Although pricey, 24-karat gold is soft and susceptible to damage. To create a more cost-effective, stronger product, some manufacturers cover silver or other robust metals with a thin layer of gold plating. However, a gold-plated watch is still susceptible to damage in the form of scratches and discolorations if cleaned and stored improperly. Never submerge your gold-plated watch; instead, cleanse it properly to ensure you don't damage the movement or expose the base metal below the plating.
Create a mixture of 3 cups lukewarm water and 1/2 teaspoon mild dish soap in a small bowl. Stir the mixture to incorporate the soap. A mild soap contains no dyes or perfumes. Never use an abrasive cleanser, which will scratch or fade the gold plating.
Dampen a soft-bristled toothbrush with the soapy water, and gently scrub the gold-plated band. Pay attention to get in-between the gaps to eliminate any built-up dirt, dust or oils.
Dampen a soft washcloth with plain water, and wipe off the gold-plated band to remove the soapy residue. Never submerge the gold-plated band, especially if the watch isn't water resistant. Gently wipe the watchband with a separate soft washcloth.
Set the watch on a washcloth, and allow it to air dry overnight. Once completely dry, store the watch in a cool, dry place. Although gold won't tarnish, the silver or copper under the plating will. Prevent scratches or damage by storing the gold-plated watch separately.