Gold watches represent wealth and status, and in a sense, it has always been that way. Having said that, watch makers used gold as a case material for very practical reasons in a historical sense. Gold as a metal has some interesting properties, from being easily machined to being heavily tarnish-resistant (it also takes a polish really well). When gold is mixed with other metals to produce alloys, it mixes some of the beneficial properties of gold with the hardness of those other metals.
Historically, most gold-cased watches have been either 14k or 18k gold. 18k gold watches are a relatively recent phenomenon, having become popular starting in the early 1980s, when gold prices began to increase, allowing watch makers to add more gold but also increase the prices of their gold watches.
In the business world, gold watches have had an interesting history. During the 20th century, it was the goal of many people to work at a company for many years finally to be gifted a gold watch upon retirement (which happened for at least some people). Gold watches worn by certain types of business people and professionals are an indicator of success and status. People wanted to work with those who could afford themselves gold watches because it implied a level of ongoing monetary success and social importance.
Today, gold watches have similar social and cultural value, although their importance in the luxury watch industry has changed with the influx of many other types of interesting materials. There are those people who wish to wear expensive timepieces that aren’t immediately recognizable as such, and there are even those people who simply don’t like the idea of wearing gold. Obvious status symbols such as gold watches can even be dangerous to wear in certain parts of the world, and in some instances, might even convey social messages about one’s spending habits which one may not want to communicate.
Nevertheless, the appeal of wearing an all-gold watch is still very much a desire for a number people of all ages across different cultures. I’ve put together a list of what I feel are 10 of the best timepieces to wear when your main goal is simply to have a prominently gold watch without a lot of fuss. There is really no deficit of gold-cased watches out there, but these 10 timepieces very much emphasize the notion of wearing a “gold watch.” I want to point out that, in my opinion, you need to wear an 18k yellow or 18k rose/pink/red gold watch for the fullest gold experience, as 18k white gold doesn’t have the standard gold color, and given that it can be mistaken for steel from afar, just doesn’t have the correct intended “gold watch” effect.