Skulls and skeletons have appeared on clocks and watches almost from the beginning of horology. From memento mori mottos on sundials and medieval clocks, ruminations on time and mortality have proven an enduring motif. Notably, Mary Queen of Scots was said to carry a pocket watch shaped like a skull whose cranium would hinge open to reveal the time. Fast forward to today, and watch brands continue to release timepieces—timed for Hallow’s Eve and Day of the Dead—that feature this single-most identifiable feature of human anatomy.
This Tourbillon Skelet Ceramic – Skull Pointillism is a unique piece of haute horology that celebrates Jaquet Droz’s Ateliers d’Art. The 42.3mm black ceramic case houses a self-winding tourbillon Skelet base and gold skull that was first painted matte black, forming a canvas upon which upon which over 3,000 dots of various colours were handpainted. The technique, known as pointillism, is a riot of distinct dots of colour that when viewed from a distance seem to blend together.
The L.U.C Skull One Calavera Pop Art is yet another Chopard timepiece inspired by Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead). Limited to 25 pieces, the watch is a colourful expression of the Mexican calavera powered by L.U.C 96.53-L calibre, an automatic movement. The watch is set on a black leather strap with green and red lining and stitching, echoing the colours of the dial.
The symbol of the skeleton is a backbone of afterlife imagination, and for this one-of-a-kind watch, De Bethune unveils a dual dial for its Day of the Dead timepiece. The Cempasúchil II has one dial showcasing a dance floor for calaveras, and on the flip side, a calavera that is brought to life with a complex automation, an on-demand button at 12 o’clock.