There’s something to be said about a person wearing a gold Rolex watch. For starters, the Rolex name itself is synonymous with executive, luxury, and sophistication. Add 18k and words such as prestigious, honorary, and high stature are commonly used. For many individuals, a gold Rolex watch is the ultimate statement piece – a universally recognized symbol of success and personal accomplishment. No other luxury brand is as widely recognized or respected as Rolex, and the additional luxury and prestige provided by a solid gold timepiece elevate gold Rolex watches to an entirely new level of class and exclusivity.
Why choose gold over silver or platinum when selecting a metal? The luxurious allure of gold dates back to ancient times, and for thousands of years, mankind has used cold for the construction of its most precious creations. Although gold is softer than most traditional stainless steel alloys, its natural corrosion-resistant properties make it an excellent choice for the cases of luxury watches.
Gold Rolex watches are manufactured in either yellow gold, white gold, or a proprietary blend of rose gold that Rolex calls Everose. Depending on the color of gold used in their construction, gold Rolex watches can have a remarkable range of diversity in their appearance. White gold typically offers a colder and more reserved aesthetic, while the brighter hues of yellow gold or pink gold provide a warmth that cannot be achieved by any other metal.
Regardless of which model you choose, all gold Rolex watches rank among the most desirable and prestigious timepieces on this planet. To help you choose the gold Rolex watch that is best for you, we have put together this guide that outlines some of the most popular yellow gold Rolex watches in existence, both vintage and modern.
Gold Rolex Watches
A gold Rolex watch is a universal status symbol. The Rolex brand itself is held to high esteem by the watchmaking industry as a whole. However, there’s something about a high-end luxury watch in solid gold that continues to attract men and women all over the globe. They exude class and power, and have the potential to add serious value to any watch collection.
Rolex’s catalog currently offers three types of 18k gold finishes, including yellow gold, white gold, and Everose pink gold. Each of these metals is produced in-house to ensure the highest quality possible. The category of all-gold Rolex watches is quite diverse and includes both dress and sports models that range in price, depending on the type of gold used and the particular model of Rolex watch. It goes without saying that an all-gold Rolex requires a pretty serious investment, but there are two-tone references available for those who are seeking the gold Rolex look at a more affordable price.
Different Types of Rolex Gold
Rolex proudly produces the gold used on their timepieces from inside their in-house foundry. By smelting their own metals, Rolex can ensure that only the highest quality materials are used in he construction of their watches. Some vintage references use 14 karat and 10 karat gold; however 18 karat has become the Rolex standard, and every modern gold Rolex watch only uses solid 18k gold parts.
As previously-stated, the Rolex catalog offers three types of gold: yellow gold, white gold, and Everose gold. Yellow gold is considered the classic Rolex gold finish and has since-been refined over the decades to offer a special blend that is particularly durable and more resistant to tarnishing. The same goes for Rolex’s 18 karat white gold. This metal finish is also incredibly resistant to tarnishing and offers a slightly warmer tone than stainless steel. Rose gold – aka Everose – was added to the brand’s catalog in 2005 and utilizes a proprietary blend of copper, silver, and platinum to achieve the popular warm pink tone that so many collectors seek. Additionally, it won’t discolor as easily over time like other pink gold materials on the market.
What Rolex Watches are made from Gold?
The Rolex catalog previously offered a larger selection of all-gold models that included the older-model Oyster Perpetual and Date. However, there is still an impressive selection of solid gold Rolex models to choose from, including the Day-Date, Datejust, Cosmograph Daytona, Submariner, GMT-Master II, Sky-Dweller, Pearlmaster, Yacht-Master, Yacht-Master II, and Cellini. With that in mind, the following Rolex models are not currently produced in solid gold: The Explorer, Explorer II, Milgauss, Air-King, Date, Sea-Dweller, Deepsea, and the Oyster Perpetual.
How Much Are Gold Rolex Watches?
The price of a gold Rolex watch can vary, depending on the color of gold used and the particular reference. For example, the Oysterflex Daytona in 18k yellow gold (ref. 116518LN) retails for $27,500, while the 18k white gold (ref. 116519LN) and Everose gold (ref. 116515LN) retail for $28,800. On the other hand, the Day-Date 40 retails for $34,850 in 18k yellow gold (ref. 228238), $37,550 in 18k white gold (ref. 228239), and $37,550 in 18k pink gold (ref. 228235).
On average, retail prices for a solid gold Rolex are approximately 4 times the price of a comparable stainless steel model. For example, the stainless steel Submariner ref. 116610 retails for $8,550 while the solid yellow gold Submariner ref. 116618 retails for $34,250.
Two-Tone Rolex Watches
If a solid gold Rolex is out of your price range, you can still add a Rolex with gold accents on it to your collection for a much more affordable price. While Rolex enthusiasts would not consider two-tone watches to be a gold Rolex, they still bring a level of sophistication, luxury, and class to the table that many collectors seek when buying a luxury timepiece.
Officially named “Rolesor” by Rolex,the two-tone options currently available combine 904L-grade Oystersteel with either 18 karat white gold, 18 karat yellow gold, or 18 karat Everose gold. These metal combinations are patented by Rolex as White Rolesor, Yellow Rolesor, and Everose Rolesor. Yellow Rolesor and Everose Rolesor feature 18 karat white or yellow gold on the hands, hour markers, bezels, crowns, and center links on the bracelet, while White Rolesor watches feature 18 karat white gold only on the hands, hour markers, and bezel.
Gold watches have been a cornerstone of the Rolex brand for decades and are absolutely timeless emblems of luxury and prestige. Over the years, the gold used in Rolex watches has evolved to offer greater luster and resilience, making them better suited to everyday wear and even offering a broader range of colors. Regardless of your budget, it is almost certainly possible to add a gold Rolex reference to your collection, whether it be solid gold or two-tone, new or pre-owned.
Gold Daytona Rolex Watches
Without a doubt, the Rolex Daytona is easily one of the most collectible watches in the world, and gold Rolex Daytona watches take the level of collectability to a whole new level. Although the Daytona was originally invented as a professional chronograph wristwatch for drivers at the racetrack, today the solid gold and gem-set versions have become must-have accessories for many top celebrities.
Rolex Daytona 16528
40mm case, sapphire crystal, 18k gold bezel, cal. 4030 movement (Zenith El Primero movement).
The Rolex Submariner was originally invented for professional scuba divers; however its robust build quality and timeless design have made it one of the most capable and versatile watches in the history of watchmaking. While it was originally crafted from stainless steel, today the collection has expanded to include both two-tone and solid gold Submariner watches.
Rolex Submariner 1680
40mm case, acrylic crystal, aluminum bezel, cal. 1575 movement (non-quickset date complication).
Rolex Submariner 16808
40mm case, sapphire crystal, aluminum bezel, cal. 3035 movement (quickset date complication).
Rolex Submariner 16618
40mm case, sapphire crystal, aluminum bezel, cal. 3135 movement (quickset date complication).
Rolex Submariner 116618
40mm case (thicker lugs), sapphire crystal, Cerachrom ceramic bezel, cal. 3135 movement (quickset date complication).
Gold Day-Date Rolex Watches
Although Rolex offers their iconic Day-Date in both gold and platinum, possibly no other watch has a stronger association with yellow gold than the Rolex Day-Date President. Only ever crafted from precious metals, the Rolex President is the flagship collection in the brand’s lineup, and gold Day-Date watches rank among the most recognizable and respected watches from any manufacturer.
36mm, sapphire crystal, fluted bezel, cal. 3155 (quickset date and day complications).
Rolex Day-Date 118238
36mm (thicker lugs), sapphire crystal, fluted bezel, cal. 3155 (quickset date and day complications).
Rolex Day-Date 118208
36mm (thicker lugs), sapphire crystal, smooth bezel, cal. 3155 (quickset date and day complications).
Rolex Day-Date II 228238
41mm, sapphire crystal, fluted bezel, cal. 3156 (quickset date and day complications).
Rolex Day-Date 40 228238
40mm, sapphire crystal, fluted bezel, cal. 3255 (quickset date and day complications).
Gold Yacht-Master Watches
Originally created to be the luxury version of the modern sports watch, the Rolex Yacht-Master was originally introduced in solid 18k gold. Today, gold Yacht-Master watches still represent some of the most luxurious Rolex professional watches available, and the collection has expanded to include to Yacht-Master II collection with its adjustable flyback regatta timer.
40mm, sapphire crystal, 18k gold rotating timing bezel, cal. 3135 (quickset date and day complications).
Despite being positioned as a slightly smaller and more affordable version of the more common Datejust collection, the Rolex Date has also been offered in solid gold throughout the decades. In more recent years, solid yellow gold versions of the Rolex Date have been discontinued; however gold Date watches can still be found relatively easily on the secondary market.
34mm case, acrylic crystal, fluted bezel, cal. 3035 movement (quickset date complication).
Rolex Date 15238
34mm case, sapphire crystal, fluted bezel, cal. 3135 movement (quickset date complication).
Gold GMT-Master Watches
While the Rolex GMT-Master was originally created for airplane pilots on transatlantic flights, solid gold versions were produced as early as the 1950s with the very first reference. Throughout the years, the Rolex GMT-Master has been produced in a number of different metal options, with solid gold GMT-Master watches representing the most premium offerings within the collection.
The Datejust is one of the oldest and most diverse collections in the Rolex lineup, and throughout the years, it has been produced in the widest variety of metal options of any watch in the Rolex lineup. In addition to the more conservative stainless steel and Rolesor (two-tone) iterations, Rolex also produces solid yellow gold Datejust watches which represent the most luxurious and exclusive versions of their iconic and long-running collection.
The Oyster Perpetual is the oldest collection in the Rolex lineup, and today it represents the most entry-level offering and is only offered in stainless steel. However in the past, Rolex produced the classic time-only Oyster Perpetual in a variety of metal options, and solid gold Oyster Perpetual watches can still be found on the secondary market.
The Rolex Cellini collection gets its name from the famed Italian goldsmith and sculptor, Benvenuto Cellini. The name was chosen for Rolex’s collection of refined and often gem-set dress watches as a means to celebrate the elegant lines and impeccable craftsmanship of the artist’s works. Consequently, all Rolex Cellini watches are crafted from precious metals, with gold Cellini watches significantly outnumbering those in platinum.
Since the vast majority of Rolex Cellini watches are crafted from solid gold, there are numerous options to choose from when shopping for a gold Rolex Cellini. The list of Cellini reference numbers is almost endless, and references are often available in more than one color of gold. However, a few of the more notable gold Cellini watches are the Rolex Cellini 5109, the Rolex Prince 5440, the Rolex Cellini 5330, and possibly the most famous Rolex Cellini of all time: The Rolex “King Midas” Cellini 3580.
White Gold Rolex Watches
There have always been two camps in watch collecting: those who prefer to fly under the radar versus those who aim to make a statement with their timepieces. That’s not to say that one cannot appreciate both, however when it comes to spending significant figures in watchmaking the decision will go one of two ways.
Buying a yellow gold, rose gold, or even two-tone timepiece is going to attract attention wherever you go, but opting for a white gold option gives you the value of the precious metal in a much less flashy package. Thankfully, Rolex has plenty on offer to satisfy either camp and personally I’m always enamored by the white gold offerings. Gold Rolex watches often come in more interesting color options or generally oddball configurations that are more appealing and unique than their stainless steel counterparts. Today we’re having a look at some of these pieces from both current and discontinued collections.
Yacht-Master 42 ref. 226659
Launched this year at Baselworld, and arguably the best new release from the brand in 2019, this Rolex Yacht-Master 42 in white gold adds an all-black Cerachrom ceramic bezel to the mix for this latest model. Using a mix of polished surfaces for its markers and a micro-blasted surface of sorts for the relief portion, the contrast of its otherwise stealthy bezel is just perfect.
At 42mm I was initially skeptical of how the piece would wear, but having tried it on earlier this year, this thing is just a knockout. It (for now) only comes on Rolex’s Oysterflex rubber strap, further adding to its under-the-radar feel. From a modest distance, the piece could almost be mistaken for a more pedestrian Submariner, though between the two I wouldn’t turn this bad boy down.
Rolex Submariner ref. 116619 “Smurf”
On the list of rare modern classics in the Submariner line, it doesn’t get much more underrated than the Smurf. It packs a beauty of a glossy blue dial into a white gold case (on Oyster bracelet) with a perfectly color-matched blue Cerachrom ceramic bezel. The reference 116619 “Smurf” Submariner first hit the market in 2008 as an anniversary release and it remains in the current collection to this day. Interestingly its debut saw the introduction of a new Glidelock clasp for Rolex, one that would allow wearers up to 5mm of adjustment without the use of tools.
What I still find fascinating about the Smurf is that despite its scarcity on the market, it still faces some depreciation between new and pre-owned. These days, you can get into one of these on the secondary market for just a bit more than the going rate for a stainless steel Pepsi bezel GMT-Master II.
Rolex Daytona ref. 116519LN Oysterflex
Especially considering how immensely popular the current steel Rolex Daytona is these days, the white gold Oysterflex Daytona 116519LN absolutely has to be on this list. It’s an incredibly subtle piece, with a muted slate grey dial and Cerachrom ceramic bezel, and to the untrained eye it would go entirely unnoticed. Those into watches but less familiar with the Rolex catalog will quickly assume its casing is steel, and the added heft on the wrist won’t be that dramatic given the lightness of the Oysterflex bracelet.
As the steel Daytona hype continues to be the way of the market, the level of secondary market premium on this bad boy is not nearly as dramatic as its steel counterpart. Originally retailing for $28,800, the Daytona 116519LN tends to float around the $32-$35k mark these days.
Rolex Cellini ref. 4233 White Gold
A little way out in left field with this one, the Rolex Cellini line has always fallen by the wayside in comparison to other models from the brand, but those in the market for a compact and understated dress watch will not be disappointed.
Its simple white dial and Arabic numeral indices look nothing like other offerings in the Rolex catalog, and the fact that it’s one of the very few and rare modern manually wound watches from the brand makes it that much more out of the ordinary. At only 33mm in diameter, those with larger wrists will likely find this guy to be a bit too compact, but that is effectively the piece’s only shortcoming overall.
Gold Ladies Rolex Watches
There are a lot of gold ladies Rolex watches out there, and many can be purchased for significantly below their retail prices on the pre-owned market. Although a decent number of mid-size Rolex watches often get grouped into the “ladies” category, there are plenty
Rolex Lady-Datejust / Rolex Lady-President 6917
26mm case, acrylic crystal, cal. 2035 movement (non-quickset date complication).
Rolex Lady-President 69178
26mm case, sapphire crystal, cal. 2135 (quickset date complication).
Rolex Lady-President 179178
26mm case, sapphire crystal, cal. 2235 (quickset date complication).
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Paul is the company's Founder and CEO. He is responsible for all the day to day activities from purchasing, receiving, marketing and sales. Paul is a graduate of Boston College 1979 and resides in California with his family.
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Bob's Watches is an independent watch dealer and is not sponsored by, associated with and/or affiliated with Rolex S.A., Rolex USA, or any other brand listed on its website. Bob's Watches only sells pre-owned watches and provides its own warranties on the watches it sells. The brand names and associated model names for Rolex, OMEGA and other manufacturers are the trademarks of their respective owners.