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Vacheron Constantin Overseas Automatic
TOP
Vacheron Constantin Overseas Automatic
AU$ 24,689
Seller
Ronald Grob, Exklusive Zeitmesser
168
CH
Doxa GRANDE METRE BLUE PLANET LIMITED EDITION 800PCS WORLD
TOP
Doxa GRANDE METRE BLUE PLANET LIMITED EDITION 800PCS WORLD
AU$ 4,825
Free shipping
Seller
Przedsiębiorstwo Handlowe Usługowe
172
PL
Seiko Limited Edition Presage Power Res Fuyugeshiki Men's...
TOP
Seiko Limited Edition Presage Power Res Fuyugeshiki Men's...
AU$ 801
Seller
Diligence#1 International Distribution Inc.
PH
H.Moser & Cie. Pioneer Centre Seconds
TOP
H.Moser & Cie. Pioneer Centre Seconds
AU$ 14,611
Seller
chronostars
13
AT
Seiko Marinemaster 300m
TOP
Seiko Marinemaster 300m
AU$ 4,000
Seller
Private Seller
 
AU
TAG Heuer Calibre 5 Connected
TOP
TAG Heuer Calibre 5 Connected
AU$ 4,400
Seller
Private Seller
 
AU
Panerai Luminor 1950 3 Days GMT Automatic
TOP
Panerai Luminor 1950 3 Days GMT Automatic
AU$ 7,950
Seller
Private Seller
 
AU
TAG Heuer Carrera Calibre 1887
TOP
TAG Heuer Carrera Calibre 1887
AU$ 4,250
Seller
Private Seller
 
AU
Montblanc P8262670
TOP
Montblanc P8262670
AU$ 1,499
Seller
Private Seller
 
AU
Longines Elegant
TOP
Longines Elegant
AU$ 1,900
Seller
Private Seller
 
AU
IWC Pilot Chronograph Top Gun Miramar
TOP
IWC Pilot Chronograph Top Gun Miramar
AU$ 8,600
Seller
Private Seller
 
AU
Breitling Chronoliner Yachting
TOP
Breitling Chronoliner Yachting
AU$ 3,699
Seller
Private Seller
 
AU
BRANDBOUTIQUE Member
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Damasko da44.0255
TOP
Damasko da44.0255
AU$ 1,980
Seller
Private Seller
 
AU
Cartier Calibre Diver Wsca0010
TOP
Cartier Calibre Diver Wsca0010
AU$ 8,463
Seller
Mall of the Watch
957
MC
Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra
TOP
Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra
AU$ 9,852
Seller
Private Seller
 
AU
Seiko Presage
Seiko Presage
AU$ 450
Seller
Private Seller
AU
Rolex Daytona
Rolex Daytona
AU$ 21,616
Seller
Private Seller
AU
Maurice Lacroix Pontos Chronographe
Maurice Lacroix Pontos Chronographe
AU$ 1,200
Seller
Private Seller
AU
Seiko 5 Series Automatic
Seiko 5 Series Automatic
AU$ 75
Seller
Private Seller
 
AU
Panerai Luminor Submersible 1950 3 Days Automatic
Panerai Luminor Submersible 1950 3 Days Automatic
AU$ 9,200
Seller
Private Seller
AU
Bell & Ross Vintage 126XL  Limited Edition
TOP
Bell & Ross Vintage 126XL Limited Edition
AU$ 11,936
Seller
Fernando Monge SA
141
ES
Rolex GMT-Master II 116759SARU june 2020 Rolex warranty
TOP
Rolex GMT-Master II 116759SARU june 2020 Rolex warranty
AU$ 110,179
Seller
MMC RIVIERA
6
MC
Tissot PRS 516 Automatic
Tissot PRS 516 Automatic
AU$ 1,049
Seller
Private Seller
AU
Steinhart Nav B-Chrono II
Steinhart Nav B-Chrono II
AU$ 1,099
Seller
Private Seller
AU
Rolex OYSTER PERPETUAL CHRONOMETER 18K GOLD HONEYCOMB WABENBLATT
TOP
Rolex OYSTER PERPETUAL CHRONOMETER 18K GOLD HONEYCOMB WABENBLATT
AU$ 7,968
Seller
Timeless Watches GmbH
271
DE
Rolex Day-Date
Rolex Day-Date
AU$ 14,000
Seller
Private Seller
 
AU
Urwerk UR110
Urwerk UR110
AU$ 73,183
Seller
Private Seller
AU
Omega Speedmaster Reduced
Omega Speedmaster Reduced
AU$ 2,817
Seller
Private Seller
 
AU
Seiko 5 Series Automatic
Seiko 5 Series Automatic
AU$ 75
Seller
Private Seller
 
AU
Rolex Datejust Pearlmaster
TOP
Rolex Datejust Pearlmaster
AU$ 31,905
Free shipping
Seller
Chronometrie Stäuble AG
 
CH
Chronoswiss Opus
Chronoswiss Opus
AU$ 11,490
Seller
Private Seller
AU
Panerai Luminor Submersible
Panerai Luminor Submersible
AU$ 7,500
Seller
Private Seller
AU
Patek Philippe Nautilus 3800 18K White Gold first serie 1996
TOP
Patek Philippe Nautilus 3800 18K White Gold first serie 1996
AU$ 103,792
Seller
MMC RIVIERA
6
MC
Hublot Classic Fusion 45, 42, 38, 33 mm
Hublot Classic Fusion 45, 42, 38, 33 mm
AU$ 6,000
Seller
Private Seller
 
AU
Omega Automatic 18CT GOLD De Ville
Omega Automatic 18CT GOLD De Ville
AU$ 1,500
Seller
Private Seller
AU
Bentley 'aviator' Automatic Watch Open Heart 43mm S/s Case...
Bentley 'aviator' Automatic Watch Open Heart 43mm S/s Case...
AU$ 600
Seller
Watchpartners
AU
Fortis B42 Official Cosmonaut Alarm Chronograph
Fortis B42 Official Cosmonaut Alarm Chronograph
AU$ 7,265
Seller
Private Seller
AU
Breguet Type XX - XXI - XXII
Breguet Type XX - XXI - XXII
AU$ 5,999
Seller
Private Seller
AU
TAG Heuer Tag Professioanl 2000
TAG Heuer Tag Professioanl 2000
AU$ 690
Seller
Private Seller
AU
Rolex Datejust II Collector Estate Watch
TOP
Rolex Datejust II Collector Estate Watch
AU$ 15,481
Seller
Private Seller
AU
Corum Admiral's Cup AC-One
TOP
Corum Admiral's Cup AC-One
AU$ 7,782
Free shipping
Seller
Chronometrie Stäuble AG
 
CH
TAG Heuer Monaco calibre 11 Gulf 50th Anniversary-xx/50
TAG Heuer Monaco calibre 11 Gulf 50th Anniversary-xx/50
AU$ 19,750
Seller
Private Seller
 
AU
TAG Heuer Carrera Calibre 16
TAG Heuer Carrera Calibre 16
AU$ 2,300
Seller
Private Seller
 
AU
Breitling Cockpit
Breitling Cockpit
AU$ 2,995
Seller
Private Seller
AU
Chronoswiss Delphis Jump White Gold Black Face RARE
Chronoswiss Delphis Jump White Gold Black Face RARE
AU$ 7,995
Seller
Private Seller
AU
Rolex Submariner (No Date)
Rolex Submariner (No Date)
AU$ 10,700
Seller
Private Seller
 
AU
Tudor Prince Date
Tudor Prince Date
AU$ 4,216
Seller
Private Seller
AU
Omega Speedmaster Day Date
Omega Speedmaster Day Date
AU$ 3,400
Seller
Private Seller
AU
Rolex Oyster Perpetual
Rolex Oyster Perpetual
AU$ 6,999
Seller
Private Seller
 
AU
TAG Heuer Carrera caliber 1887
TAG Heuer Carrera caliber 1887
AU$ 3,800
Seller
Private Seller
 
AU
Cartier Tank Anglaise
Cartier Tank Anglaise
AU$ 3,999
Seller
Private Seller
AU
Rolex GMT-Master II 116758SARU with 2 years warranty
TOP
Rolex GMT-Master II 116758SARU with 2 years warranty
AU$ 110,179
Seller
MMC RIVIERA
6
MC
Hublot Big Bang Tutti Frutti
TOP
Hublot Big Bang Tutti Frutti
AU$ 28,226
Free shipping
Seller
Chronometrie Stäuble AG
 
CH
Hublot Iconic Big Bang Earl Grey Steel ref 342.ST.5010.LR Watch
TOP
Hublot Iconic Big Bang Earl Grey Steel ref 342.ST.5010.LR Watch
AU$ 21,110
Free shipping
Seller
Ye Olde Timekeepers, Inc.
22
US
Locman Watch Montecristo Classic Quartz Chronograph 44mm Pvd...
Locman Watch Montecristo Classic Quartz Chronograph 44mm Pvd...
AU$ 981
Seller
Watchpartners
AU
TAG Heuer Calibre 17
TAG Heuer Calibre 17
AU$ 5,000
Seller
Private Seller
AU
Burberry BB1602 The Britain 38mm
Burberry BB1602 The Britain 38mm
AU$ 800
Seller
Private Seller
 
AU
Titoni SEASCOPER 83985 SRB-517 Gents Auto Watch
Titoni SEASCOPER 83985 SRB-517 Gents Auto Watch
AU$ 1,000
Seller
JOYCE JEWELLERY
11
AU
Tudor Prince Date
Tudor Prince Date
AU$ 3,800
Seller
Private Seller
 
AU
NOMOS Club Automat Datum Dunkel
NOMOS Club Automat Datum Dunkel
AU$ 3,300
Seller
Private Seller
 
AU
Panerai Luminor 1950 3 Days Chrono Flyback
Panerai Luminor 1950 3 Days Chrono Flyback
AU$ 9,545
Seller
Private Seller
 
AU
Movado Tempomatic
Movado Tempomatic
AU$ 450
Seller
Private Seller
AU
Roger Dubuis EXCALIBUR
Roger Dubuis EXCALIBUR
AU$ 87,000
Seller
Private Seller
AU
Hublot Aero Bang, limited edition "Jet Li" 140/200
TOP
Hublot Aero Bang, limited edition "Jet Li" 140/200
AU$ 18,322
Free shipping
Seller
Chronometrie Stäuble AG
 
CH
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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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