By Rebecca Doulton
Two watch brands at the SIHH watch salon this year have responded to the growing number of women who are as fascinated as men by the mechanical show put on by skeleton watches but are unwilling to sacrifice on femininity.
Parmigiani watches has selected its Tonda 1950 as the ideal candidate for the new Squelette model. With its elegant, slim profile and balanced proportions, the Tonda 1950 is a beautiful dress watch housed in a 39mm case. Instead of exposing the anatomy of the Tonda 1950 to a full autopsy, the Squelette ladies' watch veils its inner workings with a frosted sapphire glass dial, revealing just a hint of the complex orchestration making the ultra-thin movement tick.
Skeletonising the ultra-thin movement inside the Parmigiani watch - which measures just 2.6mm - meant decorating the 127 internal angles adorning the main plate and bridges by hand, as well as the micro-rotor, which is visible on both frosted dial side and the caseback. Presented in a diamond-set white gold model or a pink gold version with a red Hermès strap, the Tonda 1950 Squelette is an elegant and highly original ladies' watch.
Roger Dubuis watches transports us back to the Arthurian fantasy forest with the Excalibur Creative Skeleton Brocéliande watch. The name of this ladies' watch is derived from the legendary forest in France where Vivien, the Lady of the Lake, trapped Merlin inside an oak tree and combines the art of skeletonisation - which often involves 100th of a micron precision - with the work of gem-setters, who have lit up the forest with a constellation of diamonds.
Entwining itself around the skeletonised architecture of the movement is a colourful trellis of ivy leaves. Each leaf is made from a semi-precious stone in autumnal colours adding a great touch of colour and femininity to the dial without invading the space set aside for the flying tourbillon at 7 o'clock. Equipped with an in-house Roger Dubuis manual-winding movement promising up to 60 hours of power reserve, the rose gold case measures 42mm and bears about 3.44 carats worth of diamonds.
Read more on watches for women at the SIHH watch preview