Hiren Kumar Bose profiles skeleton watches showcased at SIHH and other satellite events held at Geneva this January
SANTOS DE CARTIER Skeleton Noctambule
The glow-in-the-dark Santos has no dial, with the base plate of the movement having been skeletonised to form Roman numerals, the plate is painted with Super-Luminova, a photoluminescence substance that glows green in the dark. It has a stainless steel case that’s coated with amorphous diamond-like carbon (ADLC), giving it a slightly glossy black finish, although the metal below has a brushed surface. It measures 39.8mm in diameter and stands 9.08mm high, exactly the same as the standard steel version of the watch. Inside is the cal. 9612 MC movement, which is hand-wound and has double barrels for a 72-hour power reserve. Like the other Santos watches, the “Noctambule” has the “QuickSwitch” strap removal mechanism that relies on a button on the back of the lugs to release the strap for easy swapping.
ULYSSE NARDIN Executive Skeleton Tourbillon
The new 42mm cased Skeleton X with its highly contemporary aesthetics and openworked movement is presented in four satin-finished iterations –titanium, titanium black DLC, rose gold, and Carbonium® Gold – the most radical version is the Carbonium® Gold, which has a slightly larger diameter of 43mm. A material generally reserved for the production of aeronautic wings and fuselage, Carbonium® is a super-light, high-performance material made from carbon fibres. According to the brand, the production of lightweight Carbonium® has 40% less environmental impact than other carbon composites since it uses remnants from aeronautical pieces. The fusion of this high-tech material with gold creates Carbonium® Gold and gives the Skeleton X watch case a unique black and gold wave effect, in keeping with the brand’s nautical roots. The architecture of the dial offers a spectacular view of the movement, which is anchored by a central rectangular bridge with four arms that form an ‘X’. The prominent Roman numerals of the Executive Skeleton Tourbillon have been reduced to just two – at III and IX o’clock – and, with the exception of the black titanium model, contrasting colours have been used to accentuate the bridges and minute track. Behind the vaporous architecture, with its contrasting geometric shapes, you get a full view of the trademark extra-wide Freak Vision silicium balance wheel with nickel flyweights and stabilising micro-blades along with the new manufacture movement, calibre UN-371. A manual-winding movement, calibre UN-371 houses a silicium gear train and balance wheel (3Hz) and a sturdy power reserve of 96 hours, which can be consulted on the caseback via a window. All four models are presented on a choice of rubber or alligator strap and are water-resistant to 50m.
AUDEMARS PIGUET Code 11.59 Tourbillon Openworked
Putting a round watch up against the most famously innovative and revolutionary modern watch design of all is no easy task, clearly: Gerald Genta, the Royal Oak’s designer, took a couple of days to map it out, whereas Code 11:59 has been in development for six years. The emphasis, though, is on pushing the watchmaking arts to the extreme in every detail, from the fantasia of hand-finishing techniques to the sapphire crystal with a curved internal dome and convex outer form, creating a strange optical effect. Even the logo itself has been galvanically grown in gold, a process akin to 3D printing. The range has been launched in a series of versions, including automatic, chronograph, tourbillon – all with brand new movements – as well as a perpetual calendar, minute repeater supersonnerie and this mesmerising skeletonised tourbillion.
FRANCK MULLER Vanguard Yachting Anchor Skeleton
Inspired by the dynamic Vanguard™ collection, the Vanguard Yachting Anchor Skeleton™ develops a new creative vision of time with affirmed nautical details. Available in a number of case materials, and with or without diamonds, the collection features all the seafaring details from the deep blue to the wind rose adorning the dial, the sea world inspired each delicate detail of this newly born timepiece.
CARTIER Skeleton Dual Time Zone Tonneau
Cartier adds its own watchmaking signature by skeletonising the movement, bringing lightness and nobility to a traditional complication: a demonstration of how to perfectly balance form and function, case and movement. Selecting a curved case, placing a dual time zone in it, making the whole run on one single movement – 9919 MC calibre – and fitting the gear train in a line: all this called for every iota of technical mastery and spirit of innovation that Cartier can demonstrate. Two complex feats were required in order to remain true to the original shape. Firstly, to retain the watchcase’s elongated form, all the wheels of the geartrain had to be aligned between 12 and 6 o’clock. Then the shape of the movement underwent modification, being made to curve so it fits within the curved contours of the Tonneau watchcase. Lastly, in the pursuit of aesthetics, the two time zones were linked to create an impressive display combining the useful with the pleasurable: the time is easy to read on the skeleton bridges, and the second time zone is set by pressing on the crown at 4 o’clock and by one-hour jumps. The pink gold and platinum versions come in limited, numbered editions of 100 pieces, while 20 numbered pieces are available in the baguette-cut diamond-set platinum series.
ROGER DUBUIS Excalibur Huracàn Performante
The sporty sleek watch is a result of the latest collaboration between maverick Swiss watchmaker Roger Dubuis and Lamborghini’s Squadra Corse motorsport division. Taking its cue from the eponymous marque, the watch is inspired by motor racing design, from its aesthetic down to its inner workings. The hexagonal shape that features in the supercar’s design is present in the openworked dial, while the RD630 movement with a 12° inclined balance wheel mimics Lamborghini’s trademark aesthetic.
Gorgeous and dependable is how your boyfriend should be—just like Chanel’s Boyfriend Skeleton. Fitted with a manual winding movement that offers 55 hours of reserve power, the watch showcases a DLC-coated, skeletonised dial framed in rich 18-ct beige gold.