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TOP
Patek Philippe 1890s Pink Flower Enamel Diamond Lapel Pocket...
£2,769
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
26
US
TOP
Rolex Sky-Dweller 42mm 18ky Yellow Gold Black Dial
£30,282
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
193
US
TOP
Baume & Mercier Vintage Chronograph Black Dial 18K Solid Rose...
£1,250
Verified Dealer
589
UK
TOP
Rolex 218235
£29,000
Verified Dealer
 
UK
TOP
Rolex Day-Date 36 18K Gold Champagne Diamond Dial 36mm
£9,809
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
13
US
TOP
Rolex Men's 14K Solid Gold Oyster Perpetual 6084 Automatic...
£3,777
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
552
US
TOP
Richard Mille RM035 Americas Rose Gold Toro Skeleton Limited...
£231,801
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
12
US
TOP
Rolex Day-Date 40 - Box And Papers - 2019 - Ref: 228235
£30,250
Verified Dealer
16
UK
TOP
Patek Philippe White Gold Annual Calendar, Ref: 5146G-001
£19,500
Verified Dealer
156
UK
TOP
Chanel Premiere Diamond 18K White Gold
£9,750
Verified Dealer
7
UK
TOP
Rolex Lady-Datejust Pearlmaster 29mm Full Factory Diamond Watch
£59,000
Verified Dealer
74
UK
Patek Philippe Nautilus Fully Loaded Rose Gold 5719/10R-010
£465,000
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
435
UK
Omega Seamaster Automatic 18ct Gold Vintage 1959 Serviced 2018
£2,200
Verified Dealer
7
UK
TOP
Rolex Mens 14K Yellow Gold Optimist International c.1960...
£3,763
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
552
US
TOP
Patek Philippe Nautilus
£54,271
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
12
US
TOP
Rolex Daytona - Box And Papers - 2017 - Ref: 116508
£35,500
Verified Dealer
16
UK
Rolex Daytona MOP Meteorite Dial Diamond Indexes Full Set
£29,094
Verified Dealer
18
UK
TOP
Rolex Rose Gold Day-Date 36, Pink Diamond Dial
£15,950
Verified Dealer
156
UK
TOP
Rolex Tridor Day Date PearlMaster Meteorite Diamond Dial/Bezel...
£33,623
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
17
US
TOP
Audemars Piguet Edward Piguet Large Date Tourbillon 18K Rose...
£42,500
Verified Dealer
74
UK
Patek Philippe Perpetual Calendar Chronograph Gents Gold
£65,000
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
435
UK
Omega Geneve Gold, 1967 34mm ref 132.00019
£575
Verified Dealer
146
UK
Patek Philippe Nautilus 5980/1R-001 unworn
£155,000
Verified Dealer
5
UK
Longines Présence L4.743.6.122
£895
Verified Dealer
7
UK
Rolex Yacht-Master II
£31,800
Verified Dealer
137
UK
Patek Philippe Nautilus 5712R Tiffany Box & Papers
£109,323
Verified Dealer
18
UK
TOP
Rolex Yellow Gold Day-Date 36, Box & Papers
£14,250
Verified Dealer
156
UK
TOP
Rolex 2019 Rolex Daytona Green Dial 18K Yellow Gold Oyster...
£36,788
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
17
US
Rolex Day-Date President 18238 Arabic Numerals
£9,371
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
 
US
Patek Philippe 18k White Gold White Enamel Roman Dial Calatrav...
£7,950
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
435
UK
Rolex Oyster Perpetual Date 18ct Gold with original box
£4,850
Verified Dealer
146
UK
Graham GEO.GRAHAM THE MOON
£139,000
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
16
UK
TOP
Patek Philippe Nautilus Ladies White Gold
£25,567
Verified Dealer
1004
UK
Breitling Bentley Motors Yellow Gold - Serviced by Breitling
£12,180
Verified Dealer
240
UK
Rolex Daytona 6241 Paul Newman JPS John Player Special 14K
Price on request
Verified Dealer
18
UK
Rolex Yacht-Master 40 Everose Gold OysterFlex 116655
£17,995
Verified Dealer
129
UK
TOP
Rolex Datejust 279138RBR - 18ct Yellow Gold - Unworn 2018
£24,999
Verified Dealer
88
UK
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Lady NEW Brown Dial 18k Rose Gold
£20,964
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
 
US
Vacheron Constantin Patrimony Skeleton 43030/000J
£12,500
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
435
UK
Rolex Day-Date 40 60th anniversary green dial 228235
£30,000
Verified Dealer
5
UK
Breitling Chronomat 18ct Gold, K13047
£3,665
Verified Dealer
146
UK
TOP
Corum 5971 Corum Buckingham
£125,000
Private Seller
 
UK
Rolex Day-Date Yellow Gold Black Dial - Serviced by Rolex
£11,975
Verified Dealer
240
UK
Patek Philippe Perpetual Calendar Chronograph 5270 Full Set
£83,667
Verified Dealer
18
UK
TOP
Omega Vintage Automatic 18K Rose Gold (Was € 1550)
£1,146
Verified Dealer
95
UK
TOP
Rolex Day-Date 18238 - Gold Watch - Emerald Dial - 1991
£15,950
Verified Dealer
88
UK
Rolex Day-Date II 41mm President MINT Diamond Dial Yellow Gold
£27,502
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
 
US
Patek Philippe 18k Rose Gold White Enamel Dial Calatrava 3919R
£8,250
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
435
UK
Rolex Cosmograph Daytona
£29,650
Verified Dealer
137
UK
Omega Vintage 9ct Gold Dress Watch with 9ct bracelet
£1,260
Verified Dealer
146
UK
Omega Speedmaster Apollo 11 XI Limited 50th MoonShine
£31,000
Verified Dealer
129
UK
Rolex GMT-Master II White Gold Pepsi Blue Dial - 2018 Unworn
£40,575
Verified Dealer
240
UK
Patek Philippe Nautilus Jumbo 3700/1J Fat Links With Extract...
£141,062
Verified Dealer
18
UK
Vacheron Constantin 6394Q 18ct Gold - K1072/1 Gyromax Automati...
£5,750
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
9
UK
TOP
Rolex Yacht-Master 116655 - Everose Gold - Black Dial - 2015
£18,500
Verified Dealer
88
UK
Rolex Day-Date 36 President 18238 Custom Diamond Dial & Bezel
£11,001
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
 
US
Patek Philippe Calatrava 2429
£5,500
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
435
UK
Rolex Submariner Date
£24,650
Verified Dealer
137
UK
Omega Constellation 18ct Yellow Gold, 1961 EL886 with original...
£2,080
Verified Dealer
146
UK
TOP
Rolex Daytona Gold FullSet NOS (C24-123)
£35,561
Verified Dealer
9
US
Patek Philippe Nautilus 5980/1R-001 Unworn UK 2019
£171,800
Verified Dealer
240
UK
Rolex Day-Date 36mm 18038 Ferrite Dial Full Set
£29,050
Verified Dealer
18
UK
Patek Philippe Travel Time 5524G new unworn
£35,000
Verified Dealer
5
UK
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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.