Less is more

The unobstructed view of the ticking heart, framed by the artistic suggestion of a dial: skeleton watches are currently very much in vogue.

When French watchmaker André-Charles Caron created a skeleton dial for a pocket watch for the first time in 1760, it caused quite a stir: the fact that one could admire such intimate processes through a sophisticated allusion to a covering was as provocative to the demure society of the 18th century as it was elegant.

The skeleton watch has never lost its special aura. But at the moment it is very much back in fashion. Perhaps it is because the free view of painstaking craftsmanship acts as an antidote to the omnipresent topic of digitalisation. The pulsing of the gears, the interlocking of the different parts, the bevelled, polished, engraved decorations: how could one not be moved by such poetry?

For Jean-Sébastien Bolzli, there’s another reason too. The CEO of the watch company Aerowatch, which also manufactures the Beyer models, says: “It is quite challenging to practically leave out most of the watch face without compromising the readability of the time. Especially when displays like moon phases or a calendar are involved.”

In the quest for the greatest possible transparency, it is also important to make a well-oiled mechanism visible without impairing its function. As Bolzli observes: “The movement has to be more delicate, the settings have to be more accurate, and we have to observe tighter tolerances.” This requires a more complex production and a more elaborate assembly than conventional watches.

With these three Beyer models, Aerowatch proves that despite all the effort it takes, the result does not always have to be classically elegant. Jean-Sébastien Bolzli takes particular pleasure in the pocket watch with a spider crawling across the skeleton web: “The poetry of the mechanics comes with a humorous touch: whenever I wear a waistcoat, this watch is part of the outfit.”

Skelettuhren Beyer

The ‘Renaissance Squelette Dame’ presents a very ornate skeletonised red gold dial. It is framed by an elegant white number ring and crowned by blued hands. The manual-wind movement is also gracefully delicate and can be admired not only from above, but also through the transparent case back.
Ref. A 57981 R113, CHF 2350

The ‘Spider Squelette’ pocket watch comes with a lively little resident: powered by the second hand, a spider crawls across the skeletonised web. With its modern exterior, its water resistance and the scratch resistance of the sapphire glass, which provides for double-sided viewing, the ‘Spider’ is as suitable for everyday use as a wristwatch – and yet remains a most unusual accessory.
Ref. A 50829 AA02 SQ, CHF 2550

In the ‘Les Grandes Classiques – Zurich’ model, the dial is skeletonised by hand. The chronograph reveals an unusual amount of its inner workings and yet has an impressively clear display – including the date at three o’clock. The blue hands on a white background pay homage to Zurich, while the red jumping second hand and the chronograph hands give the stylish watch a sporty touch.
Ref. A 61989 AA04 SQ B, CHF 6950

Beyer Chronometrie