In the past decade, the watch industry has been squarely onto stainless steel sports watches, with the likes of the Daytona, Nautilus, and Royal Oak setting the bar. Gold played second fiddle to the more practical metal, even being seen as a symbol of 1980s-era excess.
That has all changed recently, as even in the midst of a global pandemic and economic uncertainty, demand for solid yellow gold models finally hit an upswing. Luscious gold sports watches are so back, and it doesn’t hurt that they’re functional, too.
Since its debut in 1992, the Yacht-Master has been positioned as an ultra-luxurious take on the Submariner and the most lavish Rolex sports watch on the market.
The first-ever model in the collection was the ref. 16628, which came with a solid 18k yellow gold construction, applied geometric indices, and an Oyster bracelet. Rolex has already discontinued this watch in 2011 but it remains one of the Swiss brand’s most coveted offerings and the only yellow gold version of the Yacht-Master 40.
Even more opulent iterations of this nautical watch followed suit, such as the ref. 68628, which features a unique mother-of-pearl “Serti” dial. Instead of the usual lume-filled hour markers, the “Serti” dial has diamonds and sapphires with yellow gold surrounds.
Moreover, the satin-brushed and sand-blasted yellow gold finish remained, as did the 60-minute rotatable bezel and high-grade Perpetual movement, which make the Yacht-Master both precious and functional.
The Rolex Submariner is an iconic timepiece that has become synonymous with luxury diving watches. In the world of gold sports watches, the Submariner holds a special place with its exquisite yellow gold variants. Two notable models in this collection are the reference 116618 (40mm) and the reference 126618 (41mm).
The reference 116618 features a 40mm yellow gold case and bracelet, exuding a sense of opulence and sophistication. Belonging to the previous generation of Submariners, it has a Super Case with thick lugs and a large crown, giving it heft on the wrist.
Its blue dial adds a touch of elegance, complementing the yellow gold beautifully. The Caliber 3135 powers the watch, a self-winding mechanical movement known for its precision and reliability. With a water resistance of up to 300 meters, the Submariner 116618 is not only a luxurious timepiece but also a reliable companion for underwater adventures.
With the Submariner ref. 126618, Rolex answers the call for sporty and reliable timepieces that will never go out of style. This watch is the all-gold edition of the Submariner 41, released in 2020 as the largest iteration of the classic Rolex dive watch. It bears the distinguishing elements of a modern Sub but with a more proportional case and a wider bracelet.
Despite its slightly larger case, the Submariner ref. 126618 wears quite similar to its 40mm, pre-Maxi Case predecessor. The slimmer lugs and Oyster bracelet with patented Oysterlock safety clasp help it sit tight on the wrist, while the blue Chromalight makes the dial readable even on the darkest nights. Inside, the watch runs on the automatic Caliber 3235, which uses a Chronergy escapement allowing for 15% more efficiency.
This newer movement offers improved performance, including enhanced precision and a longer power reserve. It represents Rolex’s commitment to constant innovation and technological advancements.
Rolex GMT-Master II
Having been launched for the 50th anniversary of the GMT-Master in 2005, the GMT Master II ref. 116718 is far from new, but its modern proportions remain ever so stylish. This model was the first Rolex watch to feature the virtually scratch-proof Cerachrom bezel and the Super Case with fatter lugs and a thicker overall profile.
The ref. 116718 has all the makings of a true collector’s item: a black ceramic bezel that offers high contrast against the superb 18k yellow gold finish; Rolex’s signature green hue on the dial; and large hour markers and sweeping hands. The yellow gold-outlined GMT hand and 24-hour scale on the bezel allow wearers to track three time zones simultaneously.
Rolex Daytona Green Dial
The Daytona ref. 116508 is a departure from the Daytona’s utilitarian nature with its polished 18k yellow gold construction. Furthermore, it was the first member of the collection to sport a green dial in a “British Racing Green” shade never before seen on a Rolex watch.
Launched in 2016 at Baselworld, the watch flew under the radar among its stainless steel and Ceramic bezel siblings, until its appearance on the wrist of influential collector and musician John Mayer. It’s now fondly called the ‘John Mayer’ and has become desirable amongst a range of Rolex collectors.
On top of its exquisite looks, the ref. 116508 offers everything a wearer needs to keep precise time – a fixed tachymeter bezel with black markings, chronograph subdials, and the self-winding Caliber 4130 with a 72-hour power reserve. Subtle red accents add a playful touch to the already eccentric timepiece.
<> Rolex Daytona Meteorite Dial
The Rolex Daytona is a legendary timepiece that has become a symbol of prestige and motorsport heritage. Among the exceptional gold models in the Daytona collection, the Rolex Daytona Meteorite ref 116508 stands out as a true marvel.
What sets the Daytona Meteorite apart is its unique dial, crafted from a genuine meteorite stone. Each dial is truly one-of-a-kind, displaying natural patterns and structures that have formed over millions of years. The meteorite dial is a testament to Rolex’s commitment to exclusivity and exceptional craftsmanship.
The 40mm yellow gold case and bracelet perfectly complement the celestial beauty of the dial. This Daytona Meteorite is equipped with the Caliber 4130, Rolex’s in-house chronograph movement known for its precision and reliability. With its self-winding mechanism and vertical clutch, the movement ensures accurate timekeeping and smooth chronograph functions.
The Daytona collection’s association with motorsport is clear in the design and functionality of the Meteorite model. The tachymeter scale engraved on the bezel allows for precise speed measurements, while the chronograph sub-dials enable users to calculate elapsed time. Whether you’re a racing enthusiast or simply appreciate the timeless elegance of the Daytona, the Meteorite ref 116508 makes a striking statement on the wrist, showcasing your passion for performance and luxury.
Rolex Yacht-Master II
The Yacht-Master II is the favorite among adventurers looking for a timepiece that is hard-wearing and visually striking. Much like the Yacht-Master, this watch is available in a variety of materials including yellow gold.
The ref. 116688 commands attention with its 44mm case, polished and satin-brushed bracelet, and blue bezel made from ceramic. The square hour markers, the small seconds sub-dial, and the blue and red scale and hands are also a brilliant combination as they give the dial a systematic look.
At the watch’s heart is the 44-jewel Caliber 4161, which includes a chronograph feature and a programmable flyback regatta countdown timer, all operated using the innovative Ring Command bezel.
Rolex Yachtmaster 42
The Rolex Yachtmaster collection embodies the spirit of sailing and luxury on the high seas. Among the exquisite gold models in this collection, the Rolex Yachtmaster 42 ref 226658 stands out as a true testament to Rolex’s nautical heritage and craftsmanship.
The Yachtmaster 42 features a 42mm yellow gold case and a perfect pairing with Rolex’s innovative Oysterflex bracelet. The black dial exudes elegance, with luminescent hour markers and hands providing optimal legibility even in challenging conditions. This watch is equipped with the Caliber 3235, a self-winding mechanical movement that offers exceptional precision and a power reserve of approximately 70 hours.
One of the key features of the Yachtmaster 42 is its bidirectional rotatable bezel with a matte black Cerachrom insert. The raised numerals and graduations on the bezel allow for precise timekeeping and calculations, making it an essential tool for sailors. This watch also incorporates Rolex’s proprietary Triplock triple waterproofness system, ensuring its water resistance to a depth of 100 meters.
The Yachtmaster 42 strikes a perfect balance between luxury and functionality, making it an ideal companion for sailing adventures or everyday wear. Its robust construction, reliable movement, and refined design make it a symbol of success and taste.
The Rolex Sky-Dweller collection represents the pinnacle of elegance and innovation in the world of luxury travel watches. Among the remarkable gold models in this collection, the Rolex Sky-Dweller 336938 stands out for its exquisite design and practical functionalities.
The Sky-Dweller 336938 features a 42mm yellow gold case, capturing attention with its captivating presence on the wrist. A champagne-colored dial adds a touch of sophistication, while the bold hour markers and hands ensure legibility in any lighting conditions. The watch is powered by the Caliber 9002, an automatic movement developed and manufactured by Rolex, and an evolution of the original 9001 caliber of the Sky-Dweller. This incredible movement incorporates various patented technologies, including the innovative Saros annual calendar function.
The Saros annual calendar is a standout feature of the Sky-Dweller collection. It simultaneously displays the date and month, automatically adjusting for the varying lengths of different months throughout the year. With the Sky-Dweller’s dual time zone function, travelers can keep track of two time zones simultaneously, thanks to the rotating off-center disc on the dial.
The Sky-Dweller’s design harmoniously blends luxury and practicality, making it an ideal companion for frequent travelers. A combination of yellow gold, intricate complications, and refined aesthetics makes the 336938 a symbol of success and sophistication.
With the gold’s rich gleam, outstanding value, and impressive durability, these timepieces are the pinnacle when it comes to watch collecting. Explore our selection of Rolex yellow gold sports watches at SwissWatchExpo.com.