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Rolex Sea-Dweller 1665 Very good Steel Automatic
TOP
Rolex 1665 Double Red Sea Dweller MK IV
£40,079
Free shipping
Professional dealer
13
ES
B.R.M SK6 marlin edition 15/50 New Steel 44mm Automatic
TOP
B.R.M SKIPPER 6 MARLIN EDITION Edition limitée 50ex PRIX FLASH
£2,444
Free shipping
Professional dealer
25
FR
Rolex GMT-Master 16750 Very good Steel 40mm Automatic United Kingdom, Swansea
TOP
Rolex GMT-Master
£14,950
Professional dealer
45
UK
Montblanc 4810 115071 Very good Steel 43mm Automatic
TOP
Montblanc 4810 Orbis Terrarum WorldTimer
£3,316
Professional dealer
645
ES
Breitling Aviator 8 AB011713-BG65-188A New Steel 43mm Automatic
TOP
Breitling Navitimer Aviator 8 B01 Chronograph 43 AB0117131B1A1
£3,045
Free shipping
Professional dealer
540
US
Chopard Mille Miglia 8933 Good Steel 36mm Automatic
TOP
Chopard Mille Miglia Automatic Chronograph Steel 8933
£1,344
Professional dealer
210
US
Rolex Submariner Date 16610LV Very good Steel 40mm Automatic
TOP
Rolex Submariner Date "Kermit" 16610LV
£11,917
Free shipping
Professional dealer
1333
US
Omega Seamaster 14765 Very good Steel 34mm Automatic
TOP
Omega Seamaster Automatic Hulk Green Mens Wrist Watch 1961 Ref...
£896
Free shipping
Professional dealer
239
US
Frederique Constant Manufacture Slimline Moonphase FC-705S4S6 New Steel 42mm Automatic
TOP
Frederique Constant Slimline Moonphase Automatic FC-705S4S6
£1,423
Professional dealer
376
US
Glashütte Original Seventies Chronograph Panorama Date 1-37-02-01-02-30 Steel 40mm Automatic United Kingdom, Oxford
TOP
Glashütte Original Seventies Chronograph Panorama Date
£5,995
Free shipping
Professional dealer
294
UK
Seiko Grand Seiko Grand Seiko SBGJ217G Very good Steel 40mm Automatic United Kingdom, Waltham St Lawrence
Seiko Grand Seiko SBGJ217 High-Beat GMT 36000
£4,975
Professional dealer
62
UK
Rolex Oyster Perpetual 26 176210 Very good Steel 26mm Automatic United Kingdom, NORTH WALES
TOP
Rolex Oyster Perpetual
£3,350
Professional dealer
104
UK
Rolex Datejust 16233 Very good Gold/Steel 36mm Automatic
TOP
Rolex Datejust 16233 Two tone Green Dial Fluted Bezel 36mm Watch
£4,987
Professional dealer
70
US
Corum Admiral's Cup (submodel) 40010147-V200-PN01 New Steel 32mm Automatic
TOP
Corum Admiral Legend 32 Women's Watch Sale 400.101.47/V200 PN01
£1,924
Free shipping
Professional dealer
540
US
Girard Perregaux Ferrari 8020 Very good Steel 38mm Automatic
TOP
Girard Perregaux Ferrari F300 Automatic Chronograph Steel w....
£1,494
Professional dealer
210
US
Rolex 74000 Very good Steel 34mm Automatic
TOP
Rolex Tudor Prince Date Ref. 74000 14k Solid White Gold Bezel...
£1,715
Professional dealer
55
US
Omega Speedmaster Racing 326.30.40.50.01.001 Very good Steel 40mm Automatic United Kingdom, Kent
TOP
Omega Speedmaster Racing 32630405001001 full set UK 2015
£3,295
Free shipping
Professional dealer
104
UK
Frederique Constant Slimline Automatic FC-723WR3S6 New Steel 40mm Automatic
TOP
Frederique Constant Slimline Power Reserve Automatic FC-723WR3S6
£1,233
Professional dealer
376
US
Patek Philippe Aquanaut 5065 Steel 38mm Automatic United Kingdom, Oxford
TOP
Patek Philippe Aquanaut Jumbo 38mm 5065
£25,950
Free shipping
Professional dealer
294
UK
Seiko J13080 Very good Steel 37mm Automatic United Kingdom, Waltham St Lawrence
Seikomatic Weekdater - 1963
£695
Professional dealer
62
UK
Rolex Oyster Perpetual 34 114200 Very good Steel 34mm Automatic United Kingdom, London
TOP
Rolex Oyster Perpetual 34 114200 Blue Dial Box and Papers 2016
£4,750
Free shipping
Professional dealer
149
UK
Rolex Datejust 16233 Very good Gold/Steel 36mm Automatic
TOP
Rolex Datejust Black Diamond Dial Lugs Diamond Bezel 36mm Watch
£5,712
Professional dealer
70
US
Breitling Galactic Unitime WB3510U4-BD94-435X New Steel 44mm Automatic
TOP
Breitling Galactic Unitime Men's Watch WB3510U4/BD94-435X
£2,372
Free shipping
Professional dealer
540
US
Chopard Mille Miglia 168565-3001 Unworn Steel 43mm Automatic
TOP
Chopard Mille Miglia GTS Automatic
£2,390
Professional dealer
210
US
Cartier Santos Galbée 2823 Very good Steel 32mm Automatic
TOP
Cartier Santos Galbee XL Ref. 2823 Automatic Stainless Steel...
£3,732
Professional dealer
55
US
TAG Heuer Carrera Calibre HEUER 01 CAR201U.BA0766 New Steel 43mm Automatic United Kingdom, Wilmslow Cheshire
TOP
TAG Heuer Carrera Calibre HEUER 01 Skeleton Brown Ceramic Dial
£3,485
Free shipping
Professional dealer
138
UK
Frederique Constant Manufacture Classic FC-750N4H4 New Gold/Steel 42mm Automatic
TOP
Frederique Constant Classic Hybrid Manufacture Automatic...
£1,498
Professional dealer
376
US
Franck Muller Casablanca New Rose gold 39mm Automatic United Kingdom, Oxford
TOP
Franck Muller Casablanca Cintree Curvex - Box & Papers
£8,850
Free shipping
Professional dealer
294
UK
Lemania 510.543 Good Steel 40mm Automatic United Kingdom, Waltham St Lawrence
Lemania 3H Military A.M.I. Aeronautica Militare Italiana (AMI)...
£4,250
Professional dealer
62
UK
Omega Seamaster Diver 300 M 2532.80.00 Very good Steel 41mm Automatic United Kingdom, Kent
TOP
Omega Seamaster 300m Diver Blue wave box & papers full set
£2,295
Free shipping
Professional dealer
104
UK
Rolex Datejust Rolex Datejust Very good Steel 36mm Automatic
TOP
Rolex Datejust Silver Rainbow Dial Rainbow Bezel 36mm
£4,468
Professional dealer
70
US
Tudor Black Bay GMT 79830RB New Steel 41mm Automatic United Kingdom, London
TOP
Tudor Black Bay Gmt 79830RB
£3,600
Free shipping
Professional dealer
149
UK
Maurice Lacroix Pontos S Diver PT6248-PVB01-332-1 Good Steel 43mm Automatic
TOP
Maurice Lacroix Pontos S Diver Automatic 600M PVD- Rubber and...
£709
Professional dealer
210
US
Omega Constellation Constellation Manhattan Very good Steel 35mm Automatic
TOP
Omega Constellation Manhattan Vintage 1985 Auto Chronometer...
£1,416
Professional dealer
55
US
Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra 231.90.43.22.04.001 Very good Titanium 43mm Automatic United Kingdom, Stratford Upon Avon
TOP
Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra GMT 2020
£5,075
Free shipping
Professional dealer
6
UK
Frederique Constant FC-380GT4H6B New Steel 42mm Automatic
TOP
Frederique Constant Yacht Timer Regatta Countdown FC-380GT4H6B
£1,633
Professional dealer
376
US
Franck Muller Conquistador 8005 L SC New Steel 33mm Automatic United Kingdom, Oxford
TOP
Franck Muller Conquistador Automatic Ladies - Unworn Full Set
£2,950
Free shipping
Professional dealer
294
UK
Enicar Sherpa Enicar Sherpa Guide 600 Good Steel 43mm Automatic United Kingdom, Waltham St Lawrence
Enicar Sherpa Guide 600
£1,650
Professional dealer
62
UK
Omega Speedmaster 3510.12 Very good Steel 39mm Automatic United Kingdom, Kent
TOP
Omega Speedmaster Michael Schumacher Automatic Yellow mint...
£2,495
Free shipping
Professional dealer
104
UK
Rolex Lady-Datejust 69173 Very good Gold/Steel 26mm Automatic
TOP
Rolex Datejust 69173 Silver String Diamond Dial Diamond Bezel...
£4,479
Professional dealer
70
US
Rolex Oyster Perpetual 34 124200 Unworn Steel 34mm Automatic United Kingdom, London
TOP
Rolex Oyster Perpetual 34 Pink Dial 124200 Box and Papers 2020...
£5,995
Free shipping
Professional dealer
149
UK
Raymond Weil Nabucco 7800 Very good Steel 46mm Automatic
TOP
Raymond Weil Nabucco Automatic 46mm Steel Chronograph Mint
£1,120
Professional dealer
210
US
Cartier Tank Française W51002Q3 Very good Steel 28mm Automatic
TOP
Cartier Tank Francaise 2302 Automatic Stainless Steel W51002Q3...
£2,238
Professional dealer
55
US
Cartier Ballon Bleu 42mm W69012Z4 Unworn Steel 42mm Automatic
TOP
Cartier Ballon Bleu Custom Full Diamonds PURPLE Dial 42mm XL
£6,351
Professional dealer
46
US
Laurent Ferrier Very good Steel 41mm Automatic United Kingdom, London
Laurent Ferrier Galet Traveller Boréal
£33,000
Free shipping
Professional dealer
27
UK
Romain Jerome Moon-DNA MG.F1.11BB.00 46mm Automatic United Kingdom, Oxford
TOP
Romain Jerome Moon Dust DNA Automatic - with Papers 2018
£5,650
Free shipping
Professional dealer
294
UK
Tissot Tissot Navigator Good Steel 39mm Automatic United Kingdom, Waltham St Lawrence
Tissot Navigator Chronograph Lemania 1341
£1,295
Professional dealer
62
UK
Cartier Calibre de Cartier W7100016 Very good Steel 42mm Automatic United Kingdom, Wilmslow Cheshire
TOP
Cartier Calibre De Cartier 3389 42mm 2016 Model
£3,795
Free shipping
Professional dealer
138
UK
Rolex Datejust 16233 Very good Gold/Steel 36mm Automatic
TOP
Rolex Datejust 16233 White MOP Diamond Dial Diamond Bezel...
£5,514
Professional dealer
70
US
Rolex Air King Precision 14000M Very good Steel 34mm Automatic United Kingdom, London
TOP
Rolex Air-King 14000M Silver Dial 34 Box and Papers 2001
£3,950
Free shipping
Professional dealer
149
UK
TAG Heuer Monaco CS2111 Very good Steel 38mm Automatic
TOP
TAG Heuer Monaco Anniversary Edition Automatic Chronograph CS2111
£1,942
Professional dealer
210
US
Cartier Pasha Seatimer W31077U2 Good Steel 40mm Automatic
TOP
Cartier Pasha Seatimer W31077U2 Rubber Bracelet 2790 Automatic...
£2,238
Professional dealer
55
US
Zenith El Primero Tourbillon 03.2050.4035 Very good Steel 44mm Automatic United Kingdom, Cheshire
Zenith El Primero Tourbillon Chronograph - Unique
£23,500
Professional dealer
19
UK
Rolex Submariner (No Date) 5508 Good Steel 37mm Automatic United Kingdom, Tunbridge Wells
TOP
Rolex Submariner (No Date) - 5508 James Bond, Gilt Tropical Dial
£24,995
Professional dealer
63
UK
Arnold & Son East India Company 12.2.3.01 Rose gold 44mm Automatic United Kingdom, Oxford
TOP
Arnold & Son East India Co. Indiamen Dead Seconds - Limited...
£14,500
Free shipping
Professional dealer
294
UK
Seiko Prospex Seiko Zimbe 12 New Steel 45mm Automatic United Kingdom, Waltham St Lawrence
Seiko Prospex SPB109J1 Zimbe 12
£2,425
Professional dealer
62
UK
Patek Philippe Nautilus 3700 Nautilus Good Steel 42mm Automatic United Kingdom, London
Patek Philippe 3700/001A Nautilus Beyer-signed
£156,000
Free shipping
Professional dealer
27
UK
Rolex Daytona 16520 Very good Steel 40mm Automatic United Kingdom, London
TOP
Rolex Daytona Zenith 1995 Ref 16520
£17,650
Professional dealer
404
UK
Rolex Oyster Perpetual 31 277200 Unworn Steel 31mm Automatic United Kingdom, London
TOP
Rolex Oyster Perpetual 31 Tiffany Blue 277200 Box and Papers...
£6,250
Free shipping
Professional dealer
149
UK
Rolex Submariner (No Date) 114060 Unworn Steel 40mm Automatic United Kingdom, London
TOP
Rolex Submariner Non-Date Steel 114060
£11,500
Free shipping
Professional dealer
716
UK
Omega Speedmaster Reduced Very good Steel 38mm Automatic United Kingdom, Norwich
TOP
Omega Speedmaster Reverse Panda Automatic Steel Black Dial...
£2,250
Professional dealer
1132
UK
Zenith Captain Chronograph 18.2111.400/01.C498 Very good Rose gold 42mm Automatic United Kingdom, Cheshire
Zenith Captain El Primero Chronograph Limited Edition Rose Gold
£7,750
Professional dealer
19
UK
Rolex Sea-Dweller 1665 Very good Steel 40mm Automatic United Kingdom, Tunbridge Wells
TOP
Rolex Sea-Dweller 1665 "Great White" Mk.IV - Serviced
£19,995
Professional dealer
63
UK
Zenith El Primero Chronomaster 03.0240.4021 Steel 40mm Automatic United Kingdom, Oxford
TOP
Zenith El Primero Chronomaster 03.0240.4021
£2,795
Free shipping
Professional dealer
294
UK

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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