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Throwback Sundays: Six Recommendations for Gold Watches, from Our Archives

Stay gold.
by Robin Lim on February 17, 2019

There was this interesting observation that we had during this year’s festive season: It seems like the trend for gold watches are back.

Over the last few years, gold watches have seemed to take a back seat following the introduction of many different other options – such as bronze, carbon composites, and DLC (Diamond-Like Carbon) coating. Even for collectors who likes gold, they tend to go for more subtle options like rose or red gold.

Personally, during this festive period, we do see that many collectors have come out in full force with gold watches. This is especially true for yellow gold. We are not sure if it was due to the festive season per se, or that there seems to be a renaissance of gold watches. Perhaps, it could be due to fengshui reasons as well.

We have reviewed quite a fair bit of gold watches on our website. Hence, we think that this might be a good time to highlight some of our favourites over the past few years. Some choices might be predictable, while the others may be less so. Let’s find out what we have selected!

A. Lange & Söhne 1815 200th Anniversary F. A. Lange “Honey Gold”

We have often waxed lyrical about A. Lange & Söhne’s watches. They are brilliantly crafted, and the finishing is immensely stunning.

However, there is a secret that few knows. Aside from the usual offerings, some very rare Lange models are fitted with a “honey gold” case. The 1815 200th Anniversary F. A. Lange is one of such pieces. The honey-hued gold is much more romantic than its rose gold counterparts, with a warm but less intense shade. In addition, it is also slightly more robust; the metal measuring some 300 HVI on the Vickers Hardness Scale. In comparison, the other variants (yellow, white, and rose gold) measures between 160 to 190 on the same scale.

This particular variant is slightly pricier than its counterparts at S$48,300. However, this is a limited edition piece, with the use of an extremely rare metal for the case. It is a stunning piece, and in short, we think it is certainly worth it for someone who is a huge fan of watches from A. Lange & Söhne.

Patek Philippe Nautilus

The Patek Philippe 5711 is one of the hottest commodities in the watch industry right now, as we speak. The shortage is well-documented, and the premium that some collectors are willing to pay (especially for the stainless steel version) is a little mind-boggling.

However, it is not difficult to see the appeal of the Nautilus. Launched in 1976, the Nautilus is one of the icons that redefined the Geneva-based watch manufacturer. It features an unusual rounded octagonal bezel, with a porthole case construction. The brown gradated dial is a wonderful sight to behold as well.

The rose gold option (Reference 5711/1R) is actually a breath of fresh air from the usual stainless steel pieces (Reference 5711/1A) that we are more used to seeing. The strong copper undertone is beautiful, and it makes it much classier despite the fact that it is fitted with a solid gold bracelet. The 5711/1R is priced at S$67,200, and we think that this might be a more interesting option that the likes of the usual 5711/1A.

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Chronograph

On the same note as the Nautilus, we think that Audemars Piguet’s Royal Oak Chronograph deserves a mention too. Of course, it has to be in solid yellow gold, no less.

The Royal Oak was conceived at a time when the industry is at one of its troughs. It was a point when the quartz watches took over, and threatening the demise of mechanical watches forever. The Royal Oak changed the rules forever in 1972, by creating a new watch category entirely: the luxury sports watches.

Featuring its now iconic octagon bezel, the watch – designed by Gerald Genta – is worth a spot in any watch collection. The design language is strong, but it is no less elegant when it is compared to some of the other watches like the Nautilus or Overseas. This particular version – the 41mm Royal Oak Chronograph – is fitted with a lovely blue dial as well. The entire combination with the yellow gold case is brilliant in our opinion.

Priced at S$79,400, the Royal Oak Chronograph in yellow gold holds a large premium over its stainless steel cousin. However, for what it’s worth, we think that this is one of the few rare yellow gold watches that looks extremely classy without going over the top.

Vacheron Constantin Overseas Dual Time

Following the Nautilus and the Royal Oak, we complete the holy trinity line-up with the Overseas Dual Time from Vacheron Constantin.

The Dual Time is one of the latest additions to the Overseas collection, which is raved by many for its great looks and versatility. Besides its complication and finishing, the other main thing that stood out for the watch is its quick strap change mechanism. The Dual Time is also delivered with three different strap options (leather, rubber, and metal bracelet), and its seamless strap change system allows the owner to change between the different straps with ease. This also allows the watch to change its looks to match the different occasions when it is required to do so.

The watch retails at S$66,770 – which puts it at a competitive position against the other two watches above. We think that the Overseas Dual Time is a great choice, and it is surely a great option for someone who want to have different options for their watches.

Rolex Cosmograph Daytona “Rainbow”

Having a solid gold Rolex is often a sign of success. But what about one with a factory-fitted gem-set case? We guess this one takes the cake, on a whole new level altogether.

The Cosmograph Daytona “Rainbow”, named after the colourful gems that were fitted on the watch, is a piece that is polarising. There are people who loves this piece due to its audacity and vibrancy, while others might feel that it is a little too gaudy. We think that the Rainbow is an interesting piece – it brings the brand away from its “serious” image, and showcases a more “fun” and playful side of themselves.

Aesthetics aside, the Rainbow is still a Rolex through and through. It is a solid timepiece, featuring a robust Calibre 4130 movement and the signature oyster case. It is priced at CHF 92,400 (approximately S$124,714), and we dare say that its exclusivity and the sheer amount of baguette-cut diamonds are worth its high price tag.

Laurent Ferrier Galet Traveller Asia

We end off the article with Laurent Ferrier’s Galet Traveller Asia.

The Galet Traveller is one of our favourite pieces from Laurent Ferrier. It is not just a watch, but an art in the form of its curved case and the stunning dial. The centrepiece is produced in grand feu enamel, and the continents are outlined using the cloisonné champlevé technique. The latter is a process in which an area hollowed out in a sheet of white gold, to fill in the enamel. The result is stunning, and the effects of the colour gradient certainly makes the Galet Traveller Asia stand out against the rest.

The watch is powered by the self-winding Caliber LF 230.01, from the famous line of Micro-Rotor movements with natural escapement. It has a power reserve of 80 hours, and its functions include a date display and a dual-time zone indicator. The finishing, as per the other Laurent Ferrier watches, are stunning as well.

Priced at S$136,000, the Laurent Ferrier Galet Traveller Asia is not exactly modestly priced. This is, however, a magnificent work of art – and we don’t think that there are many other watches out there that can come close to this one.

Concluding Thoughts

There are many yellow and rose gold watches on the market, but there aren’t many watches out there that matches well with the precious metal. Some of the pieces, unfortunately, are better off with a steel or white gold case. It takes a different level to pull off a yellow or rose gold case; that is also highly dependent on the characteristics and design of the watch.

We have tried to incorporate as many different gold options available – in the form of rose gold, yellow gold, and even the special ones like Lange’s “honey gold”. We have also worked with the bracelet and leather/rubber strap options – to prove that gold watches can be both formal and casual too, depending on the style of the watch.

So, what are some of your favourite gold watches? What are some of the other gold watches that should have made it into the list? Let us know in the comments section below!

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