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Rolex Lady-Datejust 6917 Very good Gold/Steel 26mm Automatic
TOP
Rolex Datejust
3 973 
Professional dealer
18
UK
Rolex Datejust 126200-0007 Unworn Steel 36mm Automatic
TOP
Rolex Datejust 126200 White Dial 36mm Box and Papers 2020
7 774 
Professional dealer
148
UK
Rolex Datejust 16013 Very good Gold/Steel 36mm Automatic
TOP
Rolex Datejust
6 500 
Professional dealer
166
IT
Patek Philippe Nautilus 5712G Unworn White gold 40mm Automatic
TOP
Patek Philippe Diamond Set Patek Philippe Nautilus 5712G with...
Price on request
Professional dealer
129
UK
Rolex Milgauss 116400 New Steel 40mm Automatic
TOP
Rolex Milgauss - Matrix MK1 - Limited Edition /10 Black Venom...
14 317 
Professional dealer
80
IT
Jaeger-LeCoultre AMVOX 190.8.97 Very good Steel 42mm Automatic
TOP
Jaeger-LeCoultre Aston Martin Amvox
5 500 
Professional dealer
232
IT
Rolex Day-Date 1803 Big Logo Clasp Very good Yellow gold 36mm Automatic
TOP
Rolex Day Date President Automatic 18K Gold Herrenuhr Big Logo
12 490 
Professional dealer
631
DE
Rolex Datejust 126300 New Steel 41mm Automatic
TOP
Rolex Datejust 41mm Iced Out Ref. 126300 full Diamond NEW
19 900 
Free shipping
Professional dealer
20
DE
Heuer 1163 Good Steel 42mm Automatic Finland, ESPOO
Heuer Autavia Viceroy 1163 MH Cal. 12
3 400 
Professional dealer
5
FI
Breitling Navitimer World A24322 Very good Steel 46mm Automatic
TOP
Breitling Navitimer World Revisioniert
5 250 
Professional dealer
128
DE
Rolex Sea-Dweller 126603 New Gold/Steel 43mm Automatic
TOP
Rolex Sea-Dweller
15 500 
Professional dealer
86
ES
Maurice Lacroix Masterpiece Squelette MP6028-PS101-001 New Gold/Steel 45mm Automatic
TOP
Maurice Lacroix Masterpiece Chronograph Skeleton Automatik...
4 795 
Professional dealer
346
DE
Ball Engineer M NM2032C-S1CJ-BE New Steel 40mm Automatic
TOP
Ball Engineer M Marvelight (40mm) NM2032C-S1CJ-BE
1 875 
Free shipping
Professional dealer
107
JP
Rolex Datejust II 116300 New Steel 41mm Automatic
TOP
Rolex Datejust II - Rainbow Limited edition /5 Black Venom Dlc...
17 407 
Professional dealer
80
IT
Ulysse Nardin Diver Chronograph 1503-151-3/92 New Steel 44mm Automatic
TOP
Ulysse Nardin Diver Chronograph - 1503-151-3/92 - BLACK Dial -...
8 449 
Professional dealer
385
DE
Omega Speedmaster Ladies Chronograph 38157153 DIAMOND LADY Very good Steel 38,5mm Automatic
TOP
Omega Speedmaster Automatic Damenuhr Diamant Diamond MOP...
2 990 
Professional dealer
631
DE
Franck Muller Crazy Hours 5850 Very good White gold 38.5mm Automatic
Franck Muller Crazy Hours 18K (0,750) Weissgold Automatik...
9 550 

Sold by Chrono24

DE
Cartier Tank MC W5330007 Very good Steel 34.3mm Automatic
TOP
Cartier Tank MC Chronograph Jumbo
7 000 
Professional dealer
121
IT
Rolex Submariner Date 116610LV-SD New Steel 40mm Automatic
TOP
Rolex Submariner Date Hulk Oystersteel Men's Watch 116610LV-0002
16 022 
Free shipping
Professional dealer
534
US
Corum Golden Bridge 113.160.55/0002 0000 New Rose gold Automatic
TOP
Corum Golden Bridge
19 450 
Professional dealer
86
ES
TAG Heuer Carrera Calibre 16 CBK2115.BA0715 New Steel 41mm Automatic
TOP
TAG Heuer CARRERA Calibre 16 Chronograph Dark Blue
2 995 
Professional dealer
346
DE
Sinn 103 103.172 New Steel 41mm Automatic
TOP
Sinn 103.SA.G M Limited 500 pieces
4 157 
Free shipping
Professional dealer
107
JP
Rolex Daytona 116520 New Steel 40mm Automatic
TOP
Rolex Cosmograph Daytona - Rainbow MK1- Limited edition /5...
30 797 
Professional dealer
80
IT
TAG Heuer Aquaracer 300M WAY201A.BA0927 Very good Steel 43mm Automatic Finland, Helsinki
TAG Heuer WAY201A.BA0927 Aquaracer Calibre 5 Automatic
1 290 
Private Seller
FI
Rolex Datejust 68278 MINT Very good Yellow gold 31mm Automatic
TOP
Rolex Datejust 18K Gold Gelbgold Papiere Automatic Medium Mid...
14 990 
Professional dealer
631
DE
Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Ultra Thin Perpetual 176.8.21.S Very good Steel 39mm Automatic
Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Ultra Thin Perpetual Calendar Ref....
14 550 

Sold by Chrono24

DE
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Selfwinding 15450ST.OO.1256ST.02 New Steel 37mm Automatic
TOP
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Selfwinding GREY DIAL 37 MM STEEL...
25 900 
Professional dealer
276
IT
Zenith Port Royal 02.0451.680/21 New Steel 37mm Automatic
TOP
Zenith Port Royal
3 200 
Professional dealer
10
ES
Breitling Avenger Hurricane XB1210E4-BE89-155S New 50mm Automatic
TOP
Breitling Avenger Hurricane Men's Sport Watch Sale XB1210E41B1S1
3 953 
Free shipping
Professional dealer
534
US
Breitling Superocean Heritage II Chronographe A13313121B1A1 New Steel 44mm Automatic
TOP
Breitling Superocean Héritage II Chronograph 44 Volcano Schwarz
4 560 
Professional dealer
346
DE
Fortis 401.21.11M New Steel 42mm Automatic
TOP
Fortis Classic Cosmonauts Steel p.m.
2 446 
Free shipping
Professional dealer
107
JP
Rolex Sky-Dweller 326934 New Steel 42mm Automatic
TOP
Rolex Sky-Dweller - Black - Limited Edition /35 Black Venom...
23 587 
Professional dealer
80
IT
Omega Genève 1660174 Good Steel 36mm Automatic Finland, Oulu
Omega Genève
720 
Private Seller
FI
Maurice Lacroix Pontos S Diver PT6248-PVB01-332-1 Good Steel 43mm Automatic
TOP
Maurice Lacroix Pontos S Diver Automatic 600M PVD- Rubber and...
845 
Professional dealer
209
US
Vacheron Constantin Historiques 49003 Very good Yellow gold 38mm Automatic
Vacheron Constantin Historiques Chronograph 18K Gold Automatik...
7 850 

Sold by Chrono24

DE
Omega Seamaster Diver 300 M 210.30.42.20.06.001 New Steel Automatic
TOP
Omega Seamaster Diver 300 M NEW 21030422006001
4 050 
Professional dealer
276
IT
Rolex Lady-Datejust 178383 Very good Gold/Steel 31mm Automatic
TOP
Rolex Datejust Brillant Stahl Gold Uhr 178383 Papiere Box 2012
15 900 
Professional dealer
117
DE
Breitling Aviator 8 AB011713-BG65-188A New Steel 43mm Automatic
TOP
Breitling Navitimer Aviator 8 B01 Chronograph 43 AB0117131B1A1
3 445 
Free shipping
Professional dealer
534
US
TAG Heuer Formula 1 Calibre 16 CAZ2010.BA0876 New Steel 44mm Automatic
TOP
TAG Heuer Formula 1 Calibre 16 Automatik Chronograph
2 160 
Professional dealer
346
DE
Fortis B-42 Official Cosmonauts 638.10.11M.BI New Steel 42mm Automatic
TOP
Fortis Officail Cosmonauts Chronograph 638 Blue Impulse 50...
2 935 
Free shipping
Professional dealer
107
JP
Rolex Explorer II 216570 New Steel 42mm Automatic
TOP
Rolex Explorer II - Dark - Limited Edition /10 Black Venom...
14 935 
Professional dealer
80
IT
Omega Seamaster Diver 300 M 212.30.41.20.03.001 Good Steel 41mm Automatic Finland, Helsinki
Omega Seamaster Diver 300 M
2 890 
Private Seller
 
FI
Frederique Constant Manufacture Worldtimer FC-718DGWM4H4 New Gold/Steel 42mm Automatic
TOP
Frederique Constant Classic Worldtimer Manufacture (Limited...
2 400 
Free shipping
Professional dealer
582
LV
Rolex Sea-Dweller Deepsea 116660 Very good Steel 44mm Automatic
Rolex Sea Dwelller Automatik Edelstahl Herrenuhr Ref. 116660...
10 450 

Sold by Chrono24

DE
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Selfwinding 15403IP.OO.1220IP.01 Very good Titanium 41mm Automatic
TOP
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Cup Titanium 15403IP
44 500 
Professional dealer
276
IT
Luminox XL.1907 New Steel 43mm Automatic
TOP
Luminox Herren Uhr XL.1907.NF Automatik Atacama FIELD Series...
608 
Professional dealer
1001
DE
Breitling Galactic Unitime WB3510U4-BD94-435X New Steel 44mm Automatic
TOP
Breitling Galactic Unitime Men's Watch WB3510U4/BD94-435X
2 684 
Free shipping
Professional dealer
534
US
TAG Heuer Carrera Calibre 5 WAR201E.FC6292 New Steel 41mm Automatic
TOP
TAG Heuer Carrera Day Date Calibre 5 Blau
2 095 
Professional dealer
346
DE
Ball Engineer Hydrocarbon Spacemaster DM2036A-SCAJ-WH New Steel 41.5mm Automatic
TOP
Ball Engineer Hydrocarbon Spacemaster
2 299 
Free shipping
Professional dealer
107
JP
Rolex Daytona 116520 New Steel 40mm Automatic
TOP
Rolex Cosmograph Daytona - Dark - Limited edition /10 Black...
28 325 
Professional dealer
80
IT
Seiko Prospex SPB155J1 Very good Steel 38mm Automatic Finland, Rovaniemi
Seiko Alpinist Prospex
550 
Private Seller
 
FI
Omega Genève MD166.0163 Unworn Yellow gold 34,5mm Automatic Finland, Kirkkonummi
Omega Geneve
1 190 
Professional dealer
26
FI
Rolex Sky-Dweller 326934 Very good Gold/Steel 42mm Automatic
Rolex Sky-Dweller Stahl / Weissgold Automatik Herrenuhr Ref....
17 950 

Sold by Chrono24

DE
Tudor Black Bay GMT 79830RB New Steel Automatic
TOP
Tudor HERITAGE BLACK BAY GMT 79830RB
3 750 
Professional dealer
276
IT
Maurice Lacroix Pontos S Diver PT6248-SS002-330 New Steel Automatic
TOP
Maurice Lacroix Automatik Pontos S Diver PT6248-SS002-330 Neu OVP
1 499 
Professional dealer
1001
DE
Breitling Navitimer 8 M1731410-BG66-493X New Steel 41mm Automatic
TOP
Breitling Navitimer 8 Automatic 41mm Men's Watch M1731410/BG66...
2 177 
Free shipping
Professional dealer
534
US
TAG Heuer Formula 1 Calibre 5 WAZ2011.BA0843 New Steel 43mm Automatic
TOP
TAG Heuer Formula 1 Automatik Calibre 5
1 599 
Professional dealer
346
DE
Citizen NZ0001-04E New Steel 42mm Automatic
TOP
Citizen CAMPANOLA MECHANICAL COLLECTION 20th anniversary...
7 744 
Free shipping
Professional dealer
107
JP
Rolex Submariner (No Date) 114060 New Steel 40mm Automatic
TOP
Rolex Submariner - Limited Edition /10 Black Venom Dlc - Pvd
15 965 
Professional dealer
80
IT
Longines Heritage L2.828.4.73.0 Very good Steel 38,5mm Automatic Finland, Siuntio
Longines Heritage
1 510 
Private Seller
FI
Ulysse Nardin San Marco 223-88 Very good Steel 39.5mm Automatic
TOP
Ulysse Nardin San Marco Dual Time Gmt Automatik Stahl Herrenuh...
2 050 
Professional dealer
3915
DE
Rolex Sea-Dweller 4000 16600 Very good Steel 40mm Automatic
Rolex Sea Dweller Automatik Stahl Herrenuhr Oyster Perpetual...
8 450 

Sold by Chrono24

DE
Omega Genève 166.0163 Unworn Yellow gold Automatic Finland, Kirkkonummi
Omega Genève
1 685 
Professional dealer
26
FI
Montblanc Tradition 112609 New Steel Automatic
TOP
Montblanc Herren Uhr Date Tradition Automatik 112609 / 7334...
1 299 
Professional dealer
1001
DE

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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