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Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Jumbo 5402BA Good Yellow gold 39mm Automatic
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Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Jumbo 5402BA - 18k Yellow Gold - AP...
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+ £105 for shipping
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4.69 (116)
FR
Rolex Air King 116900 Very good Steel 40mm Automatic United Kingdom, London
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Rolex Air King 116900 Full Set 2021
£8,995
Free shipping
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4.91 (198)
UK
Breitling Chronomat 44 AB0110 Very good Steel 44mm Automatic
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Breitling Chronomat 44 Frecce Tricolori Chronograph Automatik...
£3,276
+ £79 for shipping
Sold by Chrono24
DE
Tudor Prince Date 74033 Very good Steel 34mm Automatic
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Tudor Prince Date 18k Solid Gold/SS 74033 Swiss Mens Watch.......
£2,846
+ £84 for shipping
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4.89 (57)
US
Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean Chronograph 232.30.46.51.01.003 Very good Steel 45.5mm Automatic
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Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean Co-Axial Chronograph 232.30.46.51...
£4,610
+ £141 for shipping
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DE
IWC Da Vinci Perpetual Calendar IW392103 Very good Steel 43mm Automatic United Kingdom, London
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IWC Da Vinci Perpetual Calendar Chronograph Box and Papers
£18,000
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4.97 (12)
UK
Rolex GMT-Master II 126710BLRO New Steel 40mm Automatic United Kingdom, CH60 7RJ
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Rolex GMT-Master II 2022 Pepsi Jubilee Barcelet NEW UNWORN...
£21,995
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4.94 (32)
UK
IWC GST Very good Steel 43mm Automatic
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IWC GST Split Second Chronograph Steel White Dial Automatic...
£5,608
+ £85 for shipping
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4.86 (250)
US
Cartier Santos 100 2656 Good Steel 38mm Automatic United Kingdom, London
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Cartier Santos 100 Xl diamond bezel crystal crown
£4,600
+ £25 for shipping
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4.67 (6)
UK
Rolex GMT-Master 1675 Good Steel 40mm Automatic
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Rolex GMT-Master Pepsi 1675 Mark 3 Radial Dial Jubilee Serial...
£26,784
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4.94 (154)
DE
Rolex Sea-Dweller 126600 Unworn Steel 43mm Automatic
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Rolex Sea-Dweller 43 mm 126600 50 th Anniversary ceramic black...
£14,324
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US
Rolex GMT-Master II 126711CHNR Unworn Gold/Steel 40mm Automatic United Kingdom, Brighton
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Rolex GMT-Master II
£19,500
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5.00 (4)
UK
Rolex Day-Date 40 228235 New Rose gold 40mm Automatic United Kingdom, London
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Rolex 2021 Rose Gold Day-Date 40 Olive Green Dial Unworn Box...
£56,000
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4.94 (17)
UK
Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean 232.30.46.21.01.003 Very good Steel 45.5mm Automatic
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Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean 600M Co-Axial Ref. 232.30.46.21.0...
£3,539
+ £79 for shipping
Sold by Chrono24
DE
IWC Pilot Chronograph IW377725 Very good Steel 43mm Automatic United Kingdom, London
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IWC PILOT’S WATCH CHRONOGRAPH EDITION “150 YEARS”
£6,500
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4.97 (12)
UK
Rolex GMT-Master II 126710BLNR New Steel 40mm Automatic United Kingdom, CH60 7RJ
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Rolex GMT-Master II 2022 Batman NEW Unworn Oyster Bracelet...
£18,795
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4.94 (32)
UK
Rado DiaMaster Unworn Ceramic 41mm Automatic
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Rado Diamaster XL Ceramic Gray Skeleton Dial Automatic Mens...
£3,019
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4.86 (250)
US
Rolex Submariner Date 16613 Very good Gold/Steel 40mm Automatic United Kingdom, London
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Rolex Submariner Date Two-Tone 18K Gold Blue Stainless Steel...
£9,650
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4.67 (6)
UK
Rolex Submariner Date 16618 Very good Yellow gold 40mm Automatic
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Rolex Submariner Date purple Dial 18K Gold Blue bezel Box +...
£37,573
+ £627 for shipping
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4.94 (154)
DE
Ulysse Nardin Marine Chronometer 41mm 266-66 Unworn Rose gold 41mm Automatic United Kingdom, London
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Ulysse Nardin Maxi Marine Chronometer Rose Gold, Ref: 266-66...
£10,750
Free shipping
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4.87 (174)
UK
Rolex Milgauss Good Steel 40mm Automatic
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Rolex UNPOLISHED Rolex Milgauss Z-Blue Green Anniversary 40mm...
£10,176
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4.64 (92)
US
Rolex Explorer 124270 New Steel 36mm Automatic United Kingdom, London
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Rolex 2022 Explorer 1 36mm Unworn Box And Papers 124270
£7,995
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4.94 (17)
UK
Franck Muller Conquistador GPG 9900 SC GP Very good Titanium 49.5mm Automatic
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Franck Muller Conquistador Grand Prix 18K Roségold / Titan...
£9,344
+ £141 for shipping
Sold by Chrono24
DE
Rolex GMT-Master II 126711CHNR Unworn Gold/Steel 40mm Automatic United Kingdom, London
Rolex GMT-Master II Steel and Rose Gold 2022 Unworn Rootbeer
£20,250
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4.97 (12)
UK
Rolex Submariner Date 126613lb New Gold/Steel 41mm Automatic United Kingdom, CH60 7RJ
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Rolex 2022 Submariner Date Bluesy New Unworn Partial Sticker...
£16,495
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4.94 (32)
UK
Rolex Datejust 36 16014 Very good Steel 36mm Automatic
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Rolex Oyster Perpetual Datejust 36mm Red Vignette Diamond Dial...
£7,334
+ £85 for shipping
Professional dealer
4.79 (509)
US
Rolex Datejust 41 126334 Good Gold/Steel 41mm Automatic United Kingdom, London
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Rolex Datejust Stainless Steel Blue Dial - ref 126334
£10,800
+ £25 for shipping
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4.67 (6)
UK
Hublot Big Bang Unico 411.NX.1170.RX.1704 Very good Titanium 45mm Automatic
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Hublot Big Bang Unico Factory Pave Diamonds Originalbesatz
£20,699
+ £418 for shipping
Professional dealer
4.94 (154)
DE
Rolex Daytona 116500LN New Steel 40mm Automatic United Kingdom, Fareham
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Rolex Daytona 'Panda" - 2022 -116500ln
£33,500
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4.95 (114)
UK
Omega Constellation Ladies 123.20.35.20.02.005 Unworn Gold/Steel 35mm Automatic United Kingdom, WARRINGTON
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Omega Constellation 18K Red Gold 123.20.35.20.02.005 2018...
£3,295
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4.92 (79)
UK

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Rolex GMT-Master II 116710BLNR New Steel 40mm Automatic United Kingdom, London
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Rolex 2018 GMT-Master II "Batman" Unworn Box And Papers...
£16,450
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4.94 (17)
UK
Zenith Captain Chronograph 03.2110.400 Very good Steel 42mm Automatic
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Zenith El Primero 36'000 VpH Chronograph Automatik Ref....
£3,513
+ £79 for shipping
Sold by Chrono24
DE
Patek Philippe Aquanaut 5168G-010 New White gold 42.2mm Automatic United Kingdom, London
Patek Philippe Aquanaut Green Dial Unworn Uncut Strap December...
£128,636
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4.97 (12)
UK
Rolex Yacht-Master 37 268622 New Steel 37mm Automatic United Kingdom, CH60 7RJ
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Rolex Yacht-Master 37 Rhodium Dial Unworn Partial Stickers 268622
£10,995
+ £50 for shipping
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4.94 (32)
UK
Rolex Datejust 41 126303 Very good Steel 41mm Automatic
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Rolex Datejust 41 Two Tone Yellow Custom Diamond Watch Fluted...
£25,886
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4.79 (509)
US
Rolex Daytona 116508 Very good Yellow gold 40mm Automatic United Kingdom, London
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Rolex Cosmograph Daytona Yellow Gold Paul Newman 40mm [2021] -...
£46,950
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4.67 (6)
UK
Rolex GMT-Master 16758 Very good Yellow gold 40mm Automatic
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Rolex GMT-Master 1675/8 Chocolate Brown 18K Gold Nipple...
£37,576
+ £627 for shipping
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4.94 (154)
DE
Rolex Datejust 41 126300 Very good Steel 41mm Automatic United Kingdom, Brighton
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Rolex Datejust 41 Wimbledon
£10,500
+ £43 for shipping
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5.00 (4)
UK
Cartier Santos (submodel) 1172961 Very good Gold/Steel 29mm Automatic United Kingdom, Saffron Walden
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Cartier Santos 1172961 29mm, Boxed, Excellent Condition
£3,195
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4.87 (19)
UK
Rolex Datejust 36 116234 New Steel 36mm Automatic United Kingdom, London
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Rolex 2017 Datejust 36 Blue Dial Jubilee Bracelet Fluted Bezel...
£8,750
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4.94 (17)
UK
Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean 232.32.44.22.01.002 Very good Steel 43.5mm Automatic
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Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean 600M GMT Co-Axial Ref. 232.32.44....
£4,610
+ £141 for shipping
Sold by Chrono24
DE
Rolex Yacht-Master 40 126655-0002 Unworn Rose gold 40mm Automatic United Kingdom, London
Rolex Yacht-Master 40 mm Rose Gold Black Dial Oyster Flex 2022...
£27,500
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4.97 (12)
UK
Rolex Yacht-Master 40 126622 New Steel 40mm Automatic United Kingdom, CH60 7RJ
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Rolex 2022 Yacht-Master 40 Rhodium Dial New Unworn Full Set...
£15,495
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4.94 (32)
UK
Rolex Lady-Datejust 69173 Very good Gold/Steel 26mm Automatic
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Rolex Ladies Rolex 26mm Datejust Two Tone Jubilee Glossy Pink...
£5,858
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4.79 (509)
US
Rolex Oyster Perpetual 34 124200 New Steel 34mm Automatic United Kingdom, London
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Rolex Oyster Perpetual 34 Silver Dial [2022] - ref 124200 [NEW...
£5,750
+ £25 for shipping
Professional dealer
4.67 (6)
UK
Rolex Daytona 116505 Very good Rose gold 40mm Automatic
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Rolex Daytona Everose IVORY Dial 2017 LC EU Karte ohne...
£52,390
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4.94 (154)
DE
Rolex Datejust 36 16234 Very good Steel 36mm Automatic United Kingdom, Oxford
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Rolex Datejust 36 Jubilee - 16234
£5,250
Free shipping
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4.94 (285)
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Rolex GMT-Master II 126710BLNR New Steel 40mm Automatic United Kingdom, Brighton
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Rolex GMT-Master II Batman
£18,750
+ £43 for shipping
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5.00 (4)
UK
Rolex Datejust 41 126334 New Steel 41mm Automatic United Kingdom, London
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Rolex Datejust 41 Fluted Bezel Jubilee Bracelet Rhodium Grey...
£11,500
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4.94 (17)
UK
Girard Perregaux Vintage 1945 25975 Very good Red gold 32mm Automatic
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Girard Perregaux Vintage 1945 Chronograph 18K Roségold...
£9,634
+ £141 for shipping
Sold by Chrono24
DE
Breguet Classique 9067BR/12/976 Unworn Rose gold 33.5mm Automatic United Kingdom, London
Breguet Ladies Classique 18ct Rose-Gold and Leather Watch 2022...
£8,700
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4.97 (12)
UK
Rolex Milgauss 116400GV New Steel 40mm Automatic United Kingdom, CH60 7RJ
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Rolex Milgauss 2022 Black Dial New Unworn Full Set 116400GV
£12,395
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4.94 (32)
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Rolex Datejust 36 16030 Very good Steel 36mm Automatic
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Rolex White Pearl 36mm Datejust Stainless Steel Natural...
£8,413
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4.79 (509)
US
Rolex Day-Date 40 228235 Very good Rose gold 40mm Automatic United Kingdom, London
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Rolex Oyster Perpetual Day-Date 40 - ref 228235
£42,749
+ £25 for shipping
Professional dealer
4.67 (6)
UK
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Chronograph 26030IO.OO.D001IN.01 Very good Titanium 44mm Automatic
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Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Juan Pablo Montoya F1...
£26,864
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4.94 (154)
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Cartier Ballon Bleu 42mm W69012Z4 Unworn Steel 42mm Automatic
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Cartier Ballon Bleu Custom Diamonds 42mm XL "Iced Out"...
£6,040
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4.86 (43)
US
Omega Constellation Men 123.20.38.21.02.007 Very good Gold/Steel 38mm Automatic United Kingdom, WARRINGTON
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Omega Constellation 18K Red Gold 38MM 12320382102007 2017 Full...
£4,249
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4.92 (79)
UK
Rolex Submariner Date 116610LV New Steel 40mm Automatic United Kingdom, Surrey
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Rolex 2017 Submariner Hulk Unworn Box And Papers 116610LV
£20,450
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4.94 (17)
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Breitling Chrono Cockpit A13358 Very good Steel 39mm Automatic
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Breitling Chrono Cockpit MOP Automatik Edelstahl Herrenuhr...
£2,239
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Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Selfwinding 15550SR.OO.1356SR.01 Unworn Steel 37mm Automatic United Kingdom, London
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Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Selfwinding "50th Anniversary" 37mm
£44,699
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4.80 (43)
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Rolex Submariner Date 126610lv New Steel 41mm Automatic United Kingdom, CH60 7RJ
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Rolex Submariner Date 2022 Starbucks New Unworn 126610LV
£18,895
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Rolex Datejust 31 68273 Very good Gold/Steel 31mm Automatic
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Rolex 31mm Datejust Vintage Diamond Bezel Two Tone White MOP...
£7,890
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4.79 (509)
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Rolex Lady-Datejust 179178 New Yellow gold 26mm Automatic United Kingdom, London
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Rolex Lady Datejust Yellow Gold Diamond Dial - ref 179178
£12,000
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Rolex Oyster Perpetual Date 1505 Very good Gold/Steel 34mm Automatic United Kingdom, Saffron Walden
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Rolex Oyster Perpetual Date 1505, Rolex Service Papers, Boxed,...
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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.