Gold nanoparticles (Au NPs) attract particular attention because of their unique size-dependent chemical, physicochemical and optical properties and, hence, their potential applications in catalysis, nanoelectronics, photovoltaics and medicine. In particular, laser-produced colloidal nanoparticles are not only biocompatible, but also reveal unique chemical properties. Different laser systems can be used for synthesis of these colloids, varying from continuous wave (CW) to ultra-short femtosecond lasers. The choice of an optimum laser system is still a challenge in application development. To bring more light at this issue, we investigate an influence of laser parameters on nanoparticle formation from a gold target immersed in deionized water. First, an optical diagnostics of laser-induced hydrodynamic processes taking place near the gold surface is performed. Then, gold nanoparticle colloids with average particle sizes smaller than 10 nm and a very narrow dispersion are shown to be formed by CW laser ablation. The obtained results are compared with the ones obtained by using the second harmonics and with previous results obtained by using femtosecond laser systems.