Why Are Gold Watches So Expensive?

Why Are Gold Watches So Expensive?
Why Are Gold Watches So Expensive?

Watches, the good quality ones, tend to be expensive. If you are new to the watch world, let me tell you that a $12.000 Rolex is just the tip of the iceberg. Other reputable and highly exclusive brands like Patek Philippe, Audemars Piguet, Vacheron Constantin, and others, tend to reach ridiculous prices in auctions all around the world. And they aren’t necessarily made of gold either.

Unlike years ago when watches were seen as timekeeping instruments and that only, in today’s world, a watch is more than that. The watch industry has shaped the concept we have about them, making watches not only a reliable tool to keep track of time but also the ultimate status symbol. 

This is why gold watches are expensive. To the audience that finds them appealing, gold watches are seen as luxury goods that indicate economic or social status, represent an externally visible symbol of one’s social position. 

What are some of the best solid gold watches?

Patek Philippe Golden Ellipse 

Considered by many watch enthusiasts as their holy grail watch, the Patek Philippe Golden Ellipse is one of the best and most classy dress watches you will ever find. Its universal, ellipse form, paired with beautiful minimalism on the dial, make the watch an all-time favorite among the gold watches. With a sensible design that remains strong towards conservatism, a Patek Philippe Ellipse in yellow gold is, without doubt, a statement piece. 

Rolex Datejust in 18k White Gold Ref. 126334

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Pictured above is the Rolex Datejust with model ref. 126334. It comes in a stale grey dial that houses green roman numerals, and a date window positioned at 3 o’clock. The polished fluted bezel incorporates 18k white gold, a nice selection that complements the rest of the case. It will always be a premium choice and if by chance you aren’t that much of a fan of solid yellow gold watches, Rolex has thought for you too.

Audemars Piguet “Jumbo” Royal Oak ref. 15202ba

When the answer to the question: “ How much gold?” is YES! If a solid yellow gold watch was what you were looking for, be amazed by the coveted Audemars Piguet “Jumbo” Royal Oak ref. 15202ba. From the petite tapisserie dial to the case and bracelet, the watch is forged in 18k yellow gold, paying tribute to the 1977 Royal Oak Extra-Thin. 

18K Gold Cartier Tank Ref. W1529756 

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Second only to Rolex in terms of brand recognition, simply by raising the bar, Cartier Tank has for a long time made exclusive watch brands have a run for their money. The iconic dress watch has with the passing of time turned into a cult symbol, being worn by world-renowned celebrities like Jacqueline Kennedy, Mohammad Ali, Princess Diana, just to name a few. The gold Cartier Tank pictured above with ref. W1529756 comes in an 18k yellow gold case, the signature circular-grained crown set with a sapphire cabochon, and a brown alligator strap. 

Baume & Mercier 8787 Classima 

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Another premium gold dress watch comes again from a Swiss watchmaker – this time, Baume & Mercier. From their Classima collection of dress watches, we were able to extract an 18k yellow gold piece with gold roman numerals, stick indexes, and gold dauphine hands. More than its weight in gold, what is priceless in this watch is its timeless design, achieved by a classically styled textured white dial. 

Calibre de Cartier in Black Steel and Rose Gold

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In addition to being regarded as one of the best watchmakers of truly classy dress watches, the designers at Cartier can also sometimes go ape. The two-tone Calibre de Cartier combines black steel and rose gold, to bring into being a luxury dive watch. What ticks underneath, as well as the workmanship used to create an airtight case are a work of art, but the design might not be appealing to some, making it a “hate it or love it” matter. 

Blancpain Villeret Quantieme Complet 8 Jours

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This one last gold watch and we’re done with suggesting expensive things to people for today. If you want to put on a gold watch, Blancpain, arguably the oldest watch brand in the world, allows you to do it with style. The Villeret Quantieme Complet 8 Jours defies the current steel trends and brings to you a more refined gold option. It is a well-finished dress watch that will grab you by the soul at a glance. 

Reasons Why Gold Watches Are Expensive 

Although it is unreasonable for a watch to be worth as much as a medium water borehole in Ethiopia, let us all dream for a utopian world for a moment and reason the price tags of gold watches. 


It costs to be above average. Gold, like the watches it is incorporated into, is one of the most exclusive metals on the planet. Not only does the price of gold watches skyrocket because of the precious metal, but because of the craftsmanship too. Most gold watches come from reputable brands like Rolex or Patek Philippe, brands that keep their production limited, creating this way, a gap in the market of luxury watches. To add, not all watch brands are able to come up with a gold watch model. 

Not because they can’t, nor because they can’t afford to make their watches from gold. The reason is that a gold watch from a non-reputable brand wouldn’t be as appealing to the audience as a luxury brand would be. 

Most people are willing to pay top dollar, only to own a piece of bling marked with the name of brands like Rolex, Patek Philippe, Audemars Piguet, synonymous with luxury and exclusivity. 

Status Symbols

Gold watches are often associated with the best things in life. Also called a milestone purchase, buying a gold watch to celebrate life’s finest moments is a tradition of the wealthy. You’ve hit retirement, treat yourself with a gold watch; got that business deal you were waiting for, celebrate the moment with a gold watch; have a relationship anniversary nearing, look no further as a gold watch can perfectly mark that occasion, and rest assured as your partner will treasure the gift forever. Nonetheless, a gold watch is always a great choice.

A Tribute to Watchmaking Craftsmanship

From diving to space exploration and everything in between, watches have played an important role in the development of human society. Today, in a world filled with digital screens, we may sometimes wonder why we even wear a watch. To make a good impression, to adorn ourselves with style, to start a conversation, to make a statement – these are only some of the good reasons why watches are still popular. The conventional analog watches are offered to us as an escape from the digital screens. And they are the perfect example of the craftsmanship that few genius watchmakers can reach. 10x times better when in gold. 

Cost of Materials 

Cases, bracelets, crowns, bezels, rotors, and even the tiniest components of a watch movement can be made out of gold. However, regardless of their purity or value, gold watches aren’t always made 100% out of gold. Pure gold is too malleable, therefore many watchmakers opt for other metals like palladium, copper, or silver. These metals are capable of giving the watch’s movement the necessary hardness and mechanical resistance. As for the rest of the watch, in general, many watch brands often go for 18 karat gold, due to its robustness. Because 18k gold comes with mixed alloys, it is more durable and resistant to scratches. You will also find other precious metals and gems often incorporated in gold watches. Diamonds, for example, are some of the most preferred gems from watchmakers. 

When To Wear A Gold Watch?

When done right, gold watches can turn into the perfect statement piece. Considered as one of the most suitable tones for watches, gold watches display a timeless, refined edge. As with every other fashion accessory, gold watches also have their rules when it comes to wearing them. Not “you’re going to jail if you break them’ rules”, but unwritten rules that make a whole code of wear about gold watches. For one, it would be suitable to wear a gold watch with formal attire.

For something less formal, you can always opt for two-tone gold watches or timepieces made of white gold. This way you can wear your pieces with less dressy outfits like business attire, or business casual. 

When its cues of wealth can be detrimental, it would be better to avoid wearing a gold watch. Occasions like at a funeral, deserve a high level of respect, therefore I would recommend leaving your time to shine for another day. 

In last words, a gold watch is a bold statement that will definitely grab some attention and start a conversation. If you genuinely believe you deserve a yellow gold watch, simply put it on and forget about it. Wear it with brilliance and make it part of your identity that no one can question.