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TOP
IWC Da Vinci Perpetual Calendar Chronograph Rattrapante 3754-003
R 231 010
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
181
US
TOP
Audemars Piguet Vintage 18ct White Gold 14647.780
R 108 726
Verified Dealer
604
NL
TOP
Omega 424.58.40.20.52.001 DE VILLE
R 201 314
Verified Dealer
10
HK
TOP
Cartier 1960s Sapphire Gold & Pearl Set Rope Pendant Watch...
R 113 738
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
25
US
TOP
Patek Philippe World Time Chronograph
R 899 000
Verified Dealer
ZA
TOP
Rolex Datejust Pearlmaster 39, official price 112.000 CHF
R 1 115 939
Verified Dealer
28
CH
TOP
Rolex Pearlmaster White Gold MOP Diamond Dial Luxus 34mm
R 284 344
Verified Dealer
511
DE
TOP
Rolex Daytona 116508
R 757 496
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
595
US
TOP
Omega Geneve vintage 14K Gold 1970
R 20 056
Verified Dealer
50
HU
Rolex Yacht-Master 40
R 333 604
Private Seller
ZA
TOP
Patek Philippe Ellipse TV Screen 18K Gold Automatik Automatic...
R 125 286
Verified Dealer
373
DE
TOP
Patek Philippe Grande Complications Ewiger Kalender 18kt...
R 1 237 787
Verified Dealer
1142
DE
Rolex DateJust 31 Diamond Wit Goud 68159 - W6497
R 283 507
Verified Dealer
41
NL
H.Moser & Cie. venturer
R 195 000
Verified Dealer
ZA
TOP
Rolex Lady-Datejust, official price 32.000 CHF
R 298 082
Verified Dealer
28
CH
TOP
A. Lange & Söhne 1 Daymatic 18K Gold Wochentag Automatik Big...
R 451 614
Verified Dealer
511
DE
TOP
Vacheron Constantin Perpetual Calendar 43031/000J-7965
R 272 213
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
595
US
TOP
Patek Philippe Annual Calendar
R 270 979
Verified Dealer
45
CZ
TOP
Breguet Classique
R 181 981
Private Seller
ZA
TOP
Breguet Classic Lady 18k Gold, 29mm.
R 83 468
Verified Dealer
441
ES
TOP
Patek Philippe Gondolo Trapez "v"
R 157 569
Verified Dealer
40
DE
Blancpain Villeret Ultra-Slim
R 59 900
Verified Dealer
ZA
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Chronograph
R 315 000
Verified Dealer
ZA
TOP
Breguet Tradition 40, official price 38.200 CHF
R 382 161
Verified Dealer
28
CH
TOP
Baume & Mercier Hampton 18K Gelbgold Perlmutt MOP Diamond Dial...
R 80 273
Verified Dealer
511
DE
TOP
Jaeger-LeCoultre Grande Reverso Ultra Thin 1931 Q2783520
R 173 640
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
595
US
TOP
Maurice Lacroix Masterpiece Les Classiques Solid 18K Rose Gold...
R 45 999
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
451
NL
TOP
Roger Dubuis Golden Square Whitegold
R 158 740
Verified Dealer
668
LI
Hublot Spirit of Big Bang King Gold Diamonds 45mm
R 602 493
Verified Dealer
2272
DE
TOP
Cartier Like New Yellow Gold 18kt Tank Solo Men Large Size...
R 66 825
Verified Dealer
371
ES
TOP
Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Tourbillon Gyrotourbillon 2 - Roségold
R 2 233 065
Verified Dealer
239
DE
Rolex Day-Date 36
R 200 000
Verified Dealer
ZA
TOP
Hublot Classic Fusion Ultra-Thin 42, official price 25.300 CHF
R 259 864
Verified Dealer
28
CH
Rolex Daytona White Gold - Bracelet
R 528 200
Verified Dealer
58
US
TOP
IWC Portofino Hand Wound Moon Phase 150 Years
R 317 815
Verified Dealer
701
UK
TOP
Cartier RETAIL; $ 31,200 Pasha 18K White Gold - TOP CONDITION...
R 158 907
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
451
NL
TOP
Chopard Imperiale 18K Redgold 4238 bracelet NEW
R 222 303
Verified Dealer
668
LI
Omega Constellation Chronometer Pie Pan shark gold 2852
R 37 636
Private Seller
 
NL
TOP
Cartier 2010 Top Condition Full Yellow Gold 18kt Tank Louis...
R 81 879
Verified Dealer
371
ES
TOP
Patek Philippe stunning solid gold 18 diamonds vintage 1963...
R 83 619
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
166
NL
A. Lange & Söhne Zeitwerk
R 880 000
Verified Dealer
ZA
TOP
Breguet Classique Chronograph 43, official price 48.500 CHF
R 458 596
Verified Dealer
28
CH
TOP
Breitling NAVITIMER 01 ROSEGOLD RB012012 unworn 12230HT
R 232 506
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
132
FR
TOP
Vacheron Constantin Patrimony
R 499 886
Verified Dealer
114
CH
TOP
Maurice Lacroix Regulateur 18K Solid Yellow Gold Limited...
R 44 327
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
451
NL
TOP
Blancpain Villeret Big Date 18k Rose Gold Automatic 150pc Lim....
R 147 198
Verified Dealer
27
CZ
Omega Constellation Date Quartz 31mm Watch
R 75 750
Verified Dealer
97
US
TOP
Cartier Like New Full Set Tank Americaine Rose 18kt Gold Ladies
R 81 879
Verified Dealer
371
ES
TOP
Patek Philippe Golden Ellipse 18k Full White Gold 3748\1
R 200 725
Verified Dealer
50
RO
Zenith Elite Chronograph Classic
R 189 000
Verified Dealer
ZA
TOP
Breguet Marine 35, official price 64.300 CHF
R 642 040
Verified Dealer
28
CH
TOP
Patek Philippe Rare Calatrava 3563 white gold 18kt
Price on request
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
11
CH
Chopard JACKY ICKX LIMITED EDITION SERIES 4 (50 of 250)
R 104 999
Verified Dealer
ZA
TOP
Girard Perregaux Vintage Chronograph
R 187 289
Verified Dealer
6
US
TOP
Patek Philippe Aquanaut
R 1 440 682
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
 
US
TOP
Omega Tiffany & Co - 6525-2
R 66 908
Verified Dealer
26
NL
TOP
Cartier Yellow Gold 18kt Ronde Solo de Cartier Ladies 2987...
R 66 825
Verified Dealer
371
ES
TOP
Roger Dubuis Golden Square 18k White Gold Limited To 28
R 112 071
Verified Dealer
50
RO
Patek Philippe Travel Time
R 750 000
Verified Dealer
ZA
TOP
Rolex Datejust 31, official price 37.700 CHF
R 412 735
Verified Dealer
28
CH
Rolex Strap Daytona 116518 18K Yellow Gold White Dial
R 265 237
Verified Dealer
49
US
Rolex Day-Date 36
R 229 999
Verified Dealer
ZA
Ralph Lauren SLIM 18K WHITE GOLD DIAMOND BEZEL
R 54 594
Verified Dealer
43
US
TOP
Patek Philippe Nautilus Chronograph 5980R-001 Rose Gold Watch...
R 1 516 508
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
 
US
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  • 60
  • 120

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.