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Bare bones: The skeleton watches designed to impress

If you've ticked off the basics with your watch collection, and already have a great diving watch, black tie timepiece, one of the best worldtimers and a super-accurate chronometer, then it's time to show your connoisseur's credentials with something truly special. With intricate design work and impeccable craftsmanship with a focus on showcasing the incredible, delicate movements that drive them, these skeleton watches are guaranteed to inspire envy.

MasterGraff Skeleton Automatic 48mm

Graff's MasterGraff Skeleton Automatic is all the more impressive considering the legendary diamond house only entered watch production in 2009. The automatic movement is the first in the world to be set with diamonds and emeralds on both sides making this a highly covetable limited edition.

Case: Diamond and rose gold, 48mm
Strap: Crocodile
Movement: Automatic
Limited edition: 10
Price: POA, graffdiamonds.com

Vacheron Traditionnelle Openworked Automatic

Part of Vacheron Constantin’s high-end Metiers d’Art collection, this skeletonised interpretation of the self-winding Traditionelle watch is openworked to such a degree that it no longer features a conventional dial. Instead, virtually every part of the meticulously engraved in-house movement is revealed in all its glory.

Case: White gold, 38mm
Strap: Alligator
Movement: Automatic
Waterproof: 30 metres
Price: £52,750, vacheron-constantin.com

Roger Dubuis Excalibur Spider Automatic Skeleton

Geneva-based Roger Dubuis is unique in only producing watches that are hallmarked with the prestigious Poincon de Geneve (or Geneva seal) which verifies that its timepieces and the majority of parts that go in to them have been manufactured in the Canton and finished to an exceptional standard. Few have mastered the art of skeletonisation to the same degree as Roger Dubuis. This automatic version of the Excalibur shamelessly reveals every bit of its 167 part, in-house movement that takes 530 hours to create.

Case: Carbon, 42mm
Strap: Alligator
Movement: RD820SQ self-wound mechanical
Waterproof: 30 metres
Price: POA, rogerdubuis.com

Linde Werdelin Oktopus MoonLite

At just 62.5g the Oktopus MoonLite is the lightest timepiece ever created by Swiss fine watchmaker Linde Werdelin. Thanks to inner and outer cases crafted from the brand's innovative colourless ALW (Alloy Linde Werdelin) it is also seriously tough and waterproof up to 300 metres - ideal for your inner explorer.

Case: Colourless ALW, 46mm
Strap: Rubber
Movement: In-house complication
Waterproof: 300 metres
Limited Edition: 59
Price: £12,275, lindewerdelin.com

Panerai Lo Scienziato Luminor 19450 Tourbillon GMT Ceramica

This special edition of Panerai's iconic Luminor 1950 combines the original's retro styling with a cutting edge skeletonised tourbillon movement and watchmaking's new must-have - a black ceramic case.

Case: Ceramic, 48mm
Strap: Calf leather
Movement: Calibre P.2005/S hand-wound mechanical
Waterproof: 100 metres
Limited Edition: 150
Price: POA, panerai.com

Hublot Classic Fusion Ultra-Thin Skeleton

A consummate exercise in minimalist watchmaking, it has a titanium case that is feather light and completely resistant to the ravages of salt water. Hublot’s hand-wound movement offers 90 hours of power reserve, and there’s a choice of straps in alligator or rubber.

Case: Titanium, 45mm
Strap: Alligator
Movement: HUB1300.4 manual-wound
Price: £12,500, hublot.com

Tag Heuer Carrera Calibre Heuer 01

Launched in 2015, the skeletonised Carrera Calibre Heuer 01 is several watches in one. The 12 separate elements that make up its modular
construction allow for myriad variations of colour and materials. This is the lightweight version; case and bracelet are made from titanium.

Case: Titanium, 45mm
Strap: Titanium
Movement: Calibre Heuer 1
Waterproof: 100 metres
Price: £5,000, tagheuer.com

Chopard Luc XP Skeletec

The LUC division of Chopard (the initials stand for Louis-Ulysse Chopard, who founded the business) specialises in higher-end products such as this beautifully thin skeletonised dress watch limited to just 288 examples. The watch has two mainspring barrels giving 65 hours of power reserve.

Case: Rose gold, 39.5mm
Strap: Alligator
Movement: LUC 96.17-L self-winding mechanical
Waterproof: 30 metres
Limited edition: 288
Price: £15,380, chopard.com

Zenith Defy El Primero 21

Launched in 1969, Zenith’s El Primero chronograph movement remains the only mechanism of its type capable of recording elapsed times to 0.1 of a second. The new “21” version, however, times down to a remarkable 0.01 of a second.

Case: Titanium, 44mm
Strap: Rubber
Movement: El Primero 9004 automatic
Waterproof: 100 metres
Price: £9,100, zenith-watches.com

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