Skeletonisation is the removal of material from parts in order to make others appear. Skeletonisation is to do it in a through way.

The parts that are most often openworked are the cage of the movement, i.e. the plate and the bridges. The parts that are not necessary are removed, for example, the screw threads or the bridge feet for the bridges or the holes for the bridge feet for the plate.

Another part that can be openworked and skeletonised is the barrel where the drum and the cover can be openworked in order to have a view on the barrel spring. So you could almost say that an openworked or skeletonised barrel has a natural power reserve display. When the coils of the spring are tightened towards the centre it goes towards the full winding and it is the opposite if they are towards the outside.

When only one or several bridges are openworked, it is called openwork. When the bridges, the plate and the barrel are openworked, we speak of skeletonisation because the whole is through.

Advantages: The openwork and skeletonisation brings an interesting aesthetic aspect. Also, it allows a better understanding of the functioning of a mechanism.

Disadvantages: Openwork and skeletonisation can weaken the structure of the movement cage (i.e. bridges and plate). Also, when adding and skeletonizing the components that appear afterwards must logically be decorated.

Openwork and skeletonisation lend themselves well to the craft method. The pieces can be traced with a compass and then cut with a wire. They are then deburred, their edges are perfectly smoothed and then a bevelling can be done.

For the semi-artisanal method, the bridges and plates can be stamped. This way, you don’t have to go through the stage of tracing with a compass and cutting with a bocil. Then the bridges and the plate can have their edges smoothed and once this work is well done they can be angled.

For the industrial method, the bridges and plates will be stamped to allow for the openings. They will then be finished according to the customer’s taste. The edges and the bevelling can be done in a simpler way as these are often non-functional dimensions.