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Parmigiani Fleurier Fleurier Tonda 1950 squelette
TOP
Parmigiani Fleurier Fleurier Tonda 1950 squelette
AU$ 38,971
Seller
CORTI GIOIELLI
 
IT
Chopard L.U.C Lunar One 161927-1001
TOP
Chopard L.U.C Lunar One 161927-1001
AU$ 52,994
Seller
Watchdeals
230
NL
Cvstos Jetliner
TOP
Cvstos Jetliner
AU$ 20,613
Seller
VI Watch Guy
93
VI
Baume & Mercier automatic chronograph
TOP
Baume & Mercier automatic chronograph
AU$ 5,379
Seller
i monili di Gaspare Aprile srl
10
IT
Richard Mille RM 011 03 Rose Gold TI
TOP
Richard Mille RM 011 03 Rose Gold TI
AU$ 326,971
Free shipping
Seller
Express Watches
6
US
Rolex
TOP
Rolex
AU$ 14,650
Seller
Private Seller
 
AU
Chopard L’heure Du Diamant Medium Oval – 139383-1001
TOP
Chopard L’heure Du Diamant Medium Oval – 139383-1001
AU$ 85,606
Seller
Mall of the Watch
866
MC
A. Lange & Söhne 1815 Up/Down
A. Lange & Söhne 1815 Up/Down
AU$ 24,850
Seller
Master Watchmaking P/L
AU
Revue Thommen Landmark
Revue Thommen Landmark
AU$ 625
Seller
Private Seller
AU
A. Lange & Söhne Double split flyback rattrapante
A. Lange & Söhne Double split flyback rattrapante
AU$ 132,000
Seller
Private Seller
AU
Rolex Datejust II Collector Estate Watch
TOP
Rolex Datejust II Collector Estate Watch
AU$ 15,638
Seller
Private Seller
AU
Zenith ACADEMY CHRISTOPHE COLOMB EQUATION OF TIME
TOP
Zenith ACADEMY CHRISTOPHE COLOMB EQUATION OF TIME
AU$ 214,261
Seller
ZEGG & CERLATI
53
MC
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Rose Gold Selfwinding
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Rose Gold Selfwinding
AU$ 40,400
Seller
Private Seller
AU
Richard Mille RM 011 Ivory
TOP
Richard Mille RM 011 Ivory
AU$ 284,322
Free shipping
Seller
Express Watches
6
US
Michel Herbelin Gold Plated Unisex Dress Watch
Michel Herbelin Gold Plated Unisex Dress Watch
AU$ 340
Seller
Private Seller
AU
Patek Philippe Calatrava Oman 18K Gold Manual Service 04.2018
TOP
Patek Philippe Calatrava Oman 18K Gold Manual Service 04.2018
AU$ 12,213
Seller
Timeless Watches GmbH
248
DE
Daniel Roth Retrograde
Daniel Roth Retrograde
AU$ 6,750
Seller
Master Watchmaking P/L
AU
Tissot 1963 Tissot Seastar Gold-Plated Men's Watch
Tissot 1963 Tissot Seastar Gold-Plated Men's Watch
AU$ 350
Seller
Private Seller
AU
Roger Dubuis EXCALIBUR
Roger Dubuis EXCALIBUR
AU$ 87,000
Seller
Private Seller
AU
Favre-Leuba 2049
Favre-Leuba 2049
AU$ 1,600
Seller
Private Seller
 
AU
Cartier Santos 100
Cartier Santos 100
AU$ 7,723
Seller
Private Seller
AU
Zenith Pilot Type 20 Tourbillon Diamonds
TOP
Zenith Pilot Type 20 Tourbillon Diamonds
AU$ 184,421
Seller
ZEGG & CERLATI
53
MC
Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Grand Réveil
Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Grand Réveil
AU$ 28,000
Seller
MTS Watches & Repairs
AU
Patek Philippe 3549
Patek Philippe 3549
AU$ 7,500
Seller
Private Seller
AU
Yves Saint Laurent
Yves Saint Laurent
AU$ 372
Seller
Private Seller
AU
Ebel 194
Ebel 194
AU$ 5,890
Seller
Master Watchmaking P/L
AU
Franck Muller Master of Complication 5850cc 18k White Gold...
Franck Muller Master of Complication 5850cc 18k White Gold...
AU$ 29,950
Seller
Private Seller
AU
Moritz Grossmann ATUM Backpage, charcoal
Straight from the manufacturer
Moritz Grossmann ATUM Backpage, charcoal
AU$ 62,615
BrandBoutique Member
Grossmann Uhren GmbH
Rolex Sky-Dweller Annual Calendar on Strap Chocolate Dial
Rolex Sky-Dweller Annual Calendar on Strap Chocolate Dial
AU$ 42,258
Seller
Private Seller
AU
Chronoswiss Delphis Jump White Gold Black Face RARE
Chronoswiss Delphis Jump White Gold Black Face RARE
AU$ 8,590
Seller
Private Seller
AU
Zenith EL PRIMERO CHRONOMASTER 1969
TOP
Zenith EL PRIMERO CHRONOMASTER 1969
AU$ 20,546
Seller
ZEGG & CERLATI
53
MC
Omega Vintage 1990s Mens Gold gents 18K Solid Gold watch + Box
TOP
Omega Vintage 1990s Mens Gold gents 18K Solid Gold watch + Box
AU$ 1,480
Seller
Fine Auction Club
213
UK
Rolex Unpolished 18K Gold Day-Date Factory 8+2 Diamond Dial w/...
TOP
Rolex Unpolished 18K Gold Day-Date Factory 8+2 Diamond Dial w/...
AU$ 18,474
Seller
Austins Watches Inc.
210
US
Omega Constellation
TOP
Omega Constellation
AU$ 10,351
Seller
Plus Ultra AG
 
CH
IWC Vintage Automatic
IWC Vintage Automatic
AU$ 3,590
Seller
Master Watchmaking P/L
AU
Patek Philippe 3428 Patek Philippe Calatrava
Patek Philippe 3428 Patek Philippe Calatrava
AU$ 38,000
Seller
Private Seller
AU
Omega CONSTELLATION OMEGA CO-AXIAL 38 MM ROSE GOLD
TOP
Omega CONSTELLATION OMEGA CO-AXIAL 38 MM ROSE GOLD
AU$ 17,641
Seller
Plus Watch - Luxury Watches
2993
IT
Fortis Terrestis Orchestra Pm Classical Auto Watch 18k R/gold...
Fortis Terrestis Orchestra Pm Classical Auto Watch 18k R/gold...
AU$ 4,998
Seller
Watchpartners
AU
Rolex Day-Date CHAMP 2RDM 8BR Y Serviced by Rolex May with...
Rolex Day-Date CHAMP 2RDM 8BR Y Serviced by Rolex May with...
AU$ 18,595
Seller
Private Seller
 
JP
Rolex Pocket Watch
Rolex Pocket Watch
AU$ 1,800
Seller
Private Seller
 
AU
Rolex Yacht-Master
Rolex Yacht-Master
AU$ 22,950
Seller
Private Seller
 
AU
Rolex 14K Yellow Gold DATE Custom Ox Blood Diamond Dial & Bezel
TOP
Rolex 14K Yellow Gold DATE Custom Ox Blood Diamond Dial & Bezel
AU$ 6,532
Seller
Austins Watches Inc.
210
US
Chronoswiss Delphis
Chronoswiss Delphis
AU$ 14,000
Seller
Private Seller
 
AU
Rolex Lady-Datejust
TOP
Rolex Lady-Datejust
AU$ 6,000
Seller
Private Seller
AU
Piaget Polo
Piaget Polo
AU$ 6,900
Seller
Master Watchmaking P/L
AU
Baume & Mercier Clifton Rose Gold
Baume & Mercier Clifton Rose Gold
AU$ 5,495
Seller
Private Seller
 
AU
Rolex Oyster Perpetual Date, Full Set
TOP
Rolex Oyster Perpetual Date, Full Set
AU$ 11,779
Seller
Plus Ultra AG
 
CH
Girard Perregaux Ladies Vintage 1945
TOP
Girard Perregaux Ladies Vintage 1945
AU$ 6,000
Seller
Private Seller
AU
Audemars Piguet Jules Extra Thin Oro Rosa  Rose Gold NEVER...
TOP
Audemars Piguet Jules Extra Thin Oro Rosa Rose Gold NEVER...
AU$ 12,097
Free shipping
Seller
Plus Watch - Luxury Watches
2993
IT
Fortis Terrestis 19fortis Pm Classical Auto Watch 18k R/gold...
Fortis Terrestis 19fortis Pm Classical Auto Watch 18k R/gold...
AU$ 4,998
Seller
Watchpartners
AU
Hentschel Commodore WERK 1 Rose Gold / Bronze German men’s...
Hentschel Commodore WERK 1 Rose Gold / Bronze German men’s...
AU$ 18,400
Seller
Define Watches
 
AU
IWC 14K Gold Full Hunter Pocket watch taschenuhr 1910
TOP
IWC 14K Gold Full Hunter Pocket watch taschenuhr 1910
AU$ 3,015
Seller
qualityextra
14
HU
Longines DolceVita 18K Pure Yellow Gold - L51587
TOP
Longines DolceVita 18K Pure Yellow Gold - L51587
AU$ 1,549
Free shipping
Seller
Pawndeluxe
191
NL
IWC Vintage Automatic
IWC Vintage Automatic
AU$ 3,690
Seller
Master Watchmaking P/L
AU
Girard Perregaux Circa 1960
Girard Perregaux Circa 1960
AU$ 3,200
Seller
Tick Tock Vintage Watches
AU
Jaeger-LeCoultre James Picard, Minute Repeater
TOP
Jaeger-LeCoultre James Picard, Minute Repeater
AU$ 6,782
Seller
Plus Ultra AG
 
CH
Rolex Cellini Danaos Ladies 18K White Gold Box & Pap
TOP
Rolex Cellini Danaos Ladies 18K White Gold Box & Pap
AU$ 5,365
Free shipping
Seller
NOS 1969
281
PL
Piaget Classic Diamond
TOP
Piaget Classic Diamond
AU$ 38,370
Seller
Melvyn Franks Luxury Watches
14
US
Fortis Terrestis 19fortis Pm Classical Auto Watch 18k R/gold...
Fortis Terrestis 19fortis Pm Classical Auto Watch 18k R/gold...
AU$ 4,998
Seller
Watchpartners
AU
Dornblüth & Sohn Quintus Klassik Rose Gold German men’s watch...
Dornblüth & Sohn Quintus Klassik Rose Gold German men’s watch...
AU$ 19,500
Seller
Define Watches
 
AU
Longines 18K Gold Pocket watch Full Set
TOP
Longines 18K Gold Pocket watch Full Set
AU$ 2,281
Seller
qualityextra
14
HU
Blancpain Ultra Slim Léman XL - 2100 18K Yellow Gold -...
TOP
Blancpain Ultra Slim Léman XL - 2100 18K Yellow Gold -...
AU$ 7,745
Free shipping
Seller
Pawndeluxe
191
NL
Rolex Lady-Datejust
Rolex Lady-Datejust
AU$ 9,450
Seller
Master Watchmaking P/L
AU
Bulova American Eagle
Bulova American Eagle
AU$ 975
Seller
Tick Tock Vintage Watches
AU
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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.

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