Buyers Guides

Last Updated July 1, 2020

Buyer guides



Best Skeleton Watches

We have a bone to pick with some of our readers. Many men are not taking advantage of the head turns and style points afforded by a nice skeleton watch. For those of you wondering what a skeleton watch is, they are a type of watch that reveals part of its inner workings and mechanics. They do this in different ways, while always giving us a glimpse into some sophisticated engineering – and adding a masculine touch to some of the most elegant timepieces.

We recently looked at some of the best tactical watches for men and have now turned our attention to these skeleton watches. We’ve been analyzing a lot of skeleton watches currently on the market to compile a list of the best of the best. The good news is that we have fifteen top-draw options for you right below. The bad news was we had no excuse to be late this week.

Keep that finger scrolling to find our top picks, providing phenomenal options for budget buyers and men with different skeleton watch tastes. While you’re at it – don’t forget to consult our buyer guide FAQs at the end of the guide, offering you valuable expert advice and crucial information when choosing a skeleton watch for men. Let’s not waste another second…

Top Picks

Budget Choice

Huboler Men's Skeleton Watch

Take advantage of low costs and unveiled mechanical excellence with the Huboler skeleton watch. It’s not to be missed!

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Premium Choice

Bell Ross Skeleton Watch

If you have a spare $100,000+ laying around, you may wish to consider the outstanding Bell Ross skeleton watch for men.

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Editor's Choice

Kenneth Cole Men’s Watch

The Men’s Gear team are not surprised that our editor has gone for this cool design wrapped in awesome brown leather.

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BEST SKELETON WATCHES

1

Bulova Skeleton Watch

Editors Rating

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The first skeleton watch for men that matched our high standards was this Bulova creation. Side note, it won’t be the only Bulova skeleton watch you get to see here. The watch exposes some of its inner mechanics from the front, but these intricate details are all protected with a durable titanium and stainless-steel curved casing.

The sapphire glass above the face of the watch is curved, adding a nice touch of gentlemanly sophistication that is also afforded by the rose gold hands. The rubber strap makes the watch practical too, giving a gentle and soft feeling around the wrist without chaffing. It will keep time well with 262kHz, so you are never late for the business meeting, the first date, or the big game.

Arguably, the only drawback of this skeleton watch is that it’s only water resistant up to 30 meters. Although this will suffice the needs of most men, when comparing it with what is to follow – including a watch with a water rating of 200 meters – it is a little shy. Nevertheless, it’s an awesome pick and even comes with a three-year warranty.

Pros

  • checkDurable materials
  • checkExcellent timekeeping
  • checkWarranty included
  • checkProtected mechanics

Cons

  • cross-altLow water resistance

Specs

  • Water Rating 30mm
  • Material Titanium and rubber
  • Case Diameter 44mm
2

Fossil Skeleton Watch

Editors Rating

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Fossil is already a force to be reckoned with on the watchmaking scene, but how about on the gladiator scene? Well, this watch is certainly unique and offers a classical twist on a new type of watch style. With the center of the watch face, many of its mechanics are unearthed to be seen to the naked eye. Yet, the outer part of the face is decorated with Roman numerals instead of the traditional numbers.

Not to leave out the awesome distressed leather strap adding quality, durability and further appeal. Overall, it would be fair to say that its aesthetics are cool and packed with character. Aside from the many talking points about how this skeleton watch looks, there is also a big talking point in how it performs. There are no batteries needed here because the watch will actually function via a built-in motor powered by wrist movements!

The watch builds on the previous watch’s water rating adding an extra 20 meters to its rating. What this means in practice is this watch is suitable for short swimming sessions but should be left in the locker room when going diving. For more info, simply hit that link just below.

Pros

  • checkDistressed leather strap
  • checkUnique design with Roman numerals
  • checkAffordable skeleton watch
  • checkSwim with it!
  • checkBuilt-in motor avoids needing a battery

Cons

  • cross-altNot as accurate as others here

Specs

  • Water Rating 50m
  • Material Stainless steel and leather
  • Case Diameter 44mm
3

Bell Ross Skeleton Watch

Editors Rating

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Now, the winner of the premium award was not even close. This Bell Ross skeleton watch is leaps and bounds above the rest of the pack, the problem is, the price tag packs a serious punch. Yet, if you want a high-end skeleton watch that will last a lifetime and become a family treasure then this is the way to turn.

The inner mechanics of this watch are on show from the front but do not worry. These mechanical parts are fully protected with a satin-polished case and a sapphire crystal lens that reflects and glare and shine. These are two of the most elegant and durable materials that are found on the best skeleton watches.

However, the strap is just as exquisite and made with alligator leather. Snap this awesome skeleton watch up and never and your style game will never be long in the tooth! For more information simply hit the link provided below and read more about this phenomenal watch.

Pros

  • checkHigh-end materials
  • checkAnti-reflective sapphire crystal
  • checkCool alligator leather strap
  • checkRenowned watchmaker

Cons

  • cross-altMore expensive than the others

Specs

  • Water Rating 50m
  • Material Alloy and alligator leather
  • Case Diameter 42.5mm
4

BOVET Skeleton Watch

Editors Rating

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The Bovet Skeleton Watch is out of this world and one of the most graphic watches of this kind. The watch doesn’t just give you an insight into the mechanics of it, but it also shows you astronomical indications with a view into the workings of the sun, earth and moon.

This timepiece really is a theatre for the universe and includes hand-painted artistic touches on many elements, including the graphic of the earth. The gold-colored outer piece of the watch is contrasted excellently with the colorful dashes within and is sure going to turn heads as you head to the office.

There are so many other genius talking points on this skeleton watch, and we recommend checking out further details with the link below. However, we just had to mention the representation of the moon within the watch face. It’s done with a sphere and it will orbit once every 29-and-a-half days – just like the Synodic timeframe.

Pros

  • checkExtremely detailed
  • checkCorresponds with the Synodic period
  • checkLeather strap
  • checkHand-painted elements

Cons

  • cross-altNot for minimalist fans

Specs

  • Water Rating N/A
  • Material N/A
  • Case Diameter N/A
5

Casio G-Shock Skeleton Watch

Editors Rating

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Casio are no strangers to engineering outstanding watches and they do just as well when taking their talented hands to skeleton watches for men. This particular design – more to come! – is dark but contrasted with a gold-colored dial and unearthed mechanics that pops from the face of the watch and in the eye of passersby.

However, all this dash of bling doesn’t mean that this is a skeleton watch only for fine dining and business meetings. It has a whopping 200-meter water rating, meaning you can certainly go swimming and even take this watch to the reef with you.

If you were tossing it up between a traditional watch and jumping on the smartwatch bandwagon, this skeleton watch may be the perfect compromise. It may look and predominantly act as a sophisticated watch but it has some clever additional features, such as a stopwatch, calendar, alarm, countdown timer, wake-up alarm and LED light. Oh, and it’s exceptionally shock resistant and made to last. 

Pros

  • checkUnbeatable water rating
  • checkCool contrasted aesthetics
  • checkAlarm and timer equipped
  • checkStopwatch and calendar included

Cons

  • cross-altCase size may put off some men

Specs

  • Water Rating 200m
  • Material Rubber
  • Case Diameter 50mm
6

Invicta Skeleton Watch

Editors Rating

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If you’re a man who is less about diving to see the reefs and climbing mountains, but more about the great indoors, cigars and whiskey, you will probably want to check out this Invicta Skeleton Watch. From the first glance you can see that this skeleton watch is a timeless classic with a nostalgic feel.

The calfskin leather strap meets a rose-gold case housing other rose-gold trimmings and uncovered mechanics. The intricate engineering and craft of making the Invicta watch is only partially hidden by the rotating and striking blue hands. All of these nice touches are kept immensely protected with a lame fusion crystal glass.

It even has a considerably good water rating and will hold its own in the shower or for a short dip in the ocean. Stay classy with this skeleton watch for men and read more about it in the link underneath. We recommend it for every man who is not a full-time scuba diver!

Pros

  • checkStriking blue hands
  • checkHousehold watchmaking brand
  • checkVintage aesthetics with a modern twist
  • checkScratch-resistant glass

Cons

  • cross-altBlue hands won't appeal to everyone

Specs

  • Water Rating 50m
  • Material Stainless steel and leather
  • Case Diameter 45mm
7

Bulova Men’s Skeleton Watch

Editors Rating

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We promised you more Bulova watches and here is the first. This skeleton watch for men is a gunmetal beast and suits the unearthed watchmaking details that sit in the center of the dial. The case and the strap are made from the same IP stainless steel. This gives it an even and rounded aesthetic that resembles many of the world’s best watches.

The only speck of color is found on the second hand. A slender yellow accent matches another yellow accent in the uncovered mechanics of the watch, adding a touch of balance to the whole watch. This watch also has a high water rating of 100 meters so it is welcome on beach days, half-asleep Monday morning showers – but not diving.

The sapphire glass window to the watch’s mechanics makes sure the watch retains its durability all over. Specifically, this sapphire glass is scratch resistant to protect you from knocks on the subway and banging it accidentally against your desk. As it’s another Bulova model, you also get their reassuring three-year warranty here too!

Pros

  • checkArmored like a tank
  • checkThree-year warranty protects your payment
  • checkIncredible water rating of 100 meters
  • checkA subtle touch of color

Cons

  • cross-altRemoving/Adding links will cost extra

Specs

  • Water Rating 100m
  • Material Stainless steel
  • Case Diameter 46mm
8

Stuhrling Original Skeleton Watch

Editors Rating

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Another skeleton watch that will wind itself through natural movements is the Stuhrling model found here. It’s big and bold with its gold-colored parts and certainly not for guys who like their watches to go under the radar or highlight subtle class. Nevertheless, many men will appreciate this skeleton watch displaying all its mechanical glory.

The watch is made in the US with quality materials. The stainless-steel outer casing protects those inner mechanics from damage. This level of quality is only matched by the alligator embossed leather strap, keeping you comfortable and stylish at all times.

As part of its skeleton structure, there is an AM and PM indicator made with exceptional details. One full circle is creatively split into a sun and a moon. Other talking points worth the noise are the onion crown dial adding some elegance to a busy timepiece packed with parts and character. For style comfort and performance, choose the Stuhrling skeleton watch for men!

Pros

  • checkAM/PM window
  • checkRobust design
  • checkOnion crown dial
  • checkBold golden color
  • checkLeather comfortable strap

Cons

  • cross-altDo not get wet!

Specs

  • Water Rating 0
  • Material Stainless steel and genuine leather
  • Case Diameter 47mm
9

Bulova Self-Wind Skeleton Watch

Editors Rating

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The last of the Bulova skeleton watches on our list is this cool design. Again like many of the other watches on this guide they have gone with the winning contrast between gold and black. It resembles the previous Bulova watch featured in many ways. For one, the uncovered mechanics on the dial face look identical and the watch takes the same shape. Moreover, despite the color changes it still uses stainless steel underneath.

Yet, one of the biggest changes is seen in the strap. Unlike how the previous skeleton watch made by these guys was all-over stainless steel, this model uses a different material for the strap. Namely, that material is Silicone and makes wearing it even more comfortable and doesn’t cause any irritation or those little nicks of the skin that can occur between the watch’s strap’s links.

This is another automatic watch preventing you from having to worry about batteries. It activates and functions through your own movements. To get more of the lowdown on this awesome skeleton watch for men, you know what to do by now. The link is just there below.

Pros

  • checkHigh water rating
  • checkSelf-winding design
  • checkSilicone strap enhances comfort
  • checkAesthetic contrast adds appeal

Cons

  • cross-altNot suitable for deep-sea diving

Specs

  • Water Rating 100m
  • Material Stainless steel and Silicone
  • Case Diameter 46mm
10

Armitron Skeleton Watch

Editors Rating

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If you like the idea of a skeleton watch but don’t want to have your watch overly expose its mechanics, you may prefer a watch with skeleton hands. This means the main components of the watch stay hidden as a traditional watch but the hands are made to show their bones. This Armitron skeleton watch is exactly that.

The case diameter on this beauty is bigger than most, giving you more room to consult the time or check other details such as the date in the adequate calendar window. The watch is primarily made with strong stainless steel, which also makes it highly water-resistant and won’t falter in the shower or at the beach.

The aesthetics of the watch will impress too. The silver classical appearance of this skeleton watch is made bolder and even more cool with a matte black face, offering a nice contrast between light and dark in one timepiece. The watch is supplied with an elegant gift box, making it an ideal gift for Father’s Day or for your best man.

Pros

  • checkNice gift box included
  • checkMatte black face adds contrast
  • checkCalendar window
  • checkMinimalist skeleton design

Cons

  • cross-altHands-only skeleton watch

Specs

  • Water Rating 50m
  • Material Stainless Steel
  • Case Diameter 51.5mm
11

Kenneth Cole Skeleton Watch

Editors Rating

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As quite a contrast to the metallic watch we have just seen, the Kenneth Cole watch is made with earthy and rustic colors. This skeleton watch is equipped with a strap made from genuine leather to enhance your comfort and your style at the same time. The case diameter may be slightly smaller, but it’s made with durable stainless steel you can count on.

Much of the internal mechanics of this watch are on display through the front of the design but also through the back which is just as cool but even more rare. It is part of the automatic movement, meaning you can leave those battery troubles behind and save time on keeping time with this skeleton watch.

The good news for men who like some but not all of the details on offer here is that Kenneth Cole has made this watch in an array of colors and slightly different designs. They have even made one that matches this style but with links instead of a leather strap. See all these designs by following the link below.

Pros

  • checkMultiple color/design options
  • checkSelf-winding watch
  • checkGift box included
  • checkGenuine leather strap

Cons

  • cross-altSlightly smaller case diameter than average

Specs

  • Water Rating 100m
  • Material Stainless steel and real leather
  • Case Diameter 42mm
12

Emporio Armani Skeleton Watch

Editors Rating

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Emporio Armani may leave the bare bones of their cool skeleton watch on display, but it will add appeal to any man’s style. This is one of the most stripped back watches which hits you as soon as you lay your eyes on this watch. The stainless-steel case is home to no face at all. Instead, in an act of designing brilliance, all the mechanics are laid out with Roman numerals poking out from the sides in equally striking form.

The only drawback from such a head-turning design is that it is not as protected as some of the other skeleton watches on our guide. Don’t start showering while wearing this watch and never think about wearing it while going for a swim. These negatives are offset by a phenomenal black leather strap made with a distressed vintage-like pattern.

Pros

  • checkExtensive mechanics on show
  • checkDistressed leather strap
  • checkTrusted watchmakers
  • checkOpen dial with Roman numerals

Cons

  • cross-altCannot shower wearing this

Specs

  • Water Rating 30m
  • Material Stainless steel and leather
  • Case Diameter 45mm
13

Vince Camuto Skeleton Watch

Editors Rating

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If minimalism is what you want from a skeleton watch, then you want the Vince Camuto watch here. Although its skeleton aspects are limited to its bare-bones hands, the watch does look awesome. The matte black leather strap matches the face of the watch with both areas being divided by a popping gold case trimming.

There are also three sub-dials to complete a timeless watch face aesthetic and it is housed in a cool gift box. Packed with character and made with quality materials, you can be sure to look great and stand out with this skeleton watch on your wrist.

Pros

  • checkSwim and snorkel with it
  • checkClassic minimalist aesthetic
  • checkContrasting colors add appeal
  • checkLeather comfortable strap

Cons

  • cross-altOnly hands are a skeleton design

Specs

  • Water Rating 50m
  • Material Stainless steel and leather
  • Case Diameter 45mm
14

Huboler Skeleton Watch

Editors Rating

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The winner of our budget award may not have been the cheapest skeleton watch on our list but it sure-fire does offer extreme value for money. At an affordable price, this skeleton watch works with Japanese technology giving unrivaled timekeeping accuracy. Yet, the Japanese themes can be found just by looking at the watch with its open mechanics revealing intricate details resembling many Japanese symbols. 

This skeleton watch is one of the most versatile we have shown you here. It will look fantastic resting at the end of a dress shirt but look just as awesome at the end of a dog lead or at the gym. For those who don’t like the black and silver design, there are also options to get the same cool skeleton watch in a black and red contrast or even a gold color. All of these watches are supplied with a warranty.

Pros

  • checkThree color options
  • checkJapanese themed
  • checkAccurate watch
  • checkVersatile with any look

Cons

  • cross-altLow water rating

Specs

  • Water Rating 30m
  • Material Stainless steel and rubber
  • Case Diameter 45mm
15

Invicta Men’s Skeleton Watch

Editors Rating

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We are finishing our take on the best skeleton watches for men with a look at this Invicta model – or should we say 44 millimeters of excellence? The design of the face here only partially shows the inner working of the watch, but the outer design makes it appear like some cool vortex you’re about to get swept up in. However, you should also note the cool window on the back of the watch showcasing even more of this watchmaking giant’s engineering talents.

The colors of this watch are what may divide opinion the most. They are bold and bright, contrasting a white leather strap and white accents with a gold framing. Even the gift box is bright and bold. However, if these colors are to your taste there is no reason not to enjoy the smooth calfskin leather against your wrist and the attention you will receive when you unload it from the cuff of your sweater at the office.

Pros

  • checkDual window to uncover mechanics
  • checkCalfskin leather improves comfort
  • checkA bold timepiece that gets attention
  • checkAwesome vortex-like design

Cons

  • cross-altColors may divide opinion

Specs

  • Water Rating 50m
  • Material Stainless steel and calfskin leather
  • Case Diameter 44mm

BUYING GUIDE & FAQ'S

What Is A Skeleton Watch?

When you own a regular watch, you probably don’t consider how it works and are distracted by its sleek and cool appearance, or in the case of a smartwatch, its plethora of functions. However, when you own a skeleton watch you know perfectly well that there are no tiny wizards beneath the watch face making it work and providing you with message notifications and alarms. This is due to the aesthetics of a skeleton watch, and how they get their name.

A skeleton watch provides any onlooker with a degree of insight into how the watch operates. Skeleton watches are usually, if not always, traditional watch designs. However, the core difference is that a skeleton watch does not conceal its inner workings. Instead, it will provide a view to the inner mechanics via the front, back or side of the watch. Some skeleton watches reveal all of its mechanics while others may just offer a glimpse of them through a small opening.

Getting this sort of behind-the-scenes view of how a watch operates is pretty cool and many men enjoy the rustic character it offers and the nostalgic look back into watchmaking before smart technology arrived. They are timeless pieces that men can enjoy forever – and the other benefit is that if it breaks, you’re more likely to know exactly what’s wrong without looking for your handheld multitools to prize it open.

Are Skeleton Watches More Fragile Compared To Traditional Watches?

The best watches for men are the best because they are stylish and excellent timekeepers, but they are also exceptionally strong and durable. If you want to buy a watch, you want one that will last and withstand elbows on the subway and accidental scrapes against your desk.

Many people who want a skeleton watch choose not to get one because they are tricked into thinking that these watches are not durable enough and will break easy. This is because being able to see the mechanics of the watch automatically makes men believe these intricacies and mechanics are exposed and vulnerable.

However, this is not the case and a skeleton watch is no more or less fragile than a traditional watch when made by the best manufacturers. The durability of a watch is based on its design and the materials used. Most designs still have a casing, meaning they have impressive water-resistance ratings and are made with robust materials. This is why skeleton watches can be just as tough as traditional watches when you choose from the best, such as in our list above.

Found One to Watch?

That finalizes our take on skeleton watches with awesome options from start to finish. We’ve had the pleasure of showing you skeleton watches made by Casio, Bulova, Fossil, Bell Ross and more. These watches were meticulously chosen to suit guys of all tastes and all budgets. Have you found a skeleton watch that ticks your boxes?

If you have, go ahead and use our links to learn more and maybe even make a purchase. If you are weighing up different skeleton watches on our list, it is also recommended to use our links. Checking out further details and reviews left by other men will be great for helping you make the best decision for your watch needs.

This was another of our buyer guide series, bringing you gear that men want and should own. If skeleton watches aren’t your thing, check out the many other watch-specific guides or why not go in a completely other direction? From tech gadgets to tactical belts, we have all you need to know about the best gear at Men’s Gear.

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