchmaking advancements in the evolution of timekeeping. The first is the Tourbillon and the second is the skeleton design of timepieces that reveal all of their inner workings via see-through crystals.

One is a feat of watchmaking genius, and the other elevates the watch’s mechanical function to a work of art.  The design, finishes, and adornments reflected in high-end luxury skeleton watches range from beautiful to mesmerizing.

Coupled with a tourbillon, this category of watches raises the bar for what can be achieved by a watchmaker who doesn’t limit themselves to the proven and ordinary but dares to shoot for the stars in creating breathtaking works of precision and art. I will start by defining what a tourbillon is and what defines a skeletal watch.

What Is a Tourbillon?

A tourbillon is a complication in a timepiece that counteracts the effects of gravity to improve the watch’s accuracy. The tourbillon was created and patented by Abraham Louis Breguet in 1801. It is an addition to the watch escapement in the movement. 

In a tourbillon, the balance wheel and escapement are affixed in a rotating cage. Since the tourbillon assembly is constantly moving, it makes the watch seem alive. The flying tourbillon was developed by German watch instructor Alfred Helwig in 1920.

Rather than being supported on the top or the bottom by a bridge, the flying tourbillon is cantilevered, being supported on only one side. Each model in this article features a tourbillon or a flying tourbillon incorporated into its movement.

What Is a Skeleton Watch?

By definition, a skeleton watch is one where the watch’s movement is visible through either the front or rear crystal of the timepiece. In keeping a more purist perspective, to qualify for this list, each watch had to be lacking a dial and have a full exhibition back. 

I refer to this as purism because where every component is exposed, watchmakers will go to incredible lengths to meticulously polish and finish every element, no matter how small or intricate, to create works of art. There is nothing to hide when everything is on display. 

The decorations, graining, and hand beveling reflected in these movements are exceptional and extraordinary. The additional vision, design, and labor invested in beautifying an otherwise mechanical machine-like object elevate the desire for excellence and sophistication that a mere luxury watch with an easily recognizable brand name will not quench.

The 15 Best Skeleton Tourbillon Watches

Now that we have an overview of what tourbillon and skeleton watches are, I have compiled the following list of 15 of the finest depictions of this combination in a timepiece. Given the complexity of the tourbillon and the excessive finishes on display in a skeleton watch, they are well worth their high prices. 

Those who own these watches understand the countless hours of design, research, development, and craftsmanship invested in bringing these timepieces to life. These watches are for the connoisseurs of Haute Horlogerie.

1. Vacheron Constantin Overseas Tourbillon Skeleton

Vacheron Constantin Overseas Tourbillon Skeleton

The Vacheron Constantin Overseas Ref. 6000V/110R-B934 comes in an 18-carat 5N rose gold case and bracelet. The case measures 42.5 mm x 10.39 mm and boasts one of the thinnest movements in this category, measuring a mere 5.65 mm thick. The watch has sapphire crystals on both the case’s front and rear, showcasing the intricate movement.

The caliber 21605Q automatic self-winding movement beats at 18,000 VpH, has 186 components, 30 jewels, and a power reserve of 3 days.  The movement parts are treated in gunmetal gray, with the tourbillon placed at the six o’clock position and featuring a 22-carat gold peripheral weight.

The watch has an 18-carat rose-fluted gold crown and rose gold hands and indexes treated with Super-LumiNova. Offsetting the skeletal dial is a black outer dial ring with 60-minute increments in white. The timepiece is water-resistant to 50 meters, and its price is available upon request.

2. Schwarz Ettienne La-Chaux-De-Fonds Petite Seconde Retrograde Tourbillon

Schwarz Ettienne La-Chaux-De-Fonds Petite Seconde Retrograde Tourbillon

This timepiece is beautifully finished and designed, incorporating bold colors contrasting against the movement components and stainless steel case. The watch measures 44mm in diameter and measures 13.7mm thick.

It is water-resistant to 50 meters and has a domed sapphire crystal with anti-reflective treatment on both sides. The watch features an off-centered hour and minute indicator at five o’clock, the tourbillon at one o’clock, and the small seconds retrograde at eleven o’clock.

The in-house tourbillon automatic “irreversible” caliber TSE 122.00 movement has a micro-rotor and vibrates at 21,600 VpH. It has 256 components, 40 jewels, and a power reserve of 70 hours. 

Another feature of this movement is a balance wheel with fixed inertia, manufactured in-house and incorporating the SE logo. The watch features a Phillips flat spiral terminal coil manufactured by E20 and a titanium retrograde lever.

The dial is brass and silver, and the hours, minutes, and retrograde seconds come in either green aventurine or turquoise blue lapis lazuli fine stones. Hands are rhodium-treated brass filled with Super-LumiNova. 

Depending upon your choice of green or blue colors, the watch is finished with a black alligator strap hand stitched in either green or blue and a stainless steel folding buckle with the Schwarz Etienne logo. Its approximate retail price is $67,700.00

3. Jaquet Droz Tourbillon Skelet Sapphire

 Jaquet Droz Tourbillon Skelet Sapphire

The Jaquet Droz Ref. J0135270021 has a subtle and subdued appearance, rich in gray and silver colors. The Jaques Droz caliber 2625SQ self-winding skeleton tourbillon movement features a silicon balance spring and pallet horns set upon the titanium tourbillon frame. 

It has a single barrel, an 18-carat white gold custom engraved oscillating weight. The movement houses 30 jewels, has a power reserve of 7 days and vibrates at 21,600 VpH. Indications are off-center hours and minutes at six o’clock and off-center seconds hands at twelve o’clock. The 42mm size case sits 13.76mm on the wearer’s wrist.

The sapphire case is made up of 18-carat white gold tubes and bar inserts, with an 18-carat white gold crown completing the case. The watch is water resistant to 30 meters. The timepiece features a sapphire dial and base and is adorned with 18-carat white gold indexes and 18-carat white gold fixing axes.

The hour and minute hands are crafted in 18-carat white gold that has been treated with a black finish, and the seconds’ hands are made of 18-carat red gold and also finished with a black treatment. Finishing the watch’s appearance is an alligator strap with a stainless steel and plasma ceramic folding clasp.

4. Panerai Luminor Tourbillon GMT

Panerai Luminor Tourbillon GMT

The Panerai Ref. PAM01060 is constructed of 18-carat rose gold and features Panerai’s trademarked crown protection system. The timepiece measures 47mm in diameter and is outfitted with sapphire crystals on both the front and rear of the watch case. Most visible components are dark blue, with Arabic numerals placed at 3, 6, 9, and 12 o’clock.

These are all treated in Super-LumiNova for excellent visibility in the dark. The rose gold hands are also treated in Super-LumiNova. The hand-wound mechanical caliber P.2005/T movement vibrates at 28,800 VpH and features a glucydor balance, three barrels, 277 components, and a six-day power reserve.

The watch is also outfitted with an incabloc anti-shock device to protect the movement. The watch is water resistant to 50 meters and is delivered with a stitched dark blue alligator strap. Its approximate retail price is $180,000.00

5. Speake Marin Openworked Tourbillon

Speake Marin Openworked Tourbillon

This tourbillon timepiece is one of the more affordable to appear on this list but easily holds its own with its design, execution, and beautiful finishes. The watch comes in a 38mm or 42mm diameter titanium case. The interesting design feature of this watch is that the tourbillon is positioned at the 1:30 position. Speake Marin has stated that this is the only watch with the tourbillon at that position.

The caliber SMA05 automatic self-winding movement has a flying tourbillon featuring an integrated micro-rotor. It is easily observed through the open exhibition back and front sapphire crystal treated with an anti-reflective coating. The power reserve is 72 hours, and there is a power reserve indicator at the 7:30 position.

The dial is open-worked with a black micro-blasted matte finish. The prominent silver coloring is tastefully decorated. The hands are heart-shaped, blue colored, and the watch is coupled with a black alligator strap. 30-meter water resistance rounds out the watch’s technical specifications. Approximate retail price of $20,600.00 for the 38mm or $21,300.00 for the 42mm.

6. Hublot Big Bang Tourbillon Auto Black Magic 45mm

Hublot Big Bang Tourbillon Auto Black Magic 45mm

This is one of the larger tourbillon watches mentioned in this article and offers Hublot’s distinctive and trademark look in a skeletonized version. The HUB6035 caliber automatic self-winding tourbillon movement incorporates ball bearings and provides a convenient three-day power reserve. 

The new caliber design features a micro-rotor on the dial side and three sapphire bridges. The watch is comprised of a total of 243 components. The case and bezel are constructed of polished black ceramic with a micro-blasted finish. The front crystal is a scratch-resistant sapphire that has been anti-reflective treated.

The rear features an exhibition back. The timepiece has a sapphire dial and is water-resistant to 30 meters. The watch has been paired with a black structured lined rubber strap with a black ceramic and black plated titanium deployment buckle clasp. Approximate retail price of $100,000.00

7. Piaget Polo Emperador Skeleton Tourbillon

Piaget Polo Emperador Skeleton Tourbillon

This beautiful Piaget Ref. GOA40041 comes in an 18-carat white gold cushion-shaped case that measures 46.5mm by 8.85mm thick. Piaget touts this watch as having the thinnest ultra-thin automatic tourbillon skeleton movement.

The watch features sapphire crystals on both the front and the rear of the watch case showing off the automatic self-winding caliber 1270S movement. Highlights of the movement include a platinum oscillating weight, an off-center gold micro-rotor, and a titanium tourbillon carriage.

There is extensive hand beveling and finishes reflected throughout the movement’s parts. The movement vibrates at 21.600 VpH, has 225 components, 35 jewels, and a power reserve of 42 hours. The timepiece is water-resistant to 30 meters and is finished with a black alligator strap with a folding clasp. Price is available upon request from Piaget.

8. H. Moser and Cie Pioneer Cylindrical Tourbillon Skeleton

This watch’s highlight is the fully skeletonized in-house caliber HMC811 cylindrical tourbillon automatic movement. Due to the movement’s design, it appears to be three-dimensional. One immediate outstanding aesthetic feature of the watch is the blue domed subdial at six o’clock. 

The highlight of this movement is that it combines an in-house produced cylindrical hairspring with a one-minute flying tourbillon at six o’clock. This is responsible for the precision experienced with this model. The power reserve capacity is 72 hours.

The cylindrical hairspring performs superbly because the period of oscillation is constant regardless of amplitude. The combination of the tourbillon with the hairspring is something to be admired for its function and appearance. 

Enhancing the movement’s appearance is a gold skeletonized oscillating weight that is contrasted by the dark main plate and bridges that are finished with anthracite PVD. The stainless steel case measures 42.8mm in diameter by 15.3mm in height. 

The case has a domed scratch-resistant sapphire crystal and a screw-down crown. Water resistance is rated at 120 meters. The timepiece features green glowing luminescent hands and indices. A black alligator leather strap completes the watch’s presentation. The approximate retail price is $87,000.00

9. Breguet Classique “Grande Complication” Tourbillon Extra Plat Squelette 5395

Breguet Classique “Grande Complication” Tourbillon Extra Plat Squelette 5395

Abraham Louis Breguet is credited for inventing the tourbillon in 1801. This model is an excellent example of the design and manufacturing genius of the Breguet family. One prominent characteristic of this timepiece is the self-winding movement with a peripheral platinum oscillating weight.

The caliber 581SQ in-house automatic movement vibrates at 4 Hz and features 33 jewels and a total of 325 components. Another outstanding feature of this watch is that it is ultrathin for a timepiece housing 325 components. 

The case is only 7.7mm thick and is the thinnest model of the fifteen watches discussed in this article. It has a diameter of 41mm and is constructed of Rose gold. The case is beautifully fluted in a vertical pattern all the way around with a matching fluted crown.

The front and back are protected by sapphire crystals, and the watch is water resistant to 30 meters. A brown stitched leather strap with a clasp featuring the Breguet logo completes this classic. The retail price is approximately $225,000.00

10. Louis Moinet Black Gold Derrick Tourbillon

Louis Moinet Black Gold Derrick Tourbillon

An impeccably finished skeletonized manual winding tourbillon movement fashioned and formed in the appearance of an oil derrick. This is truly a unique design and highlights a collection of watches that are cutting-edge in every aspect of the watchmaking process.

The drive shaft is located to the right of the dial between the 2 and 4 o’clock positions and powers a long articulated arm known as the walking beam. This is located between the 10 and 12 o’clock positions. 

The most striking visual characteristic is the oblong-shaped “head” located to the left. At the 9 o’clock position is a titanium barrel that is in constant rotation and is dedicated to marking seconds that are read off the bottom of the barrel on a red engraved seconds track.

The case measures 45.4mm in diameter and is constructed of 18-carat white gold. Finishes are both polished and matte, and the bezel features six evenly placed screws at the 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, and 12 o’clock positions. 

The in-house caliber LM14D movement vibrates at 21,600 VpH, has 27 jewels, and a power reserve of 72 hours. A sapphire top crystal and exhibition back complete the case. The watch is water resistant to 30 meters. It is delivered with a black alligator strap and an 18-carat white gold clasp. The approximate retail price of $285,000.00.

11. Bovet 1822 Battista Tourbillon

Bovet 1822 Battista Tourbillon

This model has been developed as a partnership between Bovet Watch and the Battista Automobili Pininfarina auto company. This is around the first all-electric supercar, the GT Hyper Car, manufactured by Pininfarina.

The watch is striking in both its design and attention to detail, as reflected in the various embellishments on both the front and rear of the movement. The 45.6 mm case has sapphire crystals on both the front and back but also has exposed sides on the case to view the movement from the side.

The two-tone blue dial complements the movement components as well as the double-sided 60-second flying tourbillon. The movement vibrates at 18,000 VpH and has an incredible power reserve capacity of 10 days.

In keeping with the company’s commitment to the environment and sustainability, the watch is completed with a black and blue vegan rubber strap. The price is available by inquiry to Bovet Watch Corporation.

12.  Girard Perregaux Neo-Tourbillon with Three Bridges Skeleton

 Girard Perregaux Neo-Tourbillon with Three Bridges Skeleton

This is an essential addition to this list because it features the iconic three-bridge design Girard Perregaux created and first introduced in the 1860s. After the crisis caused by the introduction of quartz watches in the 1970s, G.P. reintroduced the three-bridge design in a limited edition pocket watch in 1980. 

It took watchmakers more than 1500 hours to finish a single-pocket watch. The birth of the neo-tourbillon with three bridges design in 2014 has taken the original concept to a whole new level.

The titanium case measures 45mm in diameter and sits 15.6mm high on the wrist. Both the front and rear box crystals are crafted of scratch-resistant sapphire and have an anti-reflective coating. Functions of the watch include hours, minutes, and small seconds on the tourbillon, and the tourbillon.

The in-house caliber GP09400-0011 self-winding mechanical movement vibrates at 21,600 VpH. It has a total of 260 components and 27 jewels. The oscillating weight is a white gold micro-rotor, and the watch has a power reserve of 60 hours.

The dauphine-style hands are Super-LumiNova filled, and the watch is water-resistant to 30 meters. A black alligator strap with a triple-folding titanium clasp completes this handsome watch. The approximate retail price is $167,000.00

13. Blancpain Villeret Tourbillon Squelette 8 Jours

Blancpain Villeret Tourbillon Squelette 8 Jours

Though this watch is not categorized as a skeleton watch on the Blancpain website, it should be featured on this list. The only aspect of the watch keeping it from being completely skeletonized is a thin black ring with Roman numerals tracking the outer rim of the front crystal.

Otherwise, all components are readily visible through the scratch-resistant sapphire crystal front and exhibition back crystal. The case is crafted of the finest platinum and measures 37.5mm in diameter with a thickness of 10.4mm. There is a date wheel at the 9 o’clock position and a power reserve indicator at the six o’clock position.

The caliber 25 self-winding automatic movement vibrates at 3 Hz and has 233 components and 29 jewels. And a power reserve of 192 hours. The timepiece is water-resistant to 30 meters and is completed with a black alligator strap with a pin buckle. The watch retails for approximately $179,300.00

14. Audemars Piguet Tourbillon Openworked

Audemars Piguet Tourbillon Openworked

The beautiful 18-carat pink gold case measures 41mm in diameter and is relatively thin at 10.7 mm. The case’s color enhances the 3-dimensional effect of the movement’s open-worked structure. The dial features a lacquered black inner bezel offset by a pair of 18-carat rose gold hands.

The watch features anti-reflective sapphire crystals in both the front and rear of the case. The front is unique in that the sapphire crystal is double-curved. Its internal surface is shaped like a dome but is vertically curved from six to twelve o’clock. At the heart of this timepiece is an in-house 2948 caliber hand-wound mechanical movement that vibrates at 21,600 VpH.

There are a total of 196 components, and it has 19 jewels and 72 hours of power reserve. The 30-meter water-resistant watch comes with a black alligator strap finished with an 18-carat pink gold folding clasp. The approximate retail price of this watch is $180,000.00

15. Omega DeVille Tourbillon Co-Axial Chronometer Numbered Edition

Omega DeVille Tourbillon Co-Axial Chronometer Numbered Edition

The final watch to make this list is the Omega ref. 513., which is different from the ones above, as it has a skeletal front and a solid caseback. The beautiful use of red gold coloring and the copper brown treatment of the movement parts make this model both stunning and aesthetically captivating.

The 18-carat red gold case measures 38.7 mm in diameter and is presented with an alligator-patterned brown leather strap with a fold-over clasp. The front crystal is sapphire and antireflective on both the inside and the outside. The self-winding Omega caliber 2635A movement features a tourbillon, a platinum oscillating weight, a co-axial escapement, and is a certified chronometer. The power reserve capacity is 45 hours.

Other significant features are the brown PVD-coated dial that is finished in a spiral pattern, as well as bridges that have been polished by hand. Another interesting component is that the 18-carat gold seconds hand is part of the tourbillon cage. The watch is also water resistant to 30 meters. It has an approximate retail price of $137,000.00

Final Thoughts

If you have a passion for fine watches and have the deep pockets to indulge in your pursuit, any of these timepieces will satisfy your desires. These watches have been chosen because they are skeletonized, feature the tourbillon, and have no other complications. There may be a date or power reserve indicator in one or two models, but for the most part, each watch needed to satisfy the two main criteria and nothing else. 

Other watchhouses did not make this list for the reasons laid out in this article. These names have also greatly contributed to the evolution of the tourbillon and the incorporation of the skeleton style into their collections. These fifteen are just a starting point. Some of the other brands you can consider are the following: Patek Philippe, Armin Strom, Cartier, A. Lange and Sohne, Chronoswiss, and others.

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