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TAG Heuer Carrera CBG2A10.FT6168 New Steel 45mm Automatic United States of America, California, San Mateo
TOP
TAG Heuer Carrera Calibre Heuer 02 Automatic Skeleton Dial...
$4,229
Free shipping
Professional dealer
3833
US
Hublot Classic Fusion 45, 42, 38, 33 mm 501.CM.1110.RX Very good Ceramic 45mm Automatic United States of America, Georgia, Atlanta
TOP
Hublot Classic Fusion All Black 501.CM.1110.RX Watch with...
$7,000
Free shipping
Professional dealer
940
US
Longines Legend Diver L37744506 New Steel 42mm Automatic United States of America, California, San Mateo
TOP
Longines Heritage Legend Diver Automatic Black Dial Men's...
$2,279
Free shipping
Professional dealer
3833
US
Maurice Lacroix AIKON AI6058-SS002-430-1 New Steel 43mm Automatic United States of America, California, Burlingame
TOP
Maurice Lacroix Aikon Venturer Automatic Blue Dial Men's Watch...
$1,529
Free shipping
Professional dealer
3833
US
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Selfwinding 15400st.oo.1220st.01 New Steel 41mm Automatic United States of America, California, Los Angeles
TOP
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Selfwinding
$40,991
Professional dealer
 
US
Franck Muller Vanguard V45 SC DT KRYPTON CARBON New Carbon 44mm Automatic
TOP
Franck Muller Vanguard Krypton Carbon Case (New Full Set)
$10,575
Free shipping
Professional dealer
12
HK
Rolex Datejust 126300 Unworn Steel 41mm Automatic United States of America, California, Pasadena
TOP
Rolex 41mm Datejust with 3 carat diamond bezel
$11,442
Professional dealer
45
US
Rolex Sea-Dweller 126603 New Gold/Steel 43mm Automatic United States of America, Delaware, Middletown
TOP
Rolex Sea-Dweller Brand 126603 18 ct
$19,310
Professional dealer
 
US
Vacheron Constantin Overseas Chronograph 49150/B01A-9095 Very good Steel 42mm Automatic United States of America, California, Los Angeles
TOP
Vacheron Constantin Overseas Chronograph 2019 Silver Dial...
$18,250
Free shipping
Professional dealer
138
US
Patek Philippe Annual Calendar Chronograph 5960/1A-001 Very good Steel 40.5mm Automatic United States of America, New York, New York
TOP
Patek Philippe 5960/1A-001 Annual Calendar Chronograph, Silver...
$45,900
Professional dealer
12
US
Zenith 51.2080.4061/69.C494 Very good Steel 42mm Automatic United States of America, Pennsylvania, Bala Cynwyd
TOP
Zenith El Primero Chronograph 51.2080.4061/69.C494
$7,450
Free shipping
Professional dealer
1384
US
Omega Speedmaster Racing 326.30.40.50.02.001 Very good Steel 40mm Automatic United States of America, Virginia, Manassas
TOP
Omega Speedmaster Racing Discontinued Co-Axial Chronograph 40...
$3,486
Free shipping
Professional dealer
 
US
Rolex Datejust 16234 Very good Steel 36mm Automatic United States of America, New York, New York
TOP
Rolex Oyster Perpetual Datejust 16234 Mens Watch
$5,399
Professional dealer
470
US
Rolex Datejust 126300 Unworn Silver 41mm Automatic United States of America, California, Los Angeles
TOP
Rolex 2020 Datejust 41 MM Oyster Band W/h Diamonds
$28,495
Professional dealer
 
US
Jacob & Co. ES101.20.NS.LH.A New Titanium 45mm Automatic
TOP
Jacob & Co. EPIC SF24 Grade 5 Titanium (New Full Set)
$54,198
Free shipping
Professional dealer
12
HK
Rolex Submariner Date 1680 Very good Steel 40mm Automatic United States of America, California, Pasadena
TOP
Rolex 1680 Submariner—Unpolished—Box, Papers and much more...
$29,000
Professional dealer
45
US
Rolex Datejust 116200 Unworn Steel 36mm Automatic United States of America, California, encino
TOP
Rolex Datejust 116200
$7,150
Professional dealer
 
US
Rolex Explorer II 216570 New Steel 42mm Automatic United States of America, California, Los Angeles
TOP
Rolex Explorer II 42mm White/Polar Late 2020 New Green...
$13,249
Free shipping
Professional dealer
138
US
Patek Philippe Aquanaut 5165A-001 Very good Steel 38mm Automatic United States of America, New York, New York
TOP
Patek Philippe Ref# 5165A-001 Aquanaut, Stainless, Complete, RARE
$49,900
Professional dealer
12
US
Bulgari Octo 103297 Very good Steel 40mm Automatic United States of America, Pennsylvania, Bala Cynwyd
TOP
Bulgari Octo Finissimo 103297
$10,450
Free shipping
Professional dealer
1384
US
Breitling Superocean 44 M1739313/BE92 Very good Steel 44mm Automatic United States of America, Virginia, Manassas
TOP
Breitling Superocean 44 black Special sale weekend special
$3,145
Free shipping
Professional dealer
 
US
Breguet Marine 5817BR/Z2/5V8 Very good Rose gold 40mm Automatic United States of America, Texas, Austin
TOP
Breguet : Marine : 5817BR/Z2/5V8 : 18k rose gold
$14,510
Professional dealer
727
US
Rolex Datejust II 116334 Very good Steel 41mm Automatic United States of America, California, Los Angeles
TOP
Rolex Datejust II 41 MM Fluted 18K Gold Bezel Roman Grey Dial...
$10,895
Professional dealer
 
US
Franck Muller Vanguard V 45 SC DT YACHT (AC) New Steel 45mm Automatic
TOP
Franck Muller Vanguard Stainless Steel Case Blue Dial (New...
$6,345
Free shipping
Professional dealer
12
HK
Breitling Bentley Flying B A28362 Very good Steel 38.5mm Automatic United States of America, California, Pasadena
TOP
Breitling Bentley Flying B, Serviced by Breitling in 2021
$4,650
Professional dealer
45
US
Rolex Sea-Dweller 126603-0001 New Yellow gold 43mm Automatic United States of America, California, ENCINO
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Rolex Sea-Dweller Brand 126603 18 ct
$18,900
Professional dealer
 
US
Rolex Submariner (No Date) 114060 Very good Steel 40mm Automatic United States of America, California, Los Angeles
TOP
Rolex Submariner No Date 2020 40mm Box/Papers/Card 114060
$11,999
Free shipping
Professional dealer
138
US
Patek Philippe Nautilus 5712R-001 Very good Rose gold Automatic United States of America, New York, New York
TOP
Patek Philippe Ref# 5712R-001, Rose Gold Nautilus, Like New
$84,900
Professional dealer
12
US
IWC Pilot Worldtimer IW3262-01 Very good Steel 45mm Automatic United States of America, Pennsylvania, Bala Cynwyd
TOP
IWC Pilot's Watch Worldtimer IW3262-01
$5,950
Free shipping
Professional dealer
1384
US
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Double Balance Wheel Openworked 15467OR.OO.1256OR.01 New Rose gold 37mm Automatic United States of America, New York, Brooklyn
TOP
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Double Balance Wheel Openworked...
$91,999
Professional dealer
28
US
IWC Aquatimer Chronograph IW379503 Good Bronze 44mm Automatic United States of America, Texas, Austin
TOP
IWC : Aquatimer Chronograph Expedition Charles Darwin :...
$5,980
Professional dealer
727
US
Cartier Santos (submodel) WSSA0030 New Steel 39.8mm Automatic United States of America, California, Los Angeles
TOP
Cartier Santos De Cartier Automatic Steel Dark Blue Sunburst...
$8,095
Professional dealer
 
US
Franck Muller Vanguard V 45 SC DT GLACIER (GL) New Steel 45mm Automatic
TOP
Franck Muller Vanguard Glacier Steel Case Grey Dial (New Full...
$7,138
Free shipping
Professional dealer
12
HK
Rolex Sky-Dweller 326934 Very good Steel 42mm Automatic United States of America, New York, New York
TOP
Rolex Sky Dweller 326934 Mens Watch Box & Papers
$19,899
Professional dealer
470
US
Rolex Sea-Dweller New Steel Automatic United States of America, California, encino
TOP
Rolex Sea-Dweller 50th Anniversary 126600
$16,999
Professional dealer
 
US
Rolex Datejust 126334 New Steel 41mm Automatic United States of America, California, Los Angeles
TOP
Rolex Datejust 41 White Roman Fluted Jubilee Box/Papers/Card...
$11,499
Free shipping
Professional dealer
138
US
Patek Philippe Aquanaut 5167/1A-001 Very good Steel 40mm Automatic United States of America, New York, New York
TOP
Patek Philippe Ref# 5167/1A-001 Stainless Steel Aquanaut
$47,900
Professional dealer
12
US
Bulgari Octo 102859 Very good Titanium 41mm Automatic United States of America, Pennsylvania, Bala Cynwyd
TOP
Bulgari Octo L'Originale Chronograph 102859
$7,450
Free shipping
Professional dealer
1384
US
Breitling Superocean 44 M1739313/BE92 Very good Steel 44mm Automatic United States of America, Virginia, Manassas
TOP
Breitling Superocean 44 black Special Fire Red weekend special
$3,145
Free shipping
Professional dealer
 
US
Rolex Sea-Dweller 126600 New Steel 43mm Automatic United States of America, New York, Brooklyn
TOP
Rolex Sea-Dweller UnWorn Warranty 2021 “126600“
$15,999
Professional dealer
28
US
Rolex Datejust M126300-0002 New Steel 41mm Automatic United States of America, California, Los Angeles
TOP
Rolex 2020 Date Just Model With Jubilee Band And 41mm Dial
$10,895
Professional dealer
 
US
Jacob & Co. ES101.40.NS.LR.A New Rose gold 45mm Automatic
TOP
Jacob & Co. EPIC SF24 Rose Gold (New Full Set)
$68,078
Free shipping
Professional dealer
12
HK
Rolex Lady-Datejust 69173 Very good Steel 26mm Automatic United States of America, New York, New York
TOP
Rolex Datejust 69173 Tapestry Dial Ladies Watch
$4,299
Professional dealer
470
US
Ulysse Nardin Marine 263-22M-7 /30GR Good Steel 38mm Automatic United States of America, Florida, Sarasota
TOP
Ulysse Nardin Marine Chronometer 1846 Automatic 38mm Men's...
$3,255
Free shipping
Professional dealer
887
US
Tudor Black Bay GMT M79830RB-0001 New Steel 41mm Automatic United States of America, California, Los Angeles
TOP
Tudor Black Bay GMT 79830RB Red/Blue Pepsi Box/Papers/Card
$4,499
Free shipping
Professional dealer
138
US
Patek Philippe Nautilus 5711/1A-011 Very good Steel 40mm Automatic United States of America, New York, New York
TOP
Patek Philippe 5711/1A-011, Nautilus, Discontinued
$94,900
Professional dealer
12
US
Oris Divers Sixty Five 01 733 7707 4055-07 4 20 18 Very good Steel 40mm Automatic United States of America, Pennsylvania, Bala Cynwyd
TOP
Oris Divers Sixty-Five 01 733 7707 4055-07 4 20 18
$1,395
Free shipping
Professional dealer
1384
US
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Jumbo 15202ST Very good Steel 39mm Automatic United States of America, Massachusetts, Boston
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak 15202ST Extra Thin Blue Dial SS (36774)
$59,500
Professional dealer
676
US
Rolex Submariner Date 116610LN New Steel 40mm Automatic United States of America, New York, Brooklyn
TOP
Rolex Submariner Date Never Worn September 2020 40MM discontin...
$13,899
Professional dealer
28
US
Rolex Submariner Date 116610LN Unworn Steel 40mm Automatic
TOP
Rolex Submariner Date Mint, looks and feels
$13,798
Professional dealer
13
CA
Jacob & Co. ES101.20.NS.YG.A New Titanium 45mm Automatic
TOP
Jacob & Co. EPIC SF24 Racing Grade 5 Titanium Green (New Full...
$59,287
Free shipping
Professional dealer
12
HK
Rolex Datejust 16233 Very good Steel 36mm Automatic United States of America, New York, New York
TOP
Rolex Datejust 16233 Mens Watch
$6,699
Professional dealer
470
US
Parmigiani Fleurier Tonda PFC288-0001400-XA1442 New Steel 40mm Automatic United States of America, Florida, Sarasota
TOP
Parmigiani Fleurier Tonda 1950 Automatic 40mm Black Dial Mens...
$5,000
Free shipping
Professional dealer
887
US
Rolex Datejust 126200 New Steel 36mm Automatic United States of America, California, Los Angeles
TOP
Rolex Datejust 36 White Roman Smooth Oyster Box/Papers/Card...
$7,799
Free shipping
Professional dealer
138
US
Patek Philippe Nautilus 3800/1 Very good Steel Automatic United States of America, New York, New York
TOP
Patek Philippe Ref# 3800/1 Nautilus Steel Black Roman Dial,...
$44,900
Professional dealer
12
US
Breitling Chronomat AB0115101F1A1 Very good Steel 44mm Automatic United States of America, Pennsylvania, Bala Cynwyd
TOP
Breitling Chronomat B01 Chronograph AB0115101F1A1
$5,750
Free shipping
Professional dealer
1384
US
Rolex Daytona 116520 Very good Steel 40mm Automatic United States of America, Massachusetts, Boston
Rolex Daytona 116520 Black Dial SS FULL SET (36307)
$21,900
Professional dealer
676
US
Rolex Daytona 116508 New Yellow gold 40mm Automatic United States of America, Florida, Coconut Creek
Rolex Daytona 116508 Yellow Gold Green Dial 2021
$79,995
Professional dealer
8
US
Rolex GMT-Master II 116710LN Unworn Steel 40mm Automatic United States of America, New York, New York
TOP
Rolex GMT-Master II Black 116710LN 2020 Unworn NEW CARD
$16,995
Free shipping
Professional dealer
524
US
Franck Muller Vanguard V45 SC DT CARBON New Carbon 44mm Automatic
TOP
Franck Muller Vanguard Carbon Case (New Full Set)
$9,914
Free shipping
Professional dealer
12
HK
Rolex Day-Date 18346 Very good Platinum 36mm Automatic United States of America, New York, New York
TOP
Rolex Day-Date President 18346 Platinum Diamond Mens Watch
$24,999
Professional dealer
470
US
Rolex Submariner Date 116619LB New White gold 40mm Automatic United States of America, New York, Brooklyn
TOP
Rolex Submariner 40mm Discontinued Model Never Worn “New”...
$45,599
Professional dealer
28
US
Tudor Black Bay GMT 79830RB New Steel 41mm Automatic United States of America, California, Los Angeles
TOP
Tudor Black Bay GMT 79830RB Red/Blue Pepsi Stickers Box/Papers...
$3,999
Free shipping
Professional dealer
138
US
Patek Philippe Travel Time 5524G-001 Very good White gold 42mm Automatic United States of America, New York, New York
TOP
Patek Philippe Ref# 5524G-001, Calatrava Pilot Travel Time
$45,900
Professional dealer
12
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.


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