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Rolex Day-Date 36 18038 Very good Yellow gold 36mm Automatic
TOP
Rolex Presidential With Diamonds 18038 Yellow Gold 18kt
£21,853
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
408
US
Rolex Datejust 126300 New Steel 41mm Automatic United Kingdom, London
TOP
Rolex Datejust 41 126300
£6,100
Verified Dealer
68
UK
Jaeger-LeCoultre Q1558420 New Steel 39mm Automatic
TOP
Jaeger-LeCoultre Q1558420 MASTER ULTRA THIN
Price on request
Verified Dealer
19
HK
Ulysse Nardin Marine Chronograph 513-22 Very good Steel 40mm Automatic
TOP
Ulysse Nardin Marine Chronograph Marine Annual Calendar
£4,136
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
268
US
Rolex Sky-Dweller 326934 Very good Steel 42mm Automatic
TOP
Rolex Sky-Dweller 326934
£18,692
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
723
US
Rolex GMT-Master II 126710BLRO Unworn Steel 40mm Automatic
TOP
Rolex GMT-Master II Pepsi Stainless Steel Jubilee Bracelet
£13,853
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
64
US
Rolex Datejust Very good Steel 36mm Automatic
TOP
Rolex Datejust Stainless Steel 18k Diamond Bezel 36mm Watch-Si...
£3,862
Verified Dealer
108
US
Ulysse Nardin Very good 35mm Automatic
TOP
Ulysse Nardin Men's Vintage 18k Gold Automatic Dress Watch...
£2,263
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
579
US
Breguet 3420 Very good Platinum 36mm Automatic
TOP
Breguet Jump Hour 3420 Platinum Porcelain Dial 36mm Automatic...
£12,486
Verified Dealer
17
US
Chopard Superfast 168523-3001 Very good Steel 45mm Automatic
TOP
Chopard SuperFast Chronograph Mint Box Papers ON SALE
£2,653
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
142
US
Cartier Santos (submodel) Very good 29mm Automatic
TOP
Cartier Santos 1990's Ref. 2319 Automatic 18k Solid Gold/Steel...
£2,259
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
39
US
Eberhard & Co. 30132 Unworn Yellow gold 37mm Automatic United Kingdom, Hertfordshire
TOP
Eberhard & Co. Champion, 37mm, 18k gold, NOS (full set), 1993,...
£5,395
Verified Dealer
18
UK
Rado HyperChrome Captain Cook R32500305 New Steel 37mm Automatic United Kingdom, Wilmslow
TOP
Rado HyperChrome Captain Cook Limited Edition - Box & Papers 2020
£1,520
Verified Dealer
262
UK
Rolex Datejust II 126300 Unworn Steel 41mm Automatic United Kingdom, Hertfordshire
TOP
Rolex Datejust II 126300 2020 41mm Wimbledon Dial unworn full set
£7,450
Verified Dealer
75
UK
Rolex Day-Date 36 118348 Unworn Yellow gold 36mm Automatic United Kingdom, Liverpool
TOP
Rolex Day-Date 118348 - Diamond Bezel & Dial - Unworn 2018
£33,900
Verified Dealer
97
UK
Ulysse Nardin Diver Chronograph 1503-151-3/93 Very good Steel 44mm Automatic United Kingdom, Swansea
TOP
Ulysse Nardin Diver Chronograph Blue Dial 1503-151-3/93
£5,750
Verified Dealer
11
UK
Omega Seamaster Very good Yellow gold 37mm Automatic
TOP
Omega Men's 18k Solid Gold Omega Seamaster Day Date Automatic,...
£2,576
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
579
US
Ulysse Nardin GMT +/- Perpetual Good White gold 39mm Automatic
TOP
Ulysse Nardin GMT Perpetual Calendar 320-22 18k White Gold...
£18,731
Verified Dealer
17
US
Rolex Day-Date 40 228206 Very good Platinum 40mm Automatic United Kingdom, London
TOP
Rolex Day-Date 40 Ice Blue Diagonal Motif Dial Complete Set...
£37,500
Verified Dealer
UK
Rolex Datejust 36mm Automatic
TOP
Rolex Datejust 1603 Vintage 1966 Stainless Steel Automatic...
£2,962
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
39
US
Franck Muller Cintrée Curvex 7851 SC DT Very good Steel 36mm Automatic United Kingdom, London
TOP
Franck Muller Cintree Curvex 2015 Box and papers MINT
£3,600
Verified Dealer
71
UK
Rolex Sea-Dweller Deepsea 116660 Very good Steel 44mm Automatic United Kingdom, Manchester
Rolex Sea-Dweller Deepsea 116660 James Cameron D-Blue 2018
£12,100
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
41
UK
Rolex Oyster Precision 6694 Good Steel 34mm Automatic United Kingdom, Hertfordshire
TOP
Rolex Oyster Date Precision ref:6694 Steel White Dial 1972
£1,999
Verified Dealer
75
UK
Rolex GMT-Master II 126715CHNR Very good Rose gold 40mm Automatic United Kingdom, Liverpool
TOP
Rolex GMT-Master II 126715CHNR - Gents Watch - Everose Gold -...
£31,000
Verified Dealer
97
UK
Rolex Datejust 126334 Very good Steel 41mm Automatic United Kingdom, London
Rolex Datejust 41 | Blue Dial Jubilee
£8,400
Verified Dealer
 
UK
Omega Very good 32.5mm Automatic
TOP
Omega Men's Vintage Omega 14K Solid Gold Bumper Automatic...
£1,717
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
579
US
Rolex Explorer II 16550 Very good Steel 40mm Automatic United Kingdom, London
Rolex Explorer II 16550
£7,950
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
475
UK
Patek Philippe Aquanaut 5968A-001 Unworn Steel 42.2mm Automatic United Kingdom, London
Patek Philippe 5968A -001 Aquanaut Chronograph "Novelty 2018"...
£62,813
Verified Dealer
 
UK
Cartier Tank Française Very good 28mm Automatic
TOP
Cartier Tank Francaise 2302 W51002Q3 Largest Size Automatic SS...
£2,181
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
39
US
Omega De Ville Very good Steel 35mm Automatic United Kingdom, Norwich
TOP
Omega De Ville vintage automatic steel 1960 Mens watch + New Box
£799
Verified Dealer
676
UK
Rolex GMT-Master 16750 Unworn Steel 40mm Automatic United Kingdom, Manchester
Rolex GMT-Master 16750 Aged Pepsi Just Returned from Rolex...
£11,500
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
41
UK
Rolex Submariner Date 16610lv Good Steel 40mm Automatic United Kingdom, Hertfordshire
TOP
Rolex 16610LV Kermit Submariner Date 2009 V series
£11,499
Verified Dealer
75
UK
Rolex Yacht-Master II 116681 Very good Gold/Steel 44mm Automatic United Kingdom, Liverpool
TOP
Rolex Yacht-Master II 116681 - Gents Watch - 2015
£16,250
Verified Dealer
97
UK
Rolex Daytona 116520 Very good Steel 40mm Automatic United Kingdom, London
Rolex Daytona | Box & Papers 2010
£16,150
Verified Dealer
 
UK
Rolex Submariner Date 116610LV Very good Steel 40mm Automatic United Kingdom, Macclesfield
TOP
Rolex Submariner Date HULK
£13,250
Verified Dealer
188
UK
Rolex Yacht-Master II 116688 Unworn Yellow gold 44mm Automatic United Kingdom, London
Rolex Yacht-Master II 116688
£30,950
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
475
UK
Patek Philippe Nautilus 5980/1R-001 New Rose gold 40.5mm Automatic United Kingdom, London
Patek Philippe 5980/1R-001 Nautilus Chronograph 18k Rose Gold,...
£121,324
Verified Dealer
 
UK
Cartier Tank Solo Very good 31mm Automatic
TOP
Cartier Tank Solo XL W5200027 Stainless Steel Automatic Mens...
£2,572
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
39
US
Omega Seamaster Very good Steel 34mm Automatic United Kingdom, Norwich
TOP
Omega Seamaster Steel 1973 Vintage Mens Automatic watch + Box
£1,250
Verified Dealer
676
UK
Rolex Milgauss 116400GV Good Steel 40mm Automatic United Kingdom, Manchester
Rolex Milgauss 116400GV Blue Dial
£6,950
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
41
UK
Tudor Prince Date 94613 Good Gold/Steel 36mm Automatic United Kingdom, Hertfordshire
TOP
Tudor Prince Day date Gold&Steel white dial 1980
£1,599
Verified Dealer
75
UK
Rolex Lady-Datejust 179166 Very good Platinum 26mm Automatic United Kingdom, Liverpool
TOP
Rolex Datejust 179166 - Ladies Platinum & Diamond Watch - 2005
£16,999
Verified Dealer
97
UK
Rolex GMT-Master II 116710BLNR Very good Steel 40mm Automatic United Kingdom, London
Rolex GMT-Master II | Box & Papers
£12,150
Verified Dealer
 
UK
Rolex Lady-Datejust 69173 Very good 26mm
Rolex 26mm Ladies Rolex 69173
£3,863
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
6
US
Rolex Daytona 116500LN Very good Steel 40mm Automatic United Kingdom, London
Rolex Daytona 116500LN
£17,000
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
475
UK
Patek Philippe Nautilus 5711/1A-010 New Steel 40mm Automatic United Kingdom, London
Patek Philippe 5711/1A-01 Nautilus Stainless Steel Blue Dial
£51,627
Verified Dealer
 
UK
Rolex GMT-Master 16700 Very good Steel 40mm Automatic United Kingdom, Macclesfield
TOP
Rolex GMT-Master PEPSI
£9,495
Verified Dealer
188
UK
Omega Seamaster DeVille Very good Steel 34mm Automatic United Kingdom, Norwich
TOP
Omega Seamaster De Ville Black Automatic date Don Draper men...
£1,999
Verified Dealer
676
UK
Rolex Datejust II 116334 Very good Steel 41mm Automatic United Kingdom, Manchester
Rolex Datejust II 116334 41mm UK 2018 Silver Dial
£7,500
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
41
UK
Rolex Explorer II 16570 Very good Steel 40mm Automatic United Kingdom, Hertfordshire
TOP
Rolex Explorer II 40mm 2002 ref : 16570 black dial full set
£5,888
Verified Dealer
75
UK
Rolex Datejust 178279 Very good White gold 31mm Automatic United Kingdom, Liverpool
TOP
Rolex Datejust 178279 - 31mm White Gold Watch - Diamond Dial -...
£13,950
Verified Dealer
97
UK
Rolex Submariner Date 116610LN Unworn Steel 40mm Automatic
Rolex Submariner Date 116610LN - [Complete Set/Mint] - LC/EU
£8,260
Verified Dealer
25
BE
Rolex Lady-Datejust 6917 Very good Yellow gold 26mm Automatic
Rolex - Datejust
£5,531
Verified Dealer
117
SE
Rolex Sea-Dweller 1665 Good Steel 40mm Automatic United Kingdom, London
Rolex Comex Sea-Dweller1665
£90,000
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
475
UK
Rolex Daytona 116519LN Unworn White gold 40mm Automatic United Kingdom, London
Rolex 116519 LN Cosmograph Daytona Oysterflex
£28,911
Verified Dealer
 
UK
Rolex Datejust 16233 Very good Gold/Steel 36mm Automatic United Kingdom, Macclesfield
TOP
Rolex Datejust 18ct gold and stainless steel
£3,995
Verified Dealer
188
UK
IWC Very good Steel 35mm Automatic United Kingdom, Norwich
TOP
IWC Vintage Mens dress Automatic Caliber 853I steel watch
£1,250
Verified Dealer
676
UK
Rolex Explorer 214270 Unworn Steel 39mm Automatic United Kingdom, Manchester
Rolex Explorer 1 214270 MK2 UK 2017 Rolex Service
£6,250
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
41
UK
IWC Good Yellow gold 35mm Automatic United Kingdom, Hertfordshire
TOP
IWC Automatic with Date Caliber 8531 18k yellow Gold vintage
£1,350
Verified Dealer
75
UK
Rolex Sky-Dweller 326934 Unworn Gold/Steel 42mm Automatic United Kingdom, Liverpool
TOP
Rolex Sky-Dweller 326934 – Gents Watch – Blue Dial - Unworn 2019
£19,750
Verified Dealer
97
UK
Rolex Sea-Dweller Deepsea 116660 Very good Steel 44mm Automatic United Kingdom, London
TOP
Rolex Sea-Dweller Deepsea 116660 Black Dial 44mm 2012 - Full Set
£8,200
Verified Dealer
56
UK
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
£20,565
Verified Dealer
1320
NL
Cartier Santos 100 Very good Yellow gold 38mm Automatic United Kingdom, London
Cartier D'Art Santos 100
£55,000
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
475
UK
Rolex Daytona 116515LN New Rose gold 40mm Automatic United Kingdom, London
Rolex 116515LN DaytonaBlack 18k Rose Gold 40mm
£27,534
Verified Dealer
 
UK
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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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