Whether you go for one in pink, yellow, or white, there’s something about a gold watch that screams good taste. Elegant and practical, a gold watch is the ideal piece of wrist candy. Especially when it happens to be made by master craftspeople – as the team at TAG Heuer most certainly are. Gold wristwatches have occupied a coveted part of the TAG Heuer catalogue ever since it began making watches back in 1860. If you want a timeless classic, a TAG Heuer gold timepiece is the way to go. Durable enough to be worn everyday yet elegant enough for special occasions, it’s an investment piece that will pay dividends for years to come. But which of the many gold watches to have rolled off the TAG Heuer production line is the best? Obviously, taste is subjective, but if you want our advice, you won’t go wrong with any of these insanely desirable top buys.
TAG Heuer 6000
After a brief period in the wilderness, TAG Heuer returned to the mainstage with a bang in the early 1990s with the TAG Heuer 6000 series. Although it came in a platinum variety, it was the 18k yellow and white gold pieces that really impressed. The designer tasked with creating the 6000 was Jorg Hysek, a man who’d previously proved his mettle with the equally desirable Kirium series. As calibre11.com notes, Hysek designed the case with three basic elements- the base case (which came with brushed finish), a thin upper bezel (a polished ring that sat directly under the bezel and extended to the lugs), and a unidirectional bezel that offered both polished and brushed finishes, depending on the model. Immediately recognizable by the eight stylized TAG Heuer shields positioned in multiple places around the watch (a unique feature that no TAG Heuer creation has boasted either before or since), the 6000 series went down a storm on its initial release, not least because of the many bespoke dials available on the gold pieces, including Mother of Pearl and a vibrant blue and green version. After ten years on the shelves, the TAG Heuer 6000 was discontinued in 2002. Nonetheless, it remains one of ithe brand’s most iconic (and best value) series.
TAG Heuer Professional 1,000
If you spent more time lusting after the gold watch worn by Leonardo DiCaprio in The Wolf on Wall Street than following the storyline, you probably already know about the TAG Heuer Professional 1,000. If you haven’t caught the film, then let me introduce you to one very special watch. The series was conceived during the quartz crisis of the mid 1970s; the Swiss watchmaking industry had been thrown into crisis and TAG Heuer needed sales in a bad way. As Hodinkee.com writes, they also needed something spectacular enough to compete with the flashy Japanese watches flooding the market. The result was the 1000 series. Big, bold, and distinctive, it was a watch designed to make a splash – which is exactly what it did. While all the models in the series had their fans, it was the solid gold models that generated the most hype – and the biggest prices. Easily recognizable by their “nipple” hour-markers and unique bezels, the gold watches tapped into the 80s market for ostentation and wearing your money (quite literally in this case) on your sleeve. Granted, they were never the most subtle of watches, and even now, there’s something slightly brash about their appeal. But sometimes, understated gets boring. Elegant gets tiring. Sometimes, you want something a little bit brash, a little bit flash… and in those times, the TAG Heuer Professional 1,000 does the job very nicely indeed.
TAG Heuer 2000 series
By the early eighties, TAG Heuer was looking for a new watch to build on the success of the 1000 dive watches. The answer came in the form of the 2000 series. Introduced as a line of both chronographs and dive watches, the series began life as steel or gold-plated offerings. But inevitably, a solid gold version was eventually made available (although it would take until the early 2000s before fans could get their hands on one). The gold pieces were varied, both in terms of price and functionality (the basic WN5140 was a steal at approx. $8000 while the flashy WN5141 was designed to blow the budget at $40,000). While their flashiness wasn’t to everyone’s taste, for people who liked their watches more in your face than on their wrist, they were the business.
TAG Heuer Carrera Monaco
As the first square waterproof chronograph, the TAG Heuer Carrera Monaco was already something of an icon even before it got a gold upgrade. Created over 50 years ago, it was, as Wired.com notes, cut from the catalogue shortly after launch due to poor sales. But you can’t keep a good watch down, and by the 1990s, the Monaco was back in business. Originally available in either steel or PVD coatings, the Monaco CW5140 was the first in the line to feature a precious metal. Although some purists argue it was best left in steel, most buyers agree the introduction of a gold option elevated the Monaco from something special to something truly extraordinary. The flat tops and sheer sides of the line seemed to shine more brightly with their gold accents, while the finesse on show in the finishing details (including the beveled crystal of virtually unscratchable sapphire and the radical positioning of the crown to 9 o’clock) represented TAG Heuer at its very best. Unfortunately, the gold options have been dropped from its current Monaco collection, but look around, and you should still be able to find quite a few vintagee pieces on the market.
TAG Heuer Carrera Tourbillon Chronograph
TAG Heuer’s glory days are far from behind it. The proof? The TAG Heuer Carrera Tourbillon Chronograph in rose gold, a stunning piece that currently take pride of place in the 2020 catalogue. If you can look past the giant price (expect to part with a stonking $27000), you’ll find a watch of rare beauty. Granted, it’s not gold from end to end like most of our other top 5 pieces, but there’s enough precious metal on show to justify that mega price tag. Featuring a black skeleton dial, a titanium and gold case, a ceramic bezel, glossy rose-gold lugs and a matte black alligator leather and rubber strap, it manages to combine elegance with boldness in one dynamite package. Customers can expect rose-gold toned sub-dials at 3 and 9 o’clock, a flying tourbillon cage at 6 o’clock, baton-shaped indexes, and polished, satin finished hands. The movement comes courtesy of the iconic Calibre HEUER02T COSC. It may be expensive, but few would argue it’s not worth the money.