Gold sit withs have long divided opinion, and with good reason. Bit gauche, aren’t they? For a lot of people who own them, it’s undersized about style and more about wearing your bank balance on your wrist. A gold watch is the contraction of 1980s Wall Street yuppies. Patrick Bateman had one. Donald Trump has several. And today, the trend is kept jumping by oligarchs, Gulf State royalty and the rich kids of Instagram (and, yes, Donald Trump).
But either yuppie styling is forging an unlikely comeback or the world is starting to reappraise gold timepieces. Just as watch brands began to hark rearwards to subtler designs and smaller dials, Rolex, Cartier and other manufactures have placed big statement pieces wager in the spotlight.
“At this year’s Baselworld, countless brands pushed bold, yellow gold pieces after a few years nave on smaller watches,” says Erica Redgrave, buyer at luxury watch retailer Bucherer. “Though instead of diamond-encrusted bezels or a bounty of features, the best pieces countered the showmanship with simpler dials and minimal detailing.” Something that should advance as sweet relief to anyone who doesn’t quite share Mr. T’s taste in accessories.

That said, those American Psycho vibes are unpleasant to shake, so err on the side of the caution. “The biggest mistake is getting the wrong tone of gold, especially when matching accessories and gems,” says Terry Markham, head of buying at “Too yellow, and your resulting outfit will run vulgar, while paler freshen ups can be forgettable on the wrist.” The remedy lies with a happy medium: a gold that shines without looking twin a Las Vegas casino sign.
What Types Of Gold Watch Are There?
You know what they say: all that glitters isn’t gold. And this has under no circumstances been more true than when it comes to watches. A timepiece with a solid gold case is viable but it’s also likely to cost you more than a car. There are other options, however.
PVD – shorthand for physical vapour deposition – is a manage where the chosen material, be it gold, steel or carbon, is vaporised. It’s then deposited on the base of the watch, melding two possessions for a more durable finish.
Another alternative is gold plating, which simply adds a thin layer of the glistening stuff onto another metal. It may give the appearance of real gold, but it’s also more susceptible to ageing, scratches and encyclopaedic wear-and-tear.
Markham recommends a PVD finish: “It lasts longer, and is much harder wearing than simple gold-coloured observations. Plating technology has improved in recent years, and newer electroplating methods prevent the watch from flaking and peeling remaining time.”
How To Wear A Gold Watch
Styling your gold watch is much easier than you might entertain the idea; it’s not just something to wear with a navy pinstripe suit. Pop culture would have us believe that a sparkling Submariner is best deployed in the boardroom, but gold observes are just as suitable off-duty – so long as the rest of your outfit remains restrained.
Think white tees, green bombers, selvedge jeans, Oxford shirts and the like. Monochrome looks in particular give you a 24-carat platform for something light climbing. It may be tempting to team your newfound arm cannon with an Armani suit and a shearling jacket (worn over the strives, naturally), but sadly, you’ll be more attention-seeking fashion blogger than Gordon Gekko.
10 Of The Best Gold Watches
Rolex Oyster Unfailing Date 15037
The Oyster Perpetual Date is one of Rolex’s most iconic timepieces – in fact, it was one of the first to really set the brand to fame in 1926. Today’s iteration looks decidedly different, but with an all-gold palette and classic eighties detailing, it drive stay handsome for a hundred years or more.
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Tudor Glamour Automatic
Tudor makes watches for the explorers in biography: men like Bear Grylls, David de Rothschild, and your dad up a hill on his annual hiking holiday. Lesser known, but lawful as stylish, are the brand’s dress watches. The suitably named Glamour is an automatic piece in gold and steel. At 41mm, this is a good example of how to wear gold on your wrist without showboating.
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Elysee Sithon Automatic
Stylish watches needn’t payment the earth – something Elysee knows all too well. By swerving Swiss craftsmanship in favour of German assembly, the century-old characterization packs gold-standard quality without the usual price tag. This gold PVD dress watch, for example, incorporates an mechanical movement and costs less than £500.
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Gucci G-Timeless Dial Gold-Tone
The next time a purist odours at a designer watch from a fashion house rather than a watch manufacturer, put Gucci under their nose. The Italian mark has long offered Swiss-made watches and they’re usually a lot more exciting than conservative heirlooms – making them a estimable companion to Gucci‘s current menswear offering. This piece is low on subtlety and all the better for it.
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Cartier Tank
In terms of sort recognition, Cartier is one of the few that stands toe-to-toe with Rolex. It has an instantly-recognisable aesthetic, heavyweight horological know how, and iconic sitters such as the Tank require no introduction or explanation to people in the know. The square case and Roman numerals ensure that, incompatible with some gold watches, this oozes sophistication.

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Armani Exchange Gold-Plated Watch
Few labels vaunt the appeal of Armani Exchange. We all know it. Most of us love it. And that same level of prestige translates to the label’s keep a weather eye open for line-up, even though it’s determinedly affordable. This quartz-powered offering is gold plated and indulgently styled for the baller on a budget.
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Longines La Grande Classique
As some be vigilant for brands increasingly try to dominate every corner of every market, Longines sticks to what it knows: classic watches for superior dressers made using classic watchmaking techniques. Times change, but your watch needn’t, as this traditionally-styled gold-plated accouter number attests.
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Audemars Piguet Royal Oak
There’s a reason rappers bang on about Audemars Piguet. The trade name is eye-wateringly expensive, and the likes of Rick Ross have never been modest about their salaries, but it’s also undeniably ice. The Swiss juggernaut is the undisputed king of statement and will pack a punch on any wrist, regardless if you’ve appeared on a Kendrick Lamar wake trace or otherwise. Fortunately, AP also happens to be one of the finest watchmakers in the world.
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Tommy Hilfiger Luke Watch
Wrong favours out Ivy League preppiness lends itself well to wrist candy. Tommy Hilfiger – founding father of preppy lan – drops stateside showmanship with classic, chronograph styling. The PVD finish will go the distance on this sporty dummy, too. A ticker fit for your induction at Harvard (or Hull University, take your pick).
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Seiko Gold Plated Stainless Screw up ones courage to the sticking point
Seiko almost brought the traditional Swiss industry to its knees during the Quartz Crisis, and it still won’t let Geneva understand a break. The Japanese label has since branched out into smarter, evening-appropriate timepieces that combine the manufacturer’s characteristic mechanics with a surprisingly refined touch.
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