Gold is the most admired precious metal and considered as the symbol of affluence and prestige. It has been widely used for producing jewellery, coins and artifacts since ancient times. In the watchmaking industry, gold is the most desirable material when it comes to the manufacturing of luxury watches: Gold watch.
Since the pure gold (24 carats) is malleable and frail, watch manufacturers prefer 18K gold alloy, which contains 75% gold and 25% other metals. Durable than 24K gold, 18-carat gold is an ideal choice for making premium watches. Pure gold has a lustrous yellow color. The color of 18K gold alloy varies depends upon the alloy combination. 18K yellow gold contains 75% gold, 15% silver and 10% copper; 18K white gold has 75% gold and 25% Palladium or Platinum; and 18K Rose Gold combines 75% gold, 9.2% silver and 22.2% copper.
Majority of timepieces from prestigious watchmaking houses are made of gold. It is the best precious metal for employing various finishes, engravings and decorations. However, solid gold has been rarely used in the production of timepieces due to high material cost and scarcity. So, several companies use electro-plating or PVD (Physical Vapor Deposition) coating to produce affordable watches endowed with the lustrous sheen of gold.
Switzerland is the most significant producer of gold watches. Many prestigious brands offer these luxurious timepieces as part of their regular collections. Several companies occasionally release precious metal watches in limited editions.
The best-selling gold watches
The celebrated Maisons like Audemars Piguet, Patek Philippe, Vacheron Constantin, Rolex, Cartier and Omega are the leading producers of Swiss made gold watches. The precious metal timepieces made by these brands typically sell in the premium segment (above S$10,000). The price of some diamond-set gold wristwatches can fetch over million dollars per piece.
In the high-luxury category, gold watches from Audemars Piguet, Patek Philippe and Vacheron Constantin are both highly sought-after and valuable. However, due to limited production and exorbitant costs, these timepieces are accessible to a few privileged customers only.
Audemars Piguet offers a wide choice of gold watches from its flagship collections such as Code 11.59, Royal Oak, Royal Oak Offshore and Millenary. A stand-out category in the gold ap watch collections is the Frosted Series. Its Millenary series is comprised of a number of artistically crafted gold watches for women.
Patek Philippe’s Aquanaut, Nautilus, Twenty~4, Calatrava, Gondolo and Golden Ellipse collections (including complications and grand complication ranges) offer spectacular gold watches. Similarly, Vacheron Constantin Patrimony, Traditionnelle, Fifty Six, Overseas, Égérie, Historiques, Métiers d’Art, Heures Créatives, Malte and Harmony families include various types of gold watches.
Rolex’s classic families like DateJust, Day-Date, Cellini and Lady-Date just offer exceptional selection of gold wristwatches. Among them, the Lady-Date Just series includes discreetly sized gold womens watches. Rolex also offers gold timepieces from its professional ranges like GMT, Submariner and Daytona. In some of its solid gold models, Rolex uses its proprietary 18K Everose gold.
Likewise, Omega has its own in-house gold alloys like Sedna and Canopus. The brand also maintains an impressive selection of gold watches, especially in the Constellation, Seamaster Aqua Terra and De Ville families. Furthermore, omega occasionally releases precious metal wristwatches from its professional watch families like Seamaster and Speedmaster.
The world-renowned Jewellery Maison Cartier maintains an extensive portfolio of gold watches for men and women. The popular gold cartier watch models are Pasha, Tank, Ballon Bleu, Panthere, Santos, Ronde, Maillon and Baignoire.
The other leading Swiss brands in this premium segment are Breguet, Piaget, Blancpain, F.P.Journe, IWC, Jaeger-LeCoultre, Chopard, Ulysse Nardin, Girard-Perregaux, Hublot, Franck Muller, Roger Dubuis, Parmigiani, H Moser and Bvlgari. The mid-price brands like Tissot and Longines offer gold wristwatches under the S$10,000 price range.
Seiko Watch Corporation has been a pioneer in the manufacturing of solid gold watches in Japan. In the 1970s, the company used to release special luxury catalogues comprising of precious metal watches bearing the Seiko brand name. Nowadays, only its premium brands (Grand Seiko and Credor) offer timepieces made of gold or platinum. The recently released grand seiko gold watch models are the Masterpiece Spring Drive 8 Days, the Seiko 140th Anniversary Hand-Wound and the Grand Seiko 60th Anniversary High-beat. The selling price of these timepieces starts around S$45,000.
Casio is known worldwide for its rock solid G-Shock series as well as retro-styled digital timepieces. The Japanese brand barely makes precious metal watches. Instead, it offers several gold-toned wristwatches. In 2019, the company surprised the world by launching a spectacular solid gold casio watch from its best-selling G-Shock family. Limited to just 35 pieces to commemorate the 35th anniversary of G-Shock, this 18K yellow gold watch for men had a price tag of S$95,000. The Japanese watchmaking giant Citizen does not make gold watches.
Gold watch as an enduring fashion accessory
Ever since it became a symbol of wealth, Gold has never lost its glory as the most-admired material for making precious ornaments. Many people consider gold watches as great investments for the future because of ever-increasing value of gold. When it comes to show off richness and prestige, gold outranks all other precious metals.
Thanks to its sheen and magnificence, gold wrist watches can be paired with various types of clothing styles. The sophisticated dress watches made of gold can be comfortably paired with your formal or business clothing. In comparison, the Hip Hop fashion style has been known for flashing about oversized ornaments and massive gold timepieces with or without gem-setting. Gold watches are also ideally suitable for ceremonial dresses, like wedding gowns and suits. No matter that which style you prefer, a gold wristwatch is the best fashion accessory to enhance the brilliance of your outfit.
Owing to the timeless nature of gold and our enduring obsession for it, the watches made of this precious metal will never become out of fashion.