The Great Gold Rip-off


New Hublot Big Bang; SS case on rubber strap ¬ 12k, gold case on rubber strap ¬ 25k. Extra gold weight value ¬ under 1k. Thanks, Hublot, you are trying to take me for an extra 12k ride on already overpriced pieces. Even my beloved niche brand Linde Werdelin has been poisoned by the vision of making easy extra bucks. The new Skeleton Speedo Speed in Carbon as opposed to Gold Case ¬ 11k CHF difference. Extra gold value ¬ less than 2k CHF. Looking throughout the industry, ALL the watch manufactures are playing the same game.

Let’s look at reasons the manufacturers might give to justify these prices. I can see two that I can dismiss right away:

Status: “All gold watches give the owner extra status.” I agree, for example, your typical bank manager will usually wear an SS Rolex while director will wear a gold one. Historically people in these positions are renowned for their intelligence and skills with finances, not someone who would easily allow themselves to be tricked out of his hard earned salary like a 5-year-old child. The other typical customers might include footballers, pop stars, kids with rich daddies… do I need to say more?

This clientele wouldn’t think twice about spending over 100k on the new Richard Mille, and then sell it for less than 30k a few years down the line when someone closes the tap.

Manufacturing / man hour cost when creating gold elements is by no means more expensive than creating much harder steel, or going further, carbon. Plus, you can’t usually recycle the ‘leftovers’ from above, but you definitely can from gold.

I have seen a description on Linde Werdelin’s site lately, that all of their gold cases are made out of solid, individual blocks of gold. Ok, so once you’ve created 3, maybe 4 of those cases, you can easily melt the leftovers together, creating a new solid block and making another case from a single solid block of gold, right?


To close the subject, I’ll give you a final frustration of mine to ponder if you will. Take a look at the prices on the second-hand market on all the models I’ve mentioned in this article. In the very same shop I visited, the second-hand day-date 2 is on sale for 11k, nearly half the price of the new one. Aren’t Rolexes famous for keeping their value and therefore popularly purchased for future investment? Have a look on eBay – from a reputable dealer, you can pick up a day-date for as little as 7k on my last visit to the site. I used to and still do buy some watches from private sellers, usually picking them up for around 5k and selling them on right away for a couple of grand more, just for fun, taking advantage of the good opinion and feedback I receive as a trader. And that’s Rolex, by far the easiest to re-sell brand in the world. Looking at Hublot for an investment? If you’re successful in getting at least 60% of the price you paid back on your gold Hublot I will buy you a beer.

I like to think I’ve worked hard for every penny I’ve earned so far in my life, setting up multiple businesses with whatever money I have managed to save. I am proud that none of these businesses set out to take advantage of someone’s lack of knowledge or stupidity. With slogans about movements, precision, tradition, heritage and so on, I appeal to watch manufacturers – don’t ruin it all by trying to bite the hand that feeds you. Ease up on unfair pricing tactics, and allow watch lovers to spend their money on items of true value and worth.

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Daniel Pieciak – Contributing Writer

Young entrepreneur, passionate about items made with great attention to detail. Loves mixing the world of horology with good food, beautiful woman, well cut clothes and luxurious cars, to name just a few! His watch collection boasts some highly sought-after pieces, as apart from esthetics and quality, re-sell value is one of the main aspects he considers when choosing a piece for his wrist. Favourite watch brands include Breguet, Linde Werdelin and Ulysse Nardin. You can follow his lifestyle on Instagram @dynusboss Read his articles here.