Best Skeleton Watch Under 200: Now You Can Afford One Too!

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Skeleton watches are generally considered as the elite class of watches. A skeleton watch lets you peak through the complex inner works of a watch and admires the craftsmanship. For the obvious reasons, a skeleton watch tends to be very expensive.

Brands like Breguet are well-known for their skeleton watch collections and come with hefty price tags. You’ll have to spend more than $100,000 to get your hands on one of those watches. Forget about Breguet, even an average quality skeleton watch costs more than a couple of thousand dollars.

So, owning a skeleton watch always remains a dream of a common bread-earner!

Or is it?

Today, I’d take a look at some of the affordable skeleton watches in the market. And by affordable, I mean $200. This is the lowest amount you need to have some options in this market segment.

Shall we begin the overview of the best skeleton watch under 200?

IMAGE PRODUCT DETAILS  rating price
Overall BestFossil Men's Townsman Watch Fossil Men’s Townsman Watch
  • Water Resistance: 5 ATM
  • Case Size (Diameter): 44 mm
10
Best on BudgetStuhrling Original Men's Automatic Watch Stuhrling Original Men’s Automatic Watch
  • Water Resistance: 5 ATM
  • Case Size (Diameter): 44 mm
10
Swatch Swiss Quartz Silicone Strap Swatch Swiss Quartz Silicone Strap
  • Water Resistance: 3 ATM
  • Case Size (Diameter): 44 mm
10
Relic by Fossil Men's Damon Automatic Watch Relic by Fossil Men’s Damon Automatic Watch
  • Water Resistance: 5 ATM
  • Case Size (Diameter): 50 mm
9.5
Invicta Men's Specialty Watch Invicta Men’s Specialty Watch
  • Water Resistance: 3 ATM
  • Case Size (Diameter): 42 mm
9.5
Kenneth Cole New York Men's Automatic Watch Kenneth Cole New York Men’s Automatic Watch
  • Water Resistance: 10 ATM
  • Case Size (Diameter): 44 mm
9.5
Invicta Men's 'Vintage' Automatic Watch Invicta Men’s ‘Vintage’ Automatic Watch
  • Water Resistance: 5 ATM
  • Case Size (Diameter): 45 mm
9
Sekonda Men's Watch 1224 Swatch Unisex SUOZ147 Silver Glam Watch
  • Water Resistance: 3 ATM
  • Case Size (Diameter): 42.7 mm
9

8 Best Skeleton Watches Under 200 in 2020

Fossil Men’s Townsman Watch – Overall Best

Fossil Men's Townsman Watch

Fossil is a legend in the lower-end market segment. This American brand is redefining the fashion watch industry. All fossil watches are heavily focused on the design section.

Fossil Men’s Townsman Watch is not an exception here. In fact, Fossil has made some interesting design choices with the Townsman watch.

The Chinese movement that Fossil uses in this watch has a relatively smaller form factor. Even the jewel count is low (20).

So, what did Fossil do here?

They used the smaller movement and fit it into a secondary dial case. Then, used the hour markers as the frame-holder. So, the Townsman now has typical case size (44mm) and pulls off the skeleton design in style.

The chrome-toned stainless-steel case front and the genuine leather strap are two material choices that impressed me.

Overall, Fossil Men’s Townsman Watch seems to have great build quality and the semi-vintage style design philosophy that very few watches in the range can offer you.

The biggest downside of the watch is the non-branded Chinese movement.

Product Specification – Fossil Men’s Townsman Watch

  • Movement: Automatic (Chinese)
  • Case Diameter: 44mm
  • Case Thickness: 14.75mm
  • Band Width: 22mm
  • Case Material: Stainless Steel
  • Band Material: Leather
  • Weight: 79.37 grams
  • Water-Resistance: 5 ATM
  • Clasp Type: Tang Buckle
  • Crystal: Mineral

Pros

  • Elegant vintage looks
  • Superior material choice
  • Comes with genuine leather strap
  • Above-average water resistance

Cons

Cons

  • Very poor choice of movement isn’t very accurate or reliable
  • The caliber is very small in size

Stuhrling Original Men’s Automatic Watch – Most Beautiful Budget Skeleton Watch

Stuhrling Original Men's Automatic Watch

Stuhrling is another prime example of a US-born watch company that dominates the budget segment of the market. Stuhrling is also one of the companies that fully disclose the details of the components in the watches.

For example, Stuhrling also uses Chinese movement in their watches just like Fossil that I mentioned above. However, Stuhrling doesn’t shy out to say that their movement is made in China.

Also, enthusiasts like us can have a better idea about what to expect from the movement.

So, Kudos to Stuhrling!

Also, I can guarantee one thing – you’ll fall in love with the design of Stuhrling original men’s Automatic Watch. When I first took a peek at the watch, I was stunned. I have no idea how Stuhrling could offer such a great-looking watch at this price point.

Of course, the watch is not perfect in any sense. But I’d overlook all the downsides of the watch considering the price.

Product Specification – Stuhrling Original Men’s Automatic Watch

  • Movement: Automatic (In-House ST-90090)
  • Case Diameter: 44mm
  • Case Thickness: 11mm
  • Band Width: 22mm
  • Case Material: Stainless Steel
  • Band Material: Leather
  • Weight: 70.87 grams
  • Water-Resistance: 5 ATM
  • Clasp Type: Tang Buckle
  • Crystal: Krysterna

Pros

  • Impressive design
  • Genuine plush soft leather strap
  • Solid build quality
  • Extremely budget-friendly

Cons

  • Mediocre movement, not very accurate

Swatch Swiss Quartz Silicone Strap – Best Quartz Skeleton Watch

Swatch Swiss Quartz Silicone Strap

Okay, I admit that Swatch Swiss Quartz Silicone Strap is not a regular skeleton watch. In fact, a lot of you wouldn’t even consider this watch to be a skeleton watch.

But I guarantee that this is one of the most unique looking watch in the market. This quartz watch is a true transparent watch, from A to Z. The watch uses transparent plastic case with semi-transparent strap. You can see through the quartz movement from every angle.

The biggest strength of the watch is that Swatch Swiss Quartz Silicone Strap is a fashion statement. The whitish body and the red-blue-yellow hand combination are iconic and revolutionizing.

So, if you want come out trendy and fashionable with skeleton watch, Swatch Swiss Quartz Silicone Strap should be on your watchlist.

Product Specification – Swatch Swiss Quartz Silicone Strap

  • Movement: Quartz
  • Case Diameter: 44mm
  • Case Thickness: 12mm
  • Band Width: 22mm
  • Case Material: Plastic
  • Band Material: Silicone
  • Weight: 39.68 grams
  • Water-Resistance: 3 ATM
  • Clasp Type: Tang Buckle
  • Crystal: Acrylic

Pros

  • Fashionable
  • Lightweight
  • Original Swiss movement

Cons

  • Comes with quartz movement
  • Not a true skeleton watch
  • Made of plastic, silicon, and acrylic

Relic by Fossil Men’s Damon Automatic Watch – Best Vintage Skeleton Watch

Relic by Fossil Men's Damon Automatic Watch

Even $200 skeleton watch might be too much for a lot of people out there. Fossil knows this very well and that’s why they have launched the Relic series.

Relic by Fossil Men’s Damon Automatic Watch is the perfect option for those on tight budget. Relic celebrates the vintage styles to go with the name Relic. The design heavily favors gold finish. The case, crown, jewels, and the markers – all have a gold-toned finish.

To complement the gold color, the watch comes with a dark brown leather strap.

You’re getting an automatic watch with skeleton design for under $100! It’s really hard to believe. So, how is this possible.

Apparently, Fossil chose a very cheap movement with the watch.

Product Specification – Relic by Fossil Men’s Damon Automatic Watch

  • Movement: Automatic
  • Case Diameter: 50mm
  • Case Thickness: 13mm
  • Band Width: 22mm
  • Case Material: Stainless Steel
  • Band Material: Leather
  • Water-Resistance: 5 ATM
  • Clasp Type: Tang Buckle
  • Crystal: Mineral

Pros

  • Vintage style design and color combination
  • Impressive finishing quality
  • Decent build quality
  • Extremely affordable

Cons

  • Poor movement quality
  • Golden hands on the golden jewel make it very hard to read time

Invicta Men’s Specialty Watch – Best Build Quality

Invicta Men's Specialty Watch

With the uprising of the automatic movement, it’s quite rare to find a mechanical movement in modern watches. Only a handful of traditional native brands use mechanical watches to carry forward the legacy of mechanical watches.

So, from that perspective, Invicta Men’s Specialty Watch is a very unique and rare find. Why? Because it’s a watch from a new company in the industry for about two decades has launched a mechanical watch.

The watch gives a posh classy vibe. The silvery case and dial background with the crocodile-embossed strap gives a sense of premiumness.  

However, the actual material choice might disappoint you!

First of all, this watch comes with the cheapest movement in today’s collection. After spending hours on finding the actual brand of the movement, I failed miserably. Some people on the watch forum suggested that Invicta sources movement from some unknown Chinese vendors at dirt cheap price!

Plus, the reserved time of the movement is unreliable. Some people had to hand-wound the movement every three hours.

Also, the strap is made from faux leather (polyurethane), not the genuine one.

So, Invicta Men’s Specialty Watch is a cheap watch that tries to look and feel like a premium watch.

Product Specification – Invicta Men’s Specialty Watch

  • Movement: Mechanical
  • Case Diameter: 42mm
  • Case Thickness: 12mm
  • Band Width: 22mm
  • Case Material: Stainless Steel
  • Band Material: Polyurethane
  • Weight: 100 grams
  • Water-Resistance: 3 ATM
  • Clasp Type: Tang Buckle
  • Crystal: Flame-Fusion (Synthetic Sapphire)

Pros

  • Elegant and posh-looking
  • Better than the common mineral crystal
  • Stylish and fashionable
  • Budget-friendly

Cons

  • Very poor movement quality
  • Unreliable needs to be wound every few hours

Kenneth Cole New York Men’s Automatic Watch – The Fashionable Choice

Kenneth Cole New York Men's Automatic Watch

Kenneth Cole is a proper example of watch made by the New Yorkers for the New Yorkers! You might not have heard the name of Kenneth Cole as it’s a very niche oriented brand.

But Kenneth Cole New York Men’s Automatic Watch really surprised me with the pricing and overall quality.

Okay, let me be clear, the movement is the biggest letdown of the watch as it comes from some unknown Chinese vendor. By this point, I understood very well that most of the skeleton watches in this range come with a Chinese movement.

But, the ion-plated stainless steel impressed me. You’ll get this material on the case and on the bracelet as well. Plus, the water resistance is impressive too.  

Product Specification – Kenneth Cole New York Men’s Automatic Watch

  • Movement: Automatic (Chinese)
  • Case Diameter: 44mm
  • Case Thickness: 13mm
  • Band Width: 22mm
  • Case Material: Ion-Plated Stainless Steel
  • Band Material: Ion-Plated Stainless Steel
  • Weight: 113.4 grams
  • Water-Resistance: 10 ATM
  • Clasp Type: Push Button Foldover Clasp with Safety
  • Crystal: Mineral

Pros

  • Complete ion-plated metal finish
  • Elegant looks that go with formal attire very well
  • Minimalist dial design
  • Budget-friendly

Cons

  • The silver hands-on silver jewels make it harder to read time
  • Build quality feels and clanky

Invicta Men’s ‘Vintage’ Automatic Watch – The Gold Skeleton Watch

Invicta Men's 'Vintage' Automatic Watch

Since the beginning of watchmaking, gold watches have been a genre with a dedicated fanbase. And till, this day, there’s a fair share of people who love the gold watches.

Are you one of them?

Good news!

Invicta Men’s ‘Vintage’ Automatic Watch might just be the perfect option for you. Design-wise this watch follows the footsteps of the Fossil watch that I mentioned in the first place. The movement is kept in the smaller dial window and the hour markers work as the frame that hold the dial in place.

From the jewels in the movement to the claps, every single piece of component celebrates the gold color. Invicta also claims that the case is made of 18K gold ion-plating. Overall, this is an eye-catching watch with a poor choice of movement.

Product Specification – Invicta Men’s ‘Vintage’ Automatic Watch

  • Movement: Automatic (Chinese)
  • Case Diameter: 45mm
  • Case Thickness: 14mm
  • Band Width: 20mm
  • Case Material: Stainless Steel
  • Band Material: Stainless Steel
  • Weight: 395 grams
  • Water-Resistance: 5 ATM
  • Clasp Type: Deployant with Safety
  • Crystal: Flame-Fusion (Synthetic Sapphire)

Pros

  • Complete gold-finished watch
  • Premium stainless steel all over the body
  • High-quality clasp
  • Premium finish

Cons

  • Poor movement quality
  • Heavier than most of the watches

Swatch Unisex SUOZ147 Silver Glam Watch – Best for Him and Her

Swatch Unisex SUOZ147 Silver Glam Watch

Swatch Unisex SUOZ147 Silver Glam Watch is another watch from Swatch that celebrates funkiness. In fact, you can see such unorthodox designs from all of the Swatch watches.

But you need to consider another fact that Swatch Silver Glam is not a true skeleton watch as it’s a quartz movement with a see-through style.

While the watch is built superbly, the watch is made of plastic, silicone, and acrylic. So, that’s an issue!

Product Specification – Swatch Unisex SUOZ147 Silver Glam Watch

  • Movement: Quartz
  • Case Diameter: 42.7mm
  • Case Thickness: 11mm
  • Band Width: 19mm
  • Case Material: Plastic
  • Band Material: Silicone
  • Weight: 83 grams
  • Water-Resistance: 3 ATM
  • Clasp Type: Tang Buckle
  • Crystal: Acrylic

Pros

  • Fashionable
  • Lightweight
  • Original Swiss movement

Cons

  • Comes with quartz movement
  • Not a true skeleton watch
  • Made of plastic, silicone, and acrylic

Buying Guide: What Makes A Skeleton Watch Better?

The specialty of a skeleton watch is that you can see through the dial and the case back. All the gears and components working in perfect harmony enhances the aesthetics of the timepiece by tenfold.

So, a good skeleton watch should contain a movement that appeals to the owner and everyone else’s eyes.

Does it mean that a skeleton watch has to have automatic or mechanical movement?

Not exactly!

There are a good number of skeleton watches that come with quartz movement and people love them. For example, the two Swatch watches on my list today come with quartz movement. However, to fully immerse in the beauty of a skeleton watch, it should have automatic or mechanical movement.

Other than this issue factor, you should prioritize the typical factors while buying one.

Factors like build material and quality, finish quality, strap and case variation, and even the type of the crystal that the watch comes with.

Before you rush to buy a watch after reading about the skeleton watch under 200 reviews, you should look into these factors.

Here, let me elaborate –

More: Relic Watch Review: Are Relic Watches Good?

Automatic vs Mechanical

As I said, the main appeal of a skeleton watch is the see-through feature. That means, if your watch doesn’t have interesting inner parts, there’s no point in getting a skeleton watch.

That being said, your ideal skeleton watch should come with an automatic or a mechanical movement. These movements comprise of twenty or more jewels that work harmoniously and tell you the time.

Both of the watches use the spring energy to keep the jewels moving. A typical mechanical watch requires you to manually hand-wind the spring. Once you wind the movement, you’re basically energizing the spring mechanism, and the clock starts keeping time again.

Mechanical movements are quite old and the fact that you’ll have to wind the watch every time you’re watching is quite annoying too.

An automatic movement solves the issue.

In the automatic movement, there is a rotor that moves in either or one direction. You don’t need to move the rotor actively. Instead the rotor will move naturally while you move your wrist.

That’s why people say that an automatic movement receives power from your wrist’s kinetic movement.

However, an automatic watch might cost slightly more than the older mechanical watches. Still, if you have the budget, I’d suggest you to go for the automatic movement.

More: Vincero Chrono S Review: Why Is This Watch So Hated?

Watch Material

The quality and type of material used in a watch determine the quality and premiumness of the watch. Also, companies cut corners in this section to price down the watches.

 As we’re taking a look at the extreme budget skeleton watches, you’ll have to sacrifice a lot in this category too.

For example, a premium skeleton watch might use ceramic or titanium for the case and bezel. On the other hand, a cheaper skeleton watch would use clunky alloy or even plastic to reduce the manufacturing cost.

A lot of watches would feature stainless steel in the construction. However, I doubt that they would use the 316L surgical grade stainless steel, the industry standard.

Similarly, sapphire is the most acceptable option for the dial window protection. Sapphire crystals are quite strong and offer decent shatter and scratch resistance. But as you can imagine, sapphire crystal is expensive.

In a cheaper skeleton watch, we generally see the use of mineral or pseudo-sapphire crystals.

I personally prefer having a genuine leather strap in my skeleton watch. The richness of the leather complements the classic style of design better. However, this is my personal opinion.

You can also use metal bracelet of even nylon strap with your skeleton watch.

If you get the leather strap, make sure to get genuine leather not the faux variant. Faux leather or polyurethane would kill the aesthetics of the watch.

Finally, for the clasp, you could opt for the deployment clasps. Any kind of deployant clasp compliments the premium watches. It is rare to find a $200 skeleton watch with clasps other than tang buckle.

As we’re talking about the budget issue, you should understand that no watch in this low-budget category would come with all the premium material options. If you don’t want to sacrifice, you can always customize the looks.

For example, the case, crystal, strap, and the buckle are all replaceable. So, you can buy a cheap skeleton watch and change all the components of your likings.

Personally, I prefer following this path a lot more.

More: Tissot watch Review: The Best Swiss Watch Brand for a Commoner

Water-Resistant Feature

I know that water resistance is very important to a lot of you guys. But with all due respect, you should NOT expect your skeleton watch to have dive-standard water resistance performance.

It’s not about the price anymore. Even $10,000 skeleton watch doesn’t come with anything impressive in terms of water resistance.

Still, your skeleton watch should come with 3ATM water resistance. Theoretically, 3 ATM water resistance should protect your watch up to 30 meters of water.

But don’t try to push your luck!

In reality, 3 ATM water resistance is only good enough to protect against water splashes and light rain. You’d probably ruin your watch if you wear it in the swimming sessions. So, your skeleton watch must come with 3 ATM water resistance or better.

More: Best German Watch Brands: The Epitome of Craftsmanship

What Is A Skeleton Watch?

A skeleton watch is named after any regular skeleton. While a common watch hides the inner parts under the opaque dial and case back, a skeleton watch uses transparent material (crystal) to show those parts.

Now, you can see the jewels moving harmoniously inside of the case.

Do Skeleton Watches Having Mechanical Advantages?

No!

A skeleton watch is a just another watch with a transparent covering. Everything else remains the same. So, from a technical perspective, a skeleton does NOT have any mechanical advantage.

Then why do most of the skeleton watches comes with a mechanical movement?

So that you can show off all those jewels (at least twenty) through the casing.

More: Akribos XXIV Men’s Chronograph Watch Review: Stylish Budget Chronograph   

Are Skeleton Watches More Fragile Than Other Watches?

No!

This is another major misconception regarding the skeleton watches. A skeleton watch either has a transparent dial or no dial pad at all. However, the outer casing remains the same, just like any other automatic or mechanical watches.

Cheaper skeleton watches indeed have poor build quality. It’s only because companies need to lower the production cost, and they do it by choosing poor materials instead of premium options.

How Accurate Are Skeleton Watches?

As much accurate as any other automatic or mechanical watch!

Having the “skeleton” feature doesn’t determine the accuracy in any way. The accuracy of a skeleton watch or any watch in that matter entirely depends on the movement or the caliber.

A better choice of movement will offer more accurate time. It has nothing to do with a watch being skeleton or normal.

You can even change or upgrade the movement of the watch if they are compatible together.

More: Naviforce Watch Review: The Best Entry-Level Watch Series?

Conclusion

So, what do you think about the best skeleton watch under 200 reviews?

Okay, it’s time to rank the watches. Which one would be the best skeleton watch under 200?

I would call Fossil Men’s Townsman Watch as the champion. Then comes Stuhrling Original Men’s Automatic Watch.

Finally, I would place Swatch Swiss Quartz Silicone Strap in third place.

What do you think? Let me know in the comment section below.

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