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Rolex Day-Date 36 18238 Very good Yellow gold 36mm Automatic South Africa, johannesburg
Rolex Day-Date 36
R245 000
Excl. shipping
Private Seller
ZA
Omega De Ville 166.033 Good Yellow gold 34mm Automatic South Africa, Cape Town
Omega De Ville 14K Gold SERVICED
R15 500
+ R259 for shipping
Professional dealer
4,84 (14)
ZA
Rolex Datejust 41 126334 Unworn White gold 41mm Automatic South Africa, Nelspruit
Rolex Datejust 41
R200 000
Excl. shipping
Private Seller
ZA
Jaeger-LeCoultre 21007 Good Yellow gold 34mm Manual winding South Africa, pretoria
Jaeger-LeCoultre 21007
R24 792
Excl. shipping
Private Seller
ZA
Vacheron Constantin Patrimony 92240/2 Very good Yellow gold 32.5mm Manual winding
Vacheron Constantin Patrimony 18K Gold Handaufzug Herrenuhr...
R104 622
+ R2 813 for shipping
Sold by Chrono24
DE
Rolex Day-Date 36 18238 Very good Yellow gold 36mm Automatic
Rolex Day-Date "Tapestry Dial" 18K Gold Herrenuhr Oyster...
R343 757
+ R2 813 for shipping
Sold by Chrono24
DE
Rolex GMT-Master II 116718LN Very good Yellow gold 40mm Automatic South Africa, Randburg
Rolex GMT-Master II, Ceramic Black Index Dial, 18k Yellow Gold...
R652 510
Excl. shipping
Private Seller
ZA
Rolex Day-Date 36 118238 Very good Yellow gold 36mm Automatic
Rolex Day-Date 36 18K (0,750) Gold Automatik Herrenuhr...
R391 232
+ R2 813 for shipping
Sold by Chrono24
DE
A. Lange & Söhne Saxonia Very good White gold 37mm Manual winding
A. Lange & Söhne Glashütte Saxonia 18K Weissgold Handaufzug...
R264 631
+ R2 813 for shipping
Sold by Chrono24
DE
A. Lange & Söhne 1815 238.032 Very good Red gold 40mm Manual winding
A. Lange & Söhne 1815 Glashütte 18K Roségold Herrenuhr 238.032...
R612 784
+ R1 336 for shipping
Sold by Chrono24
DE
Omega Genève 166.070 Good Yellow gold 35mm Automatic South Africa, Cape Town
Omega Geneve Automatic 18k Gold 166.070 SERVICED
R25 000
+ R259 for shipping
Professional dealer
4,84 (14)
ZA
Cartier Panthère 86691 Very good Yellow gold 29.5mm Quartz
Cartier Panthere Lady 18K (0,750) Gelbgold Damenuhr Gold Ref....
R134 514
+ R2 813 for shipping
Sold by Chrono24
DE
A. Lange & Söhne Lange 1 192.029 Very good White gold 38.5mm Manual winding
A. Lange & Söhne Lange 1 18K Weissgold Handaufzug Herrenuhr...
R625 092
+ R1 336 for shipping
Sold by Chrono24
DE
Vacheron Constantin Patrimony 82172/000G-9383 Very good White gold 38mm Manual winding
Vacheron Constantin Patrimony 18K Weissgold 82172/000G-9383 B&P
R287 490
+ R2 813 for shipping
Sold by Chrono24
DE
Rolex Yacht-Master 40 116655 Very good Red gold 40mm Automatic
Rolex Yacht-Master 18K Roségold Automatik Herrenuhr Ref....
R577 617
+ R1 336 for shipping
Sold by Chrono24
DE
K7317 C110 Very good Yellow gold Quartz South Africa, Elandsbay
Kandahar Limited Edition watch
R35 000
Excl. shipping
Private Seller
ZA
Rolex Yacht-Master 40 16628 Very good Yellow gold 40mm Automatic
Rolex Yacht-Master 18K Gold Automatik Herrenuhr Oyster...
R426 399
+ R2 813 for shipping
Sold by Chrono24
DE
Rolex Day-Date 36 18038 Very good Yellow gold 36mm Automatic
Rolex Day-Date 18K (0,750) Gold Automatik Herrenuhr Oyster...
R329 690
+ R2 813 for shipping
Sold by Chrono24
DE
Patek Philippe Calatrava 5196R-001 Very good Red gold 37mm Manual winding
Patek Philippe Calatrava 18K Roségold Herrenuhr Gold Ref....
R322 657
+ R2 813 for shipping
Sold by Chrono24
DE
Omega Constellation Day-Date 168.029 Very good Yellow gold 35mm Automatic South Africa, Cape Town
Omega Constellation 18k Gold "C-Case" Cal.751
R50 000
+ R259 for shipping
Professional dealer
4,84 (14)
ZA
Rolex Daytona 16528 Very good Yellow gold 38mm Automatic
Rolex Daytona Zenith Chronograph 18K Gold Diamanten Automatik...
R994 345
+ R1 336 for shipping
Sold by Chrono24
DE
Patek Philippe Calatrava 3744 Very good Yellow gold 33mm Quartz
Patek Philippe Calatrava 18K (0,750) Gelbgold Herrenuhr Gold...
R118 688
+ R2 813 for shipping
Sold by Chrono24
DE
Rolex Daytona 16518 Very good Yellow gold 38.5mm Automatic
Rolex Daytona Chronograph 18K Gold Automatik Herrenuhr Oyster...
R495 326
+ R1 336 for shipping
Sold by Chrono24
DE
Jaeger-LeCoultre Duomètre Q6062520 Unworn Yellow gold 42mm Manual winding
Jaeger-LeCoultre Duometre Unique Travel Time 18K Gold Q6062520...
R521 350
+ R1 336 for shipping
Sold by Chrono24
DE
Hublot Classic Fusion Blue 511.OX.7180.LR Unworn Rose gold Automatic South Africa, East London
Hublot Classic Fusion Blue King Gold 18K 45mm
R180 000
Excl. shipping
Private Seller
ZA
Patek Philippe Calatrava 5296G-001 Very good White gold 38mm Automatic
Patek Philippe Calatrava 18K Weissgold Automatik Gold Herrenuh...
R440 466
+ R1 336 for shipping
Sold by Chrono24
DE
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Very good Yellow gold 36mm Automatic
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak 36 Datum 18K (0,750) Gelbgold...
R563 550
+ R1 336 for shipping
Sold by Chrono24
DE
Rolex Day-Date 36 1803 Very good Yellow gold 36mm Automatic
Rolex Day-Date 36 18K (0,750) Gold Automatik Herrenuhr Oyster...
R157 372
+ R2 813 for shipping
Sold by Chrono24
DE
Rolex Day-Date 36 1803 Very good Yellow gold 36mm Automatic
Rolex Day-Date 36 18K (0,750) Gold Automatik Herrenuhr Oyster...
R160 889
+ R2 813 for shipping
Sold by Chrono24
DE
Rolex Cellini Time 50505 Very good Red gold 39mm Automatic
Rolex Cellini Time 18K (0,750) Rosegold Automatik Herrenuhr...
R243 531
+ R2 813 for shipping
Sold by Chrono24
DE

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.