2020 has been an eventful year. From record uses of the word ‘unprecedented’, to Specsavers offering free eye tests to all Barnard Castle visitors, to footballer-run foodbanks. With Bake Off back on our screen and the end of the year insight, however, we’re seeing a glimmer of hope.
Christmas is just around the corner and although (like everything else this year) it probably won’t be quite the same as usual, we think we’ve might just have cracked the best Christmas gift for 2020.
This is the perfect year to take the plunge and go for a gold watch for the man in your life. Gold has long been seen by investors as a ‘safe haven’ asset. Gold watches are one of the very few gifts you can get for your loved ones which retain or increase in value over time.
This goes for both more affordable PVD gold (robust gold-coating) and pure gold models. Expertly melding luxury and functionality, gold watches are appreciated as the most valuable and sophisticated jewellery available.
If you’re looking for a hand-picked breakdown of the best men’s gold watches ever made, you’re in the right place. We’ve selected the best quality craftsmanship, most innovative design, and affordable elegance to make up our top seven. We’ve ranked each watch out of 5 for style, price and value, making it easy for you to choose according to your priorities this year.
7. Longines, Présence, £910
Style: 3 Price: 3 Value: 3
Longines is a heritage Swiss watchmaker, older than Rolex and Omega, known for attainable luxury. We think the Presence model really lives by the company slogan “elegance is an attitude”. With a striking yellow PVD gold and stainless-steel case, a white matte dial and gilt hands set against a buckled leather strap, the Présence has certainly caught our eye.
The round, sapphire crystal watch face is scratch-resistant and incredibly durable. The watch has a self-winding, movement component which, fortunately, does not result in a clunky or heavy case. The case diameter is a svelte 34.5mm diameter, very appropriate for the average male wrist.
If you like the style, it’s probably worth checking out the rest of the extensive Presence collection, which varies from £660 to £2,200. Quality watches of Switzerland.
6. Cartier, Calibre de Cartier, £32,000
Style: 5 Price: 2 Value: 3
We couldn’t have a shortlist of ultimate men’s gold watches without mentioning Cartier. Calibre de Cartier was unveiled in 2010 as the brand’s first collection using in-house movement. The design is modern and bold with black, sword-shaped hands and irregular numeral sizes.
A pure 18k solid rose gold bezel and 18k brushed rose gold case contrast neatly with a Guilloche silver dial. There is plenty of space for a date and seconds feature at 3 o’clock and 6 o’clock respectively on the 42mm case. We particularly like the fact that Cartier has included sapphire crystal both on the front and on the exhibition case back.
It’s a given that the solid gold, design features and 27 jewels amount to a hefty price tag. But an extensive warranty should assure you the quality is worth every penny.
5. Certina, DS Caimano, £265
Style: 4 Price: 5 Value: 4
Looking for more expensive than its price tag, the DS Caimano packs a heck of a punch with a very reasonable price tag. Certina is a well-respected Swiss watch brand with a reputation for excellence in sports watches and minimalist style.
The DS stands for double security, the brand’s guarantee of a durable, robust watch. The DS Caimano sports Precidrive quartz movement which Certina claims is up to ten times more accurate than traditional quartz timepieces (the rate deviation is +/-10sec per year). We like the 100m water resistance, as well as distinctive black, sunray anthracite dial and sleek design.
4. Tag Heuer, Formula 1, £1,650
Style: 5 Price: 3 Value: 4
Dare to live life at maximum speed – the Formula 1 collection, endorsed by legendary racers Ayrton Senna and Juan Manuel Fangio, really pushes boundaries. This bold, versatile bi-metal case and bracelet compliments gold and silver rings.
The statement 41mm diameter and unique midnight blue bezel and the dial is just waiting to be seen. The Formula 1 collection is all about head-turning style. The stainless-steel bracelet and 200m water resistance make for functional luxury that’s built for speed.
3. Tissot, PR 100, £340
Style: 4 Price: 4 Value: 4
Tissot is another heritage Swiss watchmaker, established in 1853. The PR 100 watch is from Tissot’s T Classic collection for gentlemen and encapsulates the brand’s values of simplicity, reliability, and precision. The PR 100 is encapsulated in a PVD yellow gold coating from top-to-toe, with a classic white dial.
The design is on the lighter side with a small/medium 38mm case width and 9mm case depth. A date function and the capacity for 100m water resistance put it on par with several of the more expensive watches on our list. If you’re looking to exude quite confidence, this gold watch covers all the bases
2. Uniform Wares, C41 Men, £625
Style: 5 Price: 5 Value: 5
Uniform Wares is a London designed, Swiss made watchmaker registered in England with an excellent reputation for simple elegance, high-quality parts and finishes, and artful application. This C41 men’s chronograph watch epitomises effortless sophistication. The black and PVD gold contrast is a classic combination, modernised with a light, Italian nitrile rubber strap.
Alternatively, the watch can be paired with a Milanese calf leather strap. The brand’s signature C-line lunette silhouette frames a substantial 41mm diameter case. The scratch-resistant sapphire crystal comes with multi-layered anti-reflective coating, often neglected by other watchmakers. Traditional printed dial indexing with outstanding legibility contributes to a timeless classic.
1. Breguet, La Marine 5517, £24,900
Style: 5 Price: 4 Value: 5
Released in 2018, the refreshed La Marine collection from the historic Breguet brand does not disappoint. While not so visually distinctive or flashy as the Patek Phillipe Nautilus marine-related collection, it’s engineering and craftsmanship which set La Marine a class apart. The automatic rotor is hand-finished with 18k gold, powered by the in-house Breguet 777A calibre.
The case is rose gold with a sapphire case back and 100m water resistance. The watch comes in nine variants, allowing you to truly personalise the offering with leather, rubber, titanium, or gold straps. (The picture shows the rose gold against silvered gold dial and leather strap.)
The dial is available in silvered gold, white gold, slate grey, or blue. Silicon parts, including the balance spring for the regulation, keeps the whole body remarkably lightweight. It’s a stunning model.
Hopefully, our best gold watches for men countdown has crystallised that a gold watch can be the perfect gift for yourself or a special man in your life. Gold never gets old: it is distinguished, classy and elegant.
Not to mention being the safest buy you’ll make this Christmas the present of a gold watch is highly personal and a lifetime investment piece. Give your loved ones (or yourself) something to look forward to in 2020. Go for gold.