There are always two schools of thought on gold watches. On one hand, they are the epitome of opulence and style; on the other hand, it is simply excess and the price premium could have been used to buy watches with more horological value or significance.
Regardless, there is just something about watches that are cased in gold – especially if it is well-executed. Not only does it take the watch onto the next level, but some timepieces definitely look much better in gold. The heft of gold, in addition, also makes the experience of wearing the watch so much more different.
For today’s article, we are not just focusing on exceptional watches that are cased in gold. We are looking for the full monty, and that includes both the bracelet and clasp. What are some of the coolest gold watches that we reckon are available in the market currently? Let us find out.
Rolex Submariner Ref. 126619LB
We begin today’s article with the Rolex Submariner, albeit this one is a little special.
For the untrained eye, this might just appear to be an ordinary Submariner. However, this timepiece is more than that. The tell-tale signs are the blue bezel, as well as the polished centre-links that contrast with the brushed ones at the sides. Yes, this is indeed a Submariner that is cased in white gold.
While a Submariner in precious metal is perhaps an antithesis to the original purpose of the watch, we still can’t help but to fall in love with it. What makes it incredibly cool is also the fact that it is rather restrained, as compared to its yellow gold counterparts. The Ref. 126619LB is priced at S$56,240, and we do think this is the perfect option for someone who wants a cool watch that only the connoisseurs will recognise.
Chopard Alpine Eagle
The luxury sports watch scene is one that is filled with many compelling options, but there are some watches that offer something a little distinct from the rest. The Chopard Alpine Eagle, in our opinion, is a timepiece that does exactly just that in the saturated space.
The Alpine Eagle, for the more veteran collectors, might be a familiar piece. This is because the collection is a reinterpretation of the St. Moritz, which is the first watch that was designed by Karl-Friedrich Scheufele in 1980 at a tender age of only 22. The design combines an angular case with a round bezel, coupled with an integrated bracelet that comprises of ingot-shaped links with raised caps. The combination, together with the textured sunburst dial that was inspired by the eagle’s iris, is certainly a sight to behold.
Granted, the likes of the Nautilus and Royal Oak (as well as the Overseas) might be more appealing to some. We do beg to differ, as the 41mm Chopard is a brilliant and stunning timepiece, with a price point of around S$73,200 for the ethical rose gold variant. This is a great watch for sure, and it is a great alternative for someone who wishes to take a path less travelled.
Omega Speedmaster Apollo 11 50th Anniversary Limited Edition
Following that, we have a rather extraordinary Speedmaster, in the form of the exquisite 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 S$53,550. It is certainly a princely sum for an Omega 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.
Vacheron Constantin Historiques 222
When it comes to remakes, its reception can always go both ways. It is especially difficult for brands to recreate icons, but Vacheron Constantin appears to have cracked the code with the new Historiques 222.
The 222, notably, was Vacheron Constantin’s answer to the luxury sports watch category, and it is the predecessor to the popular and compelling Overseas collection. This re-issue, at 37mm, is an almost faithful production of the original, with a few minor cosmetic tweaks and an updated movement (in the form of the Calibre 2455/2).
While there is nothing groundbreaking with the Historiques 222, there is certainly a lot of charm with this piece. We like the design of the 222, and how it immediately throws us back to the opulence days of the 1970s (with its yellow gold dial, case, and bracelet). This is the perfect watch for those who adore the classic aesthetics, without having the trouble of maintaining a 45-year old timepiece. All of these come with a premium though, at a cool S$99,000.
Patek Philippe Nautilus Travel Time Chronograph Ref. 5990/1R
The Patek Philippe Nautilus may be a great watch, but how do you take it up to another level altogether?
Given Patek Philippe’s expertise in complications, there is no better way to grace an icon with some technical fairy dust. The Nautilus Travel Time Chronograph Ref. 5990/1R, as its namesake suggests, features both the chronograph and the travel time complication. Besides the fact that this is one of the most complicated timepieces within the Nautilus family, we also absolutely love how Patek Philippe had integrated the pushers seamlessly with the “ears” of the case – a signature of the Nautilus.
This particular variant, in rose gold, was only introduced last year. The use of a rose gold case certainly made the watch much more invigorating, and it surely adds another dimension to this celebrated collection. The watch is priced at S$151,200, and frankly, this is the Nautilus to have, especially if one compares it to the base stainless steel model that has seen prices skyrocket over the last couple of years.
F. P. Journe lineSport Centigraphe
F. P. Journe is making some of the most coveted and desirable watches in the world, but there is one piece that stands out amongst the rest: The F. P. Journe lineSport Centigraphe, in rose gold.
There is just something special about F. P. Journe’s watches, with its slight contemporary and quirky touches that made it appear so different from most timepieces. This can be seen in the layout of the dial, as well as the “rocker” at the 2 o’clock position that acts as actuator of the chronograph. But beyond the looks, F. P. Journe is also known for its complications; in this case, the watch features a chronograph that can measure a 100th of a second.
Complementing the 44mm timepiece is the 18K rose gold hand-wound mechanical movement. As per the usual F. P. Journe standard, the finishing is a sight to behold. Again, the use of a rose gold for the movement is an unusual choice, but that is also the thing that makes certain F. P. Journe watches special – it just wants to be different, in a good way. The last known retail price for the watch is €81,500 (approximately S$113,343), and it is simply a brilliant watch in all aspects.
In today’s article, we have covered some rather spectacular gold watches. Each of them have its own merits, both in terms of aesthetics and horological value.
The use of gold, for some of the watches, also alters our perception of the watch. For instance, the Historique 222 from Vacheron Constantin, in our opinion, would not have made such a strong impact if it was cased in stainless steel (or, even in precious metals such as white gold or platinum). The same goes for the Nautilus and the Centigraphe, where the use of gold changes the entire perception and vibes of the watch, especially when it is placed vis-à-vis with its non-gold counterparts. These are certainly strong merits for the case.
Perhaps, all that glitters is gold after all.