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Eterna 297043421353 New Steel 41mm Automatic
TOP
Eterna Adventic Automatic Swiss Made
$882
Professional dealer
73
HK
Longines Flagship L48743917 New Automatic United States of America, California, San Mateo
TOP
Longines Flagship Automatic White Dial Men's Watch - L48743917
$1,240
Free shipping
Professional dealer
4784
US
Omega Speedmaster Racing 329.30.44.51.04.001 New Steel Automatic United States of America, Pennsylvania, Moosic
TOP
Omega Speedmaster Racing NEW
$7,175
Free shipping
Professional dealer
 
US
Omega De Ville Prestige 424.20.40.20.02.005 New Gold/Steel Automatic
TOP
Omega De Ville Prestige Co-Axial Chronometer
$6,848
Professional dealer
73
HK
Ulysse Nardin Classic Minute Repeater 739-61 New Platinum Automatic United States of America, Texas, Laredo
TOP
Ulysse Nardin Erotica Minute Repeater 42mm (Limited of 18 Pieces)
$250,000
Professional dealer
39
US
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Chronograph 26400SO.OO.A055CA.01 New Steel 44mm Automatic United States of America, Florida, Orlando
TOP
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Chronograph NEW Khaki Green...
$46,495
Professional dealer
651
US
Franck Muller Vanguard V45 YT SC DT AC BL New Steel 44mm Automatic United States of America, Florida, Miami
TOP
Franck Muller Vanguard KOI
$7,900
Professional dealer
301
US
Rolex GMT-Master 1675 Good Steel 40mm Automatic United States of America, New York, New York
Rolex GMT-Master
$17,495
Free shipping
Professional dealer
26
US
Rolex Daytona Very good Yellow gold 40mm Automatic United States of America, New York, Smithtown
TOP
Rolex 2016 Rolex Daytona 18K Yellow Gold GREEN DIAL 40mm...
$77,494
Free shipping
Professional dealer
487
US
Panerai Luminor 1950 10 Days GMT PAM 00335 Very good Ceramic 44mm Automatic United States of America, Arizona, Mesa
TOP
Panerai Luminor 1950 10 Days GMT PAM00335 2015 Excellent
$11,600
Professional dealer
14
US
Breguet Type XX - XXI - XXII 3800 Very good Steel 39mm Automatic United States of America, California, Newport Beach, Orange County, CA
TOP
Breguet Type Xx Aeronavale Black Dial Chronograph Flyback...
$5,295
Free shipping
Professional dealer
78
US
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Chronograph 26170ST.OO.D101CR.03 Very good Steel 42mm Automatic United States of America, California, Los Angeles
TOP
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Chronograph Black 42mm...
$23,999
Free shipping
Professional dealer
213
US
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Chronograph 26401RO.OO.A002CA.02 New Rose gold 44mm Automatic United States of America, California, Sunnyvale
TOP
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Chronograph
$57,800
Free shipping
Professional dealer
185
US
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Selfwinding 15400ST.OO.1220ST.03 Unworn Steel 41mm Automatic United States of America, New York, NEW YORK
TOP
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Selfwinding 41mm Blue Dial Stainless...
$54,500
Free shipping
Professional dealer
225
US
Rolex Sky-Dweller 326238 New Yellow gold 42mm Automatic United States of America, Florida, Orlando
TOP
Rolex 2021 Sky-Dweller Yellow Gold OysterFlex NEW White Dial...
$44,495
Professional dealer
651
US
Rolex Daytona 116518 Unworn Yellow gold 40mm Automatic United States of America, California, Pasadena
TOP
Rolex UNWORN Daytona — Tahitian Pearl Dial — Box and Papers —...
$48,500
Professional dealer
92
US
Vacheron Constantin Unworn Yellow gold 36mm Automatic United States of America, New York, New York
Vacheron Constantin 6727
$5,495
Free shipping
Professional dealer
26
US
Patek Philippe Annual Calendar 5146P Very good Platinum 39mm Automatic United States of America, New York, Smithtown
TOP
Patek Philippe 2009 Annual Calendar Moon Phase Platinum 5146...
$44,994
Free shipping
Professional dealer
487
US
Rolex Datejust II 126300 Very good Steel 41mm Automatic United States of America, Florida, Hollywood
TOP
Rolex Datejust II 41mm 126300 BLUE Stick Dial Jubilee Bracelet...
$10,850
Professional dealer
36
US
IWC Pilot Chronograph IW371701 Very good Steel 42mm Automatic United States of America, California, Newport Beach, Orange County, CA
TOP
IWC Chronograph
$4,195
Free shipping
Professional dealer
78
US
Rolex Submariner Date 16610LV Very good Steel 40mm Automatic United States of America, California, Los Angeles
TOP
Rolex Submariner Green Kermit UNPOLISHED Engraved Rehaut M...
$22,499
Free shipping
Professional dealer
213
US
Rolex Submariner Date 116610LV Very good Steel 40mm Automatic United States of America, California, Sunnyvale
TOP
Rolex Submariner "Hulk" 2019
$23,500
Free shipping
Professional dealer
185
US
H.Moser & Cie. 6200-1200 Very good Steel 40mm Automatic United States of America, Pennsylvania, Bala Cynwyd
TOP
H.Moser & Cie. & Cie Streamliner Centre Seconds 6200-1200
$26,950
Free shipping
Professional dealer
1671
US
Rolex Daytona 116515ln New Rose gold 40mm Automatic United States of America, Florida, Orlando
TOP
Rolex 2021 Everose Gold Daytona Pink Dial NEW OysterFlex 116515LN
$48,995
Professional dealer
651
US
Omega Seamaster Diver 300 M 212.30.41.20.03.001 Very good Steel 41mm Automatic United States of America, California, Pasadena
TOP
Omega 41mm Seamaster — Serviced by Omega in August 2021 — Box...
$4,150
Professional dealer
92
US
Certina 5801 112 Unworn Steel 36mm Automatic United States of America, New York, New York
Certina DS Automatic
$1,895
Free shipping
Professional dealer
26
US
Rolex Daytona 116505 Very good Rose gold 40mm Automatic United States of America, New York, Smithtown
TOP
Rolex MINT Rolex Daytona Cosmograph Black Stick 40mm 18K...
$48,994
Free shipping
Professional dealer
487
US
Seiko Grand Seiko SBGH281G Very good Steel United States of America, Florida, Hollywood
TOP
Seiko Grand Seiko Heritage 60th Anniversary Limited Edition...
$6,000
Professional dealer
36
US
Omega Speedmaster '57 331.10.42.51.01.002 Very good Steel 41.5mm Automatic United States of America, California, Newport Beach, Orange County, CA
TOP
Omega Speedmaster '57 Chronograph
$5,495
Free shipping
Professional dealer
78
US
Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean 215.30.44.21.01.001 Very good Steel 43.5mm Automatic United States of America, California, Los Angeles
TOP
Omega 2021 Seamaster Planet Ocean 600M 43.5mm Box/Cards...
$5,249
Free shipping
Professional dealer
213
US
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Chronograph 26470ST.OO.A104CR.01 Very good Steel 42mm Automatic United States of America, New York, NEW YORK
TOP
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Chronograph "Elephant" Grey...
$28,500
Free shipping
Professional dealer
225
US
Rolex Datejust 126334 New Steel 41mm Automatic United States of America, Illinois, Springfield
TOP
Rolex Datejust 41 2021 with stickers
$16,000
Professional dealer
161
US
Rolex GMT-Master II 16710T New Steel 40mm Automatic United States of America, Pennsylvania, HARRISBURG
TOP
Rolex GMT-Master II UN-WORN Boxes Papers Pepsi Blue Red Bezel...
$19,378
Free shipping
Professional dealer
192
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
92
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.