WatchBuys Terms and Questions

If a watch is advertised as "18K", what does that mean?


The term 18K refers to solid gold. Pure gold is very soft; gold is made in several "karats", or 1/24th proportions of gold, to make it harder and stand up to daily wear.



  • 9K = 9/24 purity of gold = 37.5% purity (sometimes seen in vintage and/or UK market watch cases, along with 10K gold)
  • 14K = 14/24 purity of gold = 58.3% (sometimes marked 583 or 585 in gold hallmarks)
  • 18K = 18/24 purity of gold = 75% (sometimes marked 750 in gold hallmarks)
  • 24K = 24/24 purity of gold = 100%

    (used with permission of TimeZone)



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