The Best Gold Watches Of 2022 Thus Far — Vacheron Constantin, Cartier, Rolex, And More
Some say that the ultimate statement of luxury is a gold watch, and I must admit, gold watches seem to be a thing currently. As a fan of gold watches, I’d love to believe that the popularity of these watches is on the rise. The question is, what are some of the watches that people should spend their hard-earned cash on? The fact is that most watch brands will always produce gold watches as they have been for decades or even centuries. For this article, we have focused on finding the best recent gold releases out there. Are there any new gold watches that we really should get excited about? Let’s find out.
If you ask me, a gold watch is something that should be on every watch enthusiast’s list. There is something really special about wearing a gold timepiece. Some of you might not agree, and I get that. For some, it’s the bling factor, while others just don’t like the look, and obviously, the prices are also a big factor in not buying one. That said, we do have to make a quick side note that in the crazy Rolex universe, some gold models are actually more affordable than some of the steel models. It’s a strange phenomenon, especially if it concerns my favorite of all full-gold watches, the Rolex Day-Date. But we want to take a look at the whole spectrum of brands and not just The Crown. So let’s jump in and find some of the best recent gold releases that caught our attention.
Vacheron Constantin 222
The first watch on this list was a no-brainer. It was my favorite release of this year’s Watches And Wonders and it will definitely be high up my list of the best releases of 2022. You have probably read all about it, but let’s remind ourselves of the brilliance of the gold reissue of the iconic 222. When Vacheron Constantin announced the reissue of the 222, we knew it was going to be good. A lot of people love the characteristic 1970s design of the watch that hadn’t been part of the Vacheron Constantin collection since 1985. The 37mm tonneau-shaped case with the notched bezel, the well-balanced dial, and the elegant bracelet make this an iconic statement.
Inside the watch, Vacheron Constantin decided to use a different movement than the one that powered the original watch. The brand switched from Vacheron’s caliber 1120 to the modern caliber 2455/2. The modern caliber 2455/2 is more reliable and accurate with its higher 28,800vph frequency than the caliber 1120 at just 19,800vph. It also enhances the functionality with a quick-set date. At the same time, the watch is only slightly thicker at 7.95mm compared to the 7mm of the original. The Vacheron Constantin Historique 222 is a €62,500 statement of pure brilliance. It is produced in limited numbers, but it’s not a limited edition. Knowing how many people absolutely adore this watch, it will be tough to actually get your hands on one. I won’t be one of them, but boy, do I like the return of this amazing timepiece!
Rolex Yacht-Master 42 in yellow gold
This year’s Rolex releases were very underwhelming if you ask me. The best new release from the Geneva brand, however, came in the form of the yellow gold Yacht-Master 42. The watch is a great reminder of the brilliant combination of a precious metal case with a rubber strap. The rose gold 40mm version has been one of my favorite Rolex models for quite some time, and this new yellow gold bigger brother is more proof that there is something striking about the contrasting materials. Previously, the 42mm version of the Yacht-Master was only available in white gold with a black rubber strap. While I like that watch, the touch of color from the yellow gold adds more brilliance.
While there is technically nothing new about the watch, seeing this configuration feels new, as Robert-Jan explained in his review. Rolex equips the Yacht-Master with the familiar caliber 3235. It has an accuracy of ±2 seconds per day and a power reserve of 70 hours. In his article, Robert-Jan also considered which version of the gold Yacht-Master he preferred. Although this new Yacht-Master is only 2mm larger than the Everose version, it does feel quite a bit bigger than its little brother. But I love that this yellow gold version does not have the model name printed in red on the black dial, and the list price of €26,900 isn’t bad either. Of course, due to popularity, you’ll have to add quite a premium to actually get one. It doesn’t take away from its great looks though.
Omega Speedmaster Professional Moonwatch in Moonshine Gold
Another one of my favorite releases of the year is this Omega Speedmaster Professional Moonwatch Moonshine Gold ref. 310.60.42.50.10.001. In all honesty, though, it took me some time to recognize its beauty. When I first saw the images, I wasn’t too impressed. I am generally not the biggest fan of green and gold as a color combination. But once I had a chance to witness the watch in the metal, I was immediately sold. The Moonshine Gold is contrasted by the dark green Ceragold ceramic bezel and a brass dial that gets a green PVD treatment with a sunburst finish. The color green that Omega chose for the dial and bezel of this Moonshine Gold Moonwatch is truly special. It is dark, it is classy, and it creates a whole new and exciting Speedmaster model.
Other than the execution, when it comes to specs, there is nothing new about this Moonwatch. It comes with a 42mm Moonshine Gold case that is 13.18mm thick and 47mm from lug to lug. The current Moonwatch bracelet brilliantly tapers from 20mm at the lugs to 15mm at the clasp. Inside the case, you will find the Omega caliber 3861 that we know from the other Moonwatch models. The manual-wind movement operates at 21,600vph, has 26 jewels, and offers a power reserve of 50 hours. The accuracy of the METAS-certified caliber 3861 is between 0 and +5 seconds per day on average. The price for this Moonshine Gold Speedmaster Moonwatch is €36,800. It is also available on a green leather strap, but if you’re going to buy this watch, you need it with a bracelet. It gives my favorite Canopus Gold Speedmaster Moonwatch a run for its money.
Zenith Chronomaster Sport in rose gold
When Zenith first released the Chronomaster Sport, I was not impressed by the watch. With a design influenced by the Rolex Daytona and a Zenith A386 dial, it felt like a construct. A construct that Zenith wanted us to believe came from a series of watches from the brand’s past. The outcome, however, was quickly labeled the “Zaytona” by watch fans. Nevertheless, though there were a lot of critics, there were also a lot of fans who showered the Chronomaster Sport with praise. I have to say, I slowly opened up to the watch after wearing the steel version for some time. But it definitely would not be my pick over the current Chronomaster Revival A384 or the Chronomaster Original with the reverse-panda dial.
But this year at Watches And Wonders, the brand presented the Chronomaster Sport in rose gold, and I am completely on board with these two releases. The watch is available with either a black or a white dial with the iconic sub-dial colors. The version with the black dial looks especially classy and I really fell in love with that watch. It was a great move to get rid of the black ceramic bezel and equip the watch with a rose gold one instead. Combine the brilliant presence with the spectacular El Primero 3600 movement, and this Chronomaster Sport is a winner. The movement is a joy to see in action, with its central chronograph hand making a complete lap of the dial every 10 seconds. At CHF 37,900, these watches are definitely expensive. That money still wouldn’t get you a steel Daytona, though. You all know what my choice would be.
Cartier Tank Louis Cartier in yellow gold
As I explained in my review of the Cartier Tank Louis Cartier, nothing but precious metals for watch royalty! In my opinion, nothing beats a Cartier in yellow gold. And the brand had plenty in store for us when it comes to gold watches. Cartier was the brand of Watches And Wonders 2022 for many watch enthusiasts, displaying a great variety of designs executed in spectacular colors and materials. My personal favorite is this Tank Louis Cartier in yellow gold and black. Yes, the other new Tank Louis Cartier models, the brilliant Santos Dumont in rose gold with its beige lacquer bezel, and the Pasha Grille in yellow gold were some other gold highlights. But as I explained in my review, the minimalism in design and the combination of colors and materials make my pick a Cartier Tank in its purest form.
The watch embodies the essence of a brilliant case design that was first created over a century ago. On top of that, it shows that a Cartier watch looks the best executed in yellow gold. Combine it with a black dial and a black alligator strap, and the pieces of the puzzle fall perfectly into place. Cartier equipped the watch with its “Large” case that still measures a modest 25.5mm × 33.7mm. At 6.6mm thick, it is a very easy-to-wear watch that nevertheless has plenty of wrist presence. Inside the case, you will find the hand-wound caliber 1917 MC. This movement is only 3mm thick and provides 38 hours of power reserve. Lastly, the new 18K yellow gold and black Cartier Tank Louis Cartier will be available for €10,940. This makes it not only the most affordable watch on this list but also the classiest if you ask me!
Patek Philippe 5326G Annual Calendar Travel Time in white gold
The Patek Philippe 5326G was not necessarily a crowd favorite at Watches And Wonders this year. With a string of brilliant releases, the Geneva brand had plenty of other watches to lust over. A number of them could have even been on this list. But after seeing the time-only 5226G Calatrava and this 5326G Annual Calendar Travel Time, I was instantly smitten. The combination of the dial design, the pairing of complications, and the magnificent case design were a joy to see. As Lex explained, the 5326G blows you away in the metal. The combination of the annual calendar and the travel time complications is sheer brilliance and leads to an impressive dial layout.
But it all starts with the 41mm white gold case that has a slightly chamfered bezel and a visually stunning hobnail pattern around its entire flank. The level of detail and finishing on this case is simply spectacular. The retro-inspired dial is executed in a charcoal-gray color with a beautiful grained pattern for extra depth. On the dial, you will find the apertures for the annual calendar functions and an extra hand for the travel time function that you can adjust with the crown. The movement running the show is the brilliant Patek Philippe caliber 31-260 PS QA LU FUS 24H. This is both a technically impressive and visually stunning caliber. It operates at 28,800vph, has 47 jewels, and delivers a power reserve of 38 to 48 hours with a platinum micro-rotor. Add the brilliant calfskin nubuck strap, and this €69,930 piece is a winner.
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak “Jumbo” 16202 in rose gold
It might just be me, but I thought that the 50th anniversary of the Royal Oak went by without a real bang. Don’t get me wrong, seeing the line-up of new Royal Oak releases was certainly impressive. But maybe it’s due to the fact that Audemars Piguet wisely chose to update its iconic watch with a lot of grace, sticking to the power of what makes the watch so special rather than making monumental changes. The excitement could be mostly found on the inside with the new movements that power the watches. While I generally would always pick the stainless steel model of the Royal Oak “Jumbo” as that is closest to the original from 1972, the new Royal Oak “Jumbo” ref. 16202 in rose gold in no slouch either.
The watch features a 39mm case executed in rose gold that is only 8mm thick. It features a beautiful dial with the famous Petite Tapisserie pattern and a smoke-gray color that contrasts brilliantly with the rose gold construction. Inside the case, you will find the biggest news that came with the 50th celebration of the Royal Oak. As Robert-Jan explained, the new Royal Oak 16202 reference uses the 7121 movement, which replaces the long-lived caliber 2121. It has a higher frequency than its predecessor (28,800vph instead of 21,600vph), and a 55-hour power reserve instead of 40 hours. For this first year only, the movement will feature a special 50th-anniversary rotor, and afterward, it will be replaced with a normal rotor. Lastly, there is the brilliantly designed and executed integrated bracelet. It’s one of the most iconic features of the watch and a big part of why people want to spend CHF 63,100 on this majestic timepiece.
There you have it — a list of recent gold watches that have impressed us with their beauty. Are they really better than their peers in different materials? We’ll leave that up to you. What we can say, however, is that these watches are definitely great options for people who are looking to buy a gold watch. Let us know your favorite of these models in the comments section below!