The best gold watches you can buy in 2021

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Gold watches have long divided opinions, and for good reason. A little awkward, isn’t it? For many people who own them, it’s less about style than wearing your bank balance on your wrist. A gold watch is the epitome of 1980s Wall Street yuppies. Patrick Bateman had one. Donald Trump has several. And today, the trend is maintained by oligarchs, Gulf State royalty, and wealthy Instagram kids (and, yes, Donald Trump).

But either the yuppie style makes an unlikely comeback, or the world begins to reevaluate gold watches. Just as watch brands began to revert to more subtle designs and smaller dials, Rolex, Cartier and other manufacturers put large, statement pieces back into the limelight.

“At this year’s Baselworld, countless brands came up with bold yellow gold pieces after a few years of focusing on smaller watches,” says Erica Redgrave, a buyer at luxury watch retailer Bucherer. “Although instead of diamond encrusted bezels or a host of features, the best pieces have countered the showpiece with simpler dials and minimal detail.” Something that should be a sweet relief for anyone who doesn’t quite share Mr. T’s taste for accessories.

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That said, those American psychopath vibrations are hard to shake, so err on the side of caution. “The biggest mistake is getting the wrong tone of gold, especially when pairing accessories and jewelry,” says Terry Markham, purchasing manager at WatchShop.com. “Too yellow, and your resulting outfit will be vulgar, while the paler tones can be forgettable on the wrist.” The cure lies in a happy medium: gold that shines without looking like a Las Vegas casino sign.

What types of gold watches are there?

You know what they say: all that glitters is not gold. And this has never been truer than when it comes to watches. A timepiece with a solid gold case is possible, but it is also likely to cost you more than a car. There are other options, however.

PVD – short for physical vapor deposition – is a process by which the material of choice, whether it is gold, steel or carbon, is vaporized. It is then deposited on the base of the watch, fusing two substances for a more durable finish.

Another alternative is gold plating, which simply adds a thin layer of shiny material on top of another metal. It can give the appearance of real gold, but it is also more susceptible to aging, scratches and general wear.

Markham recommends a PVD finish: “It lasts longer and is much more durable than simple gold watches. Plating technology has improved in recent years and new electroplating methods prevent the watch from chipping and chipping over time.

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How to wear a gold watch

Styling your gold watch is a lot easier than you might think; it’s not just something to wear with a navy striped suit. Pop culture would have us believe that a sparkling Submariner is best deployed in the boardroom, but gold watches work just as well outside of work hours, as long as the rest of your outfit stays understated.

Think white t-shirts, simple bomber jackets, selvedge jeans, oxford shirts and more. The monochrome looks in particular give you a 24k platform for something shimmering. It might be tempting to pair your new canon with an Armani suit and a sheepskin jacket (worn over the shoulders, naturally), but unfortunately you’ll be a more observant fashion blogger than Gordon Gekko.

10 of the best gold watches

Rolex Oyster Perpetual Date 15037

The Oyster Perpetual Date is one of Rolex’s most iconic watches – in fact, it was one of the first to truly launch the brand to fame in 1926. Today’s iteration is decidedly different. , but with an all-gold palette and classic ’80s details, it will stay beautiful for a hundred years or more.

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Rolex Oyster Perpetual Date 15037

Tudor Glamor Automatic

Tudor makes watches for life’s explorers: men like Bear Grylls, David de Rothschild, and your dad on top of a hill on his annual hiking vacation. Less known, but just as stylish, the brand’s dress watches. The aptly named Glamor is an automatic piece in gold and steel. At 41mm, this is a great example of how to wear gold on your wrist without showboating.

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tudor gold watch

Elysée Sithon Automatic

Stylish watches don’t have to be expensive, which the Élysée knows all too well. By deviating from Swiss craftsmanship in favor of German assembly, the century-old label offers benchmark quality without the usual price. This PVD gold dress watch, for example, incorporates an automatic movement and costs less than £ 500.

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Elysée Sithon Automatic

Gucci G-Timeless Golden Dial

The next time a purist sniffs a designer watch from a fashion house rather than a watchmaker, put on Gucci under their noses. The Italian brand has a long history of offering Swiss-made watches and they are generally much more exciting than conservative heirlooms – making them a worthy companion of Guccithe current offer of men’s clothing. This piece is not very subtle and so much the better for her.

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Gucci G-Timeless Golden Dial

Cartier Reservoir

In terms of brand awareness, Cartier is one of the few to rival Rolex. It has an instantly recognizable aesthetic, heavy watchmaking craftsmanship, and iconic models such as the Tank require no introduction or explanation to those in the know. The square case and Roman numerals ensure that, unlike some gold watches, it exudes sophistication.

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Cartier Reservoir

Gold-plated Armani Exchange watch

Few labels boast the appeal of Armani Exchange. We all know that. Most of us love it. And that same level of prestige is reflected in the brand’s range of watches, even if it is decidedly affordable. This quartz offering is gold plated and indulgently designed for the budget baller.

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gold watch armani exchange

Longines The Great Classic

As some watch brands increasingly try to dominate every nook and cranny of every market, Longines sticks to what it knows: classic watches for classic dressers made using classic watchmaking techniques. Times change, but not your watch, as this traditional style gold-plated dress number attests.

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Longines The Great Classic

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak

There’s a reason rappers talk about Audemars Piguet. The brand is insanely expensive, and Rick Ross’s tastes have never been modest when it comes to their salaries, but it’s also unmistakably cool. The Swiss juggernaut is the undisputed king of statement and will punch any wrist no matter if you’ve appeared on a Kendrick Lamar runway or whatever. Fortunately, AP also happens to be one of the best watchmakers in the world.

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Audemars Piguet Royal Oak

Tommy Hilfiger Luke Watch

Turns out Ivy League prep lends itself well to wrist candy. Tommy Hilfiger – the founding father of preppy style – ditched the showman in the United States with classic chronograph style. The PVD finish will also go a long way on this sporty model. A ticker adapted to your induction into Harvard (or the University of Hull, take your pick).

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Tommy Hilfiger Luke Watch

Seiko Gold Plated Stainless Steel

Seiko almost brought the traditional Swiss industry to its knees during the quartz crisis, and it always will not let Geneva take a break. The Japanese brand has since branched out into smarter, evening-friendly timepieces that combine the manufacturer’s quality mechanics with a surprisingly refined touch.

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Men's Seiko Gold Plated Stainless Steel

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