Many people collect watches because of how they look. Some buy buy watches for their features or comfort. While there are collectors who love watches because of purely of the watchmaking aspect. If you belong to the last group, there’s a good chance that you’re interested in skeleton watches.
Skeleton watches are rather unique in the industry because they bring the art of watchmaking into the forefront. The open construction design of skeleton watches reveals the mechanism behind the watch. For enthusiasts of watchmaking, skeleton watches allow you to admire the complexities and inner workings of the timepiece.
Skeleton watches can be fairly expensive so they’re not exactly an attractive prospect for beginner collectors. So today, we’ve created a list of the best skeleton watches under $5000. Let’s get to it!
Best Skeleton Watches Under $5000
|Stührling Anatol 371 Automatic||Alligator embossed leather band, Onion-style crown, Dauphine-style hands, stick-style markers, Polished beveled bezel, Automatic Dual Time, Second time zone subdial and rotating AM/PM indicator||★ ★ ★ ★ ★|
|Tag Heuer Carrera Calibre Heuer 01 Automatic||Stainless steel case with a black rubber strap, Black titanium bezel, Luminescent hands and marker, Water resistant at 100 meters / 330 feet, 50-hour power reserve||★ ★ ★ ★ ★|
|Heli Reymond T 3017||AR 6497 AR 165 movement, 44 hours power reserve, stainless steel, black mat, Crystal sapphire, 3 atm water resistance, Leather band, Sapphire crystal glass on both sides||★ ★ ★ ★ ½|
|Oris Artelier Skeleton||Stainless steel case, Fixed stainless steel bezel, Skeleton dial with black hands and index hour markers, Scratch resistant domed anti-reflective sapphire crystal, Water resistant at 30 meters / 100 feet||★ ★ ★ ★ ½|
|Tissot T-Complication Squelette||Stainless steel case with a black leather strap, Skeleton dial with luminous skeleton hands, Mechanical-hand-wind movement, Case Diameter: 48mm, Anti-reflective sapphire crystal||★ ★ ★ ★ ½|
|Hamilton Jazzmaster Viewmatic Skeleton||H-20-S Hamilton automatic movement, Brushed rotors, Superluminova hands, 50 meters/5 bar water resistance, Sapphire crystal, Stainless steel case||★ ★ ★ ★|
Best Skeleton Watches Under $5000
1. Stührling Anatol 371 Automatic
Stührling has only been around for more than a decade but it’s a brand that has established a good reputation over the years. The Stührling Anatol 371 Automatic is the most inexpensive model on this list but it’s far more than just a budget-friendly option.
Budget-Friendly But Not Cheap Quality
The Stührling Anatol 371 Automatic is a great starting timepiece for would-be skeleton watch collectors. This 47mm skeleton watch comes with a stainless steel case and bezel, a silver skeletonized dial, and blue hands and hour markers.
As you can see, this is an automatic skeleton watch that can be a deal-breaker for many collectors. However, for the price, it’s hard to go wrong with what this watch can offer. One of the best aspects of this skeleton watch is its overall design. It’s simply a good-looking watch with a great wrist presence. The silver dial contrasts perfectly with the blue indices and hands. The golden gear at the bottom portion of the dial is also a nice contrasting touch.
The alligator leather band might not be the most comfortable fit out there but for the price, it’s comfortable enough for daily wear. Overall, it’s not as high-quality as other skeleton watches on this list but it’s an affordable model that delivers.
2. Tag Heuer Carrera Calibre Heuer 01 Automatic
Next on our list of the best skeleton watches under $5000 is the Tag Heuer Carrera Calibre Heuer 01 Automatic. This is a skeleton watch that’s designed to impress because it’s simply mechanically fabulous.
Double Dose of WOW!
The inspiration for the Tag Heuer Carrera Calibre Heuer 01 Automatic is clearly the sport of high-performance motor racing. This skeleton chronograph’s dial is like a window into the creative mind of a Swiss watchmaker, who also happens to be a professional racing driver. The skeleton dial displays the movement of an automatic chronograph – a 39 jewel caliber with a complex design.
The modular case of the watch is also a wonder of construction featuring several different layers of materials. The watch is made of black titanium coated stainless steel with a fine brush finish. On the other hand, the crown and buttons are satin finished stainless steel.
What I love about this skeleton watch is the dark look – dark dial, black bezel and strap. It takes you quite a bit of time to figure out what’s going on but it’s a sporty piece that delivers in terms of aesthetics.
Overall, the Tag Heuer Carrera is not your classic skeleton key. It’s a watch for those who are looking for a brand with a strong modern design and identity.
3. Heli Reymond T 3017
When it comes to skeleton watch designs, they tend to lean towards a more classic approach. However, Heli Reymond begs to differ by releasing a skeleton watch with fun pops of colors. The Heli Reymond T 3017 is a classic skeleton with bold colors.
Bold as a Highlighter
One of the main draw points of the Heli Reymond T 3017 Skeleton Watch is its barrel shape design. Unlike most skeleton watches with rounded dials, this skeleton timepiece manages to look unique although it still exudes that classic charm.
Of course, you can’t talk about this watch without mentioning the highlighter colors. Heli Reymond’s Transparency collection features some really interesting skeleton models but the T 3017 stands out with its unique barrel design and color splash. The orange
The watch powered by the AR 6497 AR 165 caliber and it’s a beautiful one to behold. Of course, if you’re going to get a skeleton watch, you need a mesmerizing movement. In this case, Heli Reymond succeeded with the T 3017 Skeleton Watch.
Overall, the Heli Reymond T 3017 Skeleton Watch looks like a classic skeleton watch with an artistic flair of modern trends. Elegant and modern.
4. Oris Artelier Skeleton
A good skeleton watch is tricky to find at an affordable price. If you’re looking for an elegant skeleton key that won’t break the bank but still high-quality, the Oris Artelier Skeleton is an excellent option.
Solid All-Around Skeleton Watch
The Oris Artelier Skeleton features a case that toes the line between casual and dressy. True enough, this is a skeleton watch that you can wear virtually anywhere. Although the 40mm case size makes it more like a formal wear watch, the design is versatile enough for casual use. The Artelier comes with a domed sapphire crystal that does a good job of protecting the watch and providing an unobstructed view of the watch’s moving parts.
The face of the Artelier is certainly the main selling point. The design of the face leans towards the muted side to promote a more elegant tone. Of course, the skeletonized automatic movement can be seen in plain view but if you look closer, you’ll see finer details like the engraving and polished surfaces.
In addition, the Oris Artelier is powered by the Oris caliber 734 movement which uses the base caliber SW-200 from Sellit. In essence, the movement is a modified ETA 2824.
Ultimately, the Oris Artelier is a solid skeleton watch. There were some compromises but it’s justified to arrive at its reasonable pricing.
5. Tissot T-Complication Squelette
If you’re looking for a watch with an impressive visual impact, the Tissot T-Complication Squelette may be the piece for you.
Marriage of Modern Design and Craftmanship
From every angle, you can see that Tissot nailed that attention to detail with this skeleton watch. Front and back are equally as impressive. It’s a watch that gives so much personality. As the movement does its thing, you can every piece of it moving, rotating, and turning.
It’s honestly very mesmerizing.
The steel movement and case provides a great background for the purple and yellow parts of the watch. I have to say that the dial is a great success – which is important for any skeleton watch.
At the heart of the watch beats the ETA 6497-1 mechanical movement. This movement is a classic workhorse and has been in production since the 1950s. If you’re used to newer movements, you might be caught off-guard by the lower beat rate. The Squelette is accurate to +11 seconds per day which is not bad at all.
Overall, the Tissot T-Complication Squelette raises the bar when it comes to the best skeleton watches under $5000. It’s eye-catching, dramatic, and it’s a beautiful piece overall.
6. Hamilton Jazzmaster Viewmatic Skeleton
Skeleton watches are far from being affordable, especially when it’s from a fairly known brand. That’s why the Hamilton Jazzmaster Viewmatic Skeleton is a breath of fresh air.
A Solid Automatic Skeleton
The Hamilton Jazzmaster Viewmatic Skeleton is housed on a 40mm stainless steel case, making it a good formal wear watch. As you can see, the watch features a very vintage look, and reminds me of the 1960s. Adding to that, the thin profile and shape of the lugs add to the vintage aesthetic that Hamilton is going for.
The lighter material on the dial is actually the dial itself while the dark grey section is the movement plates. This is a pretty neat construction design because it gives the watch a multi-layered look. Hamilton chose to abandon the ornate filigreed skeleton in favor of a more masculine, engineered look. All the components are nicely polished and finished, giving it an upscale look.
All in all, the Hamilton Jazzmaster Viewmatic Skeleton is a great example of a budget skeleton watch without many compromises.
Open-Heart Design at Affordable Prices
That concludes our list of the best skeleton watches under $5000. As you can see, you don’t have to spend a fortune just to get your hands on a good quality skeleton timepiece. Hopefully, this guide has helped you shop for an inexpensive skeleton watch.