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Halloween isn’t the only skeleton-centric holiday that’s just around the corner! Día de los Muertos, a Mexican holiday on which people remember, pray for and celebrate deceased friends and family members, has grown in international popularity over the last decade. Many watch brands have drawn inspiration from the elaborately decorated sugar skulls known as calaveras, which people make as offerings to the deceased.

Hublot - Big Bang Calaveras Red Gold
Hublot - Big Bang Calaveras Red Gold Modern Luxury

In honor of the Salón Internacional Alta Relojería taking place in Mexico this October, Hublot has released a new limited edition Big Bang Calaveras, available in 30 ceramic models, 20 steel models and 10 red-gold models. The skull on the dial, the background and the bezel all incorporate intricate floral and abstract motifs, carved directly into the material for a lacy, embroidered effect. Hublot CEO Ricardo Guadalupe noted, “By wearing a representation of a ‘calavera’ on our wrist, we become aware of the fact that death is a part of life, and that every moment we are given must be enjoyed to the full; it is also a symbol of remembering life and message of hope, which is very poignant in Mexico.”

RJ-Romain Jerome - Día de los Muertos Diamante
RJ-Romain Jerome - Día de los Muertos Diamante Modern Luxury

RJ–Romain Jerome has a reputation for creating watches with unusual jumping-off points (from the Titanic to Super Mario Brothers), so its Día de los Muertos models are actually on the tamer end of things! Designed in collaboration with famed tattoo artist Xam, RJ–Romain Jerome’s calavera-themed watch captures the festive spirit of the holiday. The skull itself is created through cold-enameling in the champlevé format, in which the artisan carefully carves away the spaces that will be colored in the final product. This model is housed in a black PVD-coated steel bezel set with 108 diamonds.

Angelus Watches - U10 Tourbillon Calavera
Angelus Watches - U10 Tourbillon Calavera Modern Luxury

La Chaux-de-Fonds-based brand Angelus Watches highlights both the exquisite calavera on the left and the tourbillon on the right by stretching the dial to allow each attraction its own stage on this unique piece. (In a sly visual pun, the calavera dial displays hours, minutes… and deadbeat seconds.) The flying tourbillon is constructed outside the rest of the movement, spinning on itself in splendid isolation. The imposing stainless steel case (62.75x38x15mm) incorporates seven separate sapphire crystals, which allow light to enter the case and show off the tourbillon mechanism from all angles. In addition, a sapphire crystal at the bottom edge of the case offers a window onto a linear power reserve display.

Fiona Kruger - Skull Celebration - luminescent
Fiona Kruger - Skull Celebration - luminescent Modern Luxury

A true watch-industry outsider, Fiona Krüger has made a name for herself with an array of skull-shaped watches. Krüger uses her fine arts background and a team of Swiss artisans to create intricately layered and decorated pieces, all by hand. A subtle highlight of SuperLuminova becomes dramatically less subtle when the lights go out and a fluorescent light outlines the skull’s contours.

Fiona Kruger Skull Celebration
Fiona Kruger Skull Celebration Modern Luxury