Featured Brand: Hermès
A Hermès Kelly bag is more than just an accessory - it's an investment – that is …Read more
Finding the best gold watches can be a challenge, but this guide should help you navigate the labyrinth of gold types, carats, and various luxury brands.
Watches can be manufactured using several materials, including:
Some watches use a combination of materials, or pair a contrasting strap and case combo. A watch with a gold case and leather strap can be just as appealing as one with a gold bracelet.
Other materials are commonly used in watchmaking for durable components and dials.
The use of gold in watches has typically been for aesthetic purposes.
The first gold watches date back to between 1533 and 1603, and were created for Queen Elizabeth I. They were adorned with emeralds, pearls, and other precious stones.
Because golden watches have always been considered a status symbol, they are eternally popular.
Gold was originally used in wristwatches for its resistance to corrosion, which made it a popular choice for marine chronometers.
The desirability of materials also began to make gold more popular, and a watch made of gold became synonymous with prosperity and style.
The introduction of other materials gave consumers a greater choice in the luxury watch market. It may have seemed that gold’s popularity was waning, but it was just that the choice of stylish materials was getting broader. Other popular materials used in high-end watch-making include:
The increasing price of gold in the 1980s and the ground-breaking technology of the digital age saw the demand for golden watches decline.
Even during these times, however, gold watches remained popular among some watch enthusiasts and never dropped off completely.
As discerning enthusiasts explore the new and vintage watch markets, gold is proving to be as popular as ever.
The type of gold used for a watch will determine its value. The various golds used include:
Yellow gold is typically created using zinc, copper and silver and is the closest gold colour to pure gold.
Yellow gold seemed to be losing its appeal but appears to be bursting back on the scene. Once seen as too bold and garish, the distinctive colour is set to make a strong comeback in 2023.
Rose gold is a mixture of copper and pure gold. The copper used gives it a slight red hue, hence the name.
Rose gold is also sometimes known as red or pink gold. The amount of copper in the gold affects the colour and determines how red the metal is.
This type of gold was particularly popular in the 19th century in Russia, and also used to be known as Russian gold.
White gold is typically created by mixing gold with a combination of silver, palladium and nickel. The proportions of these additional materials have different effects on the gold; a higher nickel content makes the alloy stronger, for example.
To create a softer metal that is better for setting gemstones, a higher proportion of palladium would be suitable.
Rhodium plating is typically used on white gold items to give them colour and additional protection.
Gold-plated watches are made from different materials that are coated in a thin layer of gold. A gold-plated watch is an affordable alternative to a more expensive timepiece – the stylish appearance of a gold accessory with a less intimidating price tag.
Exclusive watch brands don’t use gold plating, as it is not a long-lasting, high-quality production method.
Gold-filled watches use the same concept as gold-plated options. The main difference is that gold-filled watches typically have a thicker layer of gold.
Gold-capped watches consist of a solid gold shell that covers the watch’s case. Typically 14ct or 18ct gold is used to cover stainless steel cases.
High-end brands, including Rolex and Omega, have entered this market and offer some beautiful models with all the style of a “normal” gold watch.
Bi-colour watches combine gold with other materials, like titanium or stainless steel. White gold and yellow gold can be used to create contrast in a timepiece’s case.
Solid gold watches are the real deal. While there are many great alternatives, a solid gold accessory is the most costly option you can buy.
The quality of gold is determined by its carat count, but don’t be fooled by thinking the higher the carat, the better the watch.
A carat is a ratio that determines the gold proportion in an alloy. This proportion is rated out of 24 and the purest form of gold is 24ct.
Lower proportions can be better suited to watchmaking, as gold is a relatively soft metal that can be easily damaged.
18ct gold watches signify an alloy ratio of 18 parts gold out of 24. They are more durable than pure gold alternatives but still contain a high gold ratio.
The most commonly used carat ratios in watch-making are 18ct, 22ct, and 24ct.
Watch manufacturers use other precious materials to make different components of their devices stand out. Diamonds and gems are often used for decorative purposes and give a watch an even greater elegance.
The use of coloured gemstones can create a huge demand. Rolex Rainbow watches, for example, use coloured sapphires for an incredible ombré effect. Because it is extremely difficult to get the perfect colour gemstones, these watches are incredibly rare and sought after.
Other precious metals, such as platinum or titanium, are used in bi-coloured watches to add contrast to a design.
Purchasing a classic, high-end watch can be a great investment, but it’s crucial to pick the right brand and model.
Reputable brands include:
A watch’s condition makes a significant difference to the value of your investment.
One of the main benefits of using these accessories as investments is that the value of the material will typically remain high. The rarity of a specific timepiece and particular brand adds value.
Apart from the brand and materials, a watch’s worth also depends on the movement (or calibre). From a practical point of view, the general consensus is that quartz is more accurate, but most luxury watches are mechanical; either automatic or manual.
One way to purchase your ideal watch is to explore manufacturers’ back catalogues and join waiting lists for new releases from top brands.
Here is a breakdown of some of the top brands and their best gold watches:
Patek Philippe, founded in 1839, is recognised as being one of the best and oldest watch manufacturers in the world.
Their great selection of watches has found its way onto the wrists of royalty and dignitaries.
Patek Philippe primarily uses rose gold in their watches and haven’t produced a yellow-gold Aquanaut or Nautilus model for some time.
In 2022, the brand discontinued its 7511 Nautilus, much to the dismay of their customers. It is possible to get your hands on one of these rarities, but the waiting list is more than eight years.
In the meantime, vintage gold watches like the Patek Phillipe Perpetual Calendar 3448 are great options. This stunning yellow-gold timepiece was originally fabricated in 1979. The yellow gold case contrasts beautifully with the white face and original black leather strap. This is a great example of a rare gold watch that has skyrocketed in value over the years.
For a more modern example of their craftsmanship, we have the Patek Phillipe Nautilus 5723/1R-001. This model uses 18ct rose gold for the case and bracelet. The bezel is set with diamonds and the brown embossed dial and hour markers with set diamonds make it a very desirable model.
Audemars Piguet is known for creating high-quality timepieces in low quantities.
The Royal Oak Chrono Frosted – 26239OR.GG.1224OR.01 is an excellent example of pink gold. The Audemars Piguet Royal Oak uses 18ct pink gold for the case and bracelet. Audemars Piguet uses a unique hammering technique for an incredible finish.
The rose gold Perpetual Calendar 26574OR.OO.1220OR.01 combines brushed and polished areas and has a silver dial that boasts 4 sub-dials.
Rolex is a globally recognised brand, known for its use of yellow gold in its designs.
With a reputation that precedes them, they often have long waiting lists for new models. Investing in one of Rolex’s gold timepieces is generally a wise move.
In 2005, Rolex introduced Everose Gold; a patented 18ct pink gold alloy of copper, pure gold, and platinum. Everose gold is designed to retain its colour and is used on all their pink gold Oyster collection.
Rolex’s best gold watches include:
The Rolex Submariner Dial is a rare and collectable timepiece from 1977. The yellow gold bracelet and case give this a distinctive look.
The Rolex DateJust 31mm 68278 is another excellent example of an 18ct yellow gold watch and bracelet. The blue dial is decorated with diamond indexes and wonderfully contrasts the brighter gold case.
The Rolex Daytona Meteorite Dial 116508 from 2021 boasts a crisp white dial and sapphire crystal glass. The bracelet matches the 18ct yellow gold case. This contrasts beautifully with an 18ct white gold bezel.
Cartier’s work has been worn by sultans, czars and royals and continues to be popular today.
The Cartier Santos Skeleton Rose Gold WHSA0016 is a beautiful example of their craftsmanship. The rose gold case and bracelet create a simple and dignified style. The unique skeletonised dual displays Roman numerals and allow the user to view the 20 jewels housed within.
Richard Mille watches are known for impeccably high standards and for using unique materials.
Bold designs and unwavering support mean Richard Mille watches can grow in value after purchase, making them a great investment.
The brand has never worked with yellow gold and the examples below show their preference for rose gold.
The Richard Mille RM033 Rose Gold is a 2017 model that comes with a dark grey rubberised strap that complements the dark skeleton dial. The rose gold case contrasts well with the darker colours. The skeleton dial allows the user to witness the ultra-thin movement, a first for a Richard Mille timepiece.
The Richard Mille RM67-01 Rose Gold Diamond also comes with a black rubber strap to create an eye-drawing contrast. Factory set diamonds encase the rose gold casing and the dark skeleton dial makes use of large Arabic numerals.
Choosing the right gold luxury watch is a matter of personal preference and your reasons for buying one. There are specific factors to consider depending on if you want a watch as an investment or an accessory.
Different brands and models also play a big part in choosing a watch. Some enthusiasts prefer a timeless, understated timepiece, while others want something to stand out.
One of the biggest factors when choosing a luxury timepiece is your budget – the best gold watches can cost hundreds of thousands of pounds. If you are lucky, you might make an investment that will eventually be worth the initial outlay.
Buying a pre-owned gold watch can be a great way to find rare models and access top luxury brands. “Pre-owned” doesn’t mean damaged, so you can purchase a high-quality device without going bankrupt.
Unfortunately, some brands’ waiting lists are longer than a year when it comes to brand-new devices. Exploring the market of pre-owned watches is a much quicker way to get hold of a classic timepiece.
In some cases, you might also be able to find great value and competitive prices. The pre-owned watch market is ideal for those looking for rare or discontinued models from the top brands.
Global Boutique offers an exclusive opportunity for you to browse the finest pre-owned gold watches and brands.
Finding the best gold watch is primarily a matter of taste. Thankfully, there are lots of great luxury watch options available for you to choose from.
If you are interested in exploring the best models and brands, be sure to visit Global Boutique for the best in pre-owned luxury timepieces.
Featured Brand: Hermès
A Hermès Kelly bag is more than just an accessory - it's an investment – that is …Read more
Featured Brand: Rolex
Featured Brand: Rolex
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