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TOP
Rolex YACHT-MASTER 40 Everose Gold Black Ceramic Oysterflex...
$22,999
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
201
US
TOP
Rolex GMT-Master II Yellow Gold Pepsi Diamond Bracelet 116758SARU
$169,999
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
201
US
TOP
Jaeger-LeCoultre Geophysics Mens 42mm 18kt Rose Gold
$17,300
Verified Dealer
45
US
TOP
Rolex Unisex Day-Date 18KT Yellow Gold 36mm Black Diamond Dial
$16,000
Verified Dealer
45
US
TOP
Patek Philippe Ref# 5970R-001, Perpetual Chronograph, Complete
$149,900
Verified Dealer
7
US
TOP
Rolex Sky-Dweller 326135
$33,950
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
627
US
TOP
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Chronograph Rose Gold 41mm Black Dial
$34,500
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
56
US
TOP
Rolex Day-Date 18038 Watch with 18k Yellow Gold Bracelet and...
$11,000
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
439
US
TOP
Richard Mille RM11-03 Full Rose Gold
$278,499
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
12
US
TOP
IWC Portofino Hand-Wound Moon Phase IW516407
$20,175
Verified Dealer
529
US
TOP
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore 44mm Rose Gold Ceramic...
$32,850
Verified Dealer
12
US
Rolex 116138 Yellow Gold Datejust with Brown Strap
$10,950
Verified Dealer
 
US
TOP
Omega Speedmaster Moonshine Apollo 11 50th Anniversary 42mm
$41,500
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
655
US
TOP
Patek Philippe Ref# 6006G-001, Calatrava
$25,900
Verified Dealer
7
US
TOP
Rolex Sky-Dweller 326939
$38,950
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
627
US
TOP
Rolex Day-Date 40mm 18K Yellow Gold
$28,300
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
56
US
TOP
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak 26320OR.OO.1220OR.01 Watch with 18k...
$49,150
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
439
US
TOP
Richard Mille RM035 Americas Rose Gold Toro Skeleton Limited...
$292,999
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
12
US
TOP
Rolex 36mm 18K Day-Date Custom "Onyx" Dial w/ Original Box
$8,595
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
323
US
TOP
Rolex Daytona White Gold Blue Dial 116509
$38,995
Verified Dealer
12
US
TOP
IWC Portuguese 150 Anniversary Hand-Wound model IW510211
$15,385
Verified Dealer
529
US
TOP
Patek Philippe Nautilus 5712 White & Rose Gold 2014 UNWORN
$59,900
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
655
US
TOP
Patek Philippe 5140R-011 Rose Gold, Perpetual Calendar, Like New
$57,900
Verified Dealer
7
US
Hublot Big Bang Chronograph Porto Cervo 341.PE.230.RW.114
$20,950
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
627
US
TOP
Rolex Daytona 40mm 18K White Gold Blue Dial 116509
$35,500
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
56
US
TOP
Patek Philippe Calatrava 5127J Watch with Leather Bracelet and...
$15,770
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
439
US
TOP
Patek Philippe Nautilus
$68,599
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
12
US
Omega De Ville Central Tourbillon
$75,000
Verified Dealer
 
US
TOP
Rolex 18238
$12,850
Verified Dealer
7
US
TOP
Rolex 18948
$41,995
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
323
US
Patek Philippe Nautilus 5976/1G
$314,995
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
 
US
TOP
Patek Philippe Ref# 5127R-001, Rose Gold, Calatrava
$21,900
Verified Dealer
7
US
TOP
Ulysse Nardin : Freak II 28,800 : 020-88 : 18k White Gold
$28,790
Verified Dealer
422
US
TOP
Patek Philippe Nautilus 5711 Rose Gold
$115,000
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
56
US
TOP
Rolex Day-Date 118238 Watch with 18k Yellow Gold Bracelet and...
$17,000
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
439
US
Rolex Daytona 40mm Ref# 116598RBOW 18k Yellow Gold 2 year...
$39,000
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
14
US
A. Lange & Söhne Datograph
$104,900
Verified Dealer
 
US
Rolex Day-Date 36 President 18238 Custom Diamond Dial & Bezel
$13,905
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
 
US
TOP
Patek Philippe Aquanaut Travel Time 5650G-001 Advanced...
$284,999
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
282
US
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Rose Gold Black 15400OR
$48,649
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
 
US
TOP
Patek Philippe 7118/1200R-010 Nautilus Unworn 2019
$59,900
Verified Dealer
7
US
IWC Rose Gold / C89 Movement
$5,875
Verified Dealer
9
US
TOP
Rolex Day-Date 40 18k White Gold Green Roman Dial
$29,900
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
56
US
TOP
Patek Philippe Calatrava 5296R-010 Watch with Leather Bracelet...
$19,500
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
439
US
Audemars Piguet ウルトラスリム 14539OR.OO.A067CR.02
$3,740
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
259
JP
Jaeger-LeCoultre Duomètre Q6042420
$22,900
Verified Dealer
 
US
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Lady NEW Brown Dial 18k Rose Gold
$26,499
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
 
US
Hublot Big Bang Ferrari 45.5 mm 18K King gold Watch, B+P
$33,000
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
14
US
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Rose Gold Blue 15400OR
$49,500
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
 
US
TOP
Patek Philippe Ref# 5712R-001, Rose Gold Nautilus, Like New
$74,900
Verified Dealer
7
US
Omega Centenary
$5,275
Verified Dealer
9
US
TOP
Rolex Daytona 40mm 18kt Yellow Gold Green Dial
$45,300
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
56
US
TOP
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Automatic 15300BA.OO.D088CR.01 Watch...
$18,700
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
439
US
Patek Philippe Rose Gold Perpetual Calendar Chronograph...
$252,500
Verified Dealer
 
US
Vacheron Constantin Overseas 4300V/000R-B509
$59,500
Verified Dealer
 
US
Rolex Submariner Date 18k Yellow Gold Blue Dial 16618
$19,313
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
 
US
Rolex Day Date Presidential 18k Yellow Gold w/ Champagne Dia Dial
$20,500
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
14
US
Rolex Submariner Date White Gold Blue Dial (Smurf) 116619LB
$34,699
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
 
US
TOP
Patek Philippe Ref# 5131R-001, World Time, Cloisonné Enamel Dial
$119,000
Verified Dealer
7
US
Richard Mille Red Skull Asia Edition White Ceramic 50MM Watch...
$849,999
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
201
US
TOP
Rolex GMT-Master II Yellow Gold
$28,000
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
56
US
TOP
Patek Philippe World Time 5130J-001 Watch with Leather...
$28,150
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
439
US
TOP
H.Moser & Cie. & Cie Mayu Manual Wind Rose Gold Mens Strap...
$8,299
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
390
US
Hublot Big Bang 44 mm 301.pb.131.rx
$13,900
Verified Dealer
 
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.