Best Gold Watches for Every Style and Budget
17 Gold Watches Every Man Should Consider Owning
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With Additions by Brian Scott Lipton
A gold wedding band or college ring isn’t risky, especially when done in moderation; it can be a bold style statement that’s still not over-the-top. But a gold watch is something else entirely. It takes careful selection, the ability to match other style accoutrements and the ability to restrain oneself. By gold most people mean yellow gold, which is unalloyed.
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And then there’s the distinctive rose gold – which is gold mixed with copper, and hence more pinkish in color – timepiece that’s a step in a more stylish direction while still remaining a class act when done properly. It’s definitely the more popular option these days. Wear rose gold when you can tastefully match accessories, either with grey, tan or black suiting or with tan, pastel or white business casual wear. But unless you really know what you’re doing, gold doesn’t go with t-shirts and shorts.
Another option, albeit a less popular option for men’s watches than it is for women’s watches, is white gold. White gold is an alloy of traditional yellow gold. It’s made up of pure gold, mixed with alloy metals that have a silver-white color. These typically include palladium and silver.
“A gold watch used to be considered tacky, but these days it’s a smart style move,” Paul Altieri, founder of online luxury watch retailer Bob’s Watches and one of the world’s top Rolex collectors, tells AskMen.
“They have traditionally been a sign of wealth — kings and presidents have always worn them — and that association still applies for most people. So wearing a gold watch is a statement of success and a status symbol, and they have more ‘sex appeal’ than [a stainless steel case]. A gold watch hints of the backs of limousines and penthouse apartments. Not a bad look at all if you can pull it off.”
“Gold watches show their versatility from being the flashiest of accessories to a study in subtleness,” notes David Lee, general manager of Watches at StockX, the live “bid/ask” marketplace backed by Eminem and Mark Wahlberg.
“There is nothing quite as satisfying to feel the gravitas from the weight of a gold timepiece. At more than double the density of stainless steel, it is easy to tell if a solid gold watch, especially with a solid gold bracelet, is real or not, simply by the weight. But after you have the watch on, you can just feel the importance of the timepiece.”
Which brings us to the difference between real gold and “gold tone.” Real gold is the precious metal that’s been prized since time immemorial. It can be gold plated or simply solid, and is usually 18 karat (a unit of purity). Gold tone is essentially a finish applied to stainless steel or some other material. Even if plated the actual amount of gold used is so little that it can’t be measured in karats. Anyone who’s familiar with actual gold jewelry can likely tell the difference at a glance.
Hence, you should expect to pay more for a proper gold watch. If you can’t afford real gold, you probably shouldn’t be trying to buy one. But if it’s really just the gold look you’re after and you don’t care about anything else, check out the less expensive pieces on the list we’ve compiled.
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From luxury watches to crazy affordable and stylish watches, take a look below for what we consider to be the best gold watches for men you can wear on your wrist right now.
Best Gold Watches for Men
Rolex Oyster Day Date
The Rolex Oyster Day-Date II President Gold Watch is the quintessential gold luxury dress watch as it speaks of wealth and taste in the way few timepieces do — Marilyn Monroe gave one to JFK, after all. Still, it should be concealed under your shirt cuff, since if you’re in this league, you really don’t need to show off.
$33,186 at Amazon.com
Cartier Tank Solo
Perhaps the most classic style of any watch on the market is the Cartier Tank – in fact, the design is actually military in origin (hence the name) – but which comes in a variety of intriguing styles. Cary Grant wore a gold Cartier Tank watch just like this one here, and it’s got a timeless appeal that’s a touch formal but always perfectly in style.
$4,950 at Amazon.com
Bulgari Octo Finissimo
The Bulgari Octo Finissimo automatic watch channels the brand’s sleek, contemporary Italian style to perfection. This model features a 40mm sandblasted 18k rose gold case and rose gold dial on an 18k rose gold bracelet with folding clasp, the perfect piece for those who want a classic bracelet model to round out their watch collection.
$43,400 at Bulgari.com
Parmigiani Fleurier Toric Chronometre
A thoroughly modern yet classic timepiece, complete with an 18-karat white gold case, the gorgeous Toric Chronomètre is a contemporary interpretation of the first watch designed by Michel Parmigiani. No time like the present to bring back a reminder of the past.
$20,200 at Parmigiani.com
Jaquet Droz Grande Seconde Moon Ivory Enamel
Gold abounds throughout this stunning timepiece from the 18k red gold dial to the 18k red gold oscillating weight in its movement to the 18k red gold features on the watch’s moon dial to the 18k red gold ardillon buckle — that’s a lot of gold for the price. We bet any man would be over the moon if he owned this remarkable watch.
$28,900 at Jaquet-Droz.com
Tutima Patria Power Reserve
Both gorgeous to look at and ultra-reliable, this easy-to read, easy-to-wear watch features a beautiful 18k rose gold case with a sapphire crystal caseback, brown alligator strap and a power reserve of 65 hours. It’s built to last in more ways than one.
$19,500 at Tutima.com
Hublot Spirit Of Big Bang Rainbow
A multi-colored marvel, this new watch from the Swiss watch giant features a satin-finished and polished 18k king gold case set with 166 colored gemstones as well as a satin-finished 18k king gold caseback with sapphire crystal and a polished 18k king gold bezel set with another 54 colored gemstones. It’s a shining example of fun, exceptional craftsmanship.
$92,600 at Hublot.com
Frederique Constant Carée Date
The varying scale Roman numerals on the dial of this watch, which references the Cartier Tank but costs a lot less, give it a high-end feel, and this is an excellent deal on a rose gold-plated Swiss-made timepiece.
$1,698 at Amazon.com
Best Gold-Tone Watches for Men
Shinola Runwell Sport Chronograph
What we like most about this oversized chrono from Detroit’s Shinola is the subtle mix of the black dial and yellow gold, the traditional Arabic numerals, the hand assembled high-accuracy quartz movement, and the scratch-resistant sapphire crystal face which make this a much stealthier style statement yet still furnishes the luxurious appeal of an all-gold timepiece. Paired with a black leather strap, this timepiece with it’s handsome gold case is one that is likely to stay in style as long as you want to wear it.
$925 at Nordstrom.com
Allurez Luminous Gold-Tone Watch
Suitable for both dress and casual wear, this handsome gold-tone stainless steel watch features a gold-tone bracelet and contemporary round bezel with a white stainless steel dial that also contains classic gold-tone luminous hands and a date marker protected by a scratch-resistant sapphire crystal. It’s the perfect watch for those who want to look like a million bucks — but spend less than four figures.
$550 at Allurez.com
Rado Diastar Gold-Tone Watch
If you are looking for shimmer and sparkle, consider the Rado Diastar, which features a gold-tone stainless steel bracelet, a fixed gold-tone stainless steel bezel and a gold-tone dial with both gold-tone hands and diamond markers. It’s the epitome of timeless elegance at a reasonable price.
$506 at Amazon.com
Vincero Chrono S Gold Reserve
Sleek, sharp and strong, the Chrono S is made of brushed gold 316L surgical steel and features a white matte dial with three mini-dials, as well as a Citizen Miyota movement, all providing superb functionality.
$209 at VinceroWatches.com
Michael Kors Slim Runway Quartz
It will take a sharp eye for someone to tell this stylish watch is pure stainless steel. Luckily, you will look so sharp wearing this fashionable timepiece on your wrist, you probably won’t care what anyone else thinks.
$195 at Amazon.com
Tissot Chemin Des Tourelles GMT
Tissot is a great “starter” Swiss watch brand for most people, with quality workmanship in an affordable package. This watch packs lots of visual appeal with the knurled detailing on the dial as well as a GMT function allowing you to keep track of two time zones.
$619 at Amazon.com
Maurice Lacroix Eliros Quartz
The gold-tone case really sets off the blue dial of this markedly elegant watch from Maurice Lacroix, an affordable Swiss watch brand worth keeping an eye on. The chronograph subdials also give it an appealing complexity.
$659.70 at Amazon
Seiko Recraft Automatic
The Recraft dress-sport harkens back to the 50s with its curved Seiko gold cushion case, brown dial and vintage style markers. The polished and brushed oyster bracelet is comfy on the wrist, and the Seiko automatic movement means that you’ll never have to pause to replace a battery.
$290 at Amazon.com
Nixon Time Teller
OK, so there’s not a single karat of gold on this burnished stainless steel watch, but it looks almost as good as the real thing. It has a GMT bezel, an easy-to-read analog display and second hand for those seeking precision. No wonder it’s a long-time consumer favorite.
$64.98 at Amazon.com
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