Rose gold watches, which began when watchmakers started mixing pure gold with copper, have dominated releases in the past decade. But all signs are pointing to the end of the rose gold trend, with the return of the classical yellow gold, and the introduction of the more restrained white gold alloy, one of the big stories at this year’s fairs. In the second part of a series-long look at gold timepieces, we look at our Top 5 yellow gold watches from 2014.
Hublot CEO, Ricardo Guadalupe, told me he was caught by surprise when Jay-Z asked Hublot to create an 18-karat yellow gold timepiece based on the brand’s Classic Fusion collection. He admitted he had expected something in white or pink gold, with diamonds to match. But according to Guadalupe, this watch, launched late last year, was going to kick-start a return to yellow gold. It features a cutaway dial in Shawn Carter’s logo partially revealing Hublot’s ultra-thin HUB1300 manually wound movement.
A. Lange & Sohne introduced the Grand Lange 1 Moon Phase at SIHH in Geneva this year, and the solid-gold lunar disc in the movement had everyone buzzing. The prominent position of the lunar disc within the hour and minute circle accommodates a diameter of 14.3 millimetres. The display reproduces the so-called synodic month of 29.531 days – or 29 days, 12 hours, 44 minutes, and 3 seconds – with an accuracy of 99.998%.
Rolex presented three new versions of the Oyster Perpetual Sky-Dweller at BaselWorld 2014, and one of those was an 18-karat yellow gold watch in a 42 mm case. The dual time zone readers are intuitive to read and simple to use. Local time is indicated by the conventional centre hour, minute and seconds hands while travelers can set their reference time via a rotating off-centre disc visible on the dial. The Oyster Perpetual Sky-Dweller also features an annual calendar, which automatically differentiates between 30-day and 31-day months. The months themselves are indicated in 12 apertures around the circumference of the dial, outside the hour markers.
To celebrate the Conquest’s 60th anniversary, Longines introduced a Conquest Heritage 1954-2014 at BaselWorld this year. The new issue draws most of its design from the original model, including its small size, at 35mm. Longines are releasing the new model in three versions, in steel, rose gold, and yellow gold, but the yellow gold watch will be available in two dial options, a silver sunburst or a gilded option in homage to the original Conquest.
The new De Ville Trésor was another re-issue that received the yellow gold treatment this year. An homage to the original, yellow gold Trésor, released more than 50 years ago, it seemed natural that Omega would release a yellow gold version in 2014. It also features in Part 1 of this series, since a white gold model is also available.