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Some of today’s top watch brands are creating their own proprietary colors of gold to offer uniqueness.
By Roberta Naas | April 27 2021
In the world of fine women’s watches, gold has long been the preferred metal for elegant looks and swanky appeal. That hasn’t changed. But what has changed is the types of gold that watch brands are offering. No longer is there just 18-karat white, pink, rose or yellow gold to choose from. Some of today’s top watch brands are creating their own proprietary colors of gold to offer uniqueness, while others are creating high-tech gold alloys, turning to vintage jewelry techniques for finishes or — maybe the best yet — using ethically mined gold.
A pioneer in the world of sustainability and ethical materials, Chopard has created watches made of Fairmined Gold for several years. Recently, the brand announced that from mid-2018 forward, it would create its gold watches using only Fairmined or ethical gold. While these golds are not special alloys or colors, they are ethically sourced—an incredibly important statement in today’s world. This Chopard Happy Sport watch features a case made of stainless steel and a bezel and lug accents made in ethical 18-karat rose gold with a crown of ethical gold. Powered by an automatic mechanical movement, the watch features the two dancing diamonds and three free-floating rubies above the dial that are the signature of this iconic collection.
For quite some time now, Officine Panerai has been creating its own rose-hued gold called Oro Rosso; in spring of 2020, the brand unveiled its new proprietary Goldtech gold. The 18-karat gold is infused with a percentage of copper to endow it with a richer red hue (without the expense of going to 5N rose gold) and with platinum to help guard against oxidation. The brand turns to Goldtech for this 38mm Due watch with an automatic movement and three days of power reserve. This is the thinnest of all Panerai watches; it offers hours, minutes and small seconds with a subsidiary dial at 9 and date at 3 o’clock. A transparent sapphire crystal allows for viewing of the movement.
It was five years ago in 2015 that Chanel introduced its first Boy.Friend watch—designed to be feminine yet with a slight masculine appeal. The Boy.Friend collection has grown to be an almost iconic watch for Chanel, so it makes sense that it would create a version in its exclusive ‘Beige Gold.’ The color is more toned down than yellow gold, yet not as red as pink or rose gold (the secret formula is guarded). In this version, both the case and the bezel, as well as the crown, are in 18-karat Beige Gold. The watch features an opaline guilloche dial and is powered by a high-precision Swiss quartz movement.
Immediately recognizable from across a crowded room, Audemars Piguet’s Royal Oak is a legendary watch. First designed by the famed Gerald Genta, the watch has enjoyed nearly 50 years of attention since its unveiling in 1972. The newest iteration is created using the ancient Italian jewelry technique of hand-hammering the gold for a unique frosted finish. The 18-karat white gold 37mm case and bracelet are entirely hand-finished for a textured sheen that is smooth as silk. The bezel is polished and is set with a rainbow of 32 individually set baguette-cut stones.
Hublot has long been an innovator when it comes to new materials. After all, this was the first brand to put a vanilla-infused rubber strap on a luxury gold watch. In its workshops in Nyon, Switzerland, this brand has its own top-secret research and development laboratory where it regularly devises new materials. King Gold is one of them. The King Gold, alloyed with certain materials, including platinum, is stronger and more scratch resistant than 18-karat gold, and it has a richer rose sheen. This watch, designed in cooperation with Sang Bleu, has an engraved design created by Maxime Plescia-Büchi. It is powered by a self-winding movement.
A name known around the world, Rolex has been innovating since it was founded by Hans Wilsdorf in 1905. This brand created the first water-resistant watch—that became known as the Oyster—and, to this day, invents and uses a host of proprietary materials. This entire Oyster Perpetual Day-Date superlative chronometer features a case and bracelet crafted using the brand’s Everose gold. Everose was first introduced to the world in 2005 and is a blend of 18-karat pink gold with copper and a bit of platinum. It has a unique warmed hue that never loses its color. The watch is powered by a Rolex self-winding movement that is made in-house.
Another brand that has created several of its own proprietary golds, as well as exclusive ceramic and other materials, is Omega. This De Ville Trésor quartz watch is crafted in the brand’s own Canopus™ gold that was introduced in 2018. The white gold alloy is mixed with other metals (Omega discloses nothing) to create a high brilliance whiteness. Unlike most 18-karat white gold watches, Canopus Gold is not ruthenium coated and yet it will not fade with time. The 36mm watch case and dial are set with a total of 262 diamonds.