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Rolex 18K/SS  DATEJUST Custom Black Onyx - Leather Band -...
TOP
Rolex 18K/SS DATEJUST Custom Black Onyx - Leather Band -...
AU$ 4,588
Seller
Austins Watches Inc.
127
US
De Grisogono Grande -O-N08
TOP
De Grisogono Grande -O-N08
AU$ 12,888
Seller
Deluxe ( Asia ) Ltd
27
HK
Ball Engineer II Marvelight
Ball Engineer II Marvelight
AU$ 1,700
Seller
JOYCE JEWELLERY
 
AU
Longines Conquest Heritage Automatic 35mm Steel on Leather Silver
TOP
Longines Conquest Heritage Automatic 35mm Steel on Leather Silver
AU$ 1,086
Seller
Orologi & Dintorni
101
IT
Linde Werdelin SpidoSpeed Gold
Linde Werdelin SpidoSpeed Gold
AU$ 50,819
BrandBoutique Member
Linde Werdelin LTD
Rolex 18K Yellow Gold Yacht-Master Champ Dial - w/ Box & Papers
TOP
Rolex 18K Yellow Gold Yacht-Master Champ Dial - w/ Box & Papers
AU$ 22,330
Seller
Austins Watches Inc.
127
US
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Chronograph ''Leo Messi" 26325OL.OO....
TOP
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Chronograph ''Leo Messi" 26325OL.OO....
AU$ 60,878
Seller
Filipucci Juweliers
336
NL
Porsche Design Huawei Smartwatch - EU
Porsche Design Huawei Smartwatch - EU
AU$ 773
BrandBoutique Member
Porsche Lizenz- und Handelsgesellschaft mbH & Co. KG
Rolex Daytona panna dial
TOP
Rolex Daytona panna dial
AU$ 29,971
Seller
Spritz srl
10
IT
Seiko 6105 B - 8110 T Automatic 150m Date Sports Diver's Watch
TOP
Seiko 6105 B - 8110 T Automatic 150m Date Sports Diver's Watch
AU$ 1,755
Seller
Watch World Star
166
UK
Patek Philippe Perpetual Calendar
TOP
Patek Philippe Perpetual Calendar
AU$ 90,919
Seller
Bijouterie-Horlogerie Langel
20
CH
Frederique Constant Slimline Heart Beat Automatic
Frederique Constant Slimline Heart Beat Automatic
AU$ 2,200
Seller
JOYCE JEWELLERY
 
AU
Hublot King Power Unico
TOP
Hublot King Power Unico
AU$ 27,952
Seller
Melvyn Franks Luxury Watches
5
US
Hublot Classic Fusion Racing Grey
TOP
Hublot Classic Fusion Racing Grey
AU$ 7,014
Seller
Artex AG
10
CH
Rolex 18K/SS Datejust Silver Roman Dial "Engraved" w/ Box &...
TOP
Rolex 18K/SS Datejust Silver Roman Dial "Engraved" w/ Box &...
AU$ 9,566
Seller
Austins Watches Inc.
127
US
Rolex Explorer II GMT
TOP
Rolex Explorer II GMT
AU$ 10,146
Seller
Relojes Exclusivos
892
ES
De Grisogono Instrumento Uno
TOP
De Grisogono Instrumento Uno
AU$ 155,316
Seller
ZEGG & CERLATI
27
MC
Omega Men's 31192445101003 Speedmaste CO-AXIAL Chrono  44,25 MM
TOP
Omega Men's 31192445101003 Speedmaste CO-AXIAL Chrono 44,25 MM
AU$ 11,081
Seller
Helvetic Time AG - HarveyStore.com
786
CH
Omega Seamaster Calendar Date Automatic Half Rotor Bumper Watch
TOP
Omega Seamaster Calendar Date Automatic Half Rotor Bumper Watch
AU$ 1,484
Seller
Watch World Star
166
UK
Longines Conquest Vintage Automatik 19AS/ Gold 18k/750
TOP
Longines Conquest Vintage Automatik 19AS/ Gold 18k/750
AU$ 3,746
Seller
Dreamwatch Uhrenhandel
134
DE
Doxa Into the Ocean D127SBO Men's Automatic Watch
Doxa Into the Ocean D127SBO Men's Automatic Watch
AU$ 1,120
Seller
JOYCE JEWELLERY
 
AU
Jaeger-LeCoultre Vintage Memovox Automatic / 37 mm / Steel /...
TOP
Jaeger-LeCoultre Vintage Memovox Automatic / 37 mm / Steel /...
AU$ 6,478
Free shipping
Seller
VintageCaliber GmbH
34
DE
Cvstos Challenge Jet-Liner 'Proud to be Russian' (Limited...
TOP
Cvstos Challenge Jet-Liner 'Proud to be Russian' (Limited...
AU$ 27,941
Free shipping
Seller
Istock LTD
44
LV
Vacheron Constantin ASYMMETRICAL 1972 PRESTIGE DE LA FRANCE  #...
TOP
Vacheron Constantin ASYMMETRICAL 1972 PRESTIGE DE LA FRANCE #...
AU$ 51,054
Free shipping
Seller
Ye Olde Timekeepers, Inc.
 
US
Universal Genève Compax Chronograph White and Yellow Gold
TOP
Universal Genève Compax Chronograph White and Yellow Gold
AU$ 12,176
Seller
Relojes Exclusivos
892
ES
Porsche Design Chronograph Titanium Limited Edition
Porsche Design Chronograph Titanium Limited Edition
AU$ 7,727
BrandBoutique Member
Porsche Lizenz- und Handelsgesellschaft mbH & Co. KG
Corum Bubble limited edition
TOP
Corum Bubble limited edition
AU$ 7,024
Seller
Kaloudis & Sons
19
GR
Maurice Lacroix Pontos Day Date
TOP
Maurice Lacroix Pontos Day Date
AU$ 2,134
Seller
WatchNation Limited
30
UK
Linde Werdelin SpidoSpeed Titanium
Linde Werdelin SpidoSpeed Titanium
AU$ 26,998
BrandBoutique Member
Linde Werdelin LTD
Ball Engineer Master II Diver
Ball Engineer Master II Diver
AU$ 2,750
Seller
JOYCE JEWELLERY
 
AU
Omega Men's 220.22.41.21.02.001 Seamaster Automatic Watch
TOP
Omega Men's 220.22.41.21.02.001 Seamaster Automatic Watch
AU$ 8,578
Seller
Helvetic Time AG - HarveyStore.com
786
CH
Ateliers deMonaco Tourbillon Oculus 1297
Ateliers deMonaco Tourbillon Oculus 1297
AU$ 91,317
BrandBoutique Member
Les Ateliers deMonaco SARL
Frederique Constant Slimline Moonphase Stars Manufacture
Frederique Constant Slimline Moonphase Stars Manufacture
AU$ 6,704
BrandBoutique Member
Frederique Constant SA
Montblanc Heritage Chronométrie Quantième Annuel (SPECIAL OFFER)
TOP
Montblanc Heritage Chronométrie Quantième Annuel (SPECIAL OFFER)
AU$ 11,692
Seller
Relojes Exclusivos
892
ES
Porsche Design Chronotimer Series 1 All Black Carbon
Porsche Design Chronotimer Series 1 All Black Carbon
AU$ 7,727
BrandBoutique Member
Porsche Lizenz- und Handelsgesellschaft mbH & Co. KG
JeanRichard Paramount Pack 3 watches
TOP
JeanRichard Paramount Pack 3 watches
AU$ 29,268
Seller
Fernando Monge SA
89
ES
Omega Seamaster Professional Co-axial Chronometer 300m/1000ft
Omega Seamaster Professional Co-axial Chronometer 300m/1000ft
AU$ 3,947
Seller
Private Seller
AU
Linde Werdelin Oktopus Moon Gold 3DTP Carbon
Linde Werdelin Oktopus Moon Gold 3DTP Carbon
AU$ 53,995
BrandBoutique Member
Linde Werdelin LTD
Frederique Constant Manufacture Zodiac
Frederique Constant Manufacture Zodiac
AU$ 4,000
Seller
JOYCE JEWELLERY
 
AU
Chopard VINTAGE 70S LARGE HAPPY DIAMOND SAUDI KING REF. 2121
TOP
Chopard VINTAGE 70S LARGE HAPPY DIAMOND SAUDI KING REF. 2121
AU$ 11,487
Free shipping
Seller
Ye Olde Timekeepers, Inc.
 
US
IWC Schaffhausen Yacht Club II 18k Gold  Automatic
TOP
IWC Schaffhausen Yacht Club II 18k Gold Automatic
AU$ 14,594
Seller
Wrzeciono Czasu
411
PL
Parmigiani Fleurier Pershing 002 42MM Rose Gold With Diamonds...
TOP
Parmigiani Fleurier Pershing 002 42MM Rose Gold With Diamonds...
AU$ 10,849
Free shipping
Seller
M.J.WATCHES
57
BE
Chopard Imperiale 36 mm
TOP
Chopard Imperiale 36 mm
AU$ 46,845
Free shipping
Seller
WatchesofMayfair.com
264
UK
Porsche Design 1919 Datetimer Eternity Black Edition All Titanium
Porsche Design 1919 Datetimer Eternity Black Edition All Titanium
AU$ 5,073
BrandBoutique Member
Porsche Lizenz- und Handelsgesellschaft mbH & Co. KG
Cartier BAIGNOIRE
TOP
Cartier BAIGNOIRE
AU$ 23,415
Seller
Kounakis Jewels and Watches
 
GR
Baume & Mercier Mens Classima Executive Watch
Baume & Mercier Mens Classima Executive Watch
AU$ 1,150
Seller
Private Seller
AU
Linde Werdelin SpidoSpeed Anthracite DLC
Linde Werdelin SpidoSpeed Anthracite DLC
AU$ 19,057
BrandBoutique Member
Linde Werdelin LTD
Ball NM1080C-S3-BK
Ball NM1080C-S3-BK
AU$ 1,780
Seller
JOYCE JEWELLERY
 
AU
Chopard Mille Miglia Gran Turismo XL 18K Yellow Gold
TOP
Chopard Mille Miglia Gran Turismo XL 18K Yellow Gold
AU$ 14,033
Seller
AJ Watches
62
US
Rolex Submariner Date
Rolex Submariner Date
AU$ 12,995
Seller
Toorak Fine Watches
AU
Chopard Classic Date Automatic 18KT Croco Strap Full Set 2017
TOP
Chopard Classic Date Automatic 18KT Croco Strap Full Set 2017
AU$ 7,415
Free shipping
Seller
M.J.WATCHES
57
BE
Frederique Constant Classics Moonphase
Frederique Constant Classics Moonphase
AU$ 2,732
BrandBoutique Member
Frederique Constant SA
Porsche Design Chronotimer Series 1 Deep Blue
Porsche Design Chronotimer Series 1 Deep Blue
AU$ 6,166
BrandBoutique Member
Porsche Lizenz- und Handelsgesellschaft mbH & Co. KG
Blancpain Léman Aqualung Big date Limited edition
TOP
Blancpain Léman Aqualung Big date Limited edition
AU$ 13,402
Seller
Private Seller
AU
Linde Werdelin SpidoLite Gold
Linde Werdelin SpidoLite Gold
AU$ 39,702
BrandBoutique Member
Linde Werdelin LTD
Frederique Constant Manufacture Slimline Moonphase
Frederique Constant Manufacture Slimline Moonphase
AU$ 3,455
Seller
JOYCE JEWELLERY
 
AU
IWC Vintage Ingenieur Ref.666 AD / 37 mm Steel / Serviced / 1960
TOP
IWC Vintage Ingenieur Ref.666 AD / 37 mm Steel / Serviced / 1960
AU$ 8,585
Free shipping
Seller
VintageCaliber GmbH
34
DE
Rolex Milgauss
Rolex Milgauss
AU$ 8,995
Seller
Toorak Fine Watches
AU
Deep Blue Sun Diver III 1k Diving Watch 1000m Wr Seiko 40hr...
Deep Blue Sun Diver III 1k Diving Watch 1000m Wr Seiko 40hr...
AU$ 399
Seller
Watchpartners
AU
Frederique Constant Classics Moonphase
Frederique Constant Classics Moonphase
AU$ 2,302
BrandBoutique Member
Frederique Constant SA
Porsche Design MONOBLOC Actuator GMT-Chronotimer Titanium Blue
Porsche Design MONOBLOC Actuator GMT-Chronotimer Titanium Blue
AU$ 10,068
BrandBoutique Member
Porsche Lizenz- und Handelsgesellschaft mbH & Co. KG
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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.