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Rolex Datejust 28 Everose Diamond President NEW
Top
Rolex Datejust 28 Everose Diamond President NEW
R 431,160
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Juwelier Burger, since 2001
406
NL
Chopard 161901-5002
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Chopard 161901-5002
price on request
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Deluxe ( Asia ) Ltd
 
HK
Patek Philippe Calatrava Vintage 3429J Yellow Dial 3X signed
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Patek Philippe Calatrava Vintage 3429J Yellow Dial 3X signed
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Hublot Big Bang King Min Repeater NEW 67% off
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U-Boat Chimera 46 IPB Opera Nera Limited Edition
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Rent a Box Schmuck und Uhren AG
 
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Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Compressor Chronograph - Stainless Steel
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Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Compressor Chronograph - Stainless Steel
R 116,413
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WatchesofMayfair.com
178
UK
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Rolex Very Rare 18k W/G Stella Dial Omani Crest Day-Date 18049
R 718,623
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Watches & Jewellery of Bond Street Ltd
60
UK
Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Compressor Navy Seal / Limited Edition...
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Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Compressor Navy Seal / Limited Edition...
R 119,767
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VintageCaliber GmbH
31
DE
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Hublot SkyDive Dubai Chrono Limited Edition
R 125,356
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Turelojya SL
123
ES
U-Boat 5573 Classico AB 4/2/A 53mm 10ATM
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U-Boat 5573 Classico AB 4/2/A 53mm 10ATM
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Timeshop24.de Ltd.
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DE
TAG Heuer AQUARACER 300M Ref. WAY201C.FC6395
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TAG Heuer AQUARACER 300M Ref. WAY201C.FC6395
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WINGOO WATCHES
184
IT
Chopard VINTAGE 70S LARGE HAPPY DIAMOND SAUDI KING REF. 2121
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Chopard VINTAGE 70S LARGE HAPPY DIAMOND SAUDI KING REF. 2121
price on request
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Watch Hunter
 
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Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Compressor Extreme LAB 2 Limited Edition
Top
Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Compressor Extreme LAB 2 Limited Edition
R 558,113
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L'Angolo del Tempo by Goldfingers
 
IT
Cartier Pasha
Top
Cartier Pasha
R 179,880
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Rent a Box Schmuck und Uhren AG
 
CH
Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Ultra Thin Moon White Gold
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Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Ultra Thin Moon White Gold
R 237,457
Free shipping
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WatchesofMayfair.com
178
UK
Patek Philippe 18k W/G Sealed Perpetual Calendar Moonphase...
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Patek Philippe 18k W/G Sealed Perpetual Calendar Moonphase...
R 726,810
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Watches & Jewellery of Bond Street Ltd
60
UK
Zenith 1969 New Vintage Limited Edition / 500 pcs / Full Set
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Zenith 1969 New Vintage Limited Edition / 500 pcs / Full Set
R 79,844
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VintageCaliber GmbH
31
DE
Rolex 36mm Day-date  18k Yellow Gold #118208 - P series  - 2001
Top
Rolex 36mm Day-date 18k Yellow Gold #118208 - P series - 2001
R 231,669
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Ramerica Fine Jewelry & Watches
 
US
Ulysse Nardin 18k White Gold Ulysse Nardin Sonata Cathedral,...
Top
Ulysse Nardin 18k White Gold Ulysse Nardin Sonata Cathedral,...
R 318,377
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Tempvs Ltd
45
UK
Hublot Big Bang Ferrari  Unico All Black Limited Edition , NEW...
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Hublot Big Bang Ferrari Unico All Black Limited Edition , NEW...
R 269,076
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WatchesNorte
15
ES
Rolex Submariner Date 16800 - Box & Part Papers - Perfect...
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Rolex Submariner Date 16800 - Box & Part Papers - Perfect...
R 109,067
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Time Rediscovered Ltd
6
UK
Audemars Piguet Offshore Limited  Tantale  Asia  "Orchard...
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Audemars Piguet Offshore Limited Tantale Asia "Orchard...
R 526,894
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10PAST10.COM
85
NL
IWC Da Vinci Edition Kurt Klaus "Limited Edition"
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IWC Da Vinci Edition Kurt Klaus "Limited Edition"
R 249,601
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Rent a Box Schmuck und Uhren AG
 
CH
Zenith El Primero Range Rover
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Zenith El Primero Range Rover
R 105,554
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WatchesofMayfair.com
178
UK
Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra 150M Co-Axial 34 MM Ref. 231.15.34....
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Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra 150M Co-Axial 34 MM Ref. 231.15.34....
R 122,162
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WINGOO WATCHES
184
IT
IWC Aquatimer Automatic Special Edition “35 Years Ocean 2000”...
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IWC Aquatimer Automatic Special Edition “35 Years Ocean 2000”...
R 94,835
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Feldmar Watch Company, Inc.
5
US
De Grisogono Tondo By Night
Top
De Grisogono Tondo By Night
R 239,533
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ANNIBALI&CO
54
IT
Ulysse Nardin Automatic 18K Gold
Top
Ulysse Nardin Automatic 18K Gold
R 29,303
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90
NL
De Grisogono Instrumento Uno
Top
De Grisogono Instrumento Uno
R 1,588,905
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ZEGG & CERLATI
12
MC
Omega GMT Seamaster  Chrono Rose Gold
Top
Omega GMT Seamaster Chrono Rose Gold
R 277,489
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Bijouterie-Horlogerie Langel
12
CH
TAG Heuer Grand Carrera Calibre17, Chronograph, Year 2/2017
Top
TAG Heuer Grand Carrera Calibre17, Chronograph, Year 2/2017
R 60,522
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15
ES
Omega Seamaster PloProf 1200M
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Omega Seamaster PloProf 1200M
R 90,637
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Rent a Box Schmuck und Uhren AG
 
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Zenith Type 20 GMT Tribute to the Rolling Stones
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Zenith Type 20 GMT Tribute to the Rolling Stones
R 81,761
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WatchesofMayfair.com
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UK
Rolex Day Date 18208 Série A
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Rolex Day Date 18208 Série A
R 287,440
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MMC RIVIERA
 
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IWC Da Vinci Perpetual Rattrapante Rose Gold Iw3574-002
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IWC Da Vinci Perpetual Rattrapante Rose Gold Iw3574-002
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Feldmar Watch Company, Inc.
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US
Rolex 18K/SS  Datejust Black Diamond Dial 36mm Quickset
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Rolex 18K/SS Datejust Black Diamond Dial 36mm Quickset
R 54,124
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Austins Watches Inc.
86
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Giuliano Mazzuoli Limited Edition 015 / 365
Giuliano Mazzuoli Limited Edition 015 / 365
R 25,000
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Girard Perregaux WW.TC ZEGG & CERLATI - LIMITED EDITION
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Girard Perregaux WW.TC ZEGG & CERLATI - LIMITED EDITION
R 180,448
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Patek Philippe 7130g-015 New York
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Patek Philippe 7130g-015 New York
R 1,239,632
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MKS Luxury LLC
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Rolex DATEJUST MEN'S WATCH
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Luxurytime South Africa
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Panerai PAM00356
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Topwatch SA Pty Ltd
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Hublot Big Bang Ferrari 45mm
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Hublot Big Bang Ferrari 45mm
R 343,651
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WatchesofMayfair.com
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Panerai RADIOMIR BLACK SEAL (PAM00505)
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EstateGems (Pty) Ltd
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Patek Philippe Power Reserve Moonphase 18kt Rose Gold Hunter...
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Patek Philippe Power Reserve Moonphase 18kt Rose Gold Hunter...
R 379,341
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Feldmar Watch Company, Inc.
5
US
Rolex SS 36mm DATEJUST Black Diamond Dial - 16014 Quickset 1980s
Top
Rolex SS 36mm DATEJUST Black Diamond Dial - 16014 Quickset 1980s
R 51,414
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Austins Watches Inc.
86
US
Vacheron Constantin Overseas
Vacheron Constantin Overseas
R 250,000
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Private seller
ZA
Zenith EL PRIMERO TOURBILLON
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Zenith EL PRIMERO TOURBILLON
R 594,841
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ZEGG & CERLATI
12
MC
Rolex Submariner 16610LV Mark I NOS "Slim 4"
Rolex Submariner 16610LV Mark I NOS "Slim 4"
R 231,961
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Time Icons London
 
UK
Rolex Day Date Men's Watch
Rolex Day Date Men's Watch
R 156,900
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Luxurytime South Africa
ZA
Hublot Super B Flyback Chrono
Hublot Super B Flyback Chrono
R 76,000
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Topwatch SA Pty Ltd
ZA
Sevenfriday M2-01
Sevenfriday M2-01
R 14,000
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ZA
Chronoswiss regulateur
Chronoswiss regulateur
R 45,000
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ZA
Jaeger-LeCoultre Jaeger – Master Calendar 18kt Rose Gold...
Top
Jaeger-LeCoultre Jaeger – Master Calendar 18kt Rose Gold...
R 203,218
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Feldmar Watch Company, Inc.
5
US
Zenith El Primero Range Rover
Top
Zenith El Primero Range Rover
R 105,554
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WatchesofMayfair.com
178
UK
Breitling SuperOcean Heritage Limited Edition 592/1000
Breitling SuperOcean Heritage Limited Edition 592/1000
R 47,000
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EstateGems (Pty) Ltd
ZA
De Grisogono POWERBREAKER S05
Top
De Grisogono POWERBREAKER S05
R 380,060
Free shipping
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ZEGG & CERLATI
12
MC
Rolex 18K/SS 36mm DATEJUST Black Diamond Dial - Quickset 16013
Top
Rolex 18K/SS 36mm DATEJUST Black Diamond Dial - Quickset 16013
R 50,059
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Austins Watches Inc.
86
US
Chopard Mille Miglia Automatic Chronograph Ladies Watch
Chopard Mille Miglia Automatic Chronograph Ladies Watch
R 56,224
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Luxurytime South Africa
ZA
Corum Admiral's Cup Seafender 46 Chrono
Corum Admiral's Cup Seafender 46 Chrono
R 57,000
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Topwatch SA Pty Ltd
ZA
Rolex Submariner 5513 Mark V Near NOS Rolex Service
Rolex Submariner 5513 Mark V Near NOS Rolex Service
R 209,219
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Time Icons London
 
UK
IWC Pilot Chronograph
IWC Pilot Chronograph
R 45,511
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Concato Second Hand
 
IT
Ulysse Nardin Aqua Perpetual Stainless Steel Blue Dial On...
Top
Ulysse Nardin Aqua Perpetual Stainless Steel Blue Dial On...
R 203,218
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Feldmar Watch Company, Inc.
5
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.