Gold is the elder statesman of precious metals. It is a grown-up, wizened sort of material that (in the hands of the world's best watchmakers) is not the brash show-offy bling we associate with gold chains, gold cars and, er, gold teeth but a classic aesthetic perfect for the City gent.

Whether you go for a stripped-back icon like the Patek and Vacheron or something with more outward mechanical flair like the Parmigiani, this list is necessary reading before you invest in your golden wonder.

Patek Philippe Calatrava Ref 5153J

£24,750, patek.com

Few watchmakers on the planet can compare to the detail and craftsmanship that goes into each Patek Philippe watch. This 18ct gold Calatrava may be more understated than some of the other high-complication pieces in the Swiss icon's collection, but its vintage glamour is difficult to ignore. Dating back to 1932, the Calatrava is one of Patek's older designs – and is still today considered the dress watch for the discerning man. 

Parmigiani Fleurier Tonda Hémisphères dual-time

£27,900, parmigiani.com

Independent watchmaker Parmigiani Fleurier create some of the most technically superb movements in the industry, but its sumptuous finishing touches are no less impressive. This dual-time watch is finished in 18ct rose gold, and features a second time zone that can be set via an independent crown.

Vacheron Constantin Patrimony

£23,300, vacheron-constantin.com

No screaming and shouting. No OTT flourishes. No nonsense. Vacheron Constantin has condensed all that is great and good about a minimalist date-only watch and packaged it up as the Patrimony. Inspired by Vacheron's designs from the 1950s, it is made from 18ct pink gold, with just the slightest of applied gold on the indices. This is a timepiece for the purists – and simply doesn't get any better.

Grand Seiko SBGH266J - best gold watches 2018
Rolex Cosmograph Daytona - best gold watches 2018

Grand Seiko SBGH266J

£25,000, grand-seiko.com

Master of elegant Japanese watchmaking Grand Seiko has honoured the 20th anniversary of its Calibre 9S movement with a special edition in yellow gold. Discounting the highly accurate calibre that sits inside the 18ct-gold case, stunning details like the 'G' and 'S' engraved spiral pattern on the dial elevate this beyond the norm.

Rolex Cosmograph Daytona

£20,200, rolex.com

This Cosmograph Daytona is perhaps the most ‘Rolex’ watch Rolex has released in the last decade. Why? It takes the iconic chronograph design first introduced in 1963 adds 18ct gold, a champagne dial and an Oysterflex bracelet to create the ultimate sports watch.

It doesn't matter who you are or what your interests are, this is a timepiece that speaks to us all.

Harry Winston Ocean Biretrograde Perpetual Calendar - best gold watches 2018
Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Tribute Duoface X Casa Fagliano - best gold watches 2018

Harry Winston Ocean Biretrograde Perpetual Calendar

£43,100, harrywinston.com

The eye-catching dial on Harry Winston’s unusual biretrograde perpetual calendar is elevated by 18ct rose gold. This is a watch where each detail commands attention.

Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Tribute Duoface X Casa Fagliano

£19,700, jaeger-lecoultre.com

The classic stylings of the iconic Reverso receive a contemporary update here in the form of a contrasting grey dial and 18ct rose gold case. The second time zone on the reverse dial is shown on a pristine white dial, while the Fagliano Limited strap in two-tone cordovan leather adds further elegance.