Red and pink gold cases have been dominating the men’s watch arena of late, bringing a warmth that cannot be matched by cold white or hard yellow gold. A popular misconception, generated in part by the adjectives “pink” and “rose”, is that this colour is not for men. However, all the tonalities of red gold convey an elegant and nostalgic appeal, which is why it is used in so many of the vintage watches on the market today.
The only difference between red and pink gold is the amount of copper used in the alloy. Since pure 24ct gold is too soft to be used for watch cases, it is mixed with other metals to produce an alloy resulting in white, yellow, red and pink gold. If your watch case is 18ct red gold, for example, you are probably looking at a copper content of 25%; if it is 18ct pink gold - aka rose gold - the copper content will be around 20%, with silver added to the mix to create a softer shade.
Beyond the technicalities of metallurgy, take a look at our line-up of these six superior mechanical watches for men.
Rotonde de Cartier Annual Calendar watch
Cartier’s creative genius and impressive watchmaking kudos convene to create this annual calendar watch housed in a 40mm 18ct pink gold case with the hallmark blue sapphire cabochon in the crown. The white guilloché dial on these Cartier watches features a series of apertures that allow rapid consultation of the day of the week, the date, the month and, naturally, the time. The automatic movement - calibre 9908 MC - will keep the watch going for 48 hours and can be admired through the sapphire crystal caseback.
L.U.C Quattro watch with chocolate dial
The combination of the rich chocolate dial and the 18ct rose gold case is deliciously inviting. As part of the upper echelon selection of Chopard watches known as L.U.C (a tribute to founder Louis-Ulysse Chopard), this model is an artful blend of heritage and state-of-the art technology, and is a worthy candidate when it comes to gifting best men’s watches. Roman numerals, a small seconds counter, a power reserve indication and date functions are harmoniously arranged on the dial, while underneath the 43mm bonnet beats a powerful Chopard manufacture four-barrel movement responsible for the generous 9-day power reserve.
Geophysic True Second watch
You can see the influence of the original 1958 Geophysic watch made for scientists in this Geophysic True Second model with its easy-to-read dial and clean, utilitarian appeal we associate with the 1950s. The sobriety of the dial hides a complex true seconds complication in the movement, which puts the breaks on the second hand and makes it perform a nice, clean staccato jump as it hits the second markers for precision readings. Presented in a 38.5mm rose gold case, these Jaeger-LeCoultre watches for men are shockproof, capable of withstanding magnetic fields, and are waterproof to 100 metres.
A. Lange & Söhne
Datograph Up/Down watch
For many connoisseurs and collectors, the German watchmaker A. Lange & Söhne is the pinnacle of perfection, renowned for its highly complicated watch movements and sophisticated aesthetics. The Datograph Up/Down derives its name from the large date window at 12 o’clock and the Up/Down or Ab/Auf power reserve indicator at 6 o’clock. In addition, the watch is equipped with a flyback chronograph and comes in an 18ct pink gold case measuring 41mm with a black dial made of solid silver.
H. Moser & Cie.
Venturer Big Date watch
Another classic if you’re in need of Christmas gift ideas, the Venturer Big Date model from H. Moser comes in an exquisite 18ct red gold case with a stunning red gold fumé dial - a speciality of the house - with an exceptionally easy-to-read date window. The curved contours of this gorgeous 41.5mm model house an ingenious mechanism that permits the instantaneous jump of the date at midnight and the option to adjust the date forward or backward, even when the date is changing. The hand-wound mechanical movement features two barrels and has a power reserve of 7 days.
Portugieser Hand-Wound Eight Days Edition 75th anniversary watch
The Portugieser is an emblematic range of IWC watches and to celebrate its 75th anniversary, IWC has released this 43mm model. The vintage lines recreate the purist design of the first watches made for two Portuguese businessmen who wanted wristwatches - not pocket watches - with the precision of marine chronometers. A limited edition of 175 in 18ct red gold, the silver-plated dial, Arabic numerals and railroad chapter ring are a trip down memory lane. The IWC-manufactured hand-wound movement can store enough energy for 8-days of power reserve.
The influence of the original 1958 Geophysic watch made for scientists is clearly visible in the sobriety and legibility of the dial. Inside, a complex true seconds complication allows for precision readings, while the 38.5mm rose gold case protects the movement from magnetism, shocks and is water-resistant to 100 metres. (£12,800)
For many connoisseurs, A. Lange & Söhne is the epitome of refinement and this handsome Datograph Up/Down flyback chronograph packs its incredible technicality into a sumptuous 18ct pink gold case measuring 41mm, with a black dial made of solid silver. (£50,600)
The Venturer Big Date watch from H. Moser & Cie. frames the stunning red gold fumé dial in a warm 18ct red gold case to dramatic effect. The curved contours of this 41.5mm watch house an ingenious mechanism allowing you to adjust the date forward or backward. (£19,900)
Celebrating its 75th anniversary, this 18ct red gold watch recreates the purist design of the first Portugieser watches. This manual-winding 43mm model couples vintage aesthetics with an IWC-manufactured movement and an 8-day power reserve. (£15,250)