The gold watch is an icon of men’s style. Done right and worn right, it carries a real senseless, timeless, masculine style.
Of course, there are some potential pitfalls – too chunky, too fake, too blingy, too much gold in one look. You don’t have to look like an extra from Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, a Del Boy, or a tasteless 1980s yuppy. Although saying that, there are some stylistic elements to all of the above that this writer doesn’t mind too much. It’s an accent, though, an accessory. A touch of understated flair, usually.
Depending on your personal preferences, there’s a gold watch to suit everyone. Unless you are convinced, you prefer silver. Even then, there’s a way.
To help you navigate this beautifully engineered minefield, we’ve assembled a timely pick of the best – from the eye-watering to the everyday.
1. Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Jumbo
THE SPECTACULAR OPTION
We begin with the spectacular, available here as a piece of pre-owned perfection for those with expensive taste but an understated sense of style. Simultaneously substantial and streamlined, this “extra-thin” offering comes in 18-carat yellow gold with a blue Petite Tapisserie dial. Real ‘watch heads’ will enjoy the intricate inner workings exposed on the underside.
2. Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch
THE LEGENDARY OPTION
An icon of watchmaking, this refined yellow gold and the leather chronograph is inspired by the 4th generation Speedmaster – representing Omega’s pioneering spirit and dedication to unwavering quality. This is for those with an adventurous streak that enjoy the unique, rich story on offer here. “FIRST WATCH WORN ON THE MOON” is engraved on the back – it doesn’t get much more luxurious than that when it comes to gold watches for men.
THE TIMELESS OPTION
Tissot prides itself on the “everlasting style” of its T-Classic collection, and this all-gold quartz watch reflects that dedication to timeless elegance. If your wardrobe exudes a simple, quiet luxury that requires just a flicker of understated gold, this timepiece may be for you. It’s also water resistant to 100 metres (330 feet). Handy for those particularly adventurous watch wearers.
4. Tudor Black Bay Fifty-Eight
THE MODERN CLASSIC OPTION
A taste of enduring Swiss craftsmanship with a modern point of view. This automatic Tudor watch has a luxurious alligator leather strap and an 18-carat yellow gold case with exquisite domed sapphire crystal. In the same vein as the Omega above in terms of style, this is definitely for the man that enjoys the classicism, specificity and richness of men’s style. Comes with an optional green woven strap as a casual alternative.
5. Jaeger-Le-Coultre Polaris Perpetual Calendar
THE PINK GOLD OPTION
Featuring a pink 18-carat gold case, 54 jewels and an 868AA calibre movement visible through the back, this is a piece of pure, Swiss-made luxury from JLC. Despite its high-rolling credentials, there’s something more discreet about this watch that makes it extremely wearable. It’s offered with a very practical navy rubber strap to start you off – the exotic black alligator leather strap is in the box should you need it.
6. Tag Heuer Formula 1
THE TWO-TONE TAG OPTION
A beautiful piece of F1-inspired engineering for the wrist. According to the website, their TAG watches celebrate “prestige, performance and avant-garde technology”, – which seems appropriate to this writer. Features a distinctive 18-carat gold silver-tone steel design with a rich, navy blue façade. This one is obviously for the motorsport fan, but also for someone that wants their watch to make a statement.
7. Gucci Grip
THE FASHION-FORWARD OPTION
A piece of eye-catching self-expression from Italian luxury behemoth Gucci. Unsurprising that the design should be extraordinary and outside the norms of classic watch design. That being said, this unisex watch is a beauty – vintage shaping, cushion-shaped gold case and an all-over repeat GG logo design. Ideally suited for the fashion-forward or those looking to make a high-end statement of style.
8. Longines Flagship
THE TWO COLOUR OPTION
Beautifully crafted stainless steel and gold-plated bracelet watch from the Les Grandes Classiques collection. Founded in 1832, Longines is known for its precision and elegance, which is exactly what this timepiece offers. A luxe, minimal face and the subtle sheen of the overall finish lends itself to a timeless, masculine and perhaps more mature wardrobe for those who know themselves and their personal style.
9. Cerina DS-2 Powermatic 80
THE ALTERNATIVE OPTION
There’s a touch of gold, well-understated brushed gold, in this ‘Powermatic’ from Certina. There’s also a unique alternative look and feel compared to other men’s gold watches in this list. It features 200m water resistance, making it perfectly suited to those with an active lifestyle and water sports—elegance, practicality and function. The dark brown leather strap is versatile in terms of wardrobe coordination.
10. Timex T80
THE VALUE-FOR-MONEY OPTION
Black and gold is always a winning combination. This Timex digital watch offers fantastic day-to-day style and excellent value for money. This timepiece is definitely for the more casual mindset and wardrobe than the others featured in this article. As we move towards summer, there’s a great on-the-move, ‘throw a crisp white t-shirt on’ feel to this old-school option.
11. LA Californienne Daybreak
THE WEST COAST OPTION
According to Mr Porter, “La Californienne seeks inspiration from the colourful shades of the Californian sky,” and this ‘Daybreak’ watch recalls the shades of dawn.” We’d agree. There’s a real sense of West Coast, sun-kissed luxury to this elegant timepiece. The retro credentials of the tri-tone handmade leather strap balance an understated, rectangular gold case. Offered with an alternative strap within the presentation box for further style versatility.
12. Boss Elite Men’s Watch
THE AFFORDABLE LUXURY OPTION
More familiar gold watch territory here from Boss, who offer sleek design and exceptional quality in their watches. Another black and gold combination offers something that feels classic yet highly contemporary. The Roman numerals and chain link bracelet features heighten that sense of enduring style. This watch is called ‘Elite’, and we can see why. This choice is perfect for the modern watch wearer who enjoys touches of timelessness in their repertoire.
13. Rado Diastar Original
THE OPULENT OPTION
Something eye-catching and overtly luxurious from Rado. With a rich all-over gold tone and stone set hour markers, this watch makes a real statement of intent. It comes with scratch-resistant sapphire glass, water resistance and a Swiss-powered automatic function – there’s practicality and efficiency too. The unique case shape and execution further confirm the stand-out credentials of this watch. It’s ideal for those that enjoy a real conversation starter of an accessory.
14. Cartier Santos-Dumont
THE LUXURY PURIST OPTION
A piece of beautifully crafted quiet luxury from Cartier – featuring an 18-carat rose gold case, beaded crown set with a sapphire cabochon and an alligator leather strap in dark grey. Everything about this watch screams quality. The owner of a watch like this has a refined palate but doesn’t shout about it. Their wardrobe is full of discreet, high-quality pieces that would perfectly complement a timepiece like this.
15. Panerai Luminor
THE ITALIAN NAVY COMMANDO OPTION
Another high-end spectacular, this time from Panerai. Their Luminor collection was originally developed for Italian army commandos – these watches are reinventing for each new generation of fans. Traditional features like the cushion-shaped case and crown-protecting bridge remain balanced with the clean, modern craftsmanship of an 18-carat rose gold case and masculine black dial. The black alligator leather strap adds to that sense of modern classicism.
16. Rolex Cosmograph Daytona
THE ICONIC OPTION
A pre-owned alternative from iconic watchmaker Rolex. A real collector’s piece was first developed in the 1960s for racing drivers, so you can be sure that this watch’s performance, comfort, and build quality are to the finest level. A typically masculine construction sees a two-tone stainless steel and yellow gold finish. It also features a highly reliable chronograph and bezel with a tachymetric scale for the man that appreciates timeless style and iconic design.
17. Bremont Limited Edition Longitude
THE REFINED OPTION
Immaculate, refined and the best in watchmaking, this limited edition Bremont watch is offered in 18-carat rose gold and black alligator leather. Fun fact, this timepiece incorporates original brass from the historic Flamsteed Meridian Line at the Royal Observatory Greenwich, London – adding to the peerless luxury credentials of the brand. One of only 75 made. The subtle tonal differences and high-end engineering point to a wardrobe of quiet luxury.
18. G-Shock Chinese New Year
THE LIMITED EDITION OPTION
Another limited edition piece, this time from G-Shock. This is a bold, unconventional piece of watchmaking in honour of the 2023 Chinese New Year. As the brand says, this watch has an “innovative, structural beauty” – with a combination of resin, steel and a ‘moon rabbit’ design. In terms of functionality, the watch uses Bluetooth technology to connect with the Casio Watches smartphone app.
19. Nixon Sentry
THE VERSATILE OPTION
This Nixon Sentry watch takes traditional watchmaking codes and timeless style into 2023. The subtlety of using the green sunray on the watch face creates a point of difference for this elegant and discreet timepiece. In terms of styling, it’s versatile – this writer could imagine pairing it with relaxed navy tailoring, a wedding suit or something much more casual. At this price, it’s an excellent, flexible option to have in your sartorial arsenal.
20. Raymond Weil Toccata
THE GO-TO OPTION
Regarding gold watches for men in 2023, it feels as though we’ve covered every taste, budget and practical requirement. We close with a masterful example of Raymond Weil’s elegant horology in yellow gold: Swiss-made quartz movement and a minimal, refined white dial. If you’re looking for a watch that beautifully combines classicism with modernity, look no further.