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TOP
Chopard Classic 36mm 18k Full Gold 163 grams Chronograph Panda...
5 250 
Seller
Chronos-Ora24
208
GR
TOP
Cartier Tank 18K /750Gold
3 590 
Seller
Uhrenauktion09
83
DE
TOP
Breitling Emergency White Gold - Serviced by Breitling
10 583 
Seller
Mark Worthington Jewellers
202
UK
TOP
Omega Art Deco - 18K Yellow Gold Oversized RARE Men's Timepieces
1 800 
Free shipping
Seller
Pawndeluxe
396
NL
Vacheron Constantin Ref. 81180/000R-9159
14 990 
Seller
SPAZIO 21
 
IT
TOP
Omega Geneve
1 190 
Seller
Kaisaniemen Kello ja Kultaliike Oy
15
FI
TOP
Vacheron Constantin Vintage Rose Pink Gold Patrimony 18K...
4 990 
Seller
Timeless Watches GmbH
349
DE
TOP
Omega De Ville 18k (0,750) Gold Automatik Herrenuhr Ref. 165.008
1 340 
Seller
Zeitauktion GmbH
1560
DE
Rolex Yacht-Master 42 FULLSET 6/2019 UNWORN
27 900 
Seller
Chrono Finland
83
FI
TOP
Zenith Depose
20 800 
Seller
Private Seller
 
FI
TOP
Rolex Yacht-Master II
23 900 
Seller
Stephan Hermann GmbH
132
DE
Patek Philippe Complicated
43 356 
Seller
Tarrytown Jewelers
223
US
TOP
Rolex Pre Daytona 6238 14k gold w certificate
110 000 
Seller
MMC RIVIERA
7
MC
TOP
Cartier Rotonde W1556051 Central Chronograph White Gold 42mm
35 010 
Seller
Taleda
516
CH
TOP
Bulgari Chronograph Automatic Limited Edition BBP42GLCH
8 450 
Seller
FineTimepieces
152
DE
TOP
Rolex Oyster Perpetual Automatic 18K Gold Gelbgold Service...
3 290 
Seller
Timeless Watches GmbH
349
DE
TOP
Breguet Classique 18k (0,750) Gold Automatik Herrenuhr Ref. 3980
4 630 
Seller
Zeitauktion GmbH
1560
DE
Patek Philippe Calatrava 3998 2001 Extract of archives
9 900 
Seller
Chrono Finland
83
FI
TOP
Rolex Yacht-master New 2019
29 200 
Seller
Paradiso Luxury
100
IT
TOP
Panerai Radiomir Whitegold PAM376
13 990 
Seller
Timeless Watches & Jewellery AG
606
LI
Piaget Polo
6 336 
Seller
Tarrytown Jewelers
223
US
TOP
Rolex Submariner 1680/8 Black dial
31 000 
Seller
MMC RIVIERA
7
MC
TOP
Bulgari Tubogas 102450 Rose Gold 35mm
22 342 
Seller
Taleda
516
CH
TOP
Patek Philippe Grand Complications Perpetual Calendar chronograph
90 500 
Seller
CONCEPT LUXURY
214
IT
TOP
Patek Philippe Ellipse TV 18K Gold Handaufzug Manual Service...
3 790 
Seller
Timeless Watches GmbH
349
DE
TOP
Chronoswiss Kairos 18k (0,750) Gold Automatik Herrenuhr Ref....
3 640 
Seller
Zeitauktion GmbH
1560
DE
Jaeger-LeCoultre 36mm Jumbo 14k With original Box/Papers
2 790 
Seller
Chrono Finland
83
FI
TOP
Glashütte Original Senator Navigator Perpetual Calendar NOS...
13 999 
Seller
The Watch Firm
456
AT
TOP
Longines Norfolk Most impressive Extremely Rare 18K Rose Gold
1 550 
Free shipping
Seller
Pawndeluxe
396
NL
TOP
Audemars Piguet Vintage 18ct White Gold 14647.780
6 500 
Seller
Filipucci Juweliers
564
NL
TOP
Rolex Submariner 1680/8 Black dial on strap
26 000 
Seller
MMC RIVIERA
7
MC
Omega Constellation
2 400 
Seller
Private Seller
 
FI
TOP
Rolex Day-Date 36 18 kt Everose-Gold Ref. 118235 Choco...
25 520 
Seller
Uhren2000 GmbH
425
DE
TOP
Patek Philippe Perpetual Calendar
64 900 
Seller
Horando Deutschland GmbH
103
DE
TOP
Patek Philippe Gondolo 18k Weissgold Handaufzug Herrenuhr...
7 130 
Seller
Zeitauktion GmbH
1560
DE
Breitling Cadette 18k Jumbo 38mm 1950
1 590 
Seller
Chrono Finland
83
FI
Eterna 18ct golden BIG Cronograph, serviced rarity
895 
Seller
hankkija ou
1017
FI
TOP
Franck Muller Sunset XL Limited Edition Sparkling Dial - 18K...
5 950 
Free shipping
Seller
Pawndeluxe
396
NL
Omega Genève
1 685 
Seller
Kaisaniemen Kello ja Kultaliike Oy
15
FI
TOP
Rolex Daytona 116509 full set
26 500 
Seller
MMC RIVIERA
7
MC
Chopard L.U.C. XP
3 200 
Seller
Private Seller
 
FI
TOP
Patek Philippe Calatrava Rare 30 Pieces Limited Edition For...
22 800 
Seller
Paradiso Luxury
100
IT
Eterna-Matic 14K gents dress watch
940 
Seller
Harri Asunta
14
FI
TOP
Rolex Precision 18k Weissgold Handaufzug Damenuhr Vintage
3 460 
Seller
Zeitauktion GmbH
1560
DE
Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Mariner 34mm 18k RARE
1 490 
Seller
Chrono Finland
83
FI
Zenith 14ct solid golden , serviced, in very good condition
325 
Seller
hankkija ou
1017
FI
TOP
Maurice Lacroix Masterpiece Les Classiques 18K Rose Gold 40mm
2 850 
Free shipping
Seller
Pawndeluxe
396
NL
La Trame Vintage Gold Watch
1 250 
Seller
Kaisaniemen Kello ja Kultaliike Oy
15
FI
TOP
Patek Philippe Calatrava 570G Oversized
35 000 
Seller
MMC RIVIERA
7
MC
Ulysse Nardin 8006 102
15 000 
Seller
Private Seller
 
FI
TOP
Eberhard & Co. Désirée
5 900 
Free shipping
Seller
Gioielleria Residori
28
IT
Bulova Accutron 18K NOS new old stock
1 750 
Seller
Harri Asunta
14
FI
TOP
Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Calender 18k Gold Automatik Ref. 140.1.87
6 230 
Seller
Zeitauktion GmbH
1560
DE
Tiffany Chronograph 18k Moonphase
4 900 
Seller
Chrono Finland
83
FI
Tissot Golden vintage Stylist with box
325 
Seller
hankkija ou
1017
FI
TOP
Chopard Tank Classique or jaune Solid Gold 18K Dress-watch - 939
1 550 
Free shipping
Seller
Pawndeluxe
396
NL
Movado Vintage Ladies´ Goldwatch
2 995 
Seller
Kaisaniemen Kello ja Kultaliike Oy
15
FI
TOP
Cartier Tank Basculante 90's
9 500 
Seller
MMC RIVIERA
7
MC
TOP
Concord c1 rose gold
3 802 
Seller
Private Seller
FI
Frederique Constant Slim Line Lady
670 
Seller
Borde Joaillier
54
FR
Patek Philippe Nautilus - Ref. 5711\/1R-001 - Box\/Papiere -...
99 000 
Seller
All About Watches
308
DE
TOP
Cartier Tank Americaine Chronograph 18k Weissgold Herren 2312...
4 460 
Seller
Zeitauktion GmbH
1560
DE
Hamilton Lady Hamilton solid 14k with 8 diamonds manual winding
490 
Seller
Chrono Finland
83
FI
P. Moser Antique 14ct golden rarity, in very good condition
495 
Seller
hankkija ou
1017
FI
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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.