Vintage Gold Watches: A Buyer’s Guide
(5 Minute Read)
A gold vintage watch is perhaps the most timeless of all vintage watches. Luxurious, classy and a great investment piece.
As with all vintage watches, there’s a lot of information out there and choosing the right vintage gold watch for you can often be an overwhelming choice.
Here at Time Rediscovered, we look to provide our clients with a seamless, reliable buying experience to ensure you get the best value for your money - and the best watch for your wrist.
That’s why we’ve put together this guide for buying a vintage gold watch where we will cover:
- Why buy a vintage gold watch and what sets them apart from other watches;
- Key things to understand when buying a vintage gold watch;
- Six of our favourite gold vintage watches;
- How we can help find your dream vintage gold watch.
Why Buy a Vintage Gold Watch
In an age where you’ll almost always have access to the time, whether it’s on your phone or a computer, what’s the value in investing in a vintage gold watch?
There’s a certain power in glancing at a vintage watch from a different era that brings a smile to your face that no modern watch ever could. Especially when that vintage watch is made from gold!
A Timeless Companion
There’s something timeless about a vintage watch, something that says the methods of old are still relevant today. Especially with the glint of gold - the classic colour that’s been a symbol of luxury for thousands of years.
Despite what tradition may say, we believe that vintage gold watches are ideal for almost any occasion. Gold watches aren’t to be worn only a few times a year for the most important events, they’re meant to accompany you wherever you may go.
Whether you’re getting dressed to impress, or simply need something to keep time while you go exploring - the best vintage gold watches don’t overwhelm, but simply complete your look.
You should miss your gold watch when it’s gone, but it should never be the centre of attention. For us this means a dress watch with a minimalist (although not too minimal) design, light coloured dial, 33-38mm case size and black leather strap.
An investment that shines
On top of their function and timeless design, vintage gold watches can act as a great investment vehicle. Vintage watches are one of the best performing alternative investments of recent times. The addition of the gold material only adds a further dimension to their investment credential.
Timeless, versatile and a great investment, what more could you ask for!
What to look for when buying a vintage gold watch?
Whether it's your first gold watch, or you’re a long-time enthusiast, we know that buying vintage gold watches can often be overwhelming. With a plethora of information and lots of voices saying lots of different things, we’ve put together a few frequently asked questions to make things a little clearer.
- What’s the difference between gold plated, gold filled and vermeil?
Gold jewellery has been around for literally thousands of years. Over time, humans have come up with new and innovative ways to fulfil their creativity with this timeless metal. Gold plating, filling or gold vermeil are three popular ways of creating gold watches.
There’s quite a big difference between them. Let’s start with Vermeil.
Vermeil is also known as silver gilt. It describes jewellery that has been fashioned from high-quality silver, before being plated with a thin layer of gold. Today, most of this is made using electroplating, which is a chemical process that helps to fuse the metals.
Gold plating is similar to vermeil, in that it too is metal, electroplated with gold. The big difference here is that the base metal is often of a lower grade, such as brass, copper or another kind of metal. This has big implications for the price, as gold plated jewellery is often less expensive than vermeil.
Gold-filled jewellery is much thicker than gold plated. Sometimes up to more than 100%. This gives it enhanced properties, such as greater durability, resisting wear for longer. While the base metal is often on the lower end of the spectrum, it’s difficult to tell the difference between this and real gold!
- What are the main types of gold used in watches?
Different types of gold are used in watchmaking to achieve different finishes. Some manufacturers have even gone as far as patenting their gold. Ultimately choosing a type of gold is down to preference. Here are some of the most popular options:
Popular shades, such as rose gold are a blend of gold and copper. The intensity of the rose colour is down to the concentration of copper within the mixture.
While many think that rose and pink gold are the same, pink gold has a touch of zinc, which dulls the red tones in the metal, creating a unique look.
White gold is a mixture of gold and other white metals. There are many to choose from though palladium and rhodium are popular choices amongst high-end watchmakers.
- What’s the difference between 9k, 14k and 18k gold watches?
The higher the karat number of the gold, the more pure gold within the mix of precious metals, per 24 parts. For example, a 9k gold watch is 9 parts per 24 pure gold.
Pure gold is soft, so a lower karat number could lead to greater durability. 9k watches are perfect for those who work with their hands all day. However, if you’re going for looks, it’s important to remember that gold is what gives your watch its rich colour. Therefore, a higher karat gold will have a stronger golden shine.
- How do I know the type of gold in my watch?
Many watches have hallmarks, which are certifications that verify the quality of the material. You must look for these on the watches you’re interested in, but beware, these can also be faked.
Want more articles straight to your inbox?
Sign up to our VIP newsletter for notifications on new articles, priority access to stock & exclusive offers!
Six of our favourite vintage gold watches
Looking for somewhere to start? Here are 6 of our favourite watches that may pique your interest.
- Patek Philippe Calatrava 3520D - “The Benchmark”
Patek Philippe has a reputation that precedes the name. Known worldwide as a symbol of class, luxury and unflinching quality, the Calatrava is integral to the Patek name. Introduced by the company in 1932, it’s an unwavering commitment to all that watchmakers hold dear has seen it stand the test of time.
- Vacheron Constantin Tear Drop Lugs “The Golden Oldie”
Threading the needle of beauty from the day of its conception up to the present moment, this stunning vintage VC fits right into today's aesthetic. The stunning “tear drop” lugs have become a particularly sought after feature of watches from the era and it's easy to see why!
- Patek Philippe Perpetual Calendar Ref. 3940 “The Grail”
The understated elegance of the reference 3940 makes this watch the ideal move forwards into modernity. Unashamedly gold, but classy nonetheless, this is a watch that embodies the luxury and commitment to beauty that underpins the Patek Philippe brand. There’s no wonder it’s spent so much time on the wrists of the people behind the company.
- Cartier Tank - “The Timeless Choice”
Some of the world’s most famous figures have been seen wearing the Tank. This is a true legend in the vintage watch world. Originally presented to General John Pershing, it has gone on to create a cult following for its avant-garde design and sleek edges.
- Omega Seamaster de Ville 135.020 “The “Affordable” Choice”
Its easy to see why this is our best selling sub £1,500 watch! A timeless design, reliable movements and 34.5mm case size, the 135.020 is an excellent choice both as a daily wearer and as a future investment piece.
- Heuer Chronographs from the 1940s - “The Left of Field Choice”
In the 1940s, watch design was as unpredictable as the world around it. Heuer sought to capture this sentiment with its striking designs that defined the decade. Combining classic hallmarks of quality watchmaking with modern twists, they made changes that were here to stay. This is one of the hottest areas we’re seeing in demand for vintage Heuer at the moment as people move beyond the more obvious Carrera and Autaiva models in search of something more unique.
How we can help find your dream gold watch
We know that the world of vintage gold watches can feel overwhelming but we’re here to help. We’re not like other dealers who only want to hard sell, we’re genuinely interested in helping, even if that means sending you to a competitor.
We pride ourselves in our prices that are up to 30% (often more!) cheaper than traditional dealers as well as our friendly service. We also offer a free sourcing service, so if you’re looking for a vintage watch give us a call on 02038156488, hit the live chat button in the bottom right or send us an email to support@timerediscovered and we’ll be happy to help.
What we offer:
We can help those who are looking to buy a watch, or if you want to cash in on your investment, we also offer our services to make selling seamless.
If you want to find out more about our story, try here. If you just want a look around, well, that’s okay too.
Still want to see more vintage gold watches?
Why not take a look at some of the most popular vintage gold watches we have in stock?