In every Buying Guide, we like to group together a set of watches around a common theme, a shared feature or even with similar functions. That can be anything from watches intended for diving, using a fresh new colour or perhaps sharing the occasion of being presented during the same fair. When we were putting together today’s list, we initially wanted to show all sorts of skeletonized or openworked watches but somehow we ended up with six skeletonized or openworked luxury sports watches instead. Hey, we’re not complaining one bit, as these are some of the very best out there, based on some of the coolest and most iconic luxury sports watches. Let’s not dwell on that any further and kick things off with the Daddy of the luxury sports watch genre!
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Jumbo Extra-Thin Openworked 16204ST
The Audemars Piguet Royal Oak is the archetypical luxury sports watch, of course, penned by the late, great Gérald Genta in 1976. In recent times the popularity of the genre has skyrocketed and prices and availability of some of these are an issue (although things seem to settle down a bit recently). Nevertheless, the APRO is still highly praised. This Jumbo Extra-Thin Openworked 16204ST shares all the signature elements, but removes the dial to reveal the openworked movement in all its glory. It doesn’t come cheap though, as it costs EUR 86,800 in steel (there’s also a gold version available).
For more information, please visit AudemarsPiguet.com
Quick Facts – 39mm x 8.1mm – stainless steel case, brushed & polished – octagonal bezel – sapphire crystal front & back – 50m water-resistant – rhodium-toned openworked movement – gold indices and hands – Calibre 7124, in-house – automatic winding – skeletonized construction – 211 parts – 28,800vph – 57h power reserve – hours & minutes – integrated steel bracelet with folding clasp – 16204ST.OO.1240ST.01 – EUR 86.800
Bvlgari Octo Finissimo Skeleton 8 Days
The Bvlgari Octo Finissimo has been a headlining watch ever since it was launched in 2014. Over the past decade (almost), Bvlgari has made it a habit of breaking all kinds of records in ultra-thin watchmaking. And although this Octo Finissimo Skeleton 8 Days might not be a record-breaking watch in itself, packing this movement in a 40mm wide and 5.95mm thin case is still mighty impressive! First presented in rose gold and now also available in titanium, the openworked movement shows a massive barrel to accommodate that 192-hour power reserve! It’s fitted with a very slender titanium bracelet and retails for EUR 23,360.
For more information, please visit Bulgari.com
Quick Facts – 40mm x 5.95mm – titanium case, sandblasted – sapphire crystal front & back – titanium crown with black ceramic insert – openworked dial in grey – openworked hands – Calibre BVL 199 SK, in-house – ultra-thin hand-wound movement – skeletonized plates and bridges – 21,600vph – 192h power reserve (8 days) – hours, minutes, power reserve – integrated titanium bracelet – EUR 23,360
Zenith Defy Skyline Skeleton Black Ceramic
The Defy Skyline collection is Zenith’s edgy luxury sports watch, first revealed last year in stainless steel but now also available in full black ceramic. You have a choice for a closed dial or an openworked movement. The skeletonized version has a four-pointed star-shaped mainplate in black, revealing the components underneath. You get a glimpse of the barrel, but also of the silicon components in the escapement. The central hour and minute hands are accompanied by the Defy Skyline’s party trick; the 1/10th of a second indication at 6′. Supplied with a black ceramic bracelet and a black rubber strap, it retails for CHF 16,900.
For more information, please visit Zenith-Watches.com
Quick Facts – 41mm x 11.6mm – faceted black ceramic case, satin-brushed & polished – 12-sided ceramic bezel – sapphire crystal front & back – screw-down crown – 100m water-resistant – black openworked plates & bridges – faceted indices and hands with Super-LumiNova – El Primero 3620 SK, in-house – automatic – 36,000vph – 60h power reserve – hours, minutes, 1/10th of a second – black ceramic bracelet and black rubber strap – CHF 16,900
Armin Strom Orbit Manufacture Edition
The Armin Strom Orbit Manufacture Edition, the second model in the Orbit collection, does things a bit differently. Although it might be mistaken for ‘just’ another sports watch with some sort of timing bezel, you’d be right and wrong at the same time. The Orbit is Armin Strom’s play on the classic pointer date, but now with some innovative new tech behind it. The pusher at 09:30 switches off the date, which lines the hand straight up. It remembers the date though, so activate it again and the date hand jumps to the correct date. It’s cool, it’s geeky, and it’s proper in-house Armin Strom cleverness. Worn on a steel bracelet, this costs EUR 31,300
For more information, please visit ArminStrom.com
Quick Facts – 43.4mm x 12.6mm – stainless steel case, brushed & polished – fixed ceramic bezel – sapphire crystal front & back – 50m water-resistant – exposed mechanics with off-centred black dial – central date pointer with on/off system – Calibre ASS20, in-house – micro-rotor automatic – 25,200vph – 273 components – 72h power reserve – hours, minutes, small seconds, column-wheel date, power reserve indication on the barrel – stainless steel bracelet – EUR 31,300
Czapek Antarctique Revelation
We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again; the Czapek Antarctique is one of the finest recently introduced luxury sports watches. This new Révélation model adds a properly contemporary skeletonized movement to the cool factor of the Antarctique. The open construction reveals the full architecture of the movement, with from noon in a clockwise motion the exposed barrel, keyless works, small seconds, balance wheel and micro-rotor. The integrated steel bracelet comes with an interchangeability system and an extendable folding clasp. It is limited to a production of 100 watches per year, at a price of CHF 38,000.
For more information, please visit Czapek.com
Quick Facts – 40.5mm x 10.6mm – stainless steel case, brushed & polished – sapphire crystal front & back – screw-down crown – 120m water-resistant – smoked sapphire crystal minute track & small seconds sub-dial – applied hour indices – hour and minute hands with Super-LumiNova – calibre SXH7, in-house – automatic winding with micro-rotor – skeletonised construction – 152 parts – 28,800vph – 60h power reserve – integrated steel bracelet with interchangeable system and extendable folding buckle – limited to 100 watches per year – CHF 38,000
Parmigiani Fleurier Tonda PF Skeleton
The Parmigiani Fleurier Tonda PF range adds a refreshing touch of class to the luxury sports watch genre, with this Tonda PF Skeleton being one of the more outspoken iterations. The monochromatic grey NAC-coated movement is skeletonized very elegantly, even down to the faceted hour and minute hands. The dark tone of the movement also contrasts nicely against the stainless steel case and knurled platinum bezel. The golden hands and indices add even more ‘pop’ to the watch, as does the skeletonized gold rotor around the back. Naturally, this comes with an integrated bracelet as well. The price is set at CHF 59,000.
For more information, please visit Parmigiani.com
Quick Facts – 40mm x 8.5mm – stainless steel case, brushed & polished – platinum knurled bezel – sapphire crystal front & back – screw-down crown – 100m water-resistant – graphite NAC-coated openworked movement – 18k rose gold hands & indices – Calibre PF777, in-house – automatic winding – 187 components – 28,800vph – 60h power reserve – hours & minutes – integrated stainless steel bracelet – CHF 59,000