What to Know Before You Buy a Gold Watch

If it’s always been a dream of yours to own a gold watch of your very own, then you already know there’s often a lofty price tag attached. So, before you spend your hard-earned cash on a style that’ll find a lifelong home in your jewelry box (and on your wrist), we asked an expert to weigh in on the shopping process.

Coming from the watch department of Christie’s Auction House, a company that’s synonymous with hunting down the most precious and rare timepieces (among other treasures), associate specialist Rebecca Ross advised us that there are a few key guidelines when it comes to luxe watches.

For instance, “Most gold watches from the top brands have always been and are still produced in 18k gold. Recently, 14k gold has become a popular alternative,” she says. “I would suggest being aware of the gold markings as well as any other gold stamps that are usually found on the inside of the watch case.

Some of Ross’s favorite gold designs come from brands like Rolex, Rado, Omega, and Oris, and specifically rarer, unique designs that usually take a bit more searching to find. Personally, my favorite shopping is always at quirky and mysterious vintage stores,” she says. “Mainly I spend my time in New York, but the best ones are in the more obscure cities in the world.”

But that’s not to say a passport or thousands of dollars are non-negotiables to own a watch that speaks to you. It’s cliché, but I always suggest to my clients to choose what speaks to them most,” says Ross. “A watch isn’t just a piece of jewelry—it’s something you will want to admire while wearing and hopefully keep for many years and generations to come.”

With this in mind and along with Ross’s guidance, we did our own hunting and came up with 11 gold watch styles that might just be the one for you. Some follow Ross’s advice regarding karats and brands, but there are also plenty of more affordable options that might not check off every requirement but will feel no less special. Keep scrolling to see for yourself.

This Gucci design just flashes a bit of gold around the watch’s face.

Love the cool color contrast between the tan band, the silver face, and the gold casing.

A subtle swoosh makes this maroon design unique.

For those who favor just a smidgen more sparkle.

Affordable and it has a hint of elegant pearl.

Trust us: This watch deserves a close-up inspection of all the celestial details.

Clean, simple, classic—this is a purchase to pass down to the next generation.

There’s no denying that the name Rolex carries a special cachet.