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TOP
Universal Genève 1950s Flower Petal 18 KT Yellow Gold Bracelet...
S$ 6,943
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
27
US
TOP
Bulgari BBW 33 GL SK collector
S$ 5,975
Verified Dealer
38
CH
TOP
Cartier Jumbo Baignoire Large
S$ 12,518
Verified Dealer
56
JP
TOP
Glashütte Original GLASHUTTE 1-91-02-01-05-30 PANO
S$ 26,612
Verified Dealer
12
HK
TOP
Seiko GRAND SEIKO SBGL003 LIMITED EDITION, WHITE GOLD, CASE...
S$ 55,543
Private Seller
 
SG
Patek Philippe Complications Calatrava Travel Time 4934R-001
S$ 31,868
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
651
US
Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Duetto Medium 256.2.75 Rosegold 750...
S$ 10,710
Verified Dealer
501
DE
Patek Philippe 18K White Gold Chronograph Ref:5070G-001 (New)...
S$ 97,700
Verified Dealer
 
SG
Franck Muller [Nagoya] 【】フランクミュラー/マスタースクエア/6002MQZ REL...
S$ 6,014
Verified Dealer
22
JP
TOP
Glashütte Original 00693
S$ 24,300
Private Seller
 
SG
Rolex Sky-Dweller Yellow Gold - 2019 Unworn -326138
S$ 42,033
Verified Dealer
10
UK
Cartier Tonneau 18k large size
S$ 7,280
Verified Dealer
 
SG
TOP
Breguet Le Reveil Du Tsar 5707BA/12/9V6
S$ 24,951
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
442
UK
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Chronograph 26320BA.OO.1220BA.02...
S$ 263,827
Verified Dealer
183
US
TOP
Patek Philippe Ellipse TV 18K Gold Handaufzug Manual Service...
S$ 5,347
Verified Dealer
410
DE
IWC IW458108 Portofino Automatic Diamond Bezel Grey Dial RG
S$ 18,982
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
109
US
Rolex 18K Rose Gold Daytona 116515LN (New)
S$ 45,000
Verified Dealer
 
SG
Rolex 128238 Day-Date 36mm Champagne Dial President Yellow Gold
S$ 41,932
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
52
HK
Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Tourbillon
S$ 52,000
Private Seller
SG
Rolex Oyster Perpetual Date Yacht-Master
S$ 15,015
Verified Dealer
296
DE
Parmigiani Fleurier Tonda
S$ 11,800
Verified Dealer
 
SG
TOP
Piaget Fully Loaded 15301
S$ 67,074
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
442
UK
Cartier Tank Française 18k Yellow gold large model Full set
S$ 19,152
Verified Dealer
242
PT
Jaquet-Droz White Gold & Diamonds MoP
S$ 9,176
Verified Dealer
501
LV
TOP
A. Lange & Söhne 1 Daymatic 18K Gold Wochentag Automatik Big...
S$ 41,366
Verified Dealer
546
DE
Audemars Piguet 18K Yellow Gold Ref 25721BA.OO.1000BA.02
S$ 94,700
Verified Dealer
 
SG
Corum Romulus
S$ 6,732
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
12
CH
TOP
Patek Philippe Perpetual Calendar
S$ 68,946
Verified Dealer
38
CH
TOP
Rolex Daytona Mother Of Pearl Diamond Dial Dark 116508 UNWORN...
S$ 56,931
Verified Dealer
26
US
Baume & Mercier Classisms
S$ 2,950
Verified Dealer
 
SG
Hublot Big Bang Unico
S$ 27,000
Private Seller
 
SG
TOP
F.P.Journe Centigraphe Souverain Boutique Edition CT G...
S$ 69,359
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
651
US
Omega Specialities Omegamania Rose Gold & Diamonds
S$ 7,507
Verified Dealer
501
LV
Rolex Yachtmaster Men in 18k Yellow Gold Ref: 16628
S$ 20,895
Verified Dealer
15
SG
Patek Philippe 18K WG Annual Calendar MoonPhase Diamond Bezel...
S$ 65,000
Verified Dealer
 
SG
IWC Cal. 852 - AS NEW
S$ 6,452
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
12
CH
Rolex Datejust 31 Rolesor Yellow Fluted / Oyster / Silver -...
S$ 13,190
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
1497
US
Chopard Happy Diamonds
S$ 4,950
Verified Dealer
 
SG
A. Lange & Söhne Lange 1 moonphase RG
S$ 31,243
Private Seller
 
SG
TOP
F.P.Journe Octa Lune LN G 38 A
S$ 51,307
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
651
US
NOMOS Lambda
S$ 14,938
Verified Dealer
AT
Omega De Ville 18k GOLD DeVille
S$ 1,210
Verified Dealer
132
SG
Tiffany Estate in 18k Yellow Gold
S$ 7,560
Verified Dealer
15
SG
Bulgari ブルガリ アショーマ クロノグラフ AAP48GCH 自動巻 99本限定 K18PG無垢 ダイヤ メンズ...
S$ 14,050
Verified Dealer
16
JP
Rolex Day-Date Ref. 18038 (RO 5330)
S$ 13,789
Verified Dealer
161
IT
Rolex Lady-Datejust 28 Stainless Steel Fluted / Jubilee / Pink...
S$ 10,260
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
1497
US
Breguet Classique
S$ 11,775
Private Seller
 
SG
Chanel Premiere
S$ 2,850
Verified Dealer
 
SG
Louis Vuitton Spin Time
S$ 30,000
Private Seller
 
SG
Patek Philippe Aquanaut
S$ 90,000
Private Seller
 
SG
Frederique Constant Manufacture Slimline Perpetual Calendar...
S$ 9,900
Private Seller
 
SG
Harwood 1928 FIRST Automatic Winding Watch
S$ 1,500
Private Seller
 
SG
Franck Muller Master Square RELIEF WHITE GOLD
S$ 4,200
Verified Dealer
132
SG
Jaeger-LeCoultre 1950’s Jaeger LeCoutre Futurematic Original...
S$ 4,500
Private Seller
 
SG
Rolex Submariner Ceramic Date "Smurf" in 18K White Gold
S$ 39,115
Verified Dealer
15
SG
Rolex Yacht-Master 42
S$ 48,999
Private Seller
 
SG
Cartier Tortue
S$ 250,770
Private Seller
 
SG
Rolex Precision ladies white gold
S$ 6,300
Verified Dealer
 
SG
Jaeger-LeCoultre Reversing melibee
S$ 11,000
Private Seller
 
SG
Rolex GMT-Master II White Gold
S$ 57,625
Private Seller
 
SG
Vacheron Constantin Mens Solid 18K White Gold ref.6990 Dress...
S$ 5,358
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
567
US
TOP
Cartier Like New Tank Louis de Yellow Gold 18kt 23mm Quartz...
S$ 5,355
Verified Dealer
415
ES
TAG Heuer Carrera Calibre HEUER 01
S$ 7,500
Private Seller
 
SG
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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.