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Awesome Skull Watches - The 7 Best Affordable Models

Posted on June 04 2021

The Best Skull Watches

Skulls are a bit weird.

They can be fun, arty or horrific.

Goths love them. Hells Angels love them. And you'll rarely see a Mexican themed restaurant that doesn't use them as decoration.

They have a strange versatility that means that, like my wife, you can decorate your kitchen with them. They can also be used in horror movies to scare people.

As I said, they're a bit weird.

But weird is good. Particularly when it comes to watches. I'm always on the lookout for quirky watches. So naturally, I've come across a couple of really cool Skull models.

Let's take a closer look.

The Best Skull Watch Designs


I'm not going to pretend that all your favourite watch brands are making Skull watches. But there are actually more than I'd thought.

Both the Bulova model and the Mr Jones watch were already on my radar. And some of the others were fascinating pieces that I'd seen but not looked at closely.

I wanted to bring them all together in an article.

They all share two features. They have a skull worked into the design and they're affordable. That second point is important. There are some expensive skull watches out there - but I didn't want to include them in this post.

Why?

Because these designs are fun and lighthearted. Don't take them too seriously. These are all watches that can be bought on the spur of the moment or as a gift.

So dig in.

Bulova Skull Watch

American heritage brand Bulova might not seem like the obvious brand to make a fun skull style watch. You probably know them more for their military watches.

And of course, their moon watch.

But they have a couple of big collaborations in their history. This Hayley Davidson tie-in is one of their more recent.

It's edgier than their Frank Sinatra line.

There are a couple of watches from this collection with skull imagery. This flaming skull model is my favourite.

It's a chunky watch designed to look like a piece of machinery. It’s angular, industrial-looking and lacks numbers or a date window.

At first glance, you might not even notice that it is a Bulova.

But you'll not miss the Skull motif. It dominates the watch.

Despite being a joint-venture between two massive names, those names don’t feature prominently. I like that. Although the watch isn’t subtle - the branding is.

This monster is a quartz model, with a mineral crystal and 100M of water resistance.

Bulova Harley-Davidson Flaming Skull 76A164

  • 44mm Diameter
  • 10.5mm Thick
  • 22mm Lug Width
  • Stainless Steel
  • Quartz Movement
  • Mineral Crystal
  • 100M Water Resistance


Mr Jones Last Laugh Tattoo Watch

The Last Laugh Tattoo watch is colourful, playful and introduces an unusual way to tell the time.

Where Bulova is a well-established brand that occasionally releases a quirky design, Mr Jones is a young British brand that only does strange and quirky.

This watch is typical of the brand. And it's difficult to know how to summarise the watch.

It's quite small - with a diameter of 37mm. The artwork for the Skull is by British tattooist Adrian Willard. It has the crown on the left and you read the time from the skull's teeth.

See what I mean about Mr Jones making strange watches?

It's an automatic watch, with the movement housed in a black PVD coated case. And the strap has turquoise contrast stitching. That's another first for me.

If you want something unique, this is the obvious choice. No other company is making anything similar.

Mr Jones Last Laugh Tattoo 31-M4

  • 37mm Diameter
  • 9mm Thick
  • 18mm Lug Width
  • Stainless Steel
  • Automatic Movement
  • Sapphire Crystal
  • 50M Water Resistance


Nethuns Scuba 500 SB541 Watch

Hong Kong-based Nethuns make vintage-inspired dive watches. That's their USP. Legitimate dive watches that take their design cues from iconic watches of the past.

The Scuba 500 is typical of the brand's ethos and the model that I'd like to highlight is a fun take on this.

The case is the same shape as the standard Scuba 500 - it's a style used by Skin Diver watches from the 1950s. But rather than stainless steel, they've opted for bronze.

That means that this watch will patina and age as you wear it.

The skull design is pretty obvious. It takes centre stage and is surrounded by lumed stars for markers. The bezel is bolted on, giving the watch an industrial look similar to the Bulova.

It has a reliable Seiko automatic movement and a massive 500M of water resistance.

This is a heavy-duty watch designed for diving. But it's far from a typical dive watch.

Nethuns Scuba 500 SB541

  • 41mm Diameter
  • 15.7mm Thick
  • 22mm Lug Width
  • Bronze
  • Japanese Automatic Movement
  • Domed Sapphire Crystal
  • 500M Water Resistance


Invicta First Responder Watch

I enjoy Invicta watches. Yes, they make some gaudy designs. And yes, some of their watches are far too big.

But they get a lot right. Take a look at this Invicta that I bought a while back. It's a Submariner homage, with a Japanese automatic movement. It cost me £50. New.



The First Responder is another diver. It's based on the chunky, 47mm Grand Diver.

It's Submariner style watch, that would be a fairly standard model were it not for the Skull design.

In typical Invicta fashion, they've put their own twist on the skull imagery. Normally, skulls would be associated with punk, metal and biker gangs.

Invicta has released the First responder models to honour the Police and Fire Fighters. The skull here is the sign of authority not the badge of the outsider.

I like that.

This is a very affordable automatic dive watch. It would be a great choice if you wanted to wear your support for First Responders.

Invicta First Responder Police

  • 47mm Diameter
  • 22mm Lug Width
  • Stainless Steel
  • Japanese Automatic Movement
  • Mineral Crystal
  • 300M Water Resistance


Pagani Design Skull Watch
This distinctive piece from the Chinese homage brand Pagani Design is particularly eye-catching.

Like the Invicta, it is a big watch, again with a 47mm diameter. Assuming that the size isn't a dealbreaker, this is a cracking watch for the money.

Stylistically, it's very unusual. It mixes a skeleton design - you can see the automatic movement through both the front and back of the watch - with the skull and mesh dial.

I guess a skeleton watch with a skull does sound logical.

The effect is pleasing. It has the skull that we're looking for, but without appearing tacky. The crown is large and knurled and it has a substantial steel bracelet.

It's very different from the rest of the Pagani range and benefits from that.

It's not a subtle watch. Even the hands are ornate. But it really is eye-catching.

Pagani Design PD-1665

  • 47mm Diameter
  • 14mm Thick
  • 22mm Lug Width
  • Stainless Steel
  • Automatic Movement
  • Hardlex Crystal
  • 100M Water Resistance


Parnis Skull Watch

This intricate skull design watch is stunning. You'll have to stare at this model for a minute or two to fully appreciate the aesthetics.

That's impressive. Especially, considering that Parnis is another Chinese brand best known for recreating Swiss luxury watch designs.

Rather than having a skull printed onto the dial, this model shapes the watch case around the central skull. That skull is complex and features a skeleton background and hands resembling swords.

I'm repeating myself, but it is stunning.

And the skull is fully lumed. It glows in the dark, creating a memorable and coherent face.

The brushed case has a slightly industrial look and the watch is powered by a Japanese Miyota Automatic movement. The glass is sapphire crystal and the watch is finished off with a distressed leather strap.

You won's see anything like this on anyone else's wrist.

Parnis Skull

  • 43mm Diameter
  • 22mm Lug Width
  • Stainless Steel
  • Automatic Movement
  • Sapphire Crystal
  • 50M Water Resistance


Mondia Bullhead Bolide Skull Watch

This racing chronograph comes from Italian based Mondia. It's another very attractive design, this time working the skull into a motor racing theme.

The Bolide is Mondia's version of a Bullhead watch. This design originated in the 1960s and features chronograph buttons on the top of the watch.

It's an unusual design that is popular with brands producing motorsports watches.

This model has a discreet skull working into the dial design. It's subtle and doesn't take away too much from the watches primary role as a chronograph.

Like most of the watch, the skull is black.

The only other colour is the green accents. But even these are kept to a minimum. This looks like a stopwatch. It's got the skull motif, but it's not a steampunk design.

It's retro-looking and ideal if you're a car fan.

Mondia Bolide MI-789-BK-BKGR-CP

  • 45mm Diameter
  • 22mm Lug Width
  • Stainless Steel
  • Quartz Movement
  • Mineral Crystal
  • 50M Water Resistance

 

Conclusion


Skull watches don't sound like a good idea.

If I wasn't already familiar with the Bulova and Mr Jones models I'd not be expecting much from a skull watch.

The concept seems too cheesy. Ok for goths and steampunk fans, but not for many others.

But I hope this list has dispelled that myth. There is more to skulls and watches than gaudy pieces designed for a weekend in Whitby.

Invicta has used the skull to display support for the police - and they've worked the US flag into the design too. Mondia has used a skull in a motorsports watch.

It turns out that skull imagery is more versatile than I first thought.

So have a look at these watches in more detail. Follow the links and then let me know your thoughts in the comments below.


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