Gold can be a bit of a mixed bag. When used well, it connotes sophistication, a kind of formality, and – of course – wealth. Unfortunately, it is rarely used well. More often than not people who try to present themselves as being more succesful and wealthy than they really are use gold as a kind of distraction or shield. They guild their poor character in it, and as a result, gold itself can take on a kind of tacky feel.
But it doesn’t have to be this way. Take the world of watches, for instance. There are plenty of incredibly well made timepieces out there that feature the material prominently and manage not to come across as chintzy. Quite the opposite. In these circumstances, gold actually elevates the watch – making a dress watch, dive watch, or chronograph all the more sophisticated and ready for more formal occasions. Don’t just take our word for it. Scroll through our list of the best gold watches and see for yourself what you are missing out on.
This wristwatch from Tsovet boasts a clean, unpretentious look to it. The face of the watch is adorned with Arabic numerals styled to resemble classic 1940s California contemporary design, while the case remains thin and minimal. Blue hands propelled by a Swiss Quartz movement draw a stark contrast to the watches yellow gold case and lettering – making for a bold look. The watch comes with a quality leather strap and a two-year limited warranty.
Shinola Runwell Chrono
Shinola classed-up its Runwell Chronograph with a polished gold case to great effect. The clean, dark watch face features Arabic numerals, a date window at 6, and two subdials. The golden hands that run around the face of the watch are propelled by the highly accurate Aragonite 5021 Quartz movement made from imported Swiss parts while the watch’s sunflower strap is handmade right here in the states.
Most watchmakers will use gold on their dress watch styles. Lum-Tec is not most watchmakers. The American company instead chose to go with a much heartier 44mm case with 22mm lugs. As a result, this gold watch with special highly visible LUM-TEC MDV Technology indices comes off as being both rugged and refined. It’s capable, too. Coming with a pair of leather and molded rubber straps and boasting a water resistance rated down to 100 meters – it is as hard-wearing as it is good looking.
Breitling Chronomat 44 GMT
Another capable timepiece meant for doing more than just wearing to work or a dinner party. This GMT watch features a self-winding mechanical movement with a 70-hour power reserve that drives 7 hands; four on the main face and three on the subdials. Rather than going all-gold, this watch features only a gold bezel, hands, bracelet, pushers and crown.
Rolex Oyster Perpetual Datejust 41
Not all gold watches need to be dripping in the stuff. This timepiece from Rolex instead features a gold face, bezel, crown, and bracelet that pairs perfectly with the 904L steel case and lugs. The watch is powered by Rolex’s 3235 movement, and features a date window. The watch is ideal for daily wear, and thanks to its 100-meter waterproof rating, it is safe to keep on before jumping into a pool.
Grand Seiko SBGW252 Yellow Gold
There is more to this watch than just its golden case – it is a recreation of Grand Seiko’s first timepiece released in 1960. The entire case is made from a high quality 18K yellow gold, it features a curved sapphire crystal, and has the same manual winding mechanical caliber 9S64 movement. A great grab for the collector.
Blancpain Villeret Moon Phase
While the gold is certainly nice, the real standout part of this watch is its heart. The special Calibre 6654 movement powers both a moon phase and complete calendar complication that keeps track of the day, month, and date. All of these are displayed in a gorgeous 40mm red gold case that comes with an alligator-skin bracelet. Top quality in every way.
Omega Constellation Globemaster
This watch from Omega is simple but incredibly refined. So much so, in fact, that it has received the Master Chronometer certification from METAS, a Swiss federal institution in charge of rating the accuracy of measuring equipment. In addition to boasting a super-finely tuned Calibre Omega 8901 movement, the watch boasts an 18K yellow gold case and unique pie pan dial. A fun, high-quality gold watch any guy would be proud to have on their wrist.
Hublot Big Bang Unico Magic Gold
It is hard to find a watch more in-your-face than the Hublot Big Bang. It is the luxury SUV of the watch world. The combination of the timepiece’s big 45mm case with the clear face and Unico movement makes it so it easily catches attention. Combine the qualities of the basic Big Bang style with a polished gold bezel, hands, and indices, and you get something that demands to be noticed.
Cartier Cle De Cartier Watch
If anyone can pull off an all-gold watch, it is Cartier. This 40mm timepiece of theirs features an 18K yellow gold case while its crown boasts a blue sapphire that matches the Roman numerals located on the silver dial. As far as the interior of the timepiece is concerned, it is run by a caliber 1847 MC movement that can operate up to 100 feet underwater.
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak
This watch from Audemars Piguet gives the famous Royal Oak an all-gold take. From the case to the hands, and Grand Tapisserie dial – every part of this timepiece is made of 18-carat pink gold. An ideal wristwatch for those looking to stand out from the crowd.
Patek Philippe 5396G
As if a watch from Patek Philippe needed to be any more expensive, this special model has been made out of white gold. Along with boasting the Caliber 324 S QA LU 24H/303 movement, the watch features white gold hour markers, a day, date, and month window, as well as moon phases. An amazing gold timepiece through and through.
20 Best Dive Watches
Thinking you should go for something a bit more rugged than a gold watch? Take a look at our list of the best dive watches.