There is just something about gold watches. Regardless of what people say, there is always an allure with these striking watches that sets them apart from the rest.
Gold watches do not always have to be loud. With the likes of pink/rose gold and white gold, these watches can be rather subtle and mellow as well. In fact, the warm hues of a rose/pink gold watch is pretty stunning, and we reckon it works really well without being in danger of looking too ostentatious. The same applies for white gold as well, although some collectors do reckon the extra premium is not worth it since they “look like” stainless steel watches.
Anyhow, in today’s article, we will be taking a look at this genre of watches. There are quite a handful of full gold watches in the market currently, catering to the whims and fancies of the wealthy. For this column, we will be looking at some of our favourites. They range from different brands, with different philosophies and approaches to this.
So, what have we selected? Let us find out!
Rolex Cosmograph Daytona (Ref. 116595RBOW) “Rainbow”
We begin the article with a rather iconic watch, and one that is synonymous with wealth: Rolex Cosmograph Daytona, in full Everose Gold and a brilliant gemset (Ref. 116595RBOW), no less.
This particular watch, termed as the “Rainbow”, is perhaps one of the most interesting pieces in the lineup. The watch features a series of baguette-cut sapphires, in a rainbow gradient. The challenge here is to find a series of sapphires that follows the colours of the rainbow, in gradient form. The execution here is flawless, which creates an incredibly spectacular result.
There are not many watches like the “Rainbow”. It is well-executed, and in a tasteful manner too. The price of this piece is on request, and for someone who is looking to splurge on a watch, the 116595RBOW is surely worth a serious consideration.
Patek Philippe Nautilus 5711/1R-001
The Patek Philippe Nautilus is a piece that needs no introduction.
In recent years, there seems to be a huge interest in this Gerald Genta-designed watch. The rounded octagon case is an icon without a doubt, and the exclusivity makes this one of the most desirable pieces in the market currently.
With the discontinuation of the stainless steel base Nautilus model (sans the one with the olive green dial), the 5711/1R – in rose gold – is perhaps the best chance of owning a Nautilus in its simplest form. We actually like this combination, and it certainly makes the Nautilus a tad more special.
The 5711/1R is priced at S$78,000. This is a great watch, and the warm hues of the rose gold certainly brings out the classiness of the Nautilus. Frankly, between this and the stainless steel model in the used market, we do prefer the 5711/1R – especially if you are paying a huge premium for the stainless steel variant.
Vacheron Constantin Overseas Tourbillon
Following the Nautilus, we have another contender from the “Holy Trinity”. Introducing the Vacheron Constantin Overseas Tourbillon.
The third generation of Overseas is one of the best that we have seen. Since its introduction in 2016, we have seen the brand launching a slew of complications to attract collectors. The tourbillon, a staple in any high-end watch manufacturer, was fitted onto the Overseas in 2019.
The 42.5mm watch is already a stunner to begin with, but the inclusion of the tourbillon definitely takes it onto another level altogether. Featuring the brand’s signature Maltese-Cross, the tourbillon is well-finished with black polishing and inward angling. The latter is especially rare, considering the difficulties involved in getting these hard-to-reach angles and finishing them to the highest quality possible. Vacheron Constantin had certainly done a remarkable job here.
All these goodies certainly come at a price – S$235,000, in the case of this Overseas Tourbillon in pink gold. Its price point is one matter, but frankly, the watch represents the pinnacle of the tourbillon sports watch category. Nothing else comes close to this.
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Frosted Gold Chronograph
Rounding up the trio of “Holy Trinity”, we have the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Frosted Gold Chronograph.
The Royal Oak is a staple in the luxury sports watch category – after all, it was this collection that pioneered and coined this terminology back in 1972. Its octagon bezel, and the integrated bracelet, is unmistakable. Yet, in 2017, Audemars Piguet went a step further by debuting the “Frosted Gold’ treatment in the Royal Oak line of watches.
The “Frosted Gold” finishing aims to make the watch sparkle, but without the diamonds. This is achieved through the “Florentine” technique, whereby gold is beaten with a diamond tipped tool to create tiny indentations on the surface. The end result is stunning, especially when it is contrasted with the smooth polished bevels at the edges of the watch.
Paired with an intriguing regal purple “Grande Tapisserie” dial, this Royal Oak Chronograph is an interesting option that makes other Royal Oaks look rather ordinary. The white gold watch is priced at S$88,700, and it will be limited to a production run of 200 pieces.
Bvlgari Octo Finissimo Automatic
It is no secret that we are huge fans of the Bvlgari Octo Finissimo series. The stylistic design cues, coupled with high-quality finishing, makes the watch a rather compelling option indeed.
The 40mm timepiece’s main highlight lies in its architecture, with its original DNA courtesy of the late Gerald Genta. Here, the watch has an extremely angular structure, with straight edges and parallel lines giving the watch its geometric stance. Completing the look is the circular sapphire crystal and an octagon dial. It is a very interesting piece indeed.
Beyond its design, the movement of the watch is a marvel as well. While the BVL 138 is just a mere 2.23mm thick, it is packed with a 60 hour power reserve and the thinnest Anti-Shock/Kif/Incabloc system ever developed. It also features a platinum micro-rotor, as well as several finishing techniques.
The overall package is nothing short of amazing. We like what the watch offers, and we feel that it is highly versatile as well. The pink gold version is priced at S$61,100, and we recommend this piece for any collectors who are looking to splurge on an incredible piece that is brimming with substance and finesse.
Omega Speedmaster Apollo 11 50th Anniversary Limited Edition
We round up the article with an extraordinary Speedmaster: Apollo 11 50th Anniversary Limited Edition.
The watch, as its namesake suggests, was produced to commemorate the special occasion where mankind took its first step on the moon 50 years ago. Based on the rare BA145.022, it follows the brand’s first commemorative numbered edition piece with an almost faithful reproduction – featuring an all-gold (Moonshine gold, for this variant) case and dial, as well as a distinctive burgundy bezel. This watch also features the new Caliber 3861, which can be appreciated via the unique open caseback at the rear of this timepiece.
All these come at a premium, and in this case, the watch retails at CHF 32,000 (approximately S$47,250). It is certainly a princely sum for a Speedmaster, but in comparison with other full gold watches that we have featured, it is definitely more accessible than the rest. This is indeed a very special piece, and one that pretty much rules over all the other limited edition Speedmasters easily.
There is just something about gold watches. While there are a few slightly negative preconceived notions about them, we do hope that this article has proven otherwise. These watches do work very well with precious metal, and some of them are perhaps less ostentatious as they may seem – even with gold case and bracelets altogether.
It is actually very difficult to select our favourite amongst these six pieces. Each of them has its merits, but for us, perhaps the Overseas and Octo Finissimo are our top choices amongst the selection. We feel that these two pieces are highly versatile, and they are excellent additions to any watch collections. Special mentions should be included on the technical prowess of Bvlgari for producing such a thin watch, as well as Vacheron Constantin for the magnificently finished timepiece and movement. They were really outstanding.
Finally, we hope you have enjoyed this week’s article. Let us know your thoughts on full gold watches, as well as the pieces that you reckon deserves a spot on this list. Till the next article, ciao!