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Baume & Mercier Capeland MOA10067 Unworn Steel 44mm Automatic
TOP
Baume & Mercier Capeland Chronographe
£2,007
Professional dealer
282
FR
Eterna Kontiki 1592.41.41.0217 New Steel 42mm Automatic
TOP
Eterna KonTiki Date Black/Green Swiss Made
£1,022
Professional dealer
59
HK
Patek Philippe Nautilus 5712/1A-001 New Steel 40mm Automatic
TOP
Patek Philippe Nautilus Moonphase 5712/1A-001 EU Papers...
£104,734
Professional dealer
36
NL
Rolex Submariner Date 126610lv New Steel 41mm Automatic
TOP
Rolex Submariner Date Starbucks | NEU | 2020 | FullSet
£15,623
Professional dealer
218
DE
Oris Artix GT 01 674 7661 4434-07 4 22 20FC Very good Steel 44mm Automatic
TOP
Oris Artix Gt Chronograph
£1,251
Professional dealer
17
US
Parmigiani Fleurier Tonda PFC228-0000100-XA1442-000000E New Steel 43mm Automatic
TOP
Parmigiani Fleurier Transforma Chronograph Automatic Mens...
£6,586
Professional dealer
1081
US
TAG Heuer Monaco CW2111-0 Good Steel 38mm Automatic
TOP
TAG Heuer Monaco Automatic Chronograph Excellent CW2111
£1,839
Professional dealer
266
US
Rolex Lady-Datejust 69174 Very good Steel 26mm Automatic
TOP
Rolex Lady-Datejust 69174 Purple MOP Diamond Dial Diamond...
£4,618
Professional dealer
106
US
Mühle Glashütte M1-29-65-LB Very good Steel 42.6mm Automatic
TOP
Mühle Glashütte Teutonia Sport I
£2,204
Professional dealer
 
US
Omega Constellation 168.005 Fair Gold/Steel 34.0mm Automatic
TOP
Omega Constellation Cal. 564
£1,204
Professional dealer
16
US
Cartier Calibre de Cartier 3389 Very good Steel 42mm Automatic
TOP
Cartier Calibre De Cartier Men's Steel Watch 42mm Iced Out...
£8,462
Professional dealer
392
US
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Day-Date 25594ST Very good Steel 36mm Automatic United Kingdom, London
TOP
Audemars Piguet 25594ST Royal Oak Day-date, MK1 small font,...
£27,950
Free shipping
Professional dealer
63
UK
Omega Genève 166.070 Good Gold/Steel 34.5mm Automatic United Kingdom, Tunbridge Wells
TOP
Omega Genève Automatic 166.070, 1969 - Fully Serviced
£995
Professional dealer
73
UK
Rado R32022102 Very good Ceramic 45mm Automatic
TOP
Rado Chronograph Match Point Limited Edition
£2,501
Professional dealer
17
US
Rolex Datejust 126200 New Steel 36mm Automatic United Kingdom, Norwich
TOP
Rolex Datejust 126200 – 2021 – Unworn
£6,450
Professional dealer
248
UK
Chopard Mille Miglia 16/8407 Good Titanium 40mm Automatic
TOP
Chopard Mille Miglia Rosso Corsa Red Limited Edition Only 1000...
£2,207
Professional dealer
266
US
Rolex Datejust Very good Gold/Steel 36mm Automatic
TOP
Rolex Datejust White MOP Diamond Dial Diamond Bezel 36mm Watch
£6,619
Professional dealer
106
US
Rolex 74000 Very good Steel 34mm Automatic
TOP
Rolex Tudor Prince Date Ref. 74000 14k Solid White Gold Bezel...
£1,689
Professional dealer
65
US
Rolex Day-Date 36 118208 Very good Yellow gold 36mm Automatic United Kingdom, London
TOP
Rolex Day-Date Champagne Dial, Ref: 118208 (B&P 2002)
£16,450
Free shipping
Professional dealer
238
UK
Bulgari Octo 103431 Very good Steel 40mm Automatic
TOP
Bulgari Octo Finissimo Automatic Men's 40mm Blue 17ct Diamond...
£12,509
Professional dealer
392
US
Rolex Daytona 116520 Very good Steel 40mm Automatic United Kingdom, London
TOP
Rolex 116520 Daytona with amazing Panna dial, P serial
£27,500
Free shipping
Professional dealer
63
UK
Enicar Sherpa Good Steel 36mm Automatic United Kingdom, Tunbridge Wells
TOP
Enicar Sherpa Super Divette - Fully Serviced
£1,995
Professional dealer
73
UK
Omega Seamaster New Steel 41mm Automatic United Kingdom, Oxford
TOP
Omega Seamaster Professional James Bond 40th 007 Edition - Box...
£3,695
Free shipping
Professional dealer
335
UK
Rolex Yacht-Master 37 268622 Very good Steel 37mm Automatic United Kingdom, Norwich
TOP
Rolex Yachtmaster 268622- 2017 – Full Set
£8,950
Professional dealer
248
UK
Bell & Ross BR 01-94 Chronographe BR01-94-S Very good Steel 46mm Automatic
TOP
Bell & Ross BR 01-94-T Carbon Fiber Automatic 46mm Chronograph
£1,986
Professional dealer
266
US
Patek Philippe Perpetual Calendar 3940P | Platinum Very good Platinum 36mm Automatic United Kingdom, London
Patek Philippe 3940P | Platinum
£53,500
Free shipping
Professional dealer
30
UK
A. Lange & Söhne Odysseus 363.038 Unworn White gold 40.5mm Automatic United Kingdom, London
TOP
A. Lange & Söhne Odysseus White Gold 2021 Ref 363.038
£39,950
Professional dealer
495
UK
Rolex Submariner Date 116610LV Very good Steel 40mm Automatic United Kingdom, London
Rolex Submariner 'Hulk'
£17,500
Professional dealer
15
UK
Cartier Ballon Bleu 44mm W6920025 Very good Steel 44mm Automatic
TOP
Cartier Ballon Bleu Men's Watch Black 44mm Iced Out 12ct...
£8,094
Professional dealer
392
US
Rolex Submariner (No Date) 5513 Very good Steel 40mm Automatic United Kingdom, London
TOP
Rolex Gilt Dial 5513 Rolex Submariner with perfect gloss dial...
£27,500
Free shipping
Professional dealer
63
UK
Omega Flightmaster 166.090 Good Steel 39mm Automatic United Kingdom, Tunbridge Wells
TOP
Omega Seamaster Baby Flightmaster - Fully Serviced
£1,695
Professional dealer
73
UK
Omega Constellation Ladies 123.20.35.20.02.005 Unworn Gold/Steel 35mm Automatic United Kingdom, WARRINGTON
TOP
Omega Constellation 18K Red Gold 123.20.35.20.02.005 2018...
£3,499
Free shipping
Professional dealer
71
UK
Rolex Submariner Date 16610 Very good Steel 40mm Automatic United Kingdom, Norwich
TOP
Rolex 16610 Submariner – 2001 – Full Set
£8,650
Professional dealer
248
UK
TAG Heuer Monaco Calibre 6 WW2119.FC6338 Very good Steel 37mm Automatic
TOP
TAG Heuer Monaco Calibre 6 Titanium Black Automatic Near Mint...
£1,839
Professional dealer
266
US
Patek Philippe Aquanaut Aquanaut 5164A | Steel | Travel Time Good Steel 40.8mm Automatic United Kingdom, London
Patek Philippe Aquanaut 5164A | Steel | Travel Time
£58,950
Free shipping
Professional dealer
30
UK
Rolex Submariner (No Date) 5513 Very good Steel 40mm Automatic United Kingdom, London
TOP
Rolex Submariner 5513 1970 Full Set
£16,300
Professional dealer
495
UK
Rolex GMT-Master II 126710BLRO Very good Steel Automatic United Kingdom, London
Rolex GMT-Master II 'Pepsi'
£16,500
Professional dealer
15
UK
Bulgari Octo 102704 OC41BSSD Unworn Steel 41mm Automatic
TOP
Bulgari Octo Roma Blk Dial 15ct Iced Out Watch Ref: 102704
£11,037
Professional dealer
392
US
Rolex Datejust 1601 Good Yellow gold 36mm Automatic United Kingdom, London
TOP
Rolex 1601 Yellow Gold Datejust, Double punched papers &...
£6,495
Free shipping
Professional dealer
63
UK
Rolex Day-Date 36 118338 Very good Yellow gold 36mm Automatic United Kingdom, London
TOP
Rolex Day-Date Diamond Lugs/Dial, Ref: 118338 (B&P 2004)
£21,750
Free shipping
Professional dealer
238
UK
Omega De Ville Prestige 424.10.40.20.02.004 Very good Steel 39.5mm Automatic United Kingdom, WARRINGTON
TOP
Omega Deville Prestige Co-Axial 2500 424.10.40.20.02.004 2018...
£2,399
Free shipping
Professional dealer
71
UK
Panerai Radiomir 3 Days 47mm PAM425 Very good Steel 47mm Automatic United Kingdom, Norwich
TOP
Panerai Radiomir PAM425 – 2016 – Full Set
£5,150
Professional dealer
248
UK
TAG Heuer Monaco CW2111-0 Good Steel 38mm Automatic
TOP
TAG Heuer Monaco Automatic Steel Bracelet Chronograph Excellen...
£1,913
Professional dealer
266
US
F.P.Journe Octa Octa Réserve De Marche | 38mm | Rose Gold | Brass Movement Very good Rose gold 38mm Automatic United Kingdom, London
F.P.Journe Octa Réserve De Marche | Brass Movement | 38mm
£110,000
Free shipping
Professional dealer
30
UK
Blancpain Fifty Fathoms 5008 11B30 NABA Unworn Steel 40.3mm Automatic United Kingdom, London
TOP
Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Milspec HODINKEE Limited Edition 2020
£15,950
Professional dealer
495
UK
Rolex Sea-Dweller 126603 Very good Gold/Steel 43mm Automatic United Kingdom, London
Rolex Sea-Dweller 43 'Bi-Colour'
£14,500
Professional dealer
15
UK
Bulgari Octo OC41C3SSD 102856 Unworn Steel Automatic
TOP
Bulgari Octo Roma Ref. 102856 Men's 41mm Automatic Blue Dial...
£11,037
Professional dealer
392
US
Tudor Black Bay Fifty-Eight M79030B-0001 New Steel 39mm Automatic United Kingdom, London
TOP
Tudor Black Bay Fifty-eight Blue 79030b UNWORN Full Set June 2021
£2,950
Free shipping
Professional dealer
63
UK
Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Calendar 140.8.87 Steel 37mm Automatic United Kingdom, Oxford
TOP
Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Control Calendar - Box & Papers
£4,550
Free shipping
Professional dealer
335
UK
Rolex Submariner Date 126610lv New Steel 41mm Automatic
TOP
Rolex Submariner Date 126610LV - Starbucks
£15,056
Professional dealer
65
NL
Vacheron Constantin Overseas 4300V/120R-B509 New Rose gold Automatic United Kingdom, London
Vacheron Constantin Overseas Perpetual Calendar Ultra-thin
£84,500
Professional dealer
79
UK
Montblanc Timewalker 115359 Unworn Steel 43mm Automatic
TOP
Montblanc Timewalker Urban Speed RARE LIMITED EDITION of 555...
£1,876
Professional dealer
266
US
Rolex GMT-Master 16750 Very good Steel 40mm Automatic United Kingdom, Swansea
TOP
Rolex GMT-Master
£14,950
Professional dealer
59
UK
Patek Philippe Perpetual Calendar 5040G Very good White gold 35mm Automatic United Kingdom, London
TOP
Patek Philippe Perpetual Calendar 5040G White Gold Tonneau...
£28,950
Professional dealer
495
UK
Rolex Sea-Dweller 4000 16600 New Steel 40mm Automatic United Kingdom, London
Rolex Sea-Dweller 'NOS'
£14,500
Professional dealer
15
UK
Bell & Ross BR 05 BR05A-GR-ST/SRB Very good Steel 40mm Automatic
TOP
Bell & Ross Br 05 40mm Men's Grey Dial Watch ICED OUT 7ct...
£7,358
Professional dealer
392
US
Rolex GMT-Master II 16760 Very good Steel 40mm Automatic United Kingdom, London
TOP
Rolex GMT Master II aka 'Fat Lady' R serial 1997, watch only
£10,950
Free shipping
Professional dealer
63
UK
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
335
UK
Breitling Navitimer 1 B01 Chronograph 43 RB0121211C1P3 New Red gold 43mm Automatic
TOP
Breitling Navitimer 1 B01 Chronograph 43 - RB0121211C1 - New 2021
£13,088
Professional dealer
65
NL
Patek Philippe World Time 5575G-001 Very good White gold 39.8mm Automatic United Kingdom, London
Patek Philippe World Time 175th Anniversary Limited Edition
£96,500
Professional dealer
79
UK
Montblanc 7044 Good Steel 42mm Automatic
TOP
Montblanc Timewalker Flyback Sport Chronograph PVD Big Date 7044
£1,250
Professional dealer
266
US
Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Control 140.2.80.S Very good Rose gold 37mm Automatic United Kingdom, London
TOP
Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Control Perpetual Calendar Rose Gold...
£10,950
Free shipping
Professional dealer
796
UK
Patek Philippe World Time 5230G-001 Very good White gold 38.5mm Automatic United Kingdom, London
TOP
Patek Philippe World Time White Gold 2018 Ref 5230G-001
£31,050
Professional dealer
495
UK
Richard Mille RM 011 RM 011 Red TPT Very good Carbon Automatic United Kingdom, London
Richard Mille RM 011 Red QTPT 'Prototype'
Price on request
Professional dealer
15
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.