Yellow Gold Watches You'll Surely Want to Wear

by Charmian Leong
02 Apr 2024

The quintessential metal of wealth and prestige is taking over watchmaking’s most iconic designs.

While the world was infatuated with the audacity of luxury steel watches in the 1970s, a shift spearheaded by Audemars Piguet’s Royal Oak, Piaget conceded to the trend in the most Piaget way possible. It took the seamless, integrated bracelet look that was driving consumers wild, and rendered the entire watch in solid gold, creating the original Piaget Polo watch in 1979.

With such brazen preciousness and a distinctive design that featured horizontal gadroons on the bracelet, case, and dial, the Polo was more bracelet than watch (and was also powered by a quartz movement), and it was a glorious sight to behold. When the Polo collection was relaunched in 2016, it held little resemblance to the original, instead taking on a safer design that would adhere to the prevailing “sporty chic” blueprint. A sensible decision, if a little boring.

But now, on the 150th anniversary of the brand, Piaget is reviving its trailblazing spirit by bringing back the first Polo in the form of the Piaget Polo 79. It’s a little bigger than the original at 38mm, but that also means almost 200g of solid 18k yellow gold goodness. The movement is the ultra-thin calibre 1200P1, which means the watch is also marvelously svelte with a height of just 7.35mm.

It’s not just Piaget that is celebrating the classic beauty of yellow gold this season. Audemars Piguet has always had several yellow gold models in its Royal Oak lineup, but one of its latest combines a “Frosted Gold” case, named for its sparkling, hammered finish, with a smoky gold dial. The shadowy gradient finish of the dial was achieved by layers of varnish applied by hand and was first seen in a yellow gold Royal Oak “Jumbo” Extra-Thin from 2022. That model, however, had a petite tapisserie guilloche dial, while this 37mm Ref. 15550BA has a smooth, sunray brushed dial.

Meanwhile, Omega has just released 20 new Constellation Meteorite watches, one of which is a 41mm reference in full yellow gold livery. Even the dial, which comes from the Muonionalusta meteorite in Sweden, has been colored to match Omega’s 18k yellow gold alloy, Moonshine Gold.

Even with rose gold’s reign over the past decade, yellow gold never truly went out of style. Though it does take a measure of confidence to pull off this much of it in a single accessory, we dare say the panache it adds to one’s ensemble is worth it.