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Audemars Piguet Royal Oak AP Offshore Selfwinding Cronograph...
TOP
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak AP Offshore Selfwinding Cronograph...
$35,999
Free shipping
Seller
Avi & Co NY
83
US
Richard Mille Felipe Massa Flyback Chronograph 18K Rose Gold...
TOP
Richard Mille Felipe Massa Flyback Chronograph 18K Rose Gold...
$149,999
Free shipping
Seller
Avi & Co NY
83
US
Richard Mille RM 011 03 Rose Gold TI
TOP
Richard Mille RM 011 03 Rose Gold TI
$229,999
Free shipping
Seller
Express Watches
6
US
Rolex Submariner Date
TOP
Rolex Submariner Date
$26,250
Seller
Labelle Jewelry
48
US
Rolex Ladies President Datejust Diamond Bezel
TOP
Rolex Ladies President Datejust Diamond Bezel
$4,500
Free shipping
Seller
Cristina's Jewelry
 
US
Rolex DAY-DATE 40mm 18K Yellow Gold President Diamond Dial ...
TOP
Rolex DAY-DATE 40mm 18K Yellow Gold President Diamond Dial ...
$31,999
Free shipping
Seller
Avi & Co NY
83
US
Rolex Daytona Black/18k yellow gold Ø40mm - 116508
TOP
Rolex Daytona Black/18k yellow gold Ø40mm - 116508
$31,399
Free shipping
Seller
WatchShopping.com Inc.
306
US
Chopard Imperiale 18K Rose Gold 31 Diamond Bezel
Chopard Imperiale 18K Rose Gold 31 Diamond Bezel
$30,500
Seller
King Jewelers
 
US
Rolex Daytona 40mm White Gold Blue Dial 116509 Full Set 2018
TOP
Rolex Daytona 40mm White Gold Blue Dial 116509 Full Set 2018
$28,450
Seller
Stein Diamonds
74
US
Patek Philippe 3848/8 Golden Ellipse 18K Yellow Gold Bracelet...
Patek Philippe 3848/8 Golden Ellipse 18K Yellow Gold Bracelet...
$6,500
Seller
European Watch Company
167
US
Patek Philippe Classic Calatrava with Subsidiary Seconds Dial,...
Patek Philippe Classic Calatrava with Subsidiary Seconds Dial,...
$5,995
Free shipping
Seller
Luxury Swiss Watches
 
US
Richard Mille RM 011 Ivory
TOP
Richard Mille RM 011 Ivory
$199,999
Free shipping
Seller
Express Watches
6
US
Roger Dubuis Excalibur Minute Repeater Flying Tourbillon...
Roger Dubuis Excalibur Minute Repeater Flying Tourbillon...
$425,000
Free shipping
Seller
Exquisite Timepieces
21
US
Omega Constellation Ladies 18K Gold
TOP
Omega Constellation Ladies 18K Gold
$3,395
Free shipping
Seller
Cristina's Jewelry
 
US
Omega 14K Yellow Gold Seamaster Deville Automatic Men's
Omega 14K Yellow Gold Seamaster Deville Automatic Men's
$1,250
Seller
Swiss Brands, Inc.
 
US
Rolex Daytona Pink with Baguette/18k rose gold Ø40mm - 116505 A
TOP
Rolex Daytona Pink with Baguette/18k rose gold Ø40mm - 116505 A
$38,249
Free shipping
Seller
WatchShopping.com Inc.
306
US
Roger Dubuis Hommage Automatic Rose Gold Diamond Bezel
Roger Dubuis Hommage Automatic Rose Gold Diamond Bezel
$25,000
Seller
King Jewelers
 
US
Patek Philippe Perpetual Calendar Moonphase Grand Complication...
TOP
Patek Philippe Perpetual Calendar Moonphase Grand Complication...
$65,450
Seller
Stein Diamonds
74
US
Patek Philippe 3970J Perpetual Calendar Chronograph 18K Yellow...
Patek Philippe 3970J Perpetual Calendar Chronograph 18K Yellow...
$82,500
Seller
European Watch Company
167
US
Patek Philippe Pink Gold Calatrava with Rare Scrolled Lugs,...
Patek Philippe Pink Gold Calatrava with Rare Scrolled Lugs,...
$12,895
Free shipping
Seller
Luxury Swiss Watches
 
US
Richard Mille RM 010
TOP
Richard Mille RM 010
$89,999
Free shipping
Seller
Express Watches
6
US
Arnold & Son HM Perpetual Moon 18-carat red gold 1GLAR.U01A.C123A
Arnold & Son HM Perpetual Moon 18-carat red gold 1GLAR.U01A.C123A
$17,000
Free shipping
Seller
Exquisite Timepieces
21
US
Roger Dubuis Excalibur Skeleton Double Flying Tourbillon...
Roger Dubuis Excalibur Skeleton Double Flying Tourbillon...
$214,800
Free shipping
Seller
The Luxury Well
149
US
Rolex 14K Bubble Back Automatic Ref. 3131
Rolex 14K Bubble Back Automatic Ref. 3131
$2,150
Seller
Swiss Brands, Inc.
 
US
Rolex Yacht-Master II White/18k white gold Ø44 mm - 116689
TOP
Rolex Yacht-Master II White/18k white gold Ø44 mm - 116689
$38,039
Free shipping
Seller
WatchShopping.com Inc.
306
US
Dewitt Twenty-8-Eight Rose Gold Automatic
Dewitt Twenty-8-Eight Rose Gold Automatic
$20,570
Seller
King Jewelers
 
US
Rolex Day-Date
TOP
Rolex Day-Date
$13,450
Seller
Glore Jewelry
 
US
Patek Philippe 5980/1R-001 Nautilus Chronograph 18K Rose Gold...
Patek Philippe 5980/1R-001 Nautilus Chronograph 18K Rose Gold...
$116,500
Seller
European Watch Company
167
US
Vacheron Constantin 1930 Cushion Wrist Watch with Fancy Scroll...
Vacheron Constantin 1930 Cushion Wrist Watch with Fancy Scroll...
$1,495
Free shipping
Seller
Luxury Swiss Watches
 
US
Vacheron Constantin Vacheron Skeleton
Vacheron Constantin Vacheron Skeleton
$19,999
Free shipping
Seller
Express Watches
6
US
Patek Philippe Grand Complication Chronograph 5270G-014
Patek Philippe Grand Complication Chronograph 5270G-014
$125,000
Free shipping
Seller
Exquisite Timepieces
21
US
Patek Philippe Nautilus 5711 Rose Gold
TOP
Patek Philippe Nautilus 5711 Rose Gold
$65,000
Seller
Luxury Time NYC
8
US
Patek Philippe Calatrava
Patek Philippe Calatrava
$8,850
Free shipping
Seller
de Boulle Diamond & Jewelry
6
US
Rolex Daytona White/18k gold Ø40mm - 116503 G
TOP
Rolex Daytona White/18k gold Ø40mm - 116503 G
$19,729
Free shipping
Seller
WatchShopping.com Inc.
306
US
Bedat & Co Nº8 Rose Gold and Diamond Watch
Bedat & Co Nº8 Rose Gold and Diamond Watch
$12,420
Seller
King Jewelers
 
US
Rolex GMT-Master II Everose Gold 126715 CHNR NEW
Rolex GMT-Master II Everose Gold 126715 CHNR NEW
$35,995
Seller
Kara's Watches
158
US
Vacheron Constantin 82172/000G-9383 Patrimony Traditionnelle...
Vacheron Constantin 82172/000G-9383 Patrimony Traditionnelle...
$11,500
Seller
European Watch Company
167
US
Breguet Classique Classic Dress Watch Enamel Dial, Ref. No. 3210
Breguet Classique Classic Dress Watch Enamel Dial, Ref. No. 3210
$4,800
Free shipping
Seller
Luxury Swiss Watches
 
US
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Chronograph Summer Edition
TOP
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Chronograph Summer Edition
$55,999
Free shipping
Seller
Express Watches
6
US
Rolex President Day Date 118238
Rolex President Day Date 118238
$24,500
Free shipping
Seller
Exquisite Timepieces
21
US
Rolex Day-Date II / President II 41MM Champagne Diamond Dial
TOP
Rolex Day-Date II / President II 41MM Champagne Diamond Dial
$29,500
Seller
Luxury Time NYC
8
US
Rolex Day-Date
Rolex Day-Date
$35,000
Free shipping
Seller
de Boulle Diamond & Jewelry
6
US
Rolex Daytona Black/18k yellow gold G Ø40mm - 116508 G
TOP
Rolex Daytona Black/18k yellow gold G Ø40mm - 116508 G
$34,409
Free shipping
Seller
WatchShopping.com Inc.
306
US
Bovet Chateau de Motiers Diamond Bezel 18k Rose Gold
Bovet Chateau de Motiers Diamond Bezel 18k Rose Gold
$16,000
Seller
King Jewelers
 
US
Rolex Yacht-Master II NEW HANDS (NEW)
Rolex Yacht-Master II NEW HANDS (NEW)
$35,500
Seller
Labelle Jewelry
48
US
A. Lange & Söhne 385.026 Saxonia Dual Time 18K White Gold (29423)
A. Lange & Söhne 385.026 Saxonia Dual Time 18K White Gold (29423)
$19,900
Seller
European Watch Company
167
US
Patek Philippe Calatrava T-Lugs Sunburst Dial -- Ref. No. 3416
Patek Philippe Calatrava T-Lugs Sunburst Dial -- Ref. No. 3416
$4,995
Free shipping
Seller
Luxury Swiss Watches
 
US
Patek Philippe Chronograph
Patek Philippe Chronograph
$46,999
Free shipping
Seller
Express Watches
6
US
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Double Balance Wheel Openworked 15466BC
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Double Balance Wheel Openworked 15466BC
$76,000
Free shipping
Seller
Exquisite Timepieces
21
US
Rolex Submariner Date Original Diamond Certi Dial
TOP
Rolex Submariner Date Original Diamond Certi Dial
$19,500
Seller
Sea Wave Diamonds
172
US
Cartier Ballon Bleu 42mm Factory Diamonds
TOP
Cartier Ballon Bleu 42mm Factory Diamonds
$29,550
Seller
Glore Jewelry
 
US
Rolex Daytona Black/18k yellow gold Ø40mm - 116508
TOP
Rolex Daytona Black/18k yellow gold Ø40mm - 116508
$31,399
Free shipping
Seller
WatchShopping.com Inc.
306
US
Rolex Presidential Day Date Red Vignette Dial Diamond Watch 18038
TOP
Rolex Presidential Day Date Red Vignette Dial Diamond Watch 18038
$16,999
Seller
Watch My Diamonds
147
US
Rolex Day-Date 40 Green Roman Dial 228235
Rolex Day-Date 40 Green Roman Dial 228235
$30,199
Seller
Labelle Jewelry
48
US
A. Lange & Söhne 730.032 1815 Tourbillon 18K Rose Gold (29553)
A. Lange & Söhne 730.032 1815 Tourbillon 18K Rose Gold (29553)
$112,500
Seller
European Watch Company
167
US
Audemars Piguet Thin White Gold Skeleton Vintage 1960’s Wrist...
Audemars Piguet Thin White Gold Skeleton Vintage 1960’s Wrist...
$6,995
Free shipping
Seller
Luxury Swiss Watches
 
US
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Lebron James
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Lebron James
$72,999
Free shipping
Seller
Express Watches
6
US
Rolex Cosmograph Daytona Rare Slate Dial Zenith Movement
Rolex Cosmograph Daytona Rare Slate Dial Zenith Movement
$35,000
Free shipping
Seller
Exquisite Timepieces
21
US
Patek Philippe 3571/1 Gondolo 18K White Gold Manual Wind
Patek Philippe 3571/1 Gondolo 18K White Gold Manual Wind
$4,850
Seller
Swiss Brands, Inc.
 
US
Patek Philippe Patek 5213G Minute Repeater Retrograde Perpetual
Patek Philippe Patek 5213G Minute Repeater Retrograde Perpetual
$529,000
Seller
Chad Warrick
14
US
Rolex Daytona Black 18k White Gold Dia 40mm - 116519GLN
TOP
Rolex Daytona Black 18k White Gold Dia 40mm - 116519GLN
$29,859
Free shipping
Seller
WatchShopping.com Inc.
306
US
Jaeger-LeCoultre Duomètre
Jaeger-LeCoultre Duomètre
$31,500
Free shipping
Seller
de Boulle Diamond & Jewelry
6
US
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Gold Watches: Elegant and Valuable

A gold watch is the epitome of luxury. For thousands of years, this precious metal has been a symbol of permanence and wealth. Most gold watches are elegant dress watches, though some have a sportier design.

Features

  • 18-karat or 750 gold indicates it's 75% gold
  • 14-karat gold or 585 gold is less common
  • Many gold-electroplated vintage watches
  • Watches with modern PVD coating are in the lower price range
  • Some manufacturers offer their own alloys such as Everose or Sedna gold

Gold Cases: The Mixture Makes the Difference

When gold comes to mind, people most often think of yellow gold. However, many types of gold are used in the watch industry, such as white, pink, and red gold . There are also in-house alloys made by manufacturers like Omega's Sedna gold and Rolex's Everose, both red gold alloys. A unique alloy is Hublot's Magic Gold, which combines yellow gold and ceramic, making it extremely scratch resistant.

Technically, a timepiece can only be considered a gold watch if the case is made of solid gold . However, you can count watches in a lower price range as well, as their cases are made of stainless steel which is then coated in gold.

A gold watch is almost always produced from an metal alloy. Pure gold, which you find in the form of coins or bars available for purchase, is used to plate the surfaces of cases made of a different material. As it's relatively soft, some manufacturers mix it with other metals in-house in order to make it harder and more scratch resistant or to give it another hue.

A value of one karat means that the material is composed of 1/24th gold. Pure gold is thus 24 karat. Watch cases with the highest percentage of gold are 18-karat cases , a value equal to 750 gold. The 750 represents the percentage of pure gold out of 1,000. In a 750 alloy, 75% of the material is pure gold, while the rest consists of other metals. Silver and copper are mixed together with yellow gold. The amount varies, however, in order to slightly change the tone of the yellow gold.

Red and pink gold have a much larger percentage of copper than silver, which gives the gold its reddish-pinkish hue. White gold, on the other hand, has more silver than copper. Particularly valuable 18-karat white gold watches are made with an alloy containing platinum or palladium.

Cases made of 14-karat gold (585 gold) can also be found, although most manufacturers offer 18-karat gold watches today. This applies to watches in both mid and upper price ranges, such as those from Longines, Maurice Lacroix, and Tissot.

Some manufacturers use gold-colored coatings that resemble gold, but are actually something else entirely. The most common of these methods uses a PVD (physical vapor deposition) coating. During this process, the coating is applied via vacuum deposition. PVD coatings can also be made of gold and are regarded as very scratch resistant.

An alternative is electroplating gold on stainless steel cases. The gold layer is very thin; 20 microns is the norm. One micron is 1/1,000th of a millimeter. The gold plating is either 18 or 24-karat gold and prone to scratches, but can be redone if necessary. The PVD method has grown in popularity in recent years, so you will most frequently encounter electroplated watches in the vintage market.

Buying Advice

If you want to buy a gold watch, then you should pay attention to the karats. An 18-karat gold watch is an 18-karat gold watch, regardless of the manufacturer.

The price difference between gold and stainless steel versions of the same watch can be quite considerable. A stainless steel Rolex Submariner with a date display costs about 7,000 euros new, while a yellow gold version in the same condition costs 21,000 euros.

The price and value of an 18-karat gold watch also depends on the price of gold. The market price varies, but has usually been over $1,000 for one troy ounce (31 grams) of gold over the last few years. In the summer of 2011, it shot up to around $1,900. It is unlikely that the price will drop below $1,000. The price of gold watches has gone up simply due to their material worth. In the 1990s, the price was still oscillating between $300 and $400. Since gold also functions as a replacement currency in crisis situations, gold watches are a relatively secure investment. In the worst case, the watch retains value based on the weight of its gold. For this to be the case, however, one should imagine that times are tough and the gold price is thus very high.

Normally, the collector's value and the manufacturer's reputation play a deciding role in determining the price of a timepiece. Gold watches from an independent manufacturer powered by in-house calibers cost the most. Rolex's Submariner isn't the only expensive gold watch they offer. Other series have gold models, such as the Daytona or the Day-Date. The Day-Date is offered with a white gold, yellow gold, or Everose alloy, and the cases are available in many different sizes.

The story is similar with Omega. Their diving watch Seamaster is available in 18-karat gold, and the company offers a large selection of gold watches in their De Ville collection.

Patek Philippe is the ultimate manufacturer of gold watches. No other renowned Swiss manufacturer relies so much on the precious metal like the Genevan family business. The Calatrava is Patek Philippe's most classic series.

Patek Philippe is one of the few manufacturers who doesn't only make the case out of gold, but important parts of the movement as well. A good example is the rotor of an automatic movement, which is often decorated with engravings. Rolex also uses white gold indices - even on the models with a stainless steel case. Not just for aesthetic reasons, either: Gold doesn't tarnish.

Swiss Dominance

According to tradition, the first solid gold wristwatch was made by Girad-Perregaux and was delivered to the German Emperor William I in 1879. Now, around 500,000 gold watches are produced each year, with 90% of them being made in Switzerland. Rolex plays a prominent role in this, as they alone produce 200,000 of these gold watches. In one year, Rolex produces around 800,000 watches, making gold watches a quarter of their total production. The company produces cases in their own foundry. Gold plays an even more important role for the luxury manufacturer Patek Philippe, however. Gold watches dominate Patek's portfolio; there are only a few stainless steel models available. Usually, it's the other way around. Gold remains an expensive exception for most companies. A popular compromise is to create a bicolor watch, where parts of the case and bracelet are made of stainless steel and others of gold. Rolex calls this Rolesor.

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