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Cartier Ronde Solo de Cartier 3802 Very good Steel 42mm Automatic
TOP
Cartier Ronde Solo de Cartier
2 600 
Verified Dealer
44
IT
Chanel J12 H1007 Unworn Ceramic 41mm Automatic
TOP
Chanel J12
3 900 
Verified Dealer
103
FR
Rolex Datejust 16013 Very good Gold/Steel 36mm Automatic
TOP
Rolex Datejust Blue MOP Diamond Sapphire Fluted 36mm-Quickset
4 094 
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
25
US
Audemars Piguet 26552BC.OO.D002CR.01 Unworn White gold Automatic
TOP
Audemars Piguet ROYAL OAK OFFSHORE TOURBILLON CHRONOGRAPH
259 299 
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
267
US
Breitling Superocean Héritage A13313161C1A1 New Steel 44mm Automatic
Breitling Superocean Heritage II
3 800 
Verified Dealer
269
IT
Hublot King Power 703.OM.6912.HR.FMC12 Very good Rose gold 48mm Automatic
TOP
Hublot King Power Rose Gold F1 Great Britain Limited Edition
23 900 
Verified Dealer
1319
NL
Patek Philippe Aquanaut 5968A-001 Very good Steel 42.2mm Automatic
Patek Philippe Aquanaut Chronograph Stainless Steel Watch...
Price on request
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
215
US
Rolex Daytona 16528 Very good Yellow gold 40mm Automatic
TOP
Rolex Daytona Zenith 16528 Black Dial A Serial
24 500 
Verified Dealer
215
IT
Rolex Air King Precision 14000 Very good Steel 34mm Automatic
TOP
Rolex Oyster Perpetual Air King 34 Ref. 14000
3 750 
Verified Dealer
421
NL
Tudor Prince Date 74033 Very good Gold/Steel 34mm Automatic
TOP
Tudor Prince Date 34mm 74033 Gold & Steel Black
1 259 
Verified Dealer
25
JP
Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean 215.30.40.20.03.001 Very good Steel 39.5mm Automatic
Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean 215.30.40.20.03.001 Watch with...
4 047 
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
527
US
Maurice Lacroix Les Classiques Phases de Lune LC6068-SS001-331 New Steel 42mm Automatic
TOP
Maurice Lacroix Phase de Lune Calendar Automatique LC6068
1 360 
Verified Dealer
215
DE
Rolex Sea-Dweller Deepsea 116660 Very good Steel 44mm Automatic
TOP
Rolex Deepsea Sea-Dweller "Deep Blue" 116660
13 565 
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
720
US
Breitling Superocean Héritage II Chronographe A1331212/C968/756P/A20BA.1 New Steel 46mm Automatic
Breitling SUPEROCEAN HÉRITAGE II CHRONOGRAPH 46
4 459 
Verified Dealer
269
IT
Jaeger-LeCoultre Q1768470 Very good Steel 46.3mm Automatic
TOP
Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Compressor Chronograph
6 380 
Verified Dealer
37
ES
Rolex Air King Precision 14000 Very good Steel 34mm Automatic
TOP
Rolex Air King Edelstahl Automatic Automatik Saphirglas
2 990 
Verified Dealer
458
DE
Rolex Yacht-Master 16628 Very good Yellow gold 40mm Automatic
TOP
Rolex Yacht-Master Yellow Gold 16628
17 950 
Verified Dealer
717
NL
Rolex Daytona 116506 New Platinum 40mm Automatic
TOP
Rolex Cosmograph Daytona
70 990 
Verified Dealer
187
DE
Hublot Big Bang Jeans 301.SX.2710.NR.JEANS Very good Steel 44mm Automatic
TOP
Hublot Big Bang Jeans 44mm Edelstahl Chronograph Automatik...
7 790 
Verified Dealer
546
DE
Blancpain 500 Fathoms N050150011030N052A Very good Steel 45mm Automatic
TOP
Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Automatik Edelstahl Herrenuhr Ref. 5015
8 460 
Verified Dealer
2181
DE
Maurice Lacroix Pontos S PT6018-SS001-331-1 New Steel 43mm Automatic
TOP
Maurice Lacroix Pontos S Chronograph Automatik PT6018
1 795 
Verified Dealer
215
DE
Rolex Sky-Dweller 326934 Very good Steel 42mm Automatic
TOP
Rolex Sky-Dweller 326934
22 026 
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
720
US
Oris Dexter Gordon Limited Edition 01 733 7721 4083 Unworn Steel 40mm Automatic
Oris DEXTER GORDON LIMITED EDITION
1 297 
Verified Dealer
269
IT
Patek Philippe Aquanaut 5968A-001 New Steel 42.2mm Automatic
TOP
Patek Philippe Aquanaut 5968a Chronograph Stainless Steel New...
83 500 
Verified Dealer
143
IT
Cartier Pasha 2308 Very good White gold Automatic
TOP
Cartier Pasha Weißgold Revisioniert C35
4 900 
Verified Dealer
103
DE
Patek Philippe Nautilus 5726A-001 New Steel 40.5mm Automatic
TOP
Patek Philippe Nautilus Annual Calendar
59 500 
Verified Dealer
717
NL
Omega Speedmaster Professional Moonwatch Moonphase 304.93.44.52.99.001 New Platinum 44.2mm Automatic
TOP
Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch Moonphase Chronograph 44,25 mm...
44 600 
Verified Dealer
5926
DE
Harry Winston Ocean 411/MA44Z (OCSAHD44ZZ001) Very good 44mm Automatic Finland, Imatra
Harry Winston Ocean Sport Zalium
7 490 
Verified Dealer
12
FI
Tudor Black Bay 79220 Very good Steel 41mm Automatic
TOP
Tudor Heritage Black Bay Automatik Herrenuhr Ref. 79220 Edelstahl
2 260 
Verified Dealer
2181
DE
Maurice Lacroix SD6207-SD502-171 Unworn Steel 39mm Automatic
TOP
Maurice Lacroix Starside Magic Second Brillanten Panoramadatum...
1 999 
Verified Dealer
215
DE
Rolex GMT-Master II 116718 LN GR New Yellow gold 40mm Automatic
TOP
Rolex GMT Master II
33 670 
Verified Dealer
187
DE
Oris Aquis Date 01 733 7730 4135-07 8 24 05PEB New Steel 43.5mm Automatic
Oris Aquis Date
1 296 
Verified Dealer
269
IT
Rolex Day-Date 1807 Very good Yellow gold 36mm Automatic
TOP
Rolex Day-Date 1807 Linen Sigma Dial 18k Gold Bark - Service...
11 499 
Verified Dealer
285
DE
Rolex Daytona 16520 Very good Steel 40mm Automatic
TOP
Rolex Daytona Stahl black Patrizzi Tritium Dial Zenith...
23 499 
Verified Dealer
584
DE
IWC Big Pilot IW500402 Very good White gold 46.2mm Automatic
TOP
IWC Big Pilot IW500402 White Gold
14 500 
Verified Dealer
717
NL
Zenith El Primero 36'000 VpH 03.2046.400/25.C771 Unworn Steel 42mm Automatic
Zenith Chronomaster 03.2046.400/25.C771
4 500 
Verified Dealer
2138
MC
Rolex Daytona 16523 Good Gold/Steel 40mm Automatic Finland, Imatra
Rolex Cosmograph Daytona Zenith Inverted 6 SERVICED
12 300 
Verified Dealer
12
FI
Sinn 903 903 Very good Steel 41mm Automatic
TOP
Sinn 903 St Navigationschronograph Automatik Stahl Herrenuhr...
2 260 
Verified Dealer
2181
DE
Maurice Lacroix SD6207-SD501-171 Unworn Steel 39mm Automatic
TOP
Maurice Lacroix Starside Magic Second Brillanten Panoramadatum...
1 999 
Verified Dealer
215
DE
Rolex Oyster Perpetual Very good Gold/Steel 34mm Automatic
TOP
Rolex ZEPHYR OYSTER PERPETUAL 1008 1964
3 200 
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
69
DE
Oris Aquis Date 01 733 7730 4124-07 4 24 64EB New Steel 43.5mm Automatic
Oris Aquis Date 43.5mm
1 197 
Verified Dealer
269
IT
Tudor Prince Date 79280 Very good Steel 40mm Automatic
TOP
Tudor Prince Date Chronograph 79280 ROLEX 1997 Tritium Panda
4 899 
Verified Dealer
285
DE
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Chronograph 25770BA.OO.D009XX.01 Very good Yellow gold 42mm Automatic
TOP
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Yellow Gold 25770BA "FIRST...
39 750 
Verified Dealer
717
NL
Franck Muller 7000R Very good Yellow gold 39mm Automatic
TOP
Franck Muller Rattrapante Very Rare Full Set
10 800 
Verified Dealer
143
IT
Tudor Black Bay 79220R Very good Steel 41mm Automatic Finland, Imatra
Tudor Black Bay Red ETA SERVICED 2018
3 190 
Verified Dealer
12
FI
Hublot Big Bang 44 mm 301-W Very good Ceramic 44.5mm Automatic
TOP
Hublot Big Bang Evolution Chronograph Automatik Herrenuhr Ref....
7 360 
Verified Dealer
2181
DE
Maurice Lacroix SD6207-SD501-171 Unworn Steel 39mm Automatic
TOP
Maurice Lacroix Starside Magic Second Brillanten Panoramadatum...
1 999 
Verified Dealer
215
DE
Rolex Bubble Back Good Steel 32mm Automatic
TOP
Rolex BUBBLE BACK 2940 1946
2 200 
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
69
DE
Patek Philippe Aquanaut 5164A-001 New Steel 40.8mm Automatic
TOP
Patek Philippe Aquanaut Travel Time (2019)
57 500 
Verified Dealer
187
DE
Breitling Transocean Chronograph UB015212/Q594 Unworn Gold/Steel 43mm Automatic
TOP
Breitling Transocean Chronograph 43MM Stahl Roségold - Bronze...
4 888 
Verified Dealer
285
DE
Rolex Datejust 16013 Very good Gold/Steel 36mm Automatic
TOP
Rolex Datejust White MOP Sapphire Dial Diamond Bezel 36mm-Quic...
4 925 
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
25
US
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Lady 26048SK Very good Steel 37mm Automatic
TOP
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Lady Offshore Chrono Diamonds 26048SK
17 950 
Verified Dealer
717
NL
Hermès Cape Cod 2907.891 Good Steel 153mm Automatic Finland, Turku
TOP
Hermès Cape Cod Grandes Heures CD6.810
2 667 
Private Seller
 
FI
Rolex GMT-Master II 16710 Very good Steel 40mm Automatic Finland, Imatra
Rolex GMT Master II Pepsi SERVICED 2020
12 300 
Verified Dealer
12
FI
Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean 168.1650 Very good Steel 45.5mm Automatic
TOP
Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean Stahl Automatik Co Axial 168.1650
2 860 
Verified Dealer
2181
DE
Maurice Lacroix Pontos S PT6018-SS001-330-1 New Steel 43mm Automatic
TOP
Maurice Lacroix Pontos S Chronograph Automatik Rubber PT6018
1 795 
Verified Dealer
215
DE
Panerai Radiomir Black Seal Pam 287 Very good Steel 45mm Automatic
TOP
Panerai Radiomir Black Seal Limited Edition 1500 OPIII - Pam 287
3 600 
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
567
NL
Rolex GMT-Master II 16713 Good Gold/Steel 40mm Automatic
TOP
Rolex GMT Master II 16713 Tigerauge Oysterband S-Serie...
10 999 
Verified Dealer
584
DE
Breitling Navitimer 01 (46 MM) RB0127121G1P1 New Rose gold 46mm Automatic
TOP
Breitling Navitimer 01 B01 Chronograph 46MM 18k Rosegold -...
13 999 
Verified Dealer
285
DE
Rolex Lady-Datejust 6917 Very good Gold/Steel 26mm Automatic
TOP
Rolex Lady-Datejust Purple Diamond Dial Lugs Bezel 26mm Oyster
3 245 
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
25
US
Breguet Reine de Naples 8918BA58864 Very good Yellow gold 36.5mm Automatic
TOP
Breguet Reine de Naples 8918BA58864
19 850 
Verified Dealer
717
NL
Patek Philippe Perpetual Calendar 5320G-001 New White gold 40mm Automatic
TOP
Patek Philippe Perpetual Calendar
66 840 
Verified Dealer
187
DE
Panerai Luminor 1950 3 Days GMT Automatic PAM 00441 Unworn Ceramic 44mm Automatic Finland, Imatra
Panerai Luminor 1950 3 Days GMT Automatic
7 890 
Verified Dealer
12
FI
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Automatic Watches: Self-Winding Mechanical Timepieces

Automatic watches are powered by the natural motion of your wrist while you wear them. This type of watch has a rich history reaching back to the 18th century. Today, countless brands produce their own automatic calibers for their watches.


Highlights

  • Automatically wound by the natural movements of your arm
  • Environmentally-friendly: No batteries to produce or throw away
  • The Rolex Oyster Perpetual is one of the most famous automatic watches
  • John Harwood is considered the inventor of the automatic wristwatch
  • Automatic watches available in almost every price range

Automatic Watches: Self-Winding Timepieces

Automatic watches fall under the larger umbrella term of mechanical watches. They offer a key advantage over manual timepieces: They wind automatically via the movement of the wearer's arm. An oscillating mass inside the caliber is responsible for winding the spring. Today, this is in most cases a winding rotor. It is flexibly mounted so that gravity pulls it towards the center. When you're wearing the watch and move your wrist, the rotor moves and gives the caliber new energy. Automatic watches don't require batteries, making mechanical watches comparably more environmentally friendly than battery-powered quartz watches.

Automatic watches are available from almost every famous watch manufacturer in all price ranges. Less expensive models are often powered by base calibers made by the ébauche manufacturers ETA, Soprod, or Sellita. Various manufacturers use these calibers in a more or less reworked form in their watches. These calibers even power the watches made by famous brands such as Breitling and TAG Heuer. However, both manufacturers have developed their own in-house movements as well.

Rolex and Patek Philippe are some of the most well-known watch manufacturers. Unlike many other brands, these two Geneva-based manufacturers don't outsource base calibers. Instead, they use their own. For example, Rolex's caliber 3130 is considered very robust, reliable, and precise. These qualities and more make the caliber one of the best automatic movements on the market; it powers Rolex watches such as the Submariner. Since Rolex produces their watches almost entirely in-house, production is costlier. This results in higher prices for automatic watches with in-house movements.


Buying Tips

If you're searching for an automatic watch, the hard part is actually choosing one. Should it be large or small, simple or extravagant, affordable or expensive? The selection is ample for every taste and budget. Pre-owned automatic watches from Citizen, Seiko, or Swatch are available for around 50 euros. These watches often only have three hands for the hours, minutes, and seconds. Some also have a date or even day/date display.

In the price range between 100 and 200 euros, you can find diverse new automatic watches from brands like Seiko or Fossil. Pre-owned watches from long-established manufacturers such as Tissot, Hamilton, or Longines cost up to 500 euros. The situation is similar in the 1,000 euros and under price range, though here you can also find new models from the German brand Marcello C.

In the 1,000 euro price range, you can find pre-owned Omega or Breitling watches. New automatic three-hand watches are available from Oris, Raymond Weil, or Rado.

However, if you're looking for an automatic chronograph, you need to adjust your budget accordingly. A pre-owned automatic chronograph costs at least 500 euros; this applies to watches from brands such as Tissot or Hamilton. New chronographs cost a few hundred euros more, around 800 euros. These watches are often powered by ETA's Valjoux 7750, which is considered one of the most successful automatic chronograph calibers in the world.

If you're searching for a new automatic Rolex, you need to plan on spending at least 3,000 euros. You can purchase the introductory model, Oyster Perpetual, for this price. You can occasionally find pre-owned vintage watches from this Genevan manufacturer for less than 1,000 euros. The Submariner, one of the first and most famous diving watches in the world, is available pre-owned for around 4,100 euros. New, it costs around 5,600 euros. Rolex's chronograph, the Daytona, is available for around 7,500 euros.

The most expensive automatic watches are from brands such as Audemars Piguet and Patek Philippe. These watches are often made of platinum or 18-karat gold and feature countless diamonds on their dial and/or case. At times, these watches are also incredibly expensive as they're rare vintage watches coveted by collectors. Prices over 1 million euros are not too rare when it comes to these watches.


The Technology Behind Automatic Watches

The mainspring of an automatic watch is, as the name suggests, automatically wound by the movement itself. The mainspring is wound, becomes tense, and stores energy. This happens through the natural movements of the wearer's arm when the watch is on his or her wrist. This mechanism eliminates the need to manually wind the mainspring. Instead, an oscillating mass - often the rotor - winds the mainspring. Gravity causes the flexibly mounted rotor to move towards the center and a gear-train transfers the energy from the rotor's movement to the barrel. Viewed from a physics standpoint, the mechanism converts kinetic energy into potential energy.

There are automatic movements that wind in one or both directions. Bi-directional winding movements have so-called reverser gears. These ensure that the rotor winds the barrel in both directions. Uni-directional winding movements actually wind bidirectionally, but the mainspring is only wound in one direction. Both variants have a reduction gear which converts the fast movements of the rotor into slower movements with more torque. The end of the mainspring is not directly connected to the barrel so that it doesn't snap off when it's fully wound. The outer end of the spring is outfitted with a bridle, which keeps the pressure on the mainspring's outermost coil. When not fully wound, that pressure allows the outer end of the mainspring to be caught in a notch in the barrel wall. Once the spring is fully wound, it moves along to the next notch.

Automatic watches have many advantages: They're comfortable, environmentally-friendly, and usually more precise. This improved precision is due to the mainspring, which is always tense and has a more constant torque than mainsprings in hand-wound calibers. This has a positive effect on the amplitude. The amplitude is the balance wheel's degree of rotation and refers to the wheel's maximum rotation angle between equilibrium and a reversal point.

Technical Details of Automatic Watches

  • The winding rotor winds the mainspring in the barrel
  • Advantages: no manual winding required, environmentally-friendly, more precise
  • Uni-directional and bi-directional winding movements

The Origins of Automatic Watches

Automatic winding is one of the most important and long-lasting innovations in the history of watchmaking and the mechanism is one of the most widespread complications in use today.

Today's automatic watches can trace their origin back to the year 1729. Abraham-Louis Perrelet improved the winding mechanism of pocket watches in the 18th century. A small key was required to wind a movement before this improvement. Since the key was never there when you needed it, winding mechanisms that didn't require a key were in high demand. Perrelet wanted to invent a self-winding pocket watch. In 1770, he introduced his pedometer watch after countless attempts. The watch had an oscillating weight which teetered back and forth as the wearer walked. The motion caused the oscillating weight to tense the mainspring. Perrelet also developed a caliber with a winding rotor which swiveled above the movement. With these innovations, the groundwork for today's automatic watches was laid.

Refined men carried their pocket watches tucked away safely in their jacket, vest, or pants. The timepieces barely moved while in their pockets, which meant that the oscillating mass didn't have enough energy to wind the mainspring. The crown-wind method solved the key-wind problem in the mid-19th century, making the automatic pocket watch superfluous.


The First Automatic Wristwatches

The French watchmaker Léon Leroy was also a pioneer in the development of automatic watches. He presented his first automatic wristwatch in 1922. Some of these watches even had a date display. However, Leroy was far away from being able to mass produce a series.

The British watchmaker John Harwood lead automatic wristwatches to series production. He began working on automatic movements in 1922. Two years later, he patented his work, paving the way for the first series-produced automatic wristwatches.

Rolex's Oyster Perpetual was one of the first automatic wristwatches. Rolex introduced the watch to the market in 1931. It's one of the few early models that has lasted over the years and is still produced today. The principle behind Oyster Perpetual's winding rotor is at the heart of every modern automatic wristwatch.


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