The Want-Factor Of White Gold

White gold; to the untrained eye it could easily pass for steel, yet it demands a hefty premium over the metal it is often mistaken for. What makes it that despite this, white gold watches have a significant ‘want!!’-factor?

Jaquet Droz Grande Seconde Moon
An understated lifestyle choice
Over the last few decades, the age and lives of those able to afford high-end watches crafted from precious metal have changed significantly. It is now a younger generation that is shopping for this kind of watches and they, as well as the generation before them, live a far more active lifestyle. In such an environment white gold is better at home, and more in-line with current trends, then yellow or pink gold.

A watch in white gold often looks more understated and ‘sportive’ than other colors of gold. This is best illustrated by the Breguet Classique 7147, which is as traditional a dress watch as you can get them these days. In rose gold, it looks like Abraham-Louis Breguet has crafted it himself, giving it a vintage appearance even when new. That exact same watch, with exactly the same dial, fitted with a white gold case gives the watch a bit more of a contemporary edge.

Rolex Daytona white gold
The subtle beauty of white gold
That still leaves the question, why not opt for steel, when available? Here white gold has a few aces up its sleeve. First of all, while the difference with stainless steel is subtle, it is significant enough. White gold has a slightly warmer tone and in general, reflects the light in a softer way then stainless steel. When wearing such a watch on a daily basis, this will make a difference in the way you appreciate the watch, as it just offers that little bit extra and that is what luxury is sometimes all about.

Hublot Techframe Ferrari Tourbillon Chronograph
Another difference is the weight. A watch in 18 karat gold will weigh significantly more than the same watch crafted from stainless steel. It is this heft that can give a very pleasant feeling around the wrist, as it in a way confirms that you are wearing something special and precious.

Patek Philippe Nautilus Perpetual Calendar
No choice….
Sometimes you also simply have no choice. When you want a Rolex Day-Date, there is no steel option, neither with the Nautilus Perpetual Calendar from Patek Philippe. Even with watches where there is a stainless steel option, the brands are often clever enough to make sure that there is a subtle difference, for example in dial color or bracelet design, so that they don’t look exactly the same. Those subtle differences can also add to the want-factor of white gold, further securing its place in the world of watches.

Luxury Watch Trends 2018 - Baselworld SIHH Watch News

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