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The Best Gold Watches for Men

The gold watch has always been and remains special.

rolex oyster day date watch

Gold is created by supernovas when neutron stars collide and is thought to be the first metal known to humans — but more importantly: it likely looks good on your wrist. It also has a long history in watchmaking, but you might even look right past all that simply for its famously bewitching shininess. Stainless steel tends to be the preferred material for most watches today, but there's still a potent allure to the gold watch.

Go back to before the 1920s and 1930s when stainless steel was first used in watchmaking and you'll find a lot of watches made from silver and gold. These are softer materials that are easier to machine — and it helps that they polish up particularly well. Unlike silver, though, gold is also highly resistant to tarnishing. Even after steel began to be used for watch cases, it didn't become common until many decades later, and elegant gold watches remained popular.

Gold has weight both cultural and physical. Around the 1940s in the US, for example, a tradition began of presenting a gold watch to retiring employees after decades of service at a company. That practice has mostly been abandoned today, but the gold watch as a symbol of value, achievement and just something special remains in the popular memory.

If you want a gold watch today, there are many choices. You can simply get the look with a "gold-toned" or "gold-plated" watch, one with gold plating over a less expensive metal (usually steel), or you can spring for one of solid gold. Most solid gold watches use 18 carat gold, an alloy of 75% gold mixed with other metals that help harden it (and cost less than pure 24 carat, which is generally too soft for watches anyway). A more affordable option can also (but rarely) be found in 14 carat (about 53%) gold. The misleading term gold-filled refers to a thin (less than 5% of total weight, but thicker than gilding or gold plating) layer of gold over a core of another metal, but this is uncommon in modern watches.

Watchmakers often like to use gold because it allows them to mark up their products. The price of a gold watch will often be considerably more than the value of the material itself compared to the same watch in steel, but watchmakers can also add value through finishing — even though gold is easier to work with than a cheaper, harder metal like steel. In addition to classic yellow gold, many watch companies use red gold, pink gold, rose gold and even produce and name their own unique alloys.

For today's chrysophilist, you'll find several options below offering simply the warm or blingy look of gold for affordable prices, as well as several more serious investments that'll remind you of their auriferous composition by the weight on your wrist.

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Casio Vintage A168WG

Just about the cheapest gold-colored watch we can actually recommend is one of the many available digital masterpieces from Casio. Go for a gold calculator watch, a Casio World Time or analog-digital... but this is a classic iteration that even many serious watch lovers can appreciate with more genuine appreciation than irony.

Materials: Gold-toned stainless steel
Diameter: 35mm
Movement: Quartz

Price: $48

Q Timex 1975 Reissue

The Timex Q (or Q Timex) series that resurrects vintage quartz models from the 1970s is full of style and value. This reissue of a model from 1975 has a 38mm case and offers a look that's hard to find in modern watches. Proudly announcing its quartz movement, this is a solid watch for a shot of fashion or as a fun gift.

Materials: Gold-toned stainless steel
Diameter: 38mm
Movement: Quartz

Price: $169

Seiko 5 Sports SRPE74

The absurdly high bang-for-buck Seiko 5 Sports collection is based on a rugged sport watch concept, but among the many available variations are also those in a gold-toned execution. It might not be the kind of gold watch to make you look like a high roller, but it just might be a fun and accessible bit of bling for your wrist. A rose gold variation is available in addition to this yellow gold.

Materials: Gold-toned stainless steel

Diameter: 42.5mm

Movement: Seiko 4R36 automatic

Price: $281

Casio G-Shock Full Metal GMWB5000GD-4

If you like the throwback vibes of a digital watch in gold, there are great choices from TimexNixonBulova and even Hamilton. But few are more exciting than the original G-Shock design from 1983, and when you see it done up in metal (gold, no less) rather than its iconic black plastic, it feels kinda meta and kinda awesome. These models also include premium features like Tough Solar, bluetooth and Multiband 6. 

Materials: Rose gold ion-plated (IP) stainless steel

Diameter: 43.2mm

Movement: Casio quartz module 3459 with solar charging

Price: $590

Apple Watch Series 7

When the Apple Watch debuted in 2014, it also offered an Edition option in 18ct gold priced $10,000-$18,000. It's no longer produced, but nowadays you can get gold-colored versions of the Sport in aluminum or something like this: the Series 7 in stainless steel with gold coating.

Materials: Gold-toned stainless steel

Diameter: 38mm or 42mm

Movement: Apple Wear OS

Price: $749

Hamilton Intra-Matic Auto

One of the best dress watches around of course looks good in a gold finish. Hamilton really got the details and style of its Intra-Matic right, and with its curved sunburst dial and simple design, it'll make you feel like Don Draper no matter what else you're wearing. This simple case has a PVD gold coating and inside it houses an automatic movement.

Materials: Yellow PVD-coated stainless steel
Diameter: 38mm 
Movement: ETA 2892 automatic 

Price: $925


The Best Two-Tone Watches, and Why They Don't Suck
best two tone watches steel gold

If you don't wanna go full-gold — but you do wanna go full 1980s — get yourself a two-tone watch.


Tissot Excellence Automatic 18K Gold

You just found probably the most affordable modern watch in solid 18ct gold around. We're happy to say that it not only fits that criterion, but also has a great classic design, is sized nicely at 39.8mm, houses an excellent Swiss automatic movement and more. Cool, right? There are options of yellow or rose gold, black or white dials — and there's even a quartz version for about $900 less.

Materials: 18k rose gold 
Diameter: 39.8mm
Movement: ETA 2892 automatic

Price: $3,200


Cartier Tank Louis Cartier

There's almost no more classic, recognizable and (yes) elegant watch than the Cartier Tank, and it's at its best in this exact form: with a thin hand-wound movement and rose gold case as the Tank Louis Cartier. With a case that's only 6.6mm thick with an in-house movement inside, this is the archetypal gold watch experience.

Materials: 18ct rose gold 
Diameter: 25.5mm
Movement: Cartier 8971 MC

Price: $13,500


A. Lange & Söhne Saxonia
A. Lange & Söhne

It's no hyperbole that when you handle an A. Lange & Söhne watch for yourself, it's palpably special. You'll understand why the brand uses precious metals for its cases almost exclusively, as it just seems appropriate for something of this level of refinement. The Saxonia in pink gold and is just about the brand's most accessible product. (Also check out the brand's own "Honey Gold" alloy usually reserved for special editions.) 

Materials: 18ct pink gold 
Diameter: 37mm
Movement: A. Lange & Söhne L941.1

Price: $18,800


Omega Seamaster 300

Who says gold watches have to be formal and dressy? There are plenty of examples of gold sport watches from the Rolex Submariner to the Omega Seamaster 300, a great example with its excellent balance of moderate 41mm case size, vintage looks and, of course, rock-solid movement. (Omega's proprietary alloy of rose gold is called "Sedna Gold," but this particular version is classic yellow gold.)

Materials: 18ct yellow gold 
Diameter: 41mm
Movement: Omega 8401 automatic

Price: $20,100


Rolex Day-Date 40 "President"

Nothing says "gold watch" like a Rolex Day-Date, otherwise known as the "President." The Day-Date, in fact, only comes in precious metals, so there's no mistaking its prestige even when it's in white gold. With a full gold bracelet and that iconic fluted bezel, it screams "wealth" and is a worthy aspirational watch. It also comes in a range of configurations, including other gold alloys and dial colors such as Rolex's own rose gold alloy called "Everose."

Materials: 18ck yellow gold 
Diameter: 40mm
Movement: Rolex 3255 automatic

Price: $36,550


Audemars Piguet Royal Oak "Jumbo" Extra-Thin
Audemars Piguet

Conceived specifically to be produced in steel, there's a little irony to a gold Audemars Piguet Royal Oak — but never mind that, because it's one of the most baller watches out there. With a full gold (integrated) bracelet, it costs more than double its otherwise identical counterpart in stainless steel, but at these prices who's counting, anyway?

Materials: 18ct rose gold 
Diameter: 39mm
Movement: Audemars Piguet 2121 automatic

Price: $66,500


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