Watches are available in all kinds of different materials and manufacturers are experimenting more than ever with different materials to use. Ceramic, Titanium, and sapphire, are just some materials that have become more common for watches in recent years.
Naturally, the most luxurious and prestigious are gold and platinum. But when most people think about gold, they think about yellow gold. White gold is also an alternative in watches that many manufacturers use, but that isn’t spoken about a lot.
With this said, we will therefore look closer at white gold watches in this article, what they are all about, and why you should buy one.
What is White Gold?
First and foremost, most people associate gold with bright, striking, and eye-catching yellow gold. This is perhaps not very surprising considering the fact that the purest form of gold used in jewelry has been dated back to 4000 B.C. As a result, yellow gold has a strong luxurious and exclusive reputation.
Over time, as jewelers experimented with the material, they found benefits in mixing yellow gold with other materials to achieve a different look and to give it different properties. White gold was invented in the 19th century but didn’t become popular until the 1920s. The primary benefit of white gold at the time was that it was seen as a less expensive alternative to platinum, but also because platinum was needed for many military purposes. But platinum and white gold, although they may look identical to the untrained eye should not be confused. Platinum is much more expensive than white gold and is also heavier with a grayer hue to it.
During the 2000s, white gold has become more popular than ever for jewelry and watches.
A lot of people believe that because white gold isn’t yellow, it doesn’t contain real gold, but this is actually not true. Like yellow gold, it exists with different gold contents, such as 14K white gold and 18K white gold, with 18K being most common in watches.
18K white gold is an alloy that usually contains about 75% gold and about 25% nickel and zinc. When it says 18K, it means that it contains 75% pure gold
What's the point of white gold in watches?
Originally, the purpose of white gold was to imitate platinum due to the above-mentioned reasons. When it comes to watches, there are several reasons why people choose to buy a white gold watch (and manufacturers decide to make them).
The primary reason why people choose white gold watches is that they are heavier than stainless steel, giving a more premium impression, have a brighter, warmer, and more elegant sheen, and overall are more prestigious and luxurious.
It’s a natural choice for those who want the elegance and luxury of a gold watch, but want something that flies under the radar and is not too flashy. A common term that is used to describe white gold watches is ”stealth wealth” and we couldn’t agree more with that.
To a lot of people, it doesn’t make sense to pay essentially a yellow gold price but for something that no one will know is just as exclusive, expensive, and luxurious as a yellow gold watch. But that’s the whole point. It’s the ultimate choice for those who have nothing to prove and who buy the watch strictly for themselves and not because they want to show off.
With this said, those who buy white gold watches tend to be either those who already have a large collection of watches and just want something different or those who are wealthy and feel that they have no need for showing off.
Are white gold watches worth buying?
Yes absolutely! If any of the reasons discussed above speak to you, you should definitely consider buying a white gold watch. Unless you want to buy a watch to show off, a white gold watch is more about buying a watch for your own enjoyment. A lot of people argue - and we would agree - that white gold watches are the ultimate proof of excellent taste. Far from anyone will buy a white gold watch, and people who say something like ”why would I want to pay X times more when I can get essentially the same watch for much less in steel?” or even ”why would I pay that much when people won’t recognize it?”, are obviously missing the point. Those in the know buy white gold watches for themselves, not for anyone else.
An important reason that makes a lot of people opt for white gold is its heavier weight compared to stainless steel. The increased weight contributes to giving the watch a much more luxurious impression on your wrist and highlight that you are wearing something truly special. It makes the experience of wearing white gold so much more special.
Why is white gold watches better than yellow gold?
White gold as a material isn’t ”better” per se. 18k white gold contains just as much gold as 18K yellow gold.
One of the primary reasons why people choose a white gold watch over a yellow gold one is because they want something elegant and luxurious, but that is still discreet and that most people will mistake for stainless steel. Most people simply don’t care if people mistake it for steel because they buy it for their own enjoyment.
Is Rolex white gold real gold?
Yes, Rolex only uses real white gold for all of its white gold watches. The white gold that Rolex uses is 18K and consists of Rolex’s own proprietary blend. Rolex describes the process of making the gold in the following way:
”They are made with only the purest metals and meticulously inspected in an in-house laboratory with state-of-the-art equipment, before the gold is formed and shaped with the same painstaking attention to quality.”
White gold watch models
Another factor that is worth bringing up is the model availability of white gold watches. To make white gold watches more prestigious, manufacturers rarely make the same model in stainless steel and white gold to avoid any confusion. With that said, if you really like a model and it is made in white gold, you rarely have a different choice than to buy the white gold version.
This continues on the theme of stealth wealth and ensures that ”those who know, know”. For example, if you wear a Rolex Day-Date in White gold, most people would believe that it is made in stainless steel. But those who know about watches will also know that Rolex only makes the Day-Date in precious metals.
This means that for most people, your watch flies under the radar, but true enthusiasts who know will be able to recognize and appreciate your watch for what it is.
With this said, white gold watches are often made with slight design variations that distinguish them from any stainless steel alternative. This can even further add to the appeal of white gold watches as it emphasizes how special they are. For example, a brand may sell 100 steel versions for every white gold version they sell. And the slight design variation highlights just how special the watch is.
Do white gold watches scratch more easily?
It’s no news that gold is softer than steel. As such, it scratches more easily.
But due to the alloy difference between yellow gold and white gold, there is also a minor difference in how these two scratch. As a matter of fact, white gold is slightly more durable than yellow gold due to the addition of nickel and other alloys, however, it’s not a huge difference between these two. In addition, white gold is sometimes coated with rhodium plating which gives it a greater shine and luster, as well as added protection against scratches. But this is primarily for jewelry.