Watchmakers are crafting modern timepieces in unique shades of gold.
CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: Rolex offers the Oyster Perpetual Datejust ($31,300) crafted in the brand’s proprietary 18k Everose gold, which exudes a dark rose hue that won’t fade. It is fitted with an Everose President bracelet. 665 Fifth Ave., 212-758-7700; From Bulgari, this stunning Serpenti watch ($59,000) is crafted in 18k white gold with a supple white-gold bracelet designed to mirror the shape of a snake—right down to a tapered tail. 730 Fifth Ave., 212-315-9000; The Omega Ladymatic Co-Axial watch ($38,500) is crafted in 18k yellow gold with a yellow-gold bracelet. The 34mm watch houses a self-winding movement with co-axial escapement best replica watches for greater stability and precision. 711 Fifth Ave., 212-207-3333; This Buccellati Cleopatra cuff watch ($43,500) is crafted in a proprietary 18k black gold. The cuff consists of 66.22 grams of gold and is set with 32 diamonds. 714 Madison Ave., 212-308-2900
Since the beginning of recorded history, gold has been considered the ultimate symbol of wealth. As far back as 3600 BC, Egyptians depicted precious gold objects in their hieroglyphics, and the Mesopotamians were among the first to craft gold jewelry. As time progressed, gold became a unit of currency, an important element in art, and when forged into wedding bands, a symbol of love. The 17th century saw the creation of personal timepieces in the form of pocket watches, leading early watchmakers to utilize gold to satisfy affluent clients. The partnership between gold and timekeeping that began over 500 years ago continues to this day.
Seventy percent of the gold used for jewelry and fine watches is 18 karat. The karatage, indicated by a number followed by “k,” refers to the proportion of pure gold in a piece of jewelry: 18k gold contains 75 percent; 24k gold, 99 percent. Since 24k gold is too soft and malleable to be crafted into Breitling Watches the hull of a watchcase, other metals are mixed with it to strengthen it. When combined with the original ingot, these metals can also add new hues to the gold’s color.
As watch trends have evolved, classic yellow gold, which once reigned supreme, has become less in demand, while 18k white gold and several hues of 18k pink, or rose, gold are now the most popular for timepieces. White gold is created by mixing metals like palladium and nickel with yellow gold. Adding copper to the mix creates pink, rose, and even red-gold hues. The more copper added, the richer and deeper the pink gold. Typically, the value of 3N and 4N is given to pink and rose gold, while 5N denotes a deeper, richer hue (some brands refer to their 5N pink gold as “red” gold).
Some watch brands create their own hues, such as green, orange, honey, brown, gray, and even purple by introducing various cheap Breitling replica alloys to gold. Others not only add special metals to achieve a proprietary color, but also add other materials to slow down or stop gold from fading, or to help prevent it from scratching. To create certain unique shades, such as black, the color is achieved via an external coating process, such as electroplating, physical vapor deposit (PVD), or controlled oxidation. Though these specialized colors lack the broad market appeal of yellow, white, and pink gold, they add intriguing options for watch collectors looking for variety. For more watch features and expanded coverage, go to gotham-magazine.com/watches.
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