We have earlier looked at some of the many materials that watch brands are using for watches. Materials like titanium, ceramic, or the most common, steel.
Both yellow gold and rose gold have existed for a long time, although yellow gold has been around much longer. Since yellow gold is the natural form of gold, it has been around since gold was discovered. On the other hand, yellow gold is an alloy that is a mix of yellow gold and other materials. Regardless, when it comes to the watch industry, rose gold has gotten a huge upswing in recent decades, and therefore, rose gold has become a common sight in watches today.
But now that you have the decision of either rose gold or yellow gold for your watch, which should you choose? And which is the best?
In this article, we will compare rose gold and yellow gold to see which is most appropriate for your style and needs, as well as things to consider when choosing between these materials.
What is rose gold and yellow gold?
To understand rose gold and yellow gold watches, let’s start with the basics.
You’re probably already familiar with yellow gold. This is a material that was discovered thousands of years B.c and because of its brilliance, natural beauty, and luster, it has always had a great appeal to humans. In addition, because gold is a relatively rare material compared to other metals, it has always been seen as something exclusive and sought-after. Gold is a naturally occurring material and its abundance in the earth’s crust is estimated at about 0.005 parts per million.
Rose gold, on the other hand, is an alloy, made partially with yellow gold.
Rose gold or yellow gold watch?
In the watch industry, different manufacturers use different types of names for rose gold. The most common name is of course rose gold, but some brands use red gold, pink gold, or, in Rolex’s case, Everose gold, to highlight the fact that it is their very own alloy blend. Rose gold is made from pure 24 karats yellow gold, and most often a combination of copper and silver, which usually results in it becoming 18K rose gold. When it comes to the blend of additional metals, the percentage of the other metals used varies. In addition, Rolex, for example, has a mixture of pure gold mixed with copper and platinum instead. But the outcome is still 18K. 18k in practice means 75 percent of pure gold with 22.5 other metals.
When it comes to yellow gold in watches, it is also made as an alloy. This is because pure gold, at 24 karats is too soft to be used for watches and would only get scratches and dents very easily. Therefore, the vast majority of watch brands use 18K gold today for their watches. 18k yellow gold is usually made with silver, copper, and zinc. The result is a more durable, strong, and long-lasting yellow gold.
By making a certain alloy, it is possible to achieve different properties of the resulting metal. For example, according to Rolex, their Everose alloy will never lose its red color, which is thanks to the Platinum used.
Furthermore, when it comes to rose gold, depending on the percentage of the metals used, watch brands can achieve a different look and hue to the gold. In many cases, manufacturers name their rose gold alloy accordingly. For instance, a watch brand may add more copper to its alloy, which gives it a more pink/red hue. As a result, it may be more appropriate to name it pink gold rather than rose gold. With this in mind, you may want to consider which type of rose gold that you like, and then look at which brands offer the hue of rose gold that you prefer.
Now that we’ve sorted out the basics, should you choose a yellow gold or rose gold watch?
Rose gold VS Yellow gold watch - which to choose?
As you may have guessed, the answer to that question is ”it depends”. But we won’t leave you at that.
Both rose gold and yellow gold have their pros and cons, but because they are both 18K gold alloys, in terms of hardness and properties, they are very similar. The difference is in their appearance and how they look.
Here are some things to take into consideration when making your choice:
Yellow gold is more classic
Whilst rose gold watches have been around for quite some time now, they are certainly nothing new. But it is particularly in the last couple of years, or perhaps decades, that many watch brands have doubled-down on rose gold for their watch collections, and oftentimes presented collections with rose gold and yellow gold options side-by-side which makes it easy to choose the metal that suits your taste and preference.
But with that said, yellow gold is the most classic precious metal that has been used in watches. When most people think about a gold watch, they usually think about a yellow gold watch, not a rose gold watch. Think about presidents, a retirement watch, or a watch given to celebrate x amount of years at a company, the go-to metal is yellow gold. Therefore, if you want a classic luxury watch that is instantly associated with elegance, class, and luxury, yellow gold is the best choice. Yellow gold is simply the material that is most associated with prestige.
Think about your skin tone
Just like stainless steel looks different on different skin tones, rose gold and yellow gold watches will pair with the skin differently. This is something that is not too commonly discussed, but how the color of the metal looks on your skin is something that affects its overall appearance.
In general, rose gold watches look best on cool skin tones. On the contrary, yellow gold watches look best on warm skin tones. The issue is that yellow gold, on pale or cooler skin, has a tendency to look too harsh and can look flat.
Whilst it is completely up to you what you decide, yellow gold tends to look best on olive, tan, and dark skin tones. Rose gold has a tendency to look good on all skin tones. But at the end of the day, you will have to decide how it looks on you, whilst also keeping in mind that different watch brands use different hues on the rose gold.
Yellow gold is more flashy
Yellow gold is brighter and has a greater luster than rose gold. Because yellow gold is brighter, it also becomes more eye-catching and flashy. Rose gold, however, has a toned-down hue and color because of the copper used, which makes it less bright. If you’re looking for a flashy watch that people will not be able to miss, yellow gold should definitely be the go-to choice. On the other hand, if you want a precious metal watch but prefer something that is a little bit more toned-down and discreet, rose gold can be a perfect choice, sitting in between yellow gold and the ultra-stealth white gold.
Rose gold is more modern
If yellow gold is more classic, as discussed earlier, rose gold watches are the modern counterpart.
Rose gold is a trend that has exploded in recent years, with many fashion brands hopping on the trend by making rose gold-colored watches.
With this said, some may argue that whether you should have a yellow gold watch or a rose gold watch also depends on the actual watch. And this brings us to the next point:
Consider the type of watch
Whilst there is by no means any rule regarding the type of watch, and the choice of yellow or rose gold, it is an interesting aspect to consider.
What do we mean with this?
Well, since yellow gold is considered the more classic alternative, it does make sense that yellow gold is chosen for classic watches. In other words, dress watches and simple classic watches.
On the other hand, because rose gold is considered a more modern alloy, this may mean that it is a better choice for more modern, unique, and different timepieces.
The style of the watch, its dial, and what strap it is paired with may all be factors worth factoring in. For example, if it is a busy dial with a lot going on, it may be a wise choice to opt for rose gold since the rose gold keeps it toned down. But if you want to go ”all in” and have an in-your-face watch, you can pair a busy dial with a flashy yellow gold case.
Rose gold and yellow gold watches - metal allergies
If you have sensitive skin, you may wonder whether yellow gold or rose gold is best for sensitive skin or metal allergies. The answer is that yellow gold is more hypoallergenic. Because copper is a central ingredient in rose gold, it becomes the less hypoallergenic alternative since copper is an allergen for sensitive skins.
Therefore, if you have sensitive skin, or may even be aware that you are sensitive to copper in particular, it is perhaps not ideal to opt for a rose gold watch.
Style and trends
Yellow gold watches have existed for a very long time. Whilst rose gold watches have also existed for a long time, they didn’t really break through on the market until a few years ago. Whilst we cannot predict future trends (which have come and gone in the watch industry for as long as watches have existed) like ceramic, carbon fiber, sapphire, and many more, it’s safe to say that yellow gold (at least so far) has proven to be the most classic material of the two.
Because of this, yellow gold is likely an alloy that will never go out of style. On the contrary, rose gold has only just recently (relatively speaking) got its big boom and surge in popularity, and therefore, it remains to be seen whether or not rose gold is here to stay or if it, in a few years, will lose some of its popularity. What we can say for sure, however, is that yellow gold is the most timeless of the two as of today.
At the end of the day, the decision between a rose gold watch or a yellow gold watch is all yours to make. It primarily has to do with style and appearance, but also things like skin tone and the type of watch. But as always, the most important thing is that you like it. Whether that is a more modern and toned down rose gold watch, or a more flashy and bright yellow gold watch all depends on preference, taste, and how you plan to wear it.