These Japanese watchmakers are designing stunning full skeleton Tourbillon watches that rival any Richard Mille

You won’t have to dissolve your 401k to flaunt this skeleton tourbillon wristwatch. A good skeleton tourbillon watch (think Richard Mille) can cost you more than a house… ZEROOTIME’s watches, on the other hand, look just as luxurious, but at 1/100th the price.

Designer: SYUU / Chief designer of ZEROOTIME

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The word Tourbillon’s usually synonymous with luxury… and there’s a pretty interesting story behind it. Invented more than 200 years ago by Abraham-Louis Breguet, a Parisian watchmaker, the tourbillon’s purpose was to fight off the pesky effects of gravity on a pocket watch’s intricate movement. To circumvent this, Breguet devised a small cage in which to mount the most important components – the escapement and balance wheel – and had it constantly rotate so as to negate positional errors. He called it a “tourbillon”, meaning “whirlwind” in French, and earned a patent for it in 1801. While watches today don’t really rely on a tourbillon to accurately depict the time, the tourbillon’s incredibly intricate design is considered a work of true art and craftsmanship, and luxury brands charge a premium to decorate their timepieces with this preciously assembled ‘mechanical jewel’.

Left: T3 The Leo. Right: T4 The Archer

However, the watchmakers at Japan-based ZEROOTIME are challenging that notion with their affordable Skeleton Tourbillon Watches. By relying on crowdfunding (where you circumvent barriers like retail costs, brand markups, showroom fees, expensive exhibitions) and delivering to-order watches directly to passionate consumers, ZEROOTIME’s been able to make and sell watches at their ‘true cost’. ZEROOTIME debuted their 2021 collection with the T1 and T2 in August, and are now unveiling the next timepieces in the series – the T3 and T4, both of which come with a skeleton tourbillon encased in a design that reveals exactly how brilliantly complex the watches are.

T3 The Leo in Silver Case, Silver Dial.

​Named LEO (after the constellation), the T3 is a stunning watch to look at. Armed with a self-winding mechanism that sits within the T3’s absolutely skeletal body, the T3 LEO comes with a 316L stainless steel case, capped with sapphire crystals on both the front and the back, revealing different facets of the watch’s bare-bones design. The front presents the watch’s crown jewel – its skeleton tourbillon – and lets you see not one but two mainsprings that power the watch’s mechanism, giving it a 72-hour power reserve. The watch even comes with SuperLuminova coatings, ​designed to look like the fangs of a lion. All in all, the T3 LEO is haute horlogerie at its finest and most affordable… but it’s no match for ZEROOTIME’s T4 ARCHER.

*For Indiegogo edition, the corner texts (i.e. The Archer, Tourbillon T4, Full Skeleton and Limited Edition) will be removed.

Christened ARCHER for the way the tourbillon sits within the watch’s bow-shaped armature, the T4 ARCHER is a Tonneau-shaped full skeleton timepiece that truly rivals your quarter-million-dollar Richard Mille, while costing a fraction of the amount. The T4 shares its name with its predecessors, the T1 and T2, both of which also sported the bow-shaped skeletal framework… and just like its predecessors, the T4 takes the term skeletal all too seriously.

In the pursuit of creating a watch that’s as skeletal as possible, the T4 ARCHER comes with transparent sapphire crystal on the front and back, but pushes boundaries by having a transparent rim running along the side of the watch too. The watch’s case, with its sparingly minimal design, comes made from 316L Stainless Steel, and offers a look into the watch’s inner workings from 4 different sides, letting you observe the tourbillon’s choreographed dance. The tourbillon on the T4 is classified as a full-skeleton, since it gives you a glimpse of the tourbillon from all sides without any obstruction. Alongside the tourbillon that sits at the 9 o’clock position, the T4 also lets you see the watch’s double mainsprings that allow the watch’s automatic movement to have up to 70 hours of reserved power.

Both the T3 and T4 come in a variety of colors. The T3 LEO comes with a stainless steel strap in an all-silver or an all-black design with the option of a blue skeletal dial. The T4 ARCHER, however, explores as many as 12 color variants, brought about by the fact that the watch is accompanied by a rubber strap that gives the ARCHER a pop of color while also blending in with the case’s Tonneau shape. The ARCHER’s crown sports a rubber accent too, creating just the right balance between the materials to make a timepiece that has a strong character, even though it sports a skeletal design. Both watches are nominally water-resistant (the T3 is resistant up to 5ATM and the T4 up to 3ATM) and come with a 2-year warranty. At $2,800 and $3,000 respectively, the T3 LEO and T4 ARCHER are perhaps the most cost-effective skeleton tourbillons you’ll ever find on the market. Their design comes with careful consideration, supply-chain planning, and Japanese watchmaking mastery, without those pesky brand markups that you find with upper-echelon brands like Tag Heuer, Breguet, and Richard Mille. The watches also ship in an incredibly alluring transparent vanity case (the kind you’ll definitely keep on your dressing table for years to come), and begin deliveries in April 2022.

Click Here to Buy Now: $1286 $2625 (51% off). Hurry, exclusive for YD readers only!