By Roberta Naas Photography by Jeff Crawford Styling by Terry Lewis| November 2, 2014 |
Watches & Jewelry
Art-loving Chicagoans will be captivated by the newest trend: skeleton timepieces.
The concept is simple: Strip away as much metal as possible to reveal the intricate inner workings of some of the world’s most technologically advanced timepieces. The result is captivating: a skeleton timepiece, so called due to the stunning see-through design that allows collectors to enjoy a mechanical masterpiece from every angle. Little wonder these artful works of precision, beauty, and innovation are taking the watch world by storm.
For a skeleton or partial skeleton design (the avant-garde trend in which the watch’s mainplate, gears, and wheels are visible, but only through the side of the dial), it takes a single craftsman hundreds of hours to carve away the metal, finely finish each tiny component, and assemble the timepiece in all its glory.
Some of these watches (especially those with bridges made of unique materials, such as specially engineered sapphires) are created in very limited numbers because of the difficulty of their engineering and construction. Hence, the finest skeleton watches can cost a pretty penny—not to mention carry a lengthy waiting list. But for the connoisseur, this open-worked artistry offers impressive detail and delight.
CLOCKWISE FROM LEFT: 1. From Parmigiani, the Kalpa Resonance (price on request) open-worked watch is crafted in 18k rose gold and houses a manual movement consisting of 336 parts with minute repeater that sounds the hour, quarter hour, and minute. Trabert & Hoeffer Jewels, 111 E. Oak St., 312-787-1654
2. From Graff Diamonds, this MasterGraff Skeleton watch (price on request) is crafted in 18k rose gold with a sapphire crystal and caseback for sheer elegance. The intricate self-winding mechanical movement features a tourbillon with sapphire bridges. Graff, 103 E. Oak St., 312-604-1000
3. Produced by Panerai, this Lo Scienziato Luminor 1950 Tourbillon GMT Cermica ($171,000) houses a hand-wound P.2005/S caliber with antishock device and 277 parts. Crafted in black ceramic, it offers a second time zone and 24-hour indicator and features a titanium caseback with hard black coating. Tourneau at Water Tower Place, 835 N. Michigan Ave., 312-266-7600
4. This Maurice Lacroix Masterpiece Le Chronographe Squelette ($17,800) features a 45mm case housing the manually wound ML106-7 skeletonized caliber, which is cut and designed with a contemporary feel. The multilevel effect is accentuated by the bottom plate, which has snailed finishing. New York Jewelers, 11 N. Wabash Ave., 312-855-4999