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Montblanc Herren Uhr Automatik Wecker Reveil Ref. 7026 Neu OVP
TOP
Montblanc Herren Uhr Automatik Wecker Reveil Ref. 7026 Neu OVP
1,699 
Seller
Thomas Schiesl
186
DE
Rolex 1675 GMT-Master MK2, Beautiful Creamy patina
TOP
Rolex 1675 GMT-Master MK2, Beautiful Creamy patina
15,091 
Seller
M&J Watches Ltd
19
UK
Alpina Startimer Automatik Chrono AL-860SCR4S6 Limited  Neu  OVP
TOP
Alpina Startimer Automatik Chrono AL-860SCR4S6 Limited Neu OVP
1,299 
Seller
Thomas Schiesl
186
DE
Tudor Oysterdate Big Block montecarlo Exotic Dial
TOP
Tudor Oysterdate Big Block montecarlo Exotic Dial
12,000 
Seller
Ralf Pieper Internethandel
277
DE
Rolex Ladies 18K Yellow Gold President- Pink Diamond Dial -...
TOP
Rolex Ladies 18K Yellow Gold President- Pink Diamond Dial -...
5,001 
Free shipping
Seller
LovinTyme
69
US
Ulysse Nardin Maxi Marine Diver Black sea Chrono
TOP
Ulysse Nardin Maxi Marine Diver Black sea Chrono
8,900 
Seller
CANTELI JOYEROS SL
 
ES
Linde Werdelin SpidoLite Gold
Straight from the manufacturer
Linde Werdelin SpidoLite Gold
25,426 
BrandBoutique Member
Linde Werdelin LTD
Ateliers deMonaco Tourbillon Oculus 1297 Titane
Straight from the manufacturer
Ateliers deMonaco Tourbillon Oculus 1297 Titane
58,500 
BrandBoutique Member
Les Ateliers deMonaco SARL
Oris Aquis Date
TOP
Oris Aquis Date
1,168 
Seller
First Advanced Watches
26
ES
Ulysse Nardin Diver Chronograph Blue
TOP
Ulysse Nardin Diver Chronograph Blue
7,200 
Free shipping
Seller
Istock LTD
58
LV
Montblanc 117051
TOP
Montblanc 117051
11,500 
Seller
E.MONTI SNC
17
IT
IWC Big Pilot Bronze
TOP
IWC Big Pilot Bronze
10,740 
Seller
Harley's Time LLC
48
US
Revue Thommen Diver
TOP
Revue Thommen Diver
800 
Seller
K&K Juwelier GmbH
67
DE
Rolex Yacht Master Rainbow 116695sats
TOP
Rolex Yacht Master Rainbow 116695sats
68,000 
Seller
Mall of the Watch
577
MC
Breguet Tradition Power Reserve 18kt Gelbgold 38mm
TOP
Breguet Tradition Power Reserve 18kt Gelbgold 38mm
22,780 
Seller
LUXUHRIA Uhren&Schmuck
30
DE
Linde Werdelin Oktopus Moon Gold 3DTP Carbon
Straight from the manufacturer
Linde Werdelin Oktopus Moon Gold 3DTP Carbon
34,579 
BrandBoutique Member
Linde Werdelin LTD
Zenith Depose
TOP
Zenith Depose
24,800 
Seller
Private Seller
 
FI
Harry Winston Z5 World Time Tourbillon Zalium
TOP
Harry Winston Z5 World Time Tourbillon Zalium
37,120 
Seller
Raffi Boyadjian Watches Inc.
12
US
Breitling Navitimer 01 DC-3 (Limited Edition)
TOP
Breitling Navitimer 01 DC-3 (Limited Edition)
7,900 
Free shipping
Seller
Istock LTD
58
LV
Hublot Classic Fusion Aerofusion 2016
TOP
Hublot Classic Fusion Aerofusion 2016
12,900 
Seller
On Time Watchgroup
8
DE
Hublot Classic Fusion Black Magic Chrono Full Ceramic
Hublot Classic Fusion Black Magic Chrono Full Ceramic
9,950 
Seller
Kellokonttori
11
FI
Ebel Wave
TOP
Ebel Wave
1,880 
Seller
K&K Juwelier GmbH
67
DE
Rolex Daytona 116520 –  Stickers
TOP
Rolex Daytona 116520 – Stickers
17,900 
Seller
Mall of the Watch
577
MC
Ateliers deMonaco Tourbillon Oculus 1298
Straight from the manufacturer
Ateliers deMonaco Tourbillon Oculus 1298
69,900 
BrandBoutique Member
Les Ateliers deMonaco SARL
Linde Werdelin SpidoSpeed Anthracite DLC
Straight from the manufacturer
Linde Werdelin SpidoSpeed Anthracite DLC
12,204 
BrandBoutique Member
Linde Werdelin LTD
Breitling Colt Automatic
TOP
Breitling Colt Automatic
2,100 
Seller
Private Seller
 
FI
Hublot Super B B1921.1
TOP
Hublot Super B B1921.1
3,787 
Seller
Vintagejeweller
 
UK
Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean 600 m Co-Axial Chronograph 45.5mm
TOP
Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean 600 m Co-Axial Chronograph 45.5mm
24,400 
Free shipping
Seller
Istock LTD
58
LV
Cartier Santos 100 XL
TOP
Cartier Santos 100 XL
4,700 
Seller
On Time Watchgroup
8
DE
Rolex Datejust 36 Ref. 16234
TOP
Rolex Datejust 36 Ref. 16234
4,350 
Seller
Steiner Maastricht
102
NL
Ebel Wave
TOP
Ebel Wave
1,680 
Seller
K&K Juwelier GmbH
67
DE
Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Grande Tradition Tourbillon – Q500142a...
TOP
Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Grande Tradition Tourbillon – Q500142a...
75,000 
Seller
Mall of the Watch
577
MC
Ateliers deMonaco Tourbillon Oculus 1297
Straight from the manufacturer
Ateliers deMonaco Tourbillon Oculus 1297
66,500 
BrandBoutique Member
Les Ateliers deMonaco SARL
Linde Werdelin SpidoSpeed Gold
Straight from the manufacturer
Linde Werdelin SpidoSpeed Gold
32,545 
BrandBoutique Member
Linde Werdelin LTD
Seiko Spirit
Seiko Spirit
249 
Seller
Private Seller
FI
Hublot SkyDive Dubai Chrono Limited Edition
TOP
Hublot SkyDive Dubai Chrono Limited Edition
7,850 
Seller
Turelojya SL
162
ES
Graham Silverstone RS Supersprint
TOP
Graham Silverstone RS Supersprint
4,480 
Free shipping
Seller
Istock LTD
58
LV
Rolex Deep Sea PEPSI - ICE - Baguette Bezel Diamonds  ICED OUT
TOP
Rolex Deep Sea PEPSI - ICE - Baguette Bezel Diamonds ICED OUT
26,000 
Seller
LUXUS RITTER GmbH & Co. KG
66
DE
Rolex Datejust 36 NEW Ref. 116200
TOP
Rolex Datejust 36 NEW Ref. 116200
5,350 
Seller
Steiner Maastricht
102
NL
Bulova Selfwinding
TOP
Bulova Selfwinding
830 
Seller
K&K Juwelier GmbH
67
DE
Zenith El Primero Doublematic
TOP
Zenith El Primero Doublematic
22,700 
Seller
On Time Watchgroup
8
DE
Ateliers deMonaco Admirale Chronographe Flyback Classique
Straight from the manufacturer
Ateliers deMonaco Admirale Chronographe Flyback Classique
24,000 
BrandBoutique Member
Les Ateliers deMonaco SARL
Linde Werdelin Oktopus MoonLite - White
Straight from the manufacturer
Linde Werdelin Oktopus MoonLite - White
17,290 
BrandBoutique Member
Linde Werdelin LTD
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Chronograph 26331OR.OO.1220OR.01
TOP
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Chronograph 26331OR.OO.1220OR.01
41,800 
Seller
Uhren2000 GmbH
301
DE
Rolex Gmt-Master II LN 18K Yellow Gold
TOP
Rolex Gmt-Master II LN 18K Yellow Gold
20,500 
Seller
Juwelier Burger, since 2001
574
NL
Montblanc Orbis Terrarum
TOP
Montblanc Orbis Terrarum
3,950 
Free shipping
Seller
Istock LTD
58
LV
Rolex 5500 Model 14K/SS Oyster Perpetual - Chocolate Polar...
TOP
Rolex 5500 Model 14K/SS Oyster Perpetual - Chocolate Polar...
2,498 
Free shipping
Seller
LovinTyme
69
US
Rolex Datejust 36 Ref. 116234
TOP
Rolex Datejust 36 Ref. 116234
5,395 
Seller
Steiner Maastricht
102
NL
Ebel 1911
TOP
Ebel 1911
4,800 
Seller
K&K Juwelier GmbH
67
DE
Bell & Ross BR 03-94 Chronographe BLACKMATTE Keramik
TOP
Bell & Ross BR 03-94 Chronographe BLACKMATTE Keramik
3,400 
Seller
On Time Watchgroup
8
DE
Ateliers deMonaco Tourbillon Oculus 1297 Titane
Straight from the manufacturer
Ateliers deMonaco Tourbillon Oculus 1297 Titane
58,500 
BrandBoutique Member
Les Ateliers deMonaco SARL
Linde Werdelin Oktopus BluMoon
Straight from the manufacturer
Linde Werdelin Oktopus BluMoon
15,256 
BrandBoutique Member
Linde Werdelin LTD
Omega Speedmaster Professional Moonwatch 44,25mm
Omega Speedmaster Professional Moonwatch 44,25mm
4,490 
Seller
Kellokonttori
11
FI
Rolex Day-Date Tridor Masterpiece Meteorite Diamond Dial
TOP
Rolex Day-Date Tridor Masterpiece Meteorite Diamond Dial
39,500 
Seller
Juwelier Burger, since 2001
574
NL
Vacheron Constantin Overseas Chronograph (Limited Edition)
TOP
Vacheron Constantin Overseas Chronograph (Limited Edition)
14,500 
Free shipping
Seller
Istock LTD
58
LV
Rolex Ladies 2tone Oyster Perpetual Watch - MOP Diamond Dial -...
TOP
Rolex Ladies 2tone Oyster Perpetual Watch - MOP Diamond Dial -...
2,165 
Free shipping
Seller
LovinTyme
69
US
Rolex Oyster Perpetual Ref. 114300
TOP
Rolex Oyster Perpetual Ref. 114300
4,950 
Seller
Steiner Maastricht
102
NL
Breitling Wings
TOP
Breitling Wings
1,300 
Seller
K&K Juwelier GmbH
67
DE
Corum Admiral's Cup Competition 48
TOP
Corum Admiral's Cup Competition 48
9,700 
Seller
On Time Watchgroup
8
DE
Ateliers deMonaco Admiral Chronographe Flyback Armure
Straight from the manufacturer
Ateliers deMonaco Admiral Chronographe Flyback Armure
12,900 
BrandBoutique Member
Les Ateliers deMonaco SARL
Linde Werdelin SpidoLite 3DTP Carbon
Straight from the manufacturer
Linde Werdelin SpidoLite 3DTP Carbon
19,324 
BrandBoutique Member
Linde Werdelin LTD
Cartier Roadster XL Chrono
TOP
Cartier Roadster XL Chrono
3,221 
Seller
Bijouterie-Horlogerie Langel
32
CH
Breitling Navitimer ChronoMatic 18k 8806 1976 Orginal BOX/Pape...
TOP
Breitling Navitimer ChronoMatic 18k 8806 1976 Orginal BOX/Pape...
8,900 
Seller
Chrono Finland
35
FI
Zenith El Primero Skeleton Tribute To Rolling Stones
TOP
Zenith El Primero Skeleton Tribute To Rolling Stones
8,300 
Free shipping
Seller
Istock LTD
58
LV
Ulysse Nardin Marine Chronograph
TOP
Ulysse Nardin Marine Chronograph
16,600 
Seller
VI Watch Guy
64
VI
  • 30
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  • 120

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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