Last Updated:  July 24th, 2019

The Best Skeleton Watches Under 500 Bucks

Skeleton watches are a unique way of showing your style and standing out from all the “standard” watch faces that most people wear. If you grab yourself a watch like this, be prepared for a lot of comments and questions, because most people have not owned or seen one before. 

The biggest issue is often price. Skeleton watches are usually quite complex (non-quartz movements) and require extra care in their creation due to the see-through section that shows the movement.

However, with the improvements in manufacturing these days, you can find some great skeleton watches for under 500 dollars, and even under 100 dollars.

We have collected ten of the best options we could to help you narrow down the options and pick the best skeleton watch for a reasonable price.

Jump right in and see what there is to offer, then read the quick review and specifications to see if it suits you.

1. Invicta Skeletonized Mechanical Hand-Wind Watch

This skeleton watch from Invicta is a great example of a classic style leather strap watch with roman numericals which give it a timeless appeal.

The see-through center is clear but not overbearing. A light gray gearing with a white surround ensure that although it appears busy and complex, it still remains a classy looking watch.

Given it is so reasonably priced as well, it is no surprise that it is only 30m water resistant and has a simple hand-wound movement. But nonetheless, this watch will sit proudly on your wrist.

  • Specifications
  • Mechanical hand-wind movement
  • Synthetic sapphire crystal
  • Crocodile calf-skin leather
  • Stainless steel case
  • Water resistant to 30m (99ft)
  • Case size: 42mm
Invicta Men's 17185 Specialty Skeletonized Mechanical Hand-Wind Watch

2. Invicta Coalition Forces Automatic Stainless Steel

If you want to stand out and show a little bling, then this skeleton watch is more for you.

The thick gold colored bezel with a 48mm diameter, it is actually pretty hard to miss this watch. The mechanics are clearly visible and the hands are lum-coated gold, so make it easy to tell the time.

And, if you want to do some serious outdoor sports with water involved, this is the right pick. With 200m (660ft) water-resistance, a rubber hand, and the crown well protected, there is almost no chance of damaging this baby!

  • Specifications
  • Automatic Movement
  • Mineral crystal
  • Black rubber band
  • Lum hands and markers
  • Unidirectional bezel
  • Water resistant to 200m (660ft) with screw down crown and crown
  • Case size: 48mm
Invicta Men's Coalition Forces Stainless Steel Automatic-self-Wind Watch with Silicone Strap, Black, 25 (Model: 24708)

3. Relic Round Automatic

With an all-stainless steel construction, this automatic watch is a bit of a mixture of a dive and skeleton style. The skeleton interior is quite complex and multi-colored, so stands out well from the more monochrome gray dial exterior.

The stainless steel band is a nice match in color and style as well.

  • Specifications
  • Automatic movement
  • Mineral crystal window
  • Stainless steel case with fixed bezel
  • Stainless steel strap with deployant clasp
  • Water resistant to 50m (165ft)
  • Case size: 42mm
Relic by Fossil Men's Brennan Automatic Stainless Steel Sport Watch, Color: Gunmetal (Model: ZR11853)

4. Charles-Hubert Paris 3887

This is an attractive looking watch that is sure to get you a lot of compliments. With a see-through skeleton case both front and back, it is very impressive to look at.

The gold movement gears and sliver bezel are a nice contrasting color, and the leather band gives it that final touch of class. The blue hands are also quite unique, and make it easy to read the time.

Just be aware that a lot of people have complained about this watch on Amazon because it breaks quite easily. For the price point (around mid-200s) you would expect more from this watch.

  • Specifications
  • 17 jewel automatic movement
  • Mineral crystal - front and back
  • Brown alligator grained leather strap
  • Water resistant 30m (99ft)
  • Case size: 49mm
Charles-Hubert, Paris Men's 3874 Premium Collection Stainless Steel Mechanical Watch

5. Maserati Ingegno

How can you not love a Maserati watch! Their cars are astounding works of craftmanship and their watch is a great buy for under 500 dollars.

It’s really style all around, as you would expect from an Italian company. Gold hands and markets. A black calf-leather band. A wide white face with simple gray movement pieces. 

All in all, nothing unusual or over the top, just a great looking watch that will work in any situation and impress with it’s looks and skeleton interior.

  • Specifications
  • Automatic movement (self-winding)
  • Stainless steel case
  • Black calf-leather strap
  • Water resistant to 100m (330ft)
  • Case size: 45mm
Maserati ingegno Mens Analog Automatic Watch with Leather Bracelet R8821119002

6. Thomas Earnshaw Westminster Black

A little more unusual than many of the sub-500 dollar watches in this review. The Thomas Earnshaw will definitely get you noticed.

With roman numerals on the markers and a sub-dial for seconds, it screams “look at me” from the minute you even notice it. With a mixture of gold, black and metal movement parts, it is classic, classy and unique, all at the same time.

Not very water resistant, at 50m, but then it has a leather band, so you wouldn’t use it for diving. The 42mm size is also standard for 2018. All in all a great example of skeleton watch flair.

  • Specifications
  • Automatic movement
  • Sub-dial for the second hand
  • Black leather strap
  • Water resistant to 50 m (165 ft)
  • Case size: 42mm
Thomas Earnshaw Men's Westminster 42mm Black Leather Band Steel Case Automatic Analog Watch ES-8041-04

7. Stuhrling Skeleton Dress Automatic Watch

Stuhrling have produced the best watch in this review with this one. It is a watch that should be way above it’s price point, not only due to the quality, but also the features you get.

So, let’s run through them: GMT dual-time zone (see the smaller black dial), AM/PM indicator and an automatic (self-winding) movement that lasts.

It is also a great watch to look at with it’s partial-skeleton and sub-dials. The gold and sliver look with crocodile leather band are also hard to pass up when you want a dress watch that works well with almost any outfit.

  • Specifications
  • Swiss automatic movement
  • Krysterna Crystal (shatter-resistant)
  • 316L grade stainless steel
  • Features: GMT (dual-time), AM/PM indicator,
  • Water resistant to 200 m (660 ft) - suitable for swimming/snorkelling (not diving
  • Case size: 41mm
Stuhrling Original Men’s Luxury Skeleton Dress Watch, Automatic Movement, Yellow Gold Case, Silver Dial, Brown Calfskin Leather Band

8. Carrie Hughes Men's Steampunk Automatic Watch

This skeleton watch is on the low-end of the price range, but still packs a punch.

The all metal case and band give it quite a sporty look, but the gold colored mechanism with black face and bezel make it really stand out.

For less than a hundred dollars, it is no surprise that it is only 10m water resistant, and not up there with a Stuhrling or Bulova, but it’s still a reasonable buy for the money.

  • Specifications
  • Automatic movement
  • Mineral crystal glass that changes with light and angle
  • Alloy stainless steel
  • Water resistant to 10 m (33 ft)
  • Case size: 42mm
Carrie Hughes Men's Steampunk Automatic Watch Self-winding Skeleton Mechanical Stainless Steel Silver 88226GA

9. Bulova Stainless Steel Automatic Skeleton Watch

Bulova are based in the USA and have been producing some great watches since 1875. This one is a little more outlandish than most, with blue hands and roman numeral markers, that are large and prominent. The rest of the watch is shiny stainless steel – all around.

The skeleton interior is not overdone, being only about 50% visible, but this watch also comes with an exhibition back to show off the movement even more (even if only to you, as you put it on in the morning).

Bulova are known for their quality, so I would rate this as well worth the money if you like the style. And the Amazon reviewers seem to agree!

  • Specifications
  • Automatic Movement
  • Flat mineral glass
  • Stainless steel case and band (Double-Press Deployant Closure)
  • Water-resistant to 100m (330ft)
  • Case size: 42mm
Bulova Men's Mechanical-Hand-Wind Watch with Stainless-Steel Strap, Silver, 22 (Model: 96A187)

10. Bulova Stainless Steel and Leather Dress Watch

Very similar to the blue/steel Bulova above, but with a completely different look. This more classic rose-gold and brown leather skeleton watch will suit those who don’t really enjoy the all-steel look.

This watch also features an automatic movement and display back, as well as easy to read markers with lum. So, great quality and easy to use are the usual hallmarks of Bulova.

  • Specifications
  • Automatic Movement
  • Flat mineral glass
  • Dark Brown Ion-Plated Stainless Steel Case
  • Brown crocodile calf-leather strap
  • Brown Skeleton Dial with Rose Gold-Tone Roman Numerals
  • Water-resistant 100m (330ft)
  • Case size: 48mm
Bulova Men's Mechanical Hand Wind Stainless Steel and Leather Dress Watch, Color:Brown (Model: 98A165)

Which Skeleton Watch Should You Buy?

With 10 great skeleton watches to choose from, I wanted to help you narrow down the choice (because I know it can be overwhelming).

Price: if price is your only concern, I would have a look at the Carrie Hughes, because it is a nice looking watch for under a hundred bucks. Invicta also does a great job at this low-end price.

Best: The three stand outs for me are the Stuhrling and Bulova watches (this is the second one).

Uniqueness: Maserati make a great looking skeleton that is also great quality.

For the rest, it comes down to your specific tastes and which of the various skeleton styles and options you really like. They are all so different, I am sure it will come down to only one or two in the end. It always does!