Monochrome Watches
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Buying Guide

Five Yellow Gold Watches Proving The Material Is More Popular Than Ever

No shame in a little yellow gold flex every now and then!

| By Robin Nooy | 5 min read |

Stainless steel is still the go-to material for the vast majority of people, and thus, the vast majority of watches are made of steel. And while the carefree nature of stainless steel is perfectly suited for everyday life, there’s no harm in spicing things up every now and then. Alternatives such as white gold or rose gold, or perhaps even ceramic or carbon fibre, are not uncommon, but one material seems to have made quite an impressive comeback these past few years. It was all the rage in the 1970s and 1980s, but the allure of yellow gold is red-hot once more as we take a look at five of the coolest yellow gold watches available.

Bvlgari Octo Finissimo Tourbillon Skeleton Chronograph

Where previously the world’s thinnest tourbillon-chronograph watch was dressed in fly-under-the-radar titanium, Bvlgari decided it was time to give its record-setting Octo Finissimo Tourbillon Skeleton Chronograph some pop. The greyish tone of the complex movement provides a strong contrast against the gleaming architectural case, further enhanced by the yellow gold subdial and black hands. Limited to just 50 pieces and costing EUR 260,000, this certainly isn’t for everyone, but it looks amazing!

Bulgari Octo Finissimo Tourbillon Skeleton Chronograph Yellow Gold

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Quick Facts – 43mm x 7.40mm – yellow gold case, satin & polished – yellow gold chronograph mode selection pusher & crown – sapphire crystals front & back – 30m water-resistant – openworked dial – sunray-brushed yellow gold subdials & flange – black hands – calibre BVL 388, in-house – automatic with peripheral rotor – column-wheel chronograph – tourbillon escapement – 21,600vph – 52h power reserve – integrated yellow gold bracelet – limited to 50 pieces – EUR 260,000

Rolex GMT-Master II Yellow gold 126718GRNR

When it comes to yellow gold, Rolex always has some form of the alluring material in its portfolio, either in full yellow gold or two-tone with stainless steel. This year, Rolex’s GMT-Master II received the full YG Midas’ touch with the introduction of the 126718GRNR. The case, bezel, crown and Jubilee bracelet are all 18k yellow gold. The bezel is two-tone black and grey ceramic, with a glossy black dial to match. Inside beats the well-known calibre 3285, which has a True GMT functionality, of course. It retails for EUR 38,500 if you can get one, that is.

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Quick Facts – 40mm x 11.90mm – full yellow gold case, brushed & polished – yellow gold unidirectional rotating bezel with two-tone ceramic insert – sapphire crystal with cyclops – solid caseback – 100m water-resistant – glossy black dial with yellow gold applied indices & hands – calibre 3285, in-house – Superlative Chronometer – 28,800vph – 70h power reserve – Chronergy escapement – hours, minutes, seconds, date, true GMT – yellow gold Jubilee bracelet – 126718GRNR – EUR 38,500

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Jumbo extra-thin 16202BA

Considered the ultimate guilty-pleasure watch by our Managing Editor, the AP Royal Oak Jumbo Extra-Thin 16202BA ticks all the yellow gold boxes you want to be ticked. The entire case, bezel, crown and bracelet are machined from solid 18k yellow gold. The Petite Tapisserie dial has a smoked yellow gold-to-black finish, which honestly looks amazing in the metal. Inside, and visible through the caseback, the in-house Calibre 7121 keeps running for 55 hours when fully wound. Production, and thus availability, is low, and it retails for EUR 68,300.

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Jumbo Extra-Thin 16202BA

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Quick Facts – 39mm x 8.1mm – 18k yellow gold case and bezel, brushed & polished – sapphire crystals front & back – 50m water-resistant – smoked yellow gold-toned dial with Petite Tapisserie pattern – yellow gold markers & hands – AP calibre 7121, in-house – extra-thin automatic – 28,800vph – 55h power reserve – integrated yellow gold RO bracelet with folding clasp – ref. 16202BA.OO.1204BA.01 – EUR 68,300

Omega Speedmaster moonwatch Moonshine Gold

The Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch Moonshine Gold takes the famous chronograph in a new direction with an exquisite green dial and bezel insert. The special gold alloy complements Canopus (white) Gold and Sedna (rose) Gold and has a higher resistance to fading and a unique colour. The bold exterior look is backed up by Omega’s Calibre 3861, the manually wound cam-lever chronograph. Although it’s available on a leather strap, the Moonshine Gold bracelet is the way to go. Bear in mind that this pushes the price from EUR 29,900 to EUR 42,100.

Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch Moonshine Gold Green Dial

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Quick Facts – 42.00mm x 13.18mm – 18k Moonshine gold case, brushed & polished – Moonshine gold bezel with Ceragold ‘Dot over Ninety’ tachymeter scale – sapphire crystal front & back – 50m water-resistant – sunray-brushed stepped green PVD dial – applied Moonshine gold markers & hands – calibre 3861, in-house – METAS Master Chronometer – manual winding – 21,600vph – co-axial escapement with silicon balance spring – 21600vph – 50h power reserve – Moonshine gold bracelet or leather strap – EUR 29,900 (strap) – EUR 42,100 (bracelet)

Tudor Black Bay 58 Gold

The last entry on the list came as quite a surprise when it was launched two years ago. Full gold dive watches are not that common, let alone one in yellow gold, but Tudor decided it was a perfectly natural fit for its very popular Black Bay 58 collection. To match the luxurious exterior, it was given a green dial and bezel insert, and it comes with a green Jacquard textile or brown alligator leather strap. Something else that makes this BB58 stand out is the see-through caseback revealing the MT5400 in-house movement. It retails for EUR 17,300.

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Quick Facts – 39mm diameter – 19k yellow gold case, brushed – sapphire crystals front & back – screw-down crown – 18k yellow gold unidirectional rotating bezel with matte green insert – 200m water-resistant – matte green domed dial – 18k gold markers & hands – calibre MT5400, in-house – COSC-certified automatic – 28,800vph – 70h power reserve – silicon balance spring – green Jacquard fabric strap and dark brown alligator leather strap with 18k gold buckle – ref. 79018V – EUR 17,300

4 responses

  1. The Tudor does not have an “in-house” movement as the MT5400 calibre is made by Kenissi. In fact Tudor do not claim the MT5400 is an “in-house” movement. Neither does Tudor make it easy to tell that it is not by representing it as a “manufacture” movement but stopping short of calling it “in-house “. While Tudor does partly own Kenissi so does Chanel and Breitling. O Tudor using a Kenissi movement can therefore be said to use an “in-house” movement as Kenissi is a separate company. Arguably Longines use of “in-group” ETA movements made by a company that is part of the same conglomerate has a similar claim to the movements being “in-house” as Tudor does with Kenissi but never claims that title for the movements in Longines watches.

  2. Neither of these is very attractive to me. The Bulgari is kind of fine, but the color combination doesn’t do it for me.
    There’s far better examples of the use of yellow gold on the market.

  3. Well, I admit to having to make some corrections. I guess ‘neither’ should be ‘none’, and the omega is ok.

  4. Adding the new Tissot PRX Gold waffle dial to the list would have been a fun affordable alternative


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