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Longines Elegant L48094576 New Steel 34.50mm Automatic United States of America, California, San Mateo
TOP
Longines The Longines Elegant Collection Automatic Black Dial...
$1,649
Free shipping
Professional dealer
4496
US
Ulysse Nardin Michelangelo 161.42 Good Yellow gold 30mm Automatic
TOP
Ulysse Nardin Michelangelo Full Triple Calendar Moonphase...
$5,953
Professional dealer
610
SG
Cartier Ronde Croisière de Cartier WSRN0023 New Steel 42mm Automatic United States of America, California, San Mateo
TOP
Cartier Ronde Solo de Cartier 42 mm Automatic Blue Dial...
$4,219
Free shipping
Professional dealer
4496
US
Richard Mille RM 052 RM52-01 Very good Carbon 42mm Automatic United States of America, New York, New York
TOP
Richard Mille RM52-01 Limited Edition Ceramic Skull Nano Watch...
Price on request
Free shipping
Professional dealer
358
US
Rolex Datejust 126231 Unworn Gold/Steel 36mm Automatic United States of America, Florida, Coral Gables
TOP
Rolex Datejust 36 - Wimbledon Dial - Rose Gold & Steel - 126231
$14,999
Professional dealer
107
US
Rolex Submariner Date 16610LV Good Steel 40mm Automatic United States of America, New York, New York
TOP
Rolex Submariner Kermit 50th Anniversary Edition Mark VI Ref....
$19,000
Professional dealer
17
US
Breitling Chronomat Colt A17388101C1A1 Unworn Steel 44mm Automatic United States of America, New York, New York
TOP
Breitling Colt Stainless Steel Blue Index Dial Watch A17388101...
$2,599
Free shipping
Professional dealer
358
US
Rolex Daytona 116500LN Very good Steel 40mm Automatic United States of America, California, Sunnyvale
TOP
Rolex Daytona 116500LN Black Dial
$32,000
Free shipping
Professional dealer
160
US
Rolex GMT-Master II 126710BLNR New Steel 40mm Automatic United States of America, California, Los Angeles
TOP
Rolex 2021 GMT-Master II Batman Batgirl Box/Papers/Card 126710
$18,499
Free shipping
Professional dealer
187
US
Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean Chronograph 232.30.46.51.01.003 Very good Steel 45.5mm Automatic United States of America, Illinois
TOP
Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean 45.5 Chronograph Black Dial Steel
$5,503
Professional dealer
15
US
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Chronograph 26170TI.OO.1000TI.01 Unworn Titanium 42mm Automatic United States of America, California, Irvine
TOP
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Chrono AP ROO Titanium...
$31,800
Free shipping
Professional dealer
8
US
Rolex GMT-Master 16750 Steel 40mm United States of America, New Hampshire, Nashua
TOP
Rolex 35892: Rolex Vintage 1983 GMT Master, Ref. 16750
$16,000
Professional dealer
190
US
Rolex Daytona 116509 New White gold 40mm Automatic United States of America, Florida, Hollywood
TOP
Rolex Daytona Cosmograph Blue Dial model 116509
$55,885
Professional dealer
850
US
Rolex Datejust 1602 Very good Yellow gold 36mm Automatic United States of America, Florida, Coral Gables
TOP
Rolex Datejust - 18k Yellow Gold Ref. 1602 - Morellis /...
$7,499
Professional dealer
107
US
Rolex Submariner Date 1680 Good Steel 40mm Automatic United States of America, New York, New York
TOP
Rolex Submariner Date 1680 Stainless Steel Black Matte Dial...
$18,000
Professional dealer
17
US
Breitling Superocean 44 A17367D81 Unworn Steel 44mm Automatic United States of America, New York, New York
TOP
Breitling Superocean 44 Automatic Stainless Steel Blue Mixed...
$3,599
Free shipping
Professional dealer
358
US
Franck Muller Vanguard V41SCDTACBL Good Steel Automatic United States of America, California, Sunnyvale
TOP
Franck Muller V41 Sc Dt Ac Bl Franck Muller Vanguard Stainless
$8,800
Free shipping
Professional dealer
160
US
Rolex Submariner Date 126618LN-0002 New Yellow gold Automatic United States of America, California, Los Angeles
TOP
Rolex 2021 Submariner 41 Date Black 18K Yellow Gold Box/Papers...
$41,999
Free shipping
Professional dealer
187
US
Breitling Avenger Skyland M1338010/B864 Very good Steel 45mm Automatic United States of America, Illinois
TOP
Breitling Avenger 45mm Skyland Blacksteel Limited Edition...
$3,886
Professional dealer
15
US
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Chronograph 26062FS.OO.A002CA.01 Unworn Carbon 44mm Automatic United States of America, California, Irvine
TOP
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Carbon Team Alinghi Limited...
$37,800
Free shipping
Professional dealer
8
US
Rolex GMT-Master 1675 Steel 40mm United States of America, New Hampshire, Nashua
TOP
Rolex J35969: Rolex stainless steel Vintage 1960 Pepsi...
$36,000
Professional dealer
190
US
Rolex Sky-Dweller Rolex 326934  Sky-Dweller Stainless Steel Blue Dial Unworn Steel 42mm Automatic United States of America, California, Los Angeles
TOP
Rolex 326934 Sky-Dweller Stainless Steel Blue Dial
$29,500
Professional dealer
108
US
Rolex GMT-Master 16753 Good Gold/Steel 40mm Automatic United States of America, Florida, Coral Gables
TOP
Rolex GMT-Master 1675/3 Eye of the Tiger - Nipple Dial - Ghost...
$13,499
Professional dealer
107
US
Patek Philippe Nautilus 5712/1A-001 Good Steel 40mm Automatic United States of America, Florida, Hollywood
TOP
Patek Philippe Nautilus Moonphase Power Reserve 5712 5712/1A...
$97,000
Professional dealer
24
US
Breitling Super Avenger V13375101 Unworn Titanium 48mm Automatic United States of America, New York, New York
TOP
Breitling Super Avenger Chronograph Night Mission DLC Coated...
$4,899
Free shipping
Professional dealer
358
US
Omega Seamaster Diver 300 M 210.90.42.20.01.001 Unworn Titanium 42mm Automatic United States of America, California, Sunnyvale
TOP
Omega Seamaster Diver 300 M 007
$9,300
Free shipping
Professional dealer
160
US
Rolex Yacht-Master 42 226659 New White gold 42mm Automatic United States of America, California, Los Angeles
TOP
Rolex Yacht-Master 42 White Gold Oysterflex Card/Box/Papers...
$32,999
Free shipping
Professional dealer
187
US
Breitling Chronomat AB011610/BB08 Very good Steel 44mm Automatic United States of America, Illinois
TOP
Breitling 44 Flying Fish Chronomat Steel Extra Strap and Warranty
$5,234
Professional dealer
15
US
Chopard Grand Prix de Monaco Historique 168992-9001 Unworn Titanium 43mm Automatic United States of America, California, Irvine
TOP
Chopard Grand Prix de Monaco Historique Titanium & Rose Gold...
$9,350
Free shipping
Professional dealer
8
US
Rolex Lady-Datejust 279174 Very good Steel 28mm United States of America, New Hampshire, Nashua
TOP
Rolex 35213: Rolex Datejust 28 2017 Full Set Ref. 279174
$7,500
Professional dealer
190
US
Rolex Yacht-Master II Rolex Yacht-Master II 116681 -18k Rose Gold Ceramic-NEW DIAL New Gold/Steel 44mm Automatic United States of America, California, Los Angeles
TOP
Rolex 116681 Yacht-Master II two tone - Mercedes Hands 44mm
$27,388
Professional dealer
108
US
Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra 231.10.42.21.03.003 Very good Steel 41.5mm Automatic United States of America, California, Pasadena
TOP
Omega 41.5 Seamaster Aqua Terra Automatic
$4,150
Professional dealer
67
US
Rolex Explorer II 216570 Very good Steel 42mm Automatic United States of America, California, Fullerton
TOP
Rolex Explorer II Reference #: 216570
$11,500
Professional dealer
80
US
Breitling Superocean Heritage AB2030161 Unworn Steel 44mm Automatic United States of America, New York, New York
TOP
Breitling Superocean Heritage II Stainless Steel Blue Dial...
$4,199
Free shipping
Professional dealer
358
US
Tudor Black Bay Chrono 79360N-0002 New Steel 41mm Automatic United States of America, California, Sunnyvale
TOP
Tudor Dial Chronograph 79360 M79360 Black Bay Chrono
$7,100
Free shipping
Professional dealer
160
US
Rolex Submariner Date 16610LV Very good Steel 40mm Automatic United States of America, California, Los Angeles
TOP
Rolex Submariner Green Kermit 50th Anniversary Z Serial...
$19,499
Free shipping
Professional dealer
187
US
Omega Seamaster Diver 300 M 210.92.42.20.01.001 Very good Titanium 42mm Automatic United States of America, Illinois, Plainfield
TOP
Omega Seamaster Diver 42mm 300m 007 No Time To Die Full Set...
$8,861
Professional dealer
15
US
Rolex Yacht-Master 40 126622 Unworn Steel 40mm Automatic United States of America, Florida, Miami
Rolex 126622 Yacht-Master 40 Rhodium Dial Stainless Steel Mens...
$15,995
Professional dealer
272
US
Rolex Submariner (No Date) 5513 Steel 40mm United States of America, New Hampshire, Nashua
TOP
Rolex M35749: Rolex vintage 1982 Submariner, Ref. 5513
$18,000
Professional dealer
190
US
Rolex Datejust II Rolex 126331 Datejust II Steel Rose Gold Chocolate Dial New Gold/Steel 41mm Automatic United States of America, California, Los Angeles
TOP
Rolex 126331 Datejust II Steel Rose Gold Chocolate Stick Dial...
$14,988
Professional dealer
108
US
Breitling Old Navitimer A13022 Very good Steel 41mm Automatic United States of America, California, Pasadena
TOP
Breitling Navitimer A13022, Serviced + Breitling Strap
$3,850
Professional dealer
67
US
Patek Philippe Nautilus 5800/1A-001 Very good Steel 38.4mm Automatic United States of America, New York, Westchester County
Patek Philippe Nautilus
$105,000
Professional dealer
8
US
Breitling Navitimer AB0117131 Unworn Steel 43mm Automatic United States of America, New York, New York
TOP
Breitling Navitimer B01 Chronograph Stainless Steel Black Dial...
$6,499
Free shipping
Professional dealer
358
US
Rolex Air King 116900 Very good Steel 40mm Automatic United States of America, California, Sunnyvale
TOP
Rolex Air-King
$8,800
Free shipping
Professional dealer
160
US
Rolex Datejust II 126331 New Gold/Steel 41mm Automatic United States of America, California, Los Angeles
TOP
Rolex Datejust 41 Chocolate Index Fluted Jubilee Rose Gold/Eve...
$15,999
Free shipping
Professional dealer
187
US
Bell & Ross BR 03-92 Steel BR0392-SC/SCA Good Steel Automatic United States of America, Illinois
TOP
Bell & Ross BR03-92 AeroGT 42mm Steel Full Set With Extra Strap
$5,900
Professional dealer
15
US
Rolex Daytona 116500LN Unworn Steel 40mm Automatic United States of America, Florida, Miami
Rolex IN STOCK 116500 UNWORN 2020 Daytona White Dial Ceramic...
$37,995
Professional dealer
272
US
Patek Philippe Calatrava 5296G White gold 38mm United States of America, New Hampshire, Nashua
TOP
Patek Philippe (On Hold) 36062: 18k White Gold Calatrava,...
$22,500
Professional dealer
190
US
Rolex Datejust 126333 Unworn Gold/Steel 41mm Automatic United States of America, California, Los Angeles
TOP
Rolex 126333 Datejust Champ Diamond Steel and Yellow Gold 41mm...
$15,180
Professional dealer
108
US
Rolex Submariner Date Rolex 116613LB Very good Gold/Steel Automatic United States of America, Georgia, Alpharetta
Rolex 116613LB
$16,000
Free shipping
Professional dealer
343
US
Rolex Submariner Date 16610LV Very good Steel 40mm Automatic United States of America, California, Fullerton
TOP
Rolex Collectors Dream Rolex Submariner "Kermit" FULL SET...
$22,500
Professional dealer
80
US
Breitling Superocean Heritage AB0162121B1A1 Unworn Steel 44mm Automatic United States of America, New York, New York
TOP
Breitling Superocean Heritage Stainless Steel Black Index Dial...
$6,099
Free shipping
Professional dealer
358
US
Tudor Black Bay Chrono 79360N New Steel 41mm Automatic United States of America, California, Sunnyvale
TOP
Tudor Black Bay Chrono
$6,380
Free shipping
Professional dealer
160
US
Rolex Daytona 16520 Very good Steel 40mm Automatic United States of America, California, Los Angeles
TOP
Rolex Daytona Black Dial Zenith SEL Box & Papers 16520
$34,999
Free shipping
Professional dealer
187
US
Rolex GMT-Master 1675 Very good Steel 40mm Automatic United States of America, New York, Westchester
Rolex GMT-Master 1675 Glossy Gilt Dial
$37,500
Professional dealer
8
US
Rolex Milgauss m116400gv-0002 Unworn Steel United States of America, Florida, Miami
Rolex 116400GV Milgauss Z-Blue Dial 2020 Stainless Steel
$12,995
Professional dealer
272
US
Rolex Daytona 116505 Rose gold 40mm Chronograph United States of America, New Hampshire, Nashua
TOP
Rolex 36018: Rolex 18k Rose Gold Daytona, Ref. 116505, 2011...
$55,000
Professional dealer
190
US
Rolex Datejust 126333 New Gold/Steel 41mm Automatic United States of America, California, Los Angeles
TOP
Rolex 126333 Datejust champ Index dial Steel and Yellow Gold 41mm
$14,000
Professional dealer
108
US
Omega Seamaster Diver 300 M 210.32.42.20.03.001 New Steel 42mm Automatic United States of America, Georgia, Alpharetta
Omega Seamaster Diver 300 M
$4,150
Free shipping
Professional dealer
343
US
Omega Seamaster Diver 300 M 210.30.42.20.03.001 Very good Steel 42mm Automatic United States of America, California, Fullerton
TOP
Omega Seamaster Diver 300 M Reference #: 210.30.42.20.03.001
$4,400
Professional dealer
80
US
Breitling Super Avenger II A13375101 Unworn Steel 48mm Automatic United States of America, New York, New York
TOP
Breitling Super Avenger II Stainless Steel Black Index Dial...
$4,999
Free shipping
Professional dealer
358
US
Cartier Ballon Bleu 33mm W6920071 Very good Steel 33mm Automatic United States of America, California, Sunnyvale
TOP
Cartier Ballon Bleu diamonds aftermarket
$8,320
Free shipping
Professional dealer
160
US
Omega Seamaster Diver 300 M 210.90.42.20.01.001 New Titanium 42mm Automatic United States of America, California, Los Angeles
TOP
Omega 2021 Seamaster Diver 300M Titanium James Bond 007 No...
$9,999
Free shipping
Professional dealer
187
US
Richard Mille RM 67 RM67-02 New Carbon 38.7mm Automatic United States of America, California, Newport Beach
Richard Mille RM67-02 Extra Flat Sebastien Ogier
$369,000
Free shipping
Professional dealer
40
US

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.