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Rolex Datejust II 126334 Unworn Steel 41mm Automatic
TOP
Rolex Datejust II 41MM Steel&White Gold Blue Roman Dial 2020...
£9,674
Verified Dealer
464
BE
Patek Philippe Perpetual Calendar 5059G Very good White gold 36mm Automatic
TOP
Patek Philippe Perpetual Calendar 5059G Full set EU delivered...
£31,789
Verified Dealer
1062
NL
Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Squadra Hometime 230.8.77 Very good Steel 35mm Automatic
TOP
Jaeger-LeCoultre JLC EVERSO SQUADRA HOMETIME ORIGINAL BOX
£3,545
Verified Dealer
170
PL
Rolex Explorer II 16570 Fair Steel 40mm Automatic
TOP
Rolex Explorer II White Dial
£5,529
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
597
ES
Panerai Luminor Chrono PAM 363 Very good Steel 44mm Automatic
TOP
Panerai Luminor Chronograph Daylight PAM 363
£7,010
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
1080
US
Graham Chronofighter Oversize 2CCAU.B34A New Steel 47mm Automatic
TOP
Graham Chronofighter Oversize Sniper Military Spetsnaz
£5,404
Verified Dealer
394
US
Tudor Submariner 9411/0 Very good Steel 40mm Automatic
TOP
Tudor Submariner Oyster Snowflake 1979 Excellent w. Box
£7,831
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
168
US
Rolex Datejust 16233 Very good Gold/Steel 36mm Automatic
TOP
Rolex Datejust 16233 Red Vignette Diamond Dial Diamond Lugs...
£5,400
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
53
US
Rolex Datejust II 126300 Very good Steel 41mm Automatic United Kingdom, HAYES
TOP
Rolex Datejust II 41 Blue Dial Jubilee
£6,500
Verified Dealer
38
UK
Raymond Weil Freelancer 2720-ST-20001 Very good Steel
TOP
Raymond Weil Freelancer Automatic Day Date Man's Watch...
£627
Verified Dealer
260
US
Rolex Submariner (No Date) 5513 Very good Steel 40mm Automatic United Kingdom, Tunbridge Wells
TOP
Rolex Submariner (No Date) - Meters First - 2019 Rolex Service
£11,995
Verified Dealer
53
UK
Cartier Santos Galbée 2319 Very good Steel 29mm Automatic United Kingdom, Sheffield
TOP
Cartier Santos Galbee Gents Automatic 2319
£2,304
Verified Dealer
263
UK
Patek Philippe Aquanaut 5167A-001 New Steel 40mm Automatic
TOP
Patek Philippe Aquanaut 5167A-001 Like new
£38,700
Verified Dealer
9
MC
IWC Grande Complication IW3770-03 Very good Platinum 42mm Automatic
TOP
IWC Grande Complication Minute Repeater Perpetual Calendar...
£52,865
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
1080
US
Rolex Daytona 16520 Very good Steel 40mm Automatic United Kingdom, London
TOP
Rolex Daytona 'Zenith' T Series
£19,750
Verified Dealer
113
UK
Bell & Ross BR 03-90 Grande Date et Reserve de Marche BR03-90 Very good Steel 42mm Automatic
TOP
Bell & Ross BR-03 90 B-Rocket Limited Edition Power Reserve
£2,192
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
168
US
Rolex Datejust 16233 Very good Gold/Steel 36mm Automatic
TOP
Rolex Datejust 16233 White MOP Diamond Dial Diamond Bezel...
£4,875
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
53
US
IWC Big Pilot IW500912 Very good Steel 46mm Automatic United Kingdom, HAYES
TOP
IWC Big Pilot 7 days Box/Papers
£6,300
Verified Dealer
38
UK
Montblanc Nicolas Rieussec 111012 Very good Steel
TOP
Montblanc Homage to Nicolas Rieussec 43mm Pre-owned.111012
£3,681
Verified Dealer
260
US
Rolex Submariner (No Date) 5508 Very good Steel 37mm Automatic United Kingdom, Tunbridge Wells
TOP
Rolex Submariner (No Date) - 5508 James Bond, Gilt Tropical Dial
£24,495
Verified Dealer
53
UK
Vacheron Constantin Fiftysix 4600E/000A-B487 New Steel 40mm Automatic United Kingdom, London
TOP
Vacheron Constantin Fiftysix Self-Winding 40 mm
£9,785
Verified Dealer
932
UK
Patek Philippe Nautilus 5740/1G New White gold 40mm Automatic
TOP
Patek Philippe Nautilus 5740/1G Perpetual Calendar new unworn
£170,462
Verified Dealer
9
MC
Panerai Luminor Submersible 1950 3 Days Automatic PAM 00615 Unworn Titanium 47mm Automatic United Kingdom, LE1 6DN
TOP
Panerai Luminor Submersible 1950 3 Days
£10,750
Verified Dealer
68
UK
Tudor Pelagos M25600TN-0001 Very good Titanium 42mm Automatic United Kingdom, Oxford
Tudor Pelagos - June 2020
£2,949
Verified Dealer
11
NL
Romain Jerome 1M45C.CCCR.1517.RB New Ceramic 45mm Automatic
TOP
Romain Jerome ARRAW Marine Ceramic/Titanium 45mm Automatic...
£2,859
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
168
US
Rolex Datejust 16233 Very good Gold/Steel 36mm Automatic
TOP
Rolex Datejust 16233 Pink MOP Diamond Dial Diamond Bezel 36mm
£6,175
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
53
US
Omega Speedmaster Day Date 3220.50.00 Very good Steel 40mm Automatic United Kingdom, Sheffield
TOP
Omega Speedmaster Day Date Automatic- 3220.50 - Box/Papers
£2,211
Verified Dealer
263
UK
Rolex GMT-Master II 116710LN New Steel 40mm Automatic United Kingdom, London
TOP
Rolex GMT-Master II Stainless Steel Watch Black Dial 116710LN...
£11,495
Verified Dealer
116
UK
Omega 188.0002 Unworn Steel 42mm Automatic United Kingdom, Tunbridge Wells
TOP
Omega Speedsonic F300hz 188.0002 - Serviced
£2,200
Verified Dealer
53
UK
Breitling Superocean Héritage UB2030121B1S1 New Gold/Steel 44mm Automatic United Kingdom, London
TOP
Breitling Superocean Heritage II B20 Automatic 44
£4,008
Verified Dealer
932
UK
Rolex Daytona 16520 Very good Steel 40mm Automatic
TOP
Rolex Daytona 16520 Zenith Patrizzi W series 1995 like new
£43,307
Verified Dealer
9
MC
Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Geographic Q1422521 Unworn Rose gold 39mm Automatic United Kingdom, LE1 6DN
TOP
Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Geographic
£14,950
Verified Dealer
68
UK
Breitling Bentley Motors A25362 Very good Steel 48mm Automatic United Kingdom, Oxford
Breitling Bentley Motors
£4,008
Verified Dealer
11
NL
Rolex 1500 Very good Steel 34mm Automatic
TOP
Rolex Oyster Perpetual Automatic Steel Wrist Dark Blue Dial Watch
£2,193
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
125
US
Maserati R8821108030 New 42mm Automatic United Kingdom, Rugeley
Maserati R8821108030 Men's Black Leather Potenza Automatic...
£405
Verified Dealer
9
UK
Tudor Sport Chronograph 20300 Very good Steel 41mm Automatic United Kingdom, Sheffield
TOP
Tudor Sport Chronograph Ref. 20300- Box/documents
£2,027
Verified Dealer
263
UK
Rolex Daytona 116506 New Platinum 40mm Automatic United Kingdom, London
TOP
Rolex Daytona Platinum Ice-Blue/Hindu-Arabic Dial 116506
£99,995
Verified Dealer
116
UK
IWC Very good Steel 34mm Automatic United Kingdom, Tunbridge Wells
TOP
IWC Vintage - Cal. 853 - 1959 - Serviced
£2,145
Verified Dealer
53
UK
Piaget Polo S G0A44001 New Steel 42mm Automatic United Kingdom, London
TOP
Piaget Polo S Limited Edition 42 mm
£8,984
Verified Dealer
932
UK
Tudor Prince Date 79260 Very good Steel 40mm Automatic
TOP
Tudor Prince Date 79260
£6,358
Verified Dealer
9
MC
IWC Portuguese Automatic IW500701 Unworn Rose gold 42.3mm Automatic United Kingdom, LE1 6DN
TOP
IWC Portuguese Automatic
£14,000
Verified Dealer
68
UK
Panerai Luminor Marina 1950 3 Days Automatic PAM 00312 Very good Steel 44mm Automatic United Kingdom, Oxford
Panerai Luminor Marina 1950 3 Days
£4,377
Verified Dealer
11
NL
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Chronograph 26331OR.OO.D315CR.01 Unworn Rose gold 41mm Automatic United Kingdom, London
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Chronograph
£31,999
Verified Dealer
14
UK
Bulova 98A238 New Steel Automatic United Kingdom, Rugeley
Bulova 98A238 Maquina Automatic Mechanical Black Strap Wristwatch
£311
Verified Dealer
9
UK
Rolex Daytona 116505 New Rose gold 40mm Automatic United Kingdom, LONDON
Rolex Daytona Rose Gold Chocolate Baton Dial Unworn
£34,320
Verified Dealer
26
UK
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Unworn White gold 41mm Automatic United Kingdom, London
TOP
Audemars Piguet Custom Diamond Set Audemars Piguet Royal Oak...
£94,995
Verified Dealer
116
UK
Heuer 11630MH Very good Steel 42mm Automatic United Kingdom, Tunbridge Wells
TOP
Heuer Autaiva 11630MH Orange Boy - Serviced
£4,379
Verified Dealer
53
UK
Vacheron Constantin Overseas 4500V/110A-B126 or P4500V/110A-B126 New Steel 41mm Automatic United Kingdom, London
TOP
Vacheron Constantin Overseas
£17,000
Verified Dealer
932
UK
Rolex GMT-Master 1675 Very good Steel 40mm Automatic
TOP
Rolex GMT Master 1675 w Service paper
£14,282
Verified Dealer
9
MC
Rolex Daytona New White gold Automatic United Kingdom, London
Rolex Daytona 18ct White Gold 116509 "Racing Dial" NOS Perfect...
£29,750
Verified Dealer
6
UK
Omega Speedmaster Broad Arrow 321.53.42.50.01.001 Very good Rose gold 42mm Automatic United Kingdom, Oxford
Omega Speedmaster Broad Arrow 1957 Co-Axial Chronograph
£9,445
Verified Dealer
11
NL
Rolex Milgauss 116400GV Good Steel 40mm Automatic United Kingdom, London Colney Hertfordshire
TOP
Rolex Milgauss ref:116400gv Green Glass 2014 black dial Box &...
£6,599
Verified Dealer
101
UK
Rolex Oyster Perpetual 39 114300 Unworn Steel 39mm Automatic United Kingdom, London
Rolex Oyster Perpetual 39mm | Red Grape | Full Set | 114300
£4,999
Verified Dealer
14
UK
Patek Philippe Nautilus 5980/1R-001 Very good Rose gold 40.5mm Automatic United Kingdom, LONDON
Patek Philippe Nautilus
£118,500
Verified Dealer
26
UK
Rolex GMT-Master II 116710BLNR Unworn Steel 40mm Automatic United Kingdom, London
TOP
Rolex GMT-Master II Stainless Steel Black Dial Black/Blue...
£13,995
Verified Dealer
116
UK
Bell & Ross BR V1 BRV126-BL-BE/SST Very good Steel Automatic United Kingdom, Sheffield
TOP
Bell & Ross Br 126 Vintage Sport Automatic - Full set
£2,304
Verified Dealer
263
UK
H.Moser & Cie. 3200-1202 New Steel 42.8mm Automatic United Kingdom, London
TOP
H.Moser & Cie. Pioneer Centre Seconds
£9,638
Verified Dealer
932
UK
Patek Philippe Nautilus 5980/1A-001 Very good Steel 40mm Automatic
TOP
Patek Philippe Nautilus 5980/1A-001 Poinçon de Genève - Blue...
£96,749
Verified Dealer
9
MC
Rolex Submariner New Steel Automatic United Kingdom, London
Rolex Submariner 14060M NOS "RRR Series” 2012
£13,750
Verified Dealer
6
UK
Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean 232.32.46.21.01.003 Very good Steel 45.5mm Automatic United Kingdom, Oxford
Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean XL
£3,363
Verified Dealer
11
NL
Omega Seamaster Diver 300 M 210.90.42.20.01.001 New Titanium 42mm Automatic United Kingdom, Wilmslow Cheshire
TOP
Omega Seamaster Diver 300 M JAMES BOND 007 No Time to Die
£8,395
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
114
UK
Bulova 97A148 New Gold/Steel Automatic United Kingdom, Rugeley
Bulova 97A148 Maquina Automatic Gold Tone Wristwatch
£242
Verified Dealer
9
UK
Rolex Daytona 116520 Very good Steel 40mm Automatic United Kingdom, LONDON
Rolex Daytona Steel Box and Papers White Dial Mint Condition
£17,995
Verified Dealer
26
UK
Rolex GMT-Master II 116710BLNR Unworn Steel 40mm Automatic United Kingdom, London
TOP
Rolex GMT-Master II Stainless Steel Black Dial Black/Blue...
£14,495
Verified Dealer
116
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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