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Rolex Oyster Perpetual 28 276200 Unworn Steel 28mm Automatic Australia, Sydney
Rolex Oyster Perpetual 28 2021 Unworn
AU$7,650
+ AU$100 for shipping
Professional dealer
5.00 (13)
AU
Rolex GMT-Master II 116713LN Very good Gold/Steel 40mm Automatic Australia, Melburne
Rolex GMT-Master II
AU$25,500
+ AU$69 for shipping
Professional dealer
5.00 (6)
AU
Rolex Day-Date 36 18238 Very good Yellow gold 36mm Automatic
Rolex Day-Date "Tapestry Dial" 18K Gold Herrenuhr Oyster...
AU$31,609
+ AU$259 for shipping
Sold by Chrono24
DE
TAG Heuer Carrera Calibre 16 CV2014-3 Fair Steel 41mm Automatic Australia, Hurstville
Top
TAG Heuer Carrera Calibre 16
AU$2,300
Excl. shipping
Private Seller
AU
Cartier Santos (submodel) Fair Steel 23mm Automatic Australia, Newstead
Cartier Santos De Cartier
AU$3,150
+ AU$29 for shipping
Professional dealer
AU
Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Memovox 141848J Good Steel Automatic Australia, Mount Eliza
Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Memovox Boutique Edition
AU$18,400
Free shipping
Professional dealer
4.98 (91)
AU
Rolex Daytona 116520 Very good Steel 40mm Automatic Australia, Melburne
Rolex Daytona
AU$39,000
+ AU$69 for shipping
Professional dealer
5.00 (6)
AU
Rolex Submariner Date 1680 Very good Steel 40mm Automatic Australia, Melbourne
Rolex Tiffany Dial Submariner Date
AU$81,818
+ AU$69 for shipping
Professional dealer
5.00 (6)
AU
Panerai Radiomir 1940 PAM 00995 Very good Steel 45mm Automatic Australia, Sydney
Panerai Radiomir 1940 45mm PAM00995 2019 Box & Papers
AU$14,500
+ AU$100 for shipping
Professional dealer
5.00 (13)
AU
Breitling Superocean 44 A17367D81C1S1 Very good Steel 44mm Automatic Australia, Sydney
Breitling Superocean 44 2019 Full Set
AU$4,250
+ AU$100 for shipping
Professional dealer
5.00 (13)
AU
Panerai Radiomir Chronograph PAM 00369 Good Steel 42mm Automatic Australia, Sydney
Panerai Radiomir Chronograph Full Set
AU$6,850
+ AU$100 for shipping
Professional dealer
5.00 (13)
AU
Rolex GMT-Master 1675 Very good Steel 40mm Automatic
Rolex GMT-Master "Pepsi" Automatik Stahl Herrenuhr Oyster...
AU$24,010
+ AU$259 for shipping
Sold by Chrono24
DE
Rolex Datejust 36 1601 Very good Steel 36mm Automatic Australia, Ashgrove
Top
Rolex Datejust 36
AU$7,100
Excl. shipping
Private Seller
AU
Rado Centrix R30178152 Very good Steel 38mm Automatic Australia, Newstead
Rado Centrix Automatic Open Heart 38mm
AU$1,750
+ AU$29 for shipping
Professional dealer
AU
Linde Werdelin HBII.2.6 Good Steel Automatic Australia, Mount Eliza
Linde Werdelin Hard Black II HBII.2.6
AU$4,290
Free shipping
Professional dealer
4.98 (91)
AU
Rolex Sky-Dweller 326933 Very good Gold/Steel 42mm Automatic
Rolex Sky-Dweller Stahl / Gold Herrenuhr Oyster Perpetual Ref....
AU$33,064
+ AU$259 for shipping
Sold by Chrono24
DE
Rolex Submariner Date 16613 Good Gold/Steel 40mm Automatic Australia, Melburne
Rolex Submariner Date
AU$18,995
+ AU$69 for shipping
Professional dealer
5.00 (6)
AU
Vacheron Constantin Overseas Chronograph 49150 Very good Steel 42mm Automatic
Vacheron Constantin Overseas Chronograph Automatik Stahl...
AU$32,094
+ AU$259 for shipping
Sold by Chrono24
DE
Rolex Yacht-Master 40 116655 Very good Red gold 40mm Automatic
Rolex Yacht-Master 18K Roségold Automatik Herrenuhr Ref....
AU$53,113
+ AU$123 for shipping
Sold by Chrono24
DE
IWC Pilot Spitfire Chronograph IW371702 Fair Steel 42mm Automatic Australia, Sydney
IWC Spitfire Chronograph 42mm Box & Papers
AU$6,350
+ AU$100 for shipping
Professional dealer
5.00 (13)
AU
Rolex Day-Date 36 18038 Very good Yellow gold 36mm Automatic
Rolex Day-Date 18K (0,750) Gold Automatik Herrenuhr Oyster...
AU$30,316
+ AU$259 for shipping
Sold by Chrono24
DE
Rolex Datejust II 116334 Very good Steel 41mm Automatic Australia, Sydney
Top
Rolex Datejust II
AU$32,500
Excl. shipping
Private Seller
AU
Chanel J12 Very good Ceramic 38mm Automatic Australia, Newstead
Chanel J12 WATCH 38MM
AU$5,200
+ AU$29 for shipping
Professional dealer
AU
TAG Heuer Silverstone cam2110.FC6258 Fair Steel 42mm Automatic Australia, Mount Eliza
TAG Heuer Silverstone Re-Issue 150th Anniversary Limited...
AU$6,300
Free shipping
Professional dealer
4.98 (91)
AU
Rolex GMT-Master II 116710LN Very good Steel 40mm Automatic
Rolex GMT Master II Automatik Datum Stahl Herrenuhr Oyster...
AU$25,789
+ AU$259 for shipping
Sold by Chrono24
DE
Patek Philippe World Time 5230R-012 Very good Rose gold 38.5mm Automatic Australia, Melburne
Patek Philippe World Time Complications
AU$62,995
+ AU$69 for shipping
Professional dealer
5.00 (6)
AU
Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Calendar 140.8.98.S Very good Steel 37mm Automatic
Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Control Calendar Moon Automatik 40.8.98.S
AU$8,812
+ AU$259 for shipping
Sold by Chrono24
DE
Rolex Yacht-Master 40 16622 Very good Steel 40mm Automatic
Rolex Yacht-Master 40 Stahl / Platin Automatik Herrenuhr...
AU$16,573
+ AU$259 for shipping
Sold by Chrono24
DE
Patek Philippe Calatrava 3445/6 Good Yellow gold Automatic Australia, Sydney
Patek Philippe 3445/6 3445g Vintage Automatic Mens 18k Watch
AU$18,500
+ AU$100 for shipping
Professional dealer
5.00 (13)
AU
Rolex Yacht-Master 37 268622 Very good Steel 37mm Automatic
Rolex Yacht-Master Stahl / Platin Automatik Herrenuhr Oyster...
AU$18,836
+ AU$259 for shipping
Sold by Chrono24
DE

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.