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Cartier Calibre de Cartier Diver w7100040 Very good Rose gold 42mm Automatic
TOP
Cartier Calibre De Cartier Diver Chocolate Dial 18ct Rose Gold...
AU$ 29,564
Professional dealer
158
ZA
Franck Muller Vanguard V 45 S6 SQT NR BR Very good Titanium 45mmmm Automatic
TOP
Franck Muller Vanguard Seven Days SQT Skeleton Titanium(Black)
AU$ 29,237
Professional dealer
15
AE
Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Memovox 141848J New Steel 40mmmm Automatic
TOP
Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Memovox Limited Edition 1/500
AU$ 21,858
Professional dealer
15
AE
Arnold & Son HMS1 1LCAP.W01A.C110A New Rose gold 40MMmm Automatic
TOP
Arnold & Son Royal Collection Hms1 - NEW
AU$ 10,957
Professional dealer
15
AE
TAG Heuer Monaco Calibre 11 CAW211A Unworn Steel 39mm Automatic
TOP
TAG Heuer Monaco Steve McQueen Come Nos
AU$ 21,333
Professional dealer
155
IT
Rolex Day-Date 36 18238 Very good Yellow gold 36mm Automatic Australia
Rolex President Day-Date - Great Condition with Rolex Box
AU$ 27,500
Professional dealer
104
AU
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Chronograph 26401.RO.OO.A002.CA.01 Fair Rose gold 44mm Automatic Australia
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Chronograph
AU$ 46,000
Professional dealer
60
AU
Rolex Daytona 116520 Very good Steel 40mm Automatic Australia
Rolex Daytona
AU$ 32,900
Professional dealer
 
AU
Omega Speedmaster Reduced 3510.50.00 Good Steel 39mm Automatic Australia, Frankston South
TOP
Omega Speedmaster Reduced - recently serviced by Omega
AU$ 4,160
Private Seller
 
AU
Patek Philippe Aquanaut 5968A-001 Unworn Steel 42.2mm Automatic Australia, NSW
Patek Philippe Aquanaut
Price on request
Professional dealer
 
AU
Tudor Submariner 79090 Very good Steel 39mm Automatic
Tudor Submariner Prince Oysterdate Automatik Edelstahl...
AU$ 9,928

Sold by Chrono24

DE
Rolex GMT-Master II 116713LN New Gold/Steel 40mm Automatic
TOP
Rolex GMT-Master II Black Men's Watch 116713LN-0001
AU$ 25,053
Free shipping
Professional dealer
635
US
Rolex Oyster Perpetual 36 126000 Unworn Steel 36mm Automatic Australia
Rolex Oyster Perpetual Blue Dial 36mm
AU$ 11,995
Professional dealer
15
AU
Bulgari 103219 New Steel Automatic
TOP
Bulgari Special Edition ROMA 103219
AU$ 7,155
Professional dealer
155
IT
Rolex Oyster Perpetual 39 114300 Unworn Steel 39mm Automatic Australia
Rolex Oyster Perpetual
AU$ 13,000
Professional dealer
104
AU
Rolex Daytona 116519LN New White gold 40mm Automatic Australia
Rolex Daytona 116519LN Full Stickers
AU$ 62,500
Professional dealer
60
AU
Rolex Submariner Date 1680 Very good Steel 40mm Automatic Australia
Rolex Tiffany Dial Submariner Date
AU$ 81,818
Professional dealer
 
AU
Rolex Datejust II 116334 Very good Steel 41mm Automatic Australia, Sydney
TOP
Rolex Datejust II
AU$ 30,000
Private Seller
 
AU
Patek Philippe Nautilus 5711/1A-010 New Steel 40mm Automatic Australia, NSW
Patek Philippe Nautilus
Price on request
Professional dealer
 
AU
Cartier Santos (submodel) 4072 Very good Steel 37.5mm Automatic
Cartier Santos Large Automatik Edelstahl Herrenuhr Ref. 4072...
AU$ 8,944

Sold by Chrono24

DE
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Chronograph 26176FO.OO.D101CR.02 Very good Carbon 42mm Automatic Australia
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Bumble Bee 2009 Full Set...
AU$ 30,000
Professional dealer
60
AU
Rolex Datejust 126334 Unworn Steel 41mm Automatic Australia
Rolex Datejust 41mm Fluted Bezel Blue Stick Dial
AU$ 18,995
Professional dealer
15
AU
Rolex Submariner Date 116610LN New Steel 40mm Automatic Australia
Rolex Submariner Date 40mm
AU$ 22,500
Professional dealer
104
AU
Omega Seamaster Diver 300 M 210.90.42.20.01.001 Very good Titanium 42mm Automatic Australia
Omega Seamaster Diver 300 M 007 “No Time To Die”
AU$ 12,000
Professional dealer
60
AU
Rolex Explorer 214270 New Steel 39mm Automatic Australia
Rolex Explorer I 2020 MK2
AU$ 19,600
Professional dealer
104
AU
Rolex Daytona 116520 Very good Steel 40mm Automatic Australia
Rolex Daytona
AU$ 31,900
Professional dealer
 
AU
Rolex Daytona 116515ln Unworn Rose gold 40mm Automatic Australia, sydney
TOP
Rolex Daytona
AU$ 55,000
Private Seller
 
AU
Rolex Day-Date 40 228206-0004 New Platinum 40mm Automatic Australia, NSW
Rolex Day-Date 40
Price on request
Professional dealer
 
AU
Zenith Defy 95.9000.670/51.M9000 Very good Titanium 41mm Automatic
Zenith Defy Classic Automatik Titan Herrenuhr 95.9000.670/51.M...
AU$ 7,795

Sold by Chrono24

DE
Breitling Navitimer A23322 Very good Steel 41.8mm Automatic Australia
Breitling Navitimer Classic 42 mm with Pilot Bracelet & Extra...
AU$ 8,990
Professional dealer
104
AU
Rolex Submariner Date 126610LN Unworn Steel 41mm Automatic Australia
Rolex Submariner Date 41mm
AU$ 22,795
Professional dealer
15
AU
Rolex Yacht-Master 40 116622 Unworn Steel 40mm Automatic Australia
Rolex Yacht-Master
AU$ 23,500
Professional dealer
104
AU
Rolex Explorer II 216570 New Steel 42mm Automatic Australia
Rolex Explorer II White 216570 Discontinued New
AU$ 18,000
Professional dealer
60
AU
Rolex Explorer II 216570 Unworn Steel 42mm Automatic Australia
Rolex Explorer II
AU$ 21,000
Professional dealer
104
AU
Rolex Submariner Date 116610LV Very good Steel 40mm Automatic Australia
Rolex Submariner "Hulk"
AU$ 34,999
Professional dealer
 
AU
Panerai Luminor Marina 1950 3 Days Automatic PAM 00392 Very good Steel 42mm Automatic Australia, Avalon Beach
TOP
Panerai Luminor Marina 1950 3 Days Automatic
AU$ 10,250
Private Seller
 
AU
Rolex Day-Date 36 118238 New Yellow gold 36mm Automatic Australia, NSW
Rolex Day-Date President
Price on request
Professional dealer
 
AU
Blancpain Fifty Fathoms 5015 12B40 052A Unworn Titanium 45mm Automatic
Blancpain Blanpain Fifty Fathoms Automatik Titan Ref. 5015...
AU$ 18,462

Sold by Chrono24

DE
Tudor Black Bay GMT 79830RB New Steel 41mm Automatic Australia
Tudor Black Bay GMT Pepsi with Full Stickers Intact
AU$ 6,300
Professional dealer
104
AU
Rolex Datejust 126334 Unworn Steel 41mm Automatic Australia
Rolex 2020 Datejust 41mm Grey Dial
AU$ 18,995
Professional dealer
15
AU
Porsche Design Flat Six P6340 Very good Steel 44mm Automatic Australia
Porsche Design Flat Six Chronograph P6340 White Dial
AU$ 4,000
Professional dealer
60
AU
Breitling Navitimer 1 B01 Chronograph 43 AB01212B1C1A1 New Steel 43mm Automatic Australia
Breitling Navitimer 1 B01 Chronograph 43 Pan Am
AU$ 10,155
Professional dealer
104
AU
Rolex Daytona 116508 New Yellow gold 40mm Automatic Australia
Rolex Daytona 2021 full stickers - John Mayer - 116508
AU$ 135,000
Professional dealer
60
AU
Rolex Submariner Date 116618LB Very good Yellow gold 40mm Automatic Australia
Rolex Submariner Date
AU$ 59,900
Professional dealer
 
AU
Rolex Lady-Datejust 178274 Very good 31mm Automatic Australia, South Yarra
TOP
Rolex Oyster Perpetual Datejust
AU$ 10,183
Private Seller
 
AU
Rolex Datejust 126334 New Steel 41mm Automatic Australia, NSW
Rolex Datejust
Price on request
Professional dealer
 
AU
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak E12869 Very good Steel 36mm Automatic
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Automatik Datum Edelstahl Herrenuhr...
AU$ 16,164

Sold by Chrono24

DE
TAG Heuer Monaco CBL2111.FC6453 New Steel 39mm Automatic Australia
TAG Heuer Monaco Calibre Heuer02 Chronograph
AU$ 7,500
Professional dealer
104
AU
Rolex Datejust II 126331 Unworn Rose gold 41mm Automatic Australia
Rolex Datejust 41mm Chocolate Diamond Dial Two Tone Everose...
AU$ 25,000
Professional dealer
15
AU
Rolex Submariner Date 116610LN Good Steel 40mm Automatic Australia
Rolex Submariner Date
AU$ 17,995
Professional dealer
 
AU
Rolex Daytona 116500LN Very good Steel 40mm Automatic Australia
Rolex Daytona
AU$ 56,900
Professional dealer
 
AU
Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Calendar 140.8.87 Good Steel 37mm Automatic Australia
Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Control Calendar 140.8.87
AU$ 6,500
Professional dealer
60
AU
Oris Aquis 01 735 7673 4185-Set RS Good Steel Automatic Australia
Oris Aquis Great Barrier Reef Limited Edition II
AU$ 2,633
Professional dealer
104
AU
Breitling B13047 - 81950 Good Steel 39mm Automatic Australia, Glen Waverley
TOP
Breitling Chronoliner Yachting
AU$ 3,120
Private Seller
 
AU
Rolex Day-Date 36 18038 New Yellow gold 36mm Automatic Australia, NSW
Rolex Day-Date
Price on request
Professional dealer
 
AU
Audemars Piguet Jules Audemars 25859ST Very good Steel 39mm Automatic
Audemars Piguet Jules Audemars Chronograph Automatik Stahl...
AU$ 14,031

Sold by Chrono24

DE
Rolex Submariner (No Date) 114060 New Steel 40mm Automatic Australia
Rolex Submariner
AU$ 20,500
Professional dealer
 
AU
Rolex Submariner Date 116610LV Unworn Steel 40mm Automatic Australia
Rolex 2020 Submariner Hulk
AU$ 35,990
Professional dealer
15
AU
Rolex GMT-Master II 116710BLNR Very good Steel 40mm Automatic Australia
Rolex GMT-Master II "Batman"
AU$ 27,500
Professional dealer
 
AU
Rolex Sea-Dweller 126600 New Steel 43mm Automatic Australia
Rolex Sea-Dweller
AU$ 23,800
Professional dealer
 
AU
Rolex Sky-Dweller 326934 Unworn Steel 42mm Automatic Australia
Rolex Sky-Dweller Blue 326934
AU$ 38,000
Professional dealer
60
AU
Rolex Submariner Date 116610LV Unworn Steel 40mm Automatic Australia
Rolex Submariner Green "Hulk" - 2019 Mint/Unworn
AU$ 34,000
Professional dealer
104
AU
Breitling Superocean Heritage 46 U17320 Very good Gold/Steel 46mm Automatic Australia, 2160
TOP
Breitling Superocean Heritage 46
AU$ 6,300
Private Seller
 
AU
Rolex 16610 New Steel 40mm Automatic Australia, NSW
Rolex Submariner No Date
AU$ 21,060
Professional dealer
 
AU

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.