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A. Lange & Söhne 1815 White Gold - Box & Papers 2015
TOP
A. Lange & Söhne 1815 White Gold - Box & Papers 2015
£16,345
Seller
Mark Worthington Jewellers
133
UK
Breitling For Bentley Le Mans Ltd Edition K22362  - Box &...
TOP
Breitling For Bentley Le Mans Ltd Edition K22362 - Box &...
£15,570
Seller
Mark Worthington Jewellers
133
UK
Patek Philippe Calatrava 5119J Full Set "Never Polished"
TOP
Patek Philippe Calatrava 5119J Full Set "Never Polished"
£11,383
Free shipping
Seller
AP Watches
28
ES
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Chronograph Rose Gold -...
TOP
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Chronograph Rose Gold -...
£23,905
Seller
Mark Worthington Jewellers
133
UK
Rolex 14K Gold Ladies Oyster Perpetual w/ Original Box & Papers
TOP
Rolex 14K Gold Ladies Oyster Perpetual w/ Original Box & Papers
£3,998
Seller
Austins Watches Inc.
232
US
Patek Philippe Nautilus Fully Loaded Rose Gold 5719/10R-010
Patek Philippe Nautilus Fully Loaded Rose Gold 5719/10R-010
£450,000
Free shipping
Seller
Watches & Jewellery of Bond Street Ltd
268
UK
Rolex Day-Date Stella Dial 18K Rose Gold Unisex 1803 - W5504
TOP
Rolex Day-Date Stella Dial 18K Rose Gold Unisex 1803 - W5504
£19,995
Seller
Xupes.com
184
UK
Chopard Happy Diamond Sun Rose Gold MOP Dial
TOP
Chopard Happy Diamond Sun Rose Gold MOP Dial
£4,553
Seller
Juwelier Burger, since 2001
823
NL
Panerai Watch Luminor Marina PAM00180
Panerai Watch Luminor Marina PAM00180
£12,950
Seller
Watchfinder.co.uk Ltd
UK
Patek Philippe Calatrava - Ref. 3520/D - Fully Serviced
TOP
Patek Philippe Calatrava - Ref. 3520/D - Fully Serviced
£7,995
Seller
Time Rediscovered Ltd
25
UK
Cartier VIntage Tank Cintrée - Yellow Gold Paris Dial
TOP
Cartier VIntage Tank Cintrée - Yellow Gold Paris Dial
£7,995
Free shipping
Seller
Watch Club
56
UK
Rolex Datejust
TOP
Rolex Datejust
£7,995
Seller
Jopsons Jewellers
46
UK
Rolex Day-Date
Rolex Day-Date
£14,495
Seller
S.H Cutting Jewellers
 
UK
Omega De Ville - Automatic - Yellow Gold 9Carat Gent's Used Watch
Omega De Ville - Automatic - Yellow Gold 9Carat Gent's Used Watch
£2,350
Seller
Depot Luxury Ltd.
9
UK
Patek Philippe Nautilus 5980R-001
Patek Philippe Nautilus 5980R-001
£57,500
Free shipping
Seller
Watches & Jewellery of Bond Street Ltd
268
UK
A. Lange & Söhne Langematik Perpetual English dial
TOP
A. Lange & Söhne Langematik Perpetual English dial
£47,315
Seller
WatchesofMayfair.com
512
UK
Patek Philippe Golden Ellipse 18ct White Gold(Patek Philippe...
TOP
Patek Philippe Golden Ellipse 18ct White Gold(Patek Philippe...
£10,995
Free shipping
Seller
ChronoEdge
188
UK
Franck Muller Gravity Skeleton Tourbillon 18K Rose Gold Men's...
Franck Muller Gravity Skeleton Tourbillon 18K Rose Gold Men's...
£139,995
Seller
Xupes.com
184
UK
Piaget Ref. 204 - 18k Gold - Fully Serviced
TOP
Piaget Ref. 204 - 18k Gold - Fully Serviced
£1,995
Seller
Time Rediscovered Ltd
25
UK
Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean 42mm Gold
Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean 42mm Gold
£16,500
Seller
Swiss Watch Trader
5
UK
Cartier Panthere Yellow Gold XL 29mm Jumbo (Rare Piece)
TOP
Cartier Panthere Yellow Gold XL 29mm Jumbo (Rare Piece)
£7,830
Seller
Watch Center London
812
UK
Hermès Cape Cod
Hermès Cape Cod
£4,850
Seller
S.H Cutting Jewellers
 
UK
Omega Vintage Caliber 601 Mechanical Men Watch Omega Box
Omega Vintage Caliber 601 Mechanical Men Watch Omega Box
£900
Seller
Depot Luxury Ltd.
9
UK
Rolex Datejust 69178
Rolex Datejust 69178
£6,500
Free shipping
Seller
Watches & Jewellery of Bond Street Ltd
268
UK
Omega De Ville
Omega De Ville
£875
Seller
J.R Vintage
 
UK
IWC Portuguese Yacht Club 18ct Rose Gold Chronograph IW390209
TOP
IWC Portuguese Yacht Club 18ct Rose Gold Chronograph IW390209
£12,995
Free shipping
Seller
ChronoEdge
188
UK
A. Lange & Söhne Saxonia Thin
TOP
A. Lange & Söhne Saxonia Thin
£12,138
Seller
WatchesofMayfair.com
512
UK
Rolex Watch Day-Date 1803
Rolex Watch Day-Date 1803
£7,500
Seller
Watchfinder.co.uk Ltd
UK
Cartier Panthere Ronde Vendome
Cartier Panthere Ronde Vendome
£5,995
Seller
Segal's Jewellers
 
UK
IWC Portuguese Chronograph IW371482
IWC Portuguese Chronograph IW371482
£10,290
Seller
Your Luxury Time LTD
415
UK
Hublot Big Bang Chronograph 18K Rose Gold Men's 310.PT.1180.LX...
Hublot Big Bang Chronograph 18K Rose Gold Men's 310.PT.1180.LX...
£15,995
Seller
Xupes.com
184
UK
Vacheron Constantin Vacheron Skeleton
Vacheron Constantin Vacheron Skeleton
£16,007
Free shipping
Seller
Express Watches
7
US
Rolex Daytona 116528
Rolex Daytona 116528
£18,750
Free shipping
Seller
Watches & Jewellery of Bond Street Ltd
268
UK
Cartier Tank American Chronograph 18k. Yellow gold
Cartier Tank American Chronograph 18k. Yellow gold
£10,000
Seller
Depot Luxury Ltd.
9
UK
A. Lange & Söhne Cabaret
A. Lange & Söhne Cabaret
£9,950
Free shipping
Seller
Chaipaval Partnership
 
UK
Baume & Mercier 3502
Baume & Mercier 3502
£1,000
Seller
J.R Vintage
 
UK
Hublot Watch Big Bang 411.OM.1180.RX
Hublot Watch Big Bang 411.OM.1180.RX
£19,950
Seller
Watchfinder.co.uk Ltd
UK
Rolex Day-Date
Rolex Day-Date
£8,795
Seller
Segal's Jewellers
 
UK
Panerai LUMINOR 1950 8 DAYS GMT ORO ROSSO - 44MM PAM00576
Panerai LUMINOR 1950 8 DAYS GMT ORO ROSSO - 44MM PAM00576
£17,292
Seller
Your Luxury Time LTD
415
UK
Rolex GMT-Master 18K Yellow Gold Men's 16758 - W5386
Rolex GMT-Master 18K Yellow Gold Men's 16758 - W5386
£17,595
Seller
Xupes.com
184
UK
Cartier Tank Américaine
Cartier Tank Américaine
£3,995
Seller
S.H Cutting Jewellers
 
UK
Patek Philippe Calatrava 5296R-001
Patek Philippe Calatrava 5296R-001
£14,250
Free shipping
Seller
Watches & Jewellery of Bond Street Ltd
268
UK
Piaget Classic Ladies Yellow Gold 18Carat Quartz Watch 1994
Piaget Classic Ladies Yellow Gold 18Carat Quartz Watch 1994
£2,250
Seller
Depot Luxury Ltd.
9
UK
Cartier Tortue
Cartier Tortue
£5,750
Free shipping
Seller
Chaipaval Partnership
 
UK
Omega Cal. 265
Omega Cal. 265
£1,100
Seller
J.R Vintage
 
UK
Rolex Watch Daytona 116509
Rolex Watch Daytona 116509
£15,750
Seller
Watchfinder.co.uk Ltd
UK
Cartier Tank Française WE1002S3
Cartier Tank Française WE1002S3
£6,995
Seller
Segal's Jewellers
 
UK
Chopard Happy Sport 18k Rose Gold Non-Factory Diamonds
TOP
Chopard Happy Sport 18k Rose Gold Non-Factory Diamonds
£6,191
Seller
Watch Center London
812
UK
Rolex Datejust
Rolex Datejust
£7,150
Seller
Rivewatch UK
 
UK
Richard Mille RM 010
Richard Mille RM 010
£74,196
Free shipping
Seller
Express Watches
7
US
Rolex 18k White Gold Black Dial Annual Calendar Sky-Dweller...
Rolex 18k White Gold Black Dial Annual Calendar Sky-Dweller...
£19,500
Free shipping
Seller
Watches & Jewellery of Bond Street Ltd
268
UK
IWC Schaffhausen De Luxe Gold 18Carat
IWC Schaffhausen De Luxe Gold 18Carat
£1,485
Seller
Depot Luxury Ltd.
9
UK
Rolex Datejust 26 18K Yellow Gold Women's 69138 - W4875
Rolex Datejust 26 18K Yellow Gold Women's 69138 - W4875
£8,995
Seller
Xupes.com
184
UK
Omega Manual Cal. 485
Omega Manual Cal. 485
£1,400
Seller
J.R Vintage
 
UK
A. Lange & Söhne Watch Datograph 410.038FE
A. Lange & Söhne Watch Datograph 410.038FE
£87,500
Seller
Watchfinder.co.uk Ltd
UK
Patek Philippe Twenty~4
Patek Philippe Twenty~4
£8,950
Seller
S.H Cutting Jewellers
 
UK
Cartier Tortue Monopoussoir
Cartier Tortue Monopoussoir
£11,500
Free shipping
Seller
Chaipaval Partnership
 
UK
Longines Le Grande Classique
Longines Le Grande Classique
£695
Seller
Charles Martin Watch Company Ltd
7
UK
Rolex GMT-Master II with Box and Papers
Rolex GMT-Master II with Box and Papers
£18,195
Seller
Charles Fish
111
UK
Patek Philippe Calatrava 3893G
Patek Philippe Calatrava 3893G
£8,250
Free shipping
Seller
Watches & Jewellery of Bond Street Ltd
268
UK
Cartier Vintage Baignoire Diamonds & 18k. Yellow Gold Ladies
Cartier Vintage Baignoire Diamonds & 18k. Yellow Gold Ladies
£11,875
Seller
Depot Luxury Ltd.
9
UK
Patek Philippe Calatrava Vintage 18K Yellow Gold Women's...
Patek Philippe Calatrava Vintage 18K Yellow Gold Women's...
£6,495
Seller
Xupes.com
184
UK
Panerai Luminor Due PAM00741
Panerai Luminor Due PAM00741
£13,504
Seller
Your Luxury Time LTD
415
UK
Rolex Watch Day-Date 18038
Rolex Watch Day-Date 18038
£9,250
Seller
Watchfinder.co.uk Ltd
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.

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