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Ulysse Nardin Marine Chronometer Manufacture
TOP
Ulysse Nardin Marine Chronometer Manufacture
£19,617
Seller
TIME TRADER
5
PL
Rolex 18K/SS  DATEJUST Custom Black Onyx - Leather Band -...
TOP
Rolex 18K/SS DATEJUST Custom Black Onyx - Leather Band -...
£2,651
Seller
Austins Watches Inc.
128
US
Linde Werdelin SpidoSpeed Gold
Linde Werdelin SpidoSpeed Gold
£29,363
BrandBoutique Member
Linde Werdelin LTD
Rolex 18K/SS Datejust Silver Roman Dial "Engraved" w/ Box &...
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Rolex 18K/SS Datejust Silver Roman Dial "Engraved" w/ Box &...
£5,527
Seller
Austins Watches Inc.
128
US
Graham Men's Chronofighter Oversize GMT Big Date
TOP
Graham Men's Chronofighter Oversize GMT Big Date
£2,762
Free shipping
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Luxury Horology
129
US
Franck Muller Conquistador Cortez 10000CC18k Yellow Gold Men's...
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Franck Muller Conquistador Cortez 10000CC18k Yellow Gold Men's...
£10,508
Free shipping
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Chronostore
113
US
IWC Da Vinci Perpetual Calendar
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IWC Da Vinci Perpetual Calendar
£14,381
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Heritage Jewelry and Loan
7
US
Bremont U-2 LIMITED EDITION
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Bremont U-2 LIMITED EDITION
£4,421
Free shipping
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AJ Watches
62
US
Rolex GMT-Master
Rolex GMT-Master
£7,125
Seller
Uanna.be LTD
14
UK
Patek Philippe Patek 5940r Perpetual Calendar
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Patek Philippe Patek 5940r Perpetual Calendar
£41,852
Seller
MKS Luxury LLC
US
Rolex Lady-Datejust
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Rolex Lady-Datejust
£5,995
Seller
Avanti Fine Jewellery
 
UK
Linde Werdelin Oktopus MoonLite - White
Linde Werdelin Oktopus MoonLite - White
£15,599
BrandBoutique Member
Linde Werdelin LTD
Rolex 18K Yellow Gold Yacht-Master Champ Dial - w/ Box & Papers
TOP
Rolex 18K Yellow Gold Yacht-Master Champ Dial - w/ Box & Papers
£12,902
Seller
Austins Watches Inc.
128
US
Hermès Authentic Men's Hermes Clipper Diver CP1.810 44MM...
TOP
Hermès Authentic Men's Hermes Clipper Diver CP1.810 44MM...
£2,024
Free shipping
Seller
Luxury Horology
129
US
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Selfwinding Black Dial
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Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Selfwinding Black Dial
£11,650
Seller
David Summerfield Ltd
22
UK
Omega Constellation Double Eagle 1503.30.00
TOP
Omega Constellation Double Eagle 1503.30.00
£1,699
Free shipping
Seller
Watches of Japan
7
UK
Omega Seamaster De Ville Automatic vintage Cal 565 1960 to 1969
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Omega Seamaster De Ville Automatic vintage Cal 565 1960 to 1969
£799
Free shipping
Seller
Vintage Omega Watch
19
UK
Revue Thommen 17030.2137
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Revue Thommen 17030.2137
£395
Seller
Click2Shop Limited
32
UK
Omega Speedmaster automatic
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Omega Speedmaster automatic
£1,995
Free shipping
Seller
The Watch Collector Ltd.
34
UK
Omega Speedmaster Racing
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Omega Speedmaster Racing
£5,100
Free shipping
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Watch Philosophy
12
UK
Linde Werdelin Oktopus Moon Gold 3DTP Carbon
Linde Werdelin Oktopus Moon Gold 3DTP Carbon
£31,199
BrandBoutique Member
Linde Werdelin LTD
Rolex GMT-Master II 40mm Steel
TOP
Rolex GMT-Master II 40mm Steel
£5,974
Seller
Noblesse LP
17
UK
Hublot Big Bang 44 mm Rose Gold (serviced 2017)
TOP
Hublot Big Bang 44 mm Rose Gold (serviced 2017)
£13,000
Seller
David Summerfield Ltd
22
UK
Rolex GMT Master 11 Bi Metal Steel gold  116713LN
TOP
Rolex GMT Master 11 Bi Metal Steel gold 116713LN
£8,650
Free shipping
Seller
JPA Watch Company Ltd
18
UK
Omega Mens 1966 Constellation Chronometer CAL 564 Automatic
TOP
Omega Mens 1966 Constellation Chronometer CAL 564 Automatic
£850
Free shipping
Seller
Vintage Omega Watch
19
UK
Hublot Big Bang 'Ice Bang' Chronograph 41MM
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Hublot Big Bang 'Ice Bang' Chronograph 41MM
£4,750
Seller
Tempo and Time Ltd
12
UK
Rolex Sea-Dweller Deepsea
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Rolex Sea-Dweller Deepsea
£10,750
Free shipping
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The Watch Collector Ltd.
34
UK
Rolex 1680 Submariner Date Matte Dial - 1979
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Rolex 1680 Submariner Date Matte Dial - 1979
£7,995
Free shipping
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M&J Watches Ltd
17
UK
Linde Werdelin SpidoLite Titanium Blue
Linde Werdelin SpidoLite Titanium Blue
£9,176
BrandBoutique Member
Linde Werdelin LTD
Rolex Daytona
TOP
Rolex Daytona
£14,000
Seller
Swiss Time Traders
 
UK
Rolex Submariner Date RARE
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Rolex Submariner Date RARE
£8,250
Seller
Jopsons Jewellers
19
UK
Rolex Daytona Stainless Steel and Ceramic
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Rolex Daytona Stainless Steel and Ceramic
£13,650
Seller
David Summerfield Ltd
22
UK
Rolex Oyster Perpetual Date 115200 Datejust 34 mm
TOP
Rolex Oyster Perpetual Date 115200 Datejust 34 mm
£3,795
Free shipping
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JPA Watch Company Ltd
18
UK
Rolex Submariner Tiffany & Co Single Red Stainless Steel Gents...
TOP
Rolex Submariner Tiffany & Co Single Red Stainless Steel Gents...
£37,995
Free shipping
Seller
Xupes.com
69
UK
Rolex Submariner 14060M 'Four line - 2007
TOP
Rolex Submariner 14060M 'Four line - 2007
£5,050
Seller
Tempo and Time Ltd
12
UK
Rolex submariner 16610 unworn
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Rolex submariner 16610 unworn
£7,495
Free shipping
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The Watch Collector Ltd.
34
UK
Chopard Grand Prix de Monaco
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Chopard Grand Prix de Monaco
£2,600
Seller
Watchni.co.uk
9
UK
Linde Werdelin Oktopus Double Date Rose Gold
Linde Werdelin Oktopus Double Date Rose Gold
£15,599
BrandBoutique Member
Linde Werdelin LTD
Rolex Sky-Dweller
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Rolex Sky-Dweller
£14,000
Seller
Swiss Time Traders
 
UK
Rolex Submariner Date 116610
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Rolex Submariner Date 116610
£6,500
Free shipping
Seller
Swiss Watch Trader
 
UK
Rolex Daytona Ceramic Bezel Black Stickered
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Rolex Daytona Ceramic Bezel Black Stickered
£14,850
Seller
David Summerfield Ltd
22
UK
Rolex Tropical Rolex 1675 GMT, PCG, chaper ring & Exclamation
TOP
Rolex Tropical Rolex 1675 GMT, PCG, chaper ring & Exclamation
£27,950
Free shipping
Seller
M&J Watches Ltd
17
UK
Omega Vintage CAL 565 Mens Seamaster Cosmic Automatic Watch + Box
TOP
Omega Vintage CAL 565 Mens Seamaster Cosmic Automatic Watch + Box
£1,200
Free shipping
Seller
Vintage Omega Watch
19
UK
Rolex Datejust 16233 MINT
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Rolex Datejust 16233 MINT
£3,450
Seller
Tempo and Time Ltd
12
UK
Rolex Day-Date Factory Diamond Blue Dial18K White Gold Mens Watch
TOP
Rolex Day-Date Factory Diamond Blue Dial18K White Gold Mens Watch
£10,995
Free shipping
Seller
WT Time Pieces
25
UK
Louis Erard Excellence Moonphase 80231AA21.BDC51
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Louis Erard Excellence Moonphase 80231AA21.BDC51
£2,400
Seller
WatchNation Limited
30
UK
Linde Werdelin SpidoLite Titanium
Linde Werdelin SpidoLite Titanium
£12,846
BrandBoutique Member
Linde Werdelin LTD
Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean
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Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean
£3,700
Seller
Swiss Time Traders
 
UK
Hublot Big Bang Unico All Black Sapphire 45 mm
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Hublot Big Bang Unico All Black Sapphire 45 mm
£45,457
Free shipping
Seller
WatchesofMayfair.com
264
UK
Omega Seamaster Diver 300 M 2531.80.00 Blue Wave Dial
TOP
Omega Seamaster Diver 300 M 2531.80.00 Blue Wave Dial
£1,925
Seller
David Summerfield Ltd
22
UK
Rolex Daytona 18ct Rose Gold 116505(Rolex serviced December 2017)
TOP
Rolex Daytona 18ct Rose Gold 116505(Rolex serviced December 2017)
£19,500
Free shipping
Seller
ChronoEdge
86
UK
Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean Chronograph
TOP
Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean Chronograph
£6,295
Free shipping
Seller
JPA Watch Company Ltd
18
UK
Rolex Day-Date 1803 - vintage rare dial
TOP
Rolex Day-Date 1803 - vintage rare dial
£5,250
Seller
Tempo and Time Ltd
12
UK
Hublot Big Bang 44 mm Tantalum Titanium Mens Watch
TOP
Hublot Big Bang 44 mm Tantalum Titanium Mens Watch
£6,500
Free shipping
Seller
WT Time Pieces
25
UK
Patek Philippe Nautilus 18k Yellow Gold Gents 5712/1A-001 -...
TOP
Patek Philippe Nautilus 18k Yellow Gold Gents 5712/1A-001 -...
£33,495
Free shipping
Seller
Xupes.com
69
UK
Linde Werdelin SpidoLite Tech Gold
Linde Werdelin SpidoLite Tech Gold
£13,764
BrandBoutique Member
Linde Werdelin LTD
Breitling Bentley Motors
TOP
Breitling Bentley Motors
£3,250
Seller
Kings Hill Jewellery
 
UK
Hublot Big Bang Unico Magic Sapphire
TOP
Hublot Big Bang Unico Magic Sapphire
£38,630
Free shipping
Seller
WatchesofMayfair.com
264
UK
Rolex Lady-DateJust 26 18ct White Gold Diamond
TOP
Rolex Lady-DateJust 26 18ct White Gold Diamond
£14,000
Seller
David Summerfield Ltd
22
UK
Rolex SkyDweller
TOP
Rolex SkyDweller
£12,750
Seller
WatchTraderUK
 
UK
Bovet "Perpetual Calendar Retrograde" 42 mm Amadeo
TOP
Bovet "Perpetual Calendar Retrograde" 42 mm Amadeo
£11,210
Seller
Noblesse LP
17
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.