Tracking Time: Gold Watches
Gold has always been a favourite of watch lovers from…
Gold has always been a favourite of watch lovers from time immemorial. And in the last six months when the global economy has tanked because of the Covid-19 pandemic, the metal is back in the limelight as the safe haven for investors looking to park their money away from the volatile stock markets. It gave us a good opportunity to look at the best gold watches that you can buy. To start with, though, a small primer on gold used in making watches. The 18K gold that is used in luxury watches, is a combination of 75 per cent pure gold, and a mix of various other metals in proportions, depending on the desired hue. #Yellow gold is an alloy of pure gold, silver, and copper. # Pink, Everose, and red gold are also made by combining pure gold with copper and silver. But the proportion of copper in the alloy is adjusted for the desired shade of red or pink. # White gold, which has become very popular these days, is made by mixing pure gold with nickel, palladium, zinc, and copper.
JAQUET DROZ GRANDE SECONDE QUANTIÈME IVORY ENAMEL
The 41mm case of this watch is in 18K red gold. The dial features double level ivory Grand Fleu enamel, with 18K red gold appliques. In the typical Jaquet Droz style, the hours and minutes are off-centred at 12 o’clock, while the large offcentred seconds sub-dial is at 6. The self-winding mechanical movement Jaquet Droz 2660Q2 features an 18K red gold oscillating weight. Power reserve of 68 hours.
BVLGARI OCTO FINISSIMO AUTOMATIC BLASTED GOLD
Part of the Octo Finissimo line of ultra-thin watches launched just six years ago, this automatic version comes in a 40mm case in sandblasted 18K pink gold that is just 5.15mm thick. The Bulgari caliber BVL138 is just 2.23mm thick, and offers a power reserve of 60 hours.
ROLEX SUBMARINER DATE 41
The yellow gold used in the making of the 41mm case of this Submariner Date, is made in Rolex’s own foundry. It is powered by a caliber 3235 perpetual, mechanical selfwinding movement, with a 70-hour power reserve. Comes with a unidirectional rotatable bezel with Cerachrom insert, and a solid-link Oyster bracelet.
LANGE & SÖHNE 1815 THIN HONEYGOLD
A.Lange & Sohne first developed the special Honeygold alloy in 2010 for their limited edition watches, to celebrate 165 years of the brand. The alloy’s gold composition is a secret, but it is known to be harder and more scratch resistant than regular gold. This watch celebrates 175 years of the brand, and comes in a 38mm case that is just 6.3mm thick. The manual winding L093.1 caliber boasts of a power reserve of 72 hours
VACHERON CONSTANTIN OVERSEAS SELF-WINDING FULL PINK GOLD
This stunning, new addition to the Overseas line, comes in a 41mm, pink gold case, with an option of 18K pink-gold full bracelet. The dial features a blue-lacquered satin finish with gold indexes. Powered by the automatic Vacheron Constantin 5100 movement, with a power reserve of 60 hours.
HUBLOT CLASSIC FUSION 40TH ANNIVERSARY
Calling it the ‘Art of Fusion’, Hublot broke all rules of luxury in 1980 by putting a rubber strap on a gold watch. It turned out to be a pioneering move. The brand celebrates the 40th anniversary of the icon with this watch in a 45mm polished, 18K yellow gold case. The bezel is also in yellow gold with the six famous screws in titanium. The dial is in black lacquer, while the clasp of the black rubber straps is in yellow gold. The Hub1112 self-winding movement has a power reserve of 42 hours.
LUMINOR MARINA PANERAI GOLDTECH44MM
Goldtech is a propriety Panerai alloy developed at its Laboratorio di Idee, and is used for making the 44mm case of this watch. The high percentage of copper (24 per cent) combined with platinum (0.4 per cent) in the alloy is the key to achieving its intense tone, and extreme resistance to oxidation. Its look is further enhanced by the deep blue sandwich dial with satiné soleil decoration. The Panerai Caliber P.9010 automatic movement is only 6mm thick, but provides a three-day power reserve.
PATEK PHILIPPE REF. 5270J001 PERPETUAL CALENDAR CHRONOGRAPH
This watch represents for the first time, Patek Philippe’s iconic perpetual calendar chronograph that has been offered in a 41mm yellow gold case. The silver opaline dial also features yellow-gold markers and yellow-gold leaf hands with indications for the hours, minutes, small seconds, day, date, month, leap year, day and night, phase of the moon, chronograph with instant 30-minute display, and a tachymeter scale located between an inner chapter for the minutes, and an outer chapter for the chronograph seconds. Powered by the manuallywound caliber CH-29-535 PS Q movement that offers a power reserve of up to 65 hours.
GRAND SEIKO ELEGANCE 60TH ANNIVERSARY IN ROSE GOLD
This slim 60th anniversary special edition of the Grand Seiko Elegance comes in a 39 mm, 18K rose gold case. Its patterned green dial celebrates the beauty of Shizukuishi, the wooded town in north west Japan, which is the home of the Grand Seiko mechanical watches. The 9S64 manualwinding caliber has a power reserve of 72 hours.
IWC PORTUGIESER AUTOMATIC 42
The 42mm case of this automatic Portugieser is in 18K 5N Gold. It is a variation of rose gold with less silver and more copper as compared to 4N gold, giving it a redder look, and increased hardness. The blue dial displays the power reserve at 3 o’clock and the small seconds at 9 o’clock. It is powered by IWC’s 52010 automatic caliber, with an impressive power reserve of seven days.
ROGER DUBUIS EXCALIBUR SUPERBIA
It has been described by some as the epitome of opulence. Roger Dubuis categorises it as a ‘hyperwatch’, as in a hyper-luxury watch. The 45mm case and lugs are in white gold. But you can hardly see them because they are paved with 600 hand-set, tetrahedron-cut diamonds, and deep blue sapphires. Not surprising that the designers have engraved a discreet ‘Memento Mori’ on the watch. The Latin phrase translates into ‘remember you must die’, and is supposed to imply that we are all mortals, so enjoy life while you can. Powered by the Roger Dubuis double tourbillon movement known as the Caliber RD0108SQ, with two adjacent flying tourbillons on the dial. Power reserve of 72 hours.
BREGUET TRADITION AUTOMATIQUE SECONDE RÉTROGRADE 7097
This watch in a 40mm, 18K white gold case, gets its name from the retrograde seconds hand at 10 o’clock. The semicircle with a circular brushed finish superimposed on the dial provides readability, and highlights the retrograde seconds’ complication. The pare-chute, a Breguet invention that protects the balance staff from shocks and is emblematic of the Tradition collection, is located at 4 o’clock. The selfwinding movement provides a power reserve of 50 hours.
CHOPARD L.U.C XPS TWIST QF
Chopard has earned its reputation of being a sustainable company that ensures all its gold is mined ethically. This limited edition series watch (250 pieces), with a distinctive offset small seconds display and offset crown, comes in a slim 40mm case in white gold. Powered by Chopard’s self-winding caliber 96.26-L, with a power reserve of 65 hours.