For Men, For Women

15 Best Skeleton Watches under $500 for Men and Women [2023 Guide & Reviews]

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O. Christopher

15 Best Skeleton Watches under $500 for Men and Women [2021 Guide & Reviews]

Many complain that skeleton watches are sometimes overpriced for their pocket. Maybe they are yet to see that some of the best skeleton watches come for under $500 – which sits well with most budgets.

Where we are used to seeing only the beauty of the watch on top and leaving the inner workings to the rear case, skeleton watches change all of that.

By bringing the mechanism of the watch to the front too, skeleton watches make sure you know all of the horological brilliance that goes into every timepiece on your wrists.

Here are some of the best picks for both men and women selling for under $500.

Best Skeleton watches under $500 for Men

Don't let anyone tell you that skeleton watches cannot be paired with your office wear.

Maybe they are yet to see the options that we have picked out on this list.

Some of the skeleton watches picks here are also great for events – formal or informal.

Enough talk already. How about we get into what we have for you today.

1. OLEVS Automatic Skeleton Watch


  • Automatic watch movement
  • 30m water resistance
  • Dual-tone color system
  • 42-hour power reserve

You know how much we love our automatic watches – and this one comes at an almost steal.

Depending on your style, you get to choose this watch in any of gold, silver, or gunmetal finishes.

No matter the kind of finish that best appeals to you, you get the same intricately-designed skeleton dial on the watches.

If there is one thing that we know about swiss watch movements, it is how they pay attention to the beauty of the watch machine. That only helps make your watch more beautiful on the front end.

Finished off with a decent water resistance rating and premium materials, this is one of the best value skeleton watches for men.

2. Bulova Automatic Watch 98A214

Bulova Classic Automatic Mens Stainless Steel , Two-Tone (Model: 98A214)
  • Sophisticated design with full exhibition dial and case-back....
  • Domed Mineral Crystal
  • Item shape: Round
  • Calendar type: year


Bulova is no stranger to making quality yet affordable watches. Once again, they bring that expertise to their skeleton watches.

The standout feature on this watch is the dual-tone pairing of silver and gold accents. This pairing is done so effortlessly that it looks like a one-color watch.

Bulova also went the automatic movement way here. The watch is promised with a 42-hour power reserve so you should get a watch winder if you want to keep it charged up when not on your wrists.

Note: Check out our watch winder guide here to know if you need one at all. We also recommend some great picks for single, dual, and multiple automatic watches in there.

3. CIGADesign Automatic Titanium Watch

CIGA Design Skeleton Watch Z Series Titanium Automatic Mechanical Wristwatch Sapphire Tonneau Analog...
  • German Design Awards 2020 Winner - A hollowed titanium case with...
  • Premium Material - Case of lightweight titanium, which is 30%...
  • Automatic Mechanical Movement - The customized AAA-level seagull...
  • More Wearing Occasions - It comes with a comfortable silicone...
  • A Perfect Gift - Booklet packaging and page-turning design...


  • Titanium build
  • Automatic movement
  • Silicone strap
  • Dual color options

If you were looking for an outdoor skeleton watch or a heavy-duty pick, it would be this CIGADesign Automatic Titanium Watch.

The welcome choice of titanium over stainless steel means that the watch is not only stylish but durable while staying lightweight too.

At first glance, this watch takes the style of a Richard Mille RM 72-01. However, it retains enough unique elements to not come across as a copy in any way.

Besides the nod to one of Richard Mille’s best-selling designs, this is also an automatic watch.

At 30m, the water resistance is not as impressive but we can make do with it anyway.

4. Stuhrling Men’s Automatic Skeleton Watch

Stuhrling Original Mens Watch - Skeleton Watches for Men Automatic Self Winding Movement Dress Watch...
  • Stun the room with the Special Reserve’s polished crinkle-cut...
  • NO BATTERIES NEEDED: Automatic self-winding mechanical movement...
  • Run by our in-house ST series of automatic movements, the Special...
  • Finished with a 20mm alligator embossed leather strap for...
  • COMPREHENSIVE WARRANTY: All Stührling Timepieces include a 2...


  • Automatic movement
  • Chronograph system
  • Multiple design options
  • Functional GMT
  • Premium alligator leather
  • Sun/ Moon Dial

We don't recommend watches with busy faces as dress watches. If you can pull this off, though, nothing is stopping you from making it yet another dress watch in your collection.

Stuhrling knows to make a watch that is more functional than beautiful. Thus, they added a GMT functionality on top of the normal time-telling functions. They continued that good run with a sun/ moon dial to tell the day and night of the watch.

As if that’s not enough, the company went ahead to put a premium alligator leather on this watch.

To cap it all off, you get to choose from four different design options to get which one best fits your style.

5. Fossil Men’s Commuter – Most Affordable Skeleton Watch

Fossil Men's Commuter Quartz Stainless Steel and Leather Chronograph Watch, Color: Black, Dark Brown...
  • Fossil has always been inspired by American creativity and...
  • Inspired by classic, turn-of-the-century wrist watches, The...
  • Case size: 42mm; Band size: 22mm; quartz movement with...
  • Black stainless steel case with black dial; genuine brown leather...
  • Water resistant to 100m (330ft): suitable for bathing, swimming...


  • Manual mechanical movement
  • 50m water resistance rating
  • Premium, luggage-quality leather strap

Fossil enters this list with not only the most affordable pick but one of the finest too.

The silver finish of the stainless-steel frame aligns with the color scheme chosen for the watch skeleton too. Both silvery finishes sandwich a blue dual between them.

Continuing the premium feel is the choice of a luggage-grade leather strap on the outside of the watch.

At 42mm, this watch is best suited to men but can be worn by women with larger wrists too. Left to us, we would have loved to get this watch in a smaller size (38mm – 40mm) so that more women can get in on it too.

If you have never used a manual mechanical watch before, this might be your initiation to the club.

6. FEICE Men’s Automatic Sports Watch – Best Skeleton Dress Watch for Men

FEICE Men's Automatic Mechanical Skeleton Watch Luxury Sapphire Crystal Japanese Movement Watch 50M...
  • 🎁 Skeleton Automatic Watch: The barrel-shaped design of the...
  • 🎁 Aerospace Grade Material: Frame of carbon fiber, containing...
  • 🎁 Sapphire measures 9 on Mohs scale and has the same hardness...
  • 🎁 Automatic Movement SEIKO NH05: Japanese movement provides a...
  • 🎁 Waterproof of 5ATM: Suitable for rain, cold bathing, not for...


  • Seagull automatic watch movement
  • Glareproof & scratchproof sapphire glass
  • 30m water resistance rating
  • 72 hours power reserve

Octagonal design. Beautiful dials. Amazing movement.

We never thought that we would say this, but this is the skeleton watch that doubles as a dress watch.

The especially cool hue of the silver-tone watch frame and bracelet is a beauty to gaze at. Lasting 72 hours on each battery reserve, you never have to run out of power as long as you are wearing the watch regularly.

30m of water resistance rating might not sound like much. It is, however, plenty if you only go for snorkeling and surface swimming.

To buttress the durability of this watch is the glare-proof sapphire crystal which has been hardened against drops and scratches too.

PS If you decide to want this watch in the traditional design (non-skeleton) too, FEICE has that in store for you.

7. Bulova Men’s 98A147

Bulova Men's 98A147 Analog Display Automatic Self Wind Black Watch
  • stainless steel with all-over black plating and black outer dial
  • open skeleton inner dial
  • Automatic-self-wind Movement
  • Case Diameter: 43mm
  • Water resistant to 30m (100ft): in general, withstands splashes...


  • Combined watch style
  • Automatic watch movement
  • 30m water resistance
  • Exhibition case back

Bulova made this men’s skeleton watches list again – and they did it in style.

We are not even kidding. This remains one of the most stylish skeleton watches – if not the most stylish – out there.

Bulova brought back the appeal of black watches, decking this watch out in an overall black plating.

Going to the watch dial, the skeleton and normal watch dial designs were combined for the best effect. We cannot get enough of staring at the dial ourselves.

Subscribing to the same automatic watch movements that make these kinds of watches beautiful and functional at the same time, we have no complaints here.

8. Maserati Potenza Stainless Steel Watch

MASERATI Potenza 42 mm Men's Watch
  • Quartz Movement
  • Case diameter: 42mm
  • Mineral Crystal
  • Stainless Steel case with Stainless-Steel band
  • Water-resistant to 100 Meters / 330 Feet / 10 ATM


  • Seagull Quartz movement
  • 100m water resistance
  • 40mm watch case diameter
  • Genuine leather strap

This is a first.

Of all the skeleton watches on this list, Maserati is the only one that did without the Quartz movement. Don’t worry about getting a watch winder for this guy.

The 40mm size makes this a standard watch case for most men. If you have larger wrists, though, you might want to look at the slightly bigger picks on this list instead.

The copper-plated stainless steel stands out fine against the premium black leather strap on the watch.

The watch dial itself is a brilliant pairing of the skeleton design with the company’s logo.

Packing 100m of water resistance on top of that, Maserati advertises this one as a casual watch.

Women Skeleton Watches for Under $500

Men don’t get to have all the fun with skeleton watches.

We have chosen these with everything about women's style in mind. From ensuring the size will fit right on most women’s wrists to identifying unique design elements to accentuate your dressing better, you cannot go wrong with these picks.

Let’s dig in.

1. ORIENT Helios’ Winding Open-Heart Display

Orient Men's "Helios" Japanese Automatic / Hand-Winding Stainless Steel Bracelet Dial Color: Blue...
  • Domed Mineral Crystal
  • Butterfly Clasp
  • Japanese-automatic Movement
  • Case Diameter: 40.5mm
  • Water resistant to 30m (100ft): in general, withstands splashes...


  • Japanese Automatic movement
  • Open-heart display
  • Multiple dial options
  • 40.5mm case diameter
  • 30m water resistance rating

What is the bridge between a normal watch and a skeleton watch?

This Helios Winding Open-heart display watch from Orient. That’s what!

At 40.5mm, this watch is a nice fit for most women with average to slightly larger wrists. If you have a small wrist, though, you might want to look at the other watches below. Especially if you don’t fancy large wristwatches.

That said, the Japanese automatic watch has its skeleton display close to the 9 O’clock mark.

This is a fine pick if you don’t know how well you’ll take to skeleton watches yet. If you enjoy this one, then you can go for any of the other full-blown skeleton watches on the list too.

2. Stuhrling Winchester Women’s Watch

Stuhrling Original Women's 595.02 Winchester Gold-Tone Stainless Steel Watch
  • Round watch in polished yellow gold tone featuring transparent...
  • 38 mm stainless steel case with Hardlex dial window
  • Quartz movement with analog display
  • Stainless steel mesh bracelet with push-and-slide clasp closure
  • Water resistant to 50 m (165 ft): In general, suitable for short...


  • Automatic movement
  • Multiple design picks
  • Dual-tone design

Stuhrling was not about to make a beautiful skeleton watch for men and forget the ladies. Thus, we get this fine pick from them.

They took the bold way out with a dual-tone setting. For a brand that has been in the market for so long, it is little surprise that they blended the gold and silvery finishes well.

On the watch dial is a traditional watch face circling the skeleton section. That allows the watch to stay uniquely beautiful while enjoying the best of both worlds.

Lest we forget, you get to choose between the standard design, silver and rose gold dial, depending on what works best for your style.

To round it all up, Stuhrling brings their automatic movement on board.

3. Ingersoll Herald Women’s Year-Round Watch – Premium Skeleton Watch for Women


  • Genuine leather strap
  • Automatic watch movement
  • Uniform design
  • Slightly large

Women with bigger wrists – or those who like slightly bigger wristwatches – will find this one very appealing.

Ingersoll was intentional about the design of this watch. You would observe that too from the color tone on the leather strap being the same on the internal watch dial.

The Herald watch has nothing to hide, showing you all the beauty of the nothing delicately arranged automatic movement powering the watch. Finished with a small chronograph for counting seconds, this is as fine as women’s watches come.

4. Bulova 96P191 Automatic Watch

Bulova Classic Automatic Ladies Stainless Steel Diamond , Silver-Tone (Model: 96P191)
  • From the classic automatic collection. New Sutton dress style in...
  • Diamond
  • Blue Mother of pearl
  • Sapphire crystal


  • Blue mother of pearl dial
  • Exhibition case back
  • 30m water resistance
  • Automatic watch movement

Like the Orient pick above, Bulova also sought to help women who are not comfortable with all-out skeleton watches.

Hanging between the 6 and 8 O’clock hour markers is a sneak peek into one section of the automatic watch movement beneath the watch. The rest of the watch face is populated by a blue mother of pearl dial carrying 5 diamond-esque crystals.

At 34mm, this is the ideal automatic skeleton watch that most women have been wanting to get their hands on. For the fact that the watch face is almost bare, it even doubles as a dress watch on occasions when you feel like breaking it out.

5. Zeppelin Full Automatic Skeleton Watch – Premium Choice for Women

Zeppelin Princess of The Sky Ladies auto Watch RGold 36mm case White dial 7463-5
  • Special features: crystal case back, golden skeleton movement, 12...
  • Model series: Princess of the Sky
  • Movement type: automatic
  • Case diameter: 36 mm
  • Features: Sweep Second


  • Automatic watch movement
  • Swarovski crystals on watch dial
  • Silver leather strap
  • 50m water resistance

Zeppelin might not be a brand that you come across every day, but they have made a name for themselves in the women’s watch niche.

Starting things off with a 36mm diameter sure puts them in our good books.

Inside that watch case is one of the most beautiful, flowery skeleton designs, if you can believe it.

They kept things simple on the color front, extending the silver color spectrum to the leather band also.

With 50m water resistance in tow, this women’s skeleton watch does not shy away from water challenges.

6. Bulova Skeleton Dress Watch

Bulova Men's Classic Sutton Stainless Steel Automatic Watch, Skeleton Dial Style: 96A187
  • Bulova's Men's Classic Automatic Collection features meticulously...
  • 3 Hand, Automatic, Full Skeleton
  • Silver-Tone Stainless Steel
  • Mineral Crystal
  • 100M Water Resistant and 3 Year Limited Warranty


  • Black and gold-tone accents
  • 40-hour power reserve
  • Automatic watch movement
  • 30m water resistance

We almost put this on the list of men’s watches – but we knew it would be best appreciated here.

The buck stops on this one for the best skeleton dress watch under $500 for women with larger wrists. At 42mm, it is not too large for comfort but it is not the average size for women either.

A 40-hour power reserve sounds decent. If you would be leaving the watch for longer than that, invest in a quality watch winder to keep it running and without the need for frequent maintenance.

Closed off with a metalized domed mineral crystal which also protects against scratches and freak falls, we love everything about this watch.

7. Swatch Skeleton Dial Ladies’ Watch


  • 30m water resistance
  • Automatic movement
  • 37mm watch case diameter
  • Premium leather strap
  • Exhibition case back

Swatch gets in on the skeleton watch movement with this amazing pick for women.

Pairing a white leather strap with a stainless-steel case of the same color spectrum provides a sight for sore eyes. The watch dial itself is a combination of white, silver, and gold accents – all blended to look like one single color.

Swatch’s approach to the skeleton watch design is not new, but it looks just right here. With gears in the right place and other internal components peeking out just right, you would be hard-pressed to not buy this one.

At the back is an open/ exhibition design, allowing you to see the other business end of things too. Not everyone that sees the watch on your wrists gets to see that part, but that doesn’t make it less beautiful.

Choose your Skeleton

Who said it’s not nice to have some skeletons lurking around in your cupboard?

With these watches, those skeletons might be the ones to even spice up your style better.

Whether shopping as/ for a gentleman or lady, we’re confident you’ll find what you’re looking for on this list of the best skeleton watches under $500.

O. Christopher