Skeleton watches are timepieces with exhibition dials, casebacks or both that let you view the intricate movements inside. Skeleton timepieces were first introduced by legendary watchmaker Edouard Bouvet in 1822 in London England. Bouvet offered mechanical pocket watches with skeleton dials and casebacks, along with highly decorative movements.
For more than a century a wristwatch with an exhibition skeleton face and or caseback was limited to automatic and mechanical models and was featured only in higher-end styles. Other prominent watchmakers of the era, including Breguet, Patek Philippe, Vacheron Constantin and Eterna started to feature skeleton models in their renowned mechanical timepiece collections.
In 1960 Bulova changed the face of watches with the introduction Spaceview automatic model, the world’s first mass-produced skeleton timepiece. The skeleton timepiece originally intended as a display model in retail stores, was so highly sought-after by the general buying public to purchase, that Bulova soon offered it for sale.
Skeleton watches were still limited to automatic and mechanical styles for several decades to come and were featured more often on a timepiece’s caseback. During the mid 2000’s however, popular watchmakers such as Invicta and Stuhrling introduced quartz watches with skeleton dials.
Today numerous watchmakers from Zenith, Frederique Constant, TAG Heuer, Cartier, Chopard, Lucien Piccard and Maurice Lacroix to Invicta, Swiss Legend, Red Line, Fossil, TW Steel, August Steiner and Sturhling Original all offer skeleton watches in their line-ups.