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B.R.M Skipper 6 Marlin edition
TOP
B.R.M Skipper 6 Marlin edition
R 56,295
Free shipping
Seller
Solexport International
MU
B.R.M V8 44 OR ROSE
TOP
B.R.M V8 44 OR ROSE
R 202,285
Free shipping
Seller
Solexport International
MU
Zenith Defy Xtreme Tourbillon ZERO-G El Primero
TOP
Zenith Defy Xtreme Tourbillon ZERO-G El Primero
R 1,003,479
Seller
Watch & Bullion
12
GI
Hublot Big Bang Aero Skeleton Ref.:311.SX.1170.GR Edelsteinbesatz
TOP
Hublot Big Bang Aero Skeleton Ref.:311.SX.1170.GR Edelsteinbesatz
R 280,691
Seller
Watchplanet
45
DE
Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Compressor Extreme World
TOP
Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Compressor Extreme World
R 152,842
Free shipping
Seller
Rent a Box Schmuck und Uhren AG
8
CH
Patek Philippe Perpetual Calendar 3940G | English dial | box...
TOP
Patek Philippe Perpetual Calendar 3940G | English dial | box...
R 746,124
Free shipping
Seller
A Collected Man
11
UK
Corum Admiral's  Cup Competition
TOP
Corum Admiral's Cup Competition
R 42,182
Seller
Joaillerie Royale
506
BE
Rolex LADY DATEJUST 18K GOLD DIAMANT AUTOMATIK SERVICE 11/2016
TOP
Rolex LADY DATEJUST 18K GOLD DIAMANT AUTOMATIK SERVICE 11/2016
R 68,840
Seller
Timeless Watches GmbH
198
DE
Hublot King Power F1 India,  Ltd Edition, Box & Papers
TOP
Hublot King Power F1 India, Ltd Edition, Box & Papers
R 293,120
Seller
Tempvs Ltd
102
UK
Zenith EL PRIMERO TOURBILLON
TOP
Zenith EL PRIMERO TOURBILLON
R 521,395
Seller
ZEGG & CERLATI
45
MC
Audemars Piguet QE II Cup Ref-15334OROO 18k Rose Gold Limited...
TOP
Audemars Piguet QE II Cup Ref-15334OROO 18k Rose Gold Limited...
R 241,174
Seller
Bachmann & Scher
49
DE
Corum AdmiralS.C.One
TOP
Corum AdmiralS.C.One
R 86,246
Seller
CANTELI JOYEROS SL
 
ES
Hublot Classic Fusion „Forbidden“ limitiert 78/250 Ref.:...
TOP
Hublot Classic Fusion „Forbidden“ limitiert 78/250 Ref.:...
R 140,973
Seller
Watchplanet
45
DE
Rolex Day-Date President 1803 Green Aquamarine Stella dial 1974
TOP
Rolex Day-Date President 1803 Green Aquamarine Stella dial 1974
R 469,647
Seller
Watches Management
29
IT
Tudor Grantour Date
TOP
Tudor Grantour Date
R 29,730
Seller
The Vintage Luxury
 
US
Vacheron Constantin ASYMMETRICAL 1972 PRESTIGE DE LA FRANCE  #...
TOP
Vacheron Constantin ASYMMETRICAL 1972 PRESTIGE DE LA FRANCE #...
R 367,942
Free shipping
Seller
Ye Olde Timekeepers, Inc.
14
US
A. Lange & Söhne Langematik Perpetual English dial
TOP
A. Lange & Söhne Langematik Perpetual English dial
R 813,846
Seller
WatchesofMayfair.com
413
UK
TAG Heuer Calibre 5 Aquaracer 500M
TAG Heuer Calibre 5 Aquaracer 500M
R 18,900
Seller
Private Seller
ZA
IWC automatic Cal 854B automatik Stainless Steel 1971
TOP
IWC automatic Cal 854B automatik Stainless Steel 1971
R 23,506
Seller
qualityextra
8
HU
Omega Seamaster De Ville Automatic 14K Gold vintage mens watch
TOP
Omega Seamaster De Ville Automatic 14K Gold vintage mens watch
R 21,300
Free shipping
Seller
Fine Auction Club
125
UK
Franck Muller CINTREE CURVEX
TOP
Franck Muller CINTREE CURVEX
R 108,199
Seller
OROeORA PRINTEZIS
78
GR
Omega De Ville Automatic 161.022 Cal.711
Omega De Ville Automatic 161.022 Cal.711
R 4,001
Seller
Private Seller
ZA
Cartier Pasha Automatic 1889 38mm 18K Gold
TOP
Cartier Pasha Automatic 1889 38mm 18K Gold
R 75,112
Seller
Watchplanet
45
DE
Cartier Pasha C
TOP
Cartier Pasha C
R 32,700
Seller
The Vintage Luxury
 
US
Rolex Sea-Dweller Deepsea
Rolex Sea-Dweller Deepsea
R 130,000
Free shipping
Seller
The Vault Melrose (Pty) Ltd
ZA
IWC Portugieser Automatic
TOP
IWC Portugieser Automatic
R 292,138
Seller
WatchesofMayfair.com
413
UK
Louis Moinet Memoris Red Eclipse
Straight from the manufacturer
Louis Moinet Memoris Red Eclipse
R 1,474,790
BrandBoutique Member
Louis Moinet
Sevenfriday M2-01
Sevenfriday M2-01
R 11,000
Seller
Private Seller
ZA
IWC Yacht Club 18K / 750 Solid Gold vintage mens watch + Box
TOP
IWC Yacht Club 18K / 750 Solid Gold vintage mens watch + Box
R 88,824
Free shipping
Seller
Fine Auction Club
125
UK
Zenith Captain Elite Power Reserve  03.2122.685/21.C493
TOP
Zenith Captain Elite Power Reserve 03.2122.685/21.C493
R 49,395
Free shipping
Seller
Pawndeluxe
114
NL
Rolex Oyster Perpetual 1501 Date Vintage 1977 Auto 35mm 7inch...
TOP
Rolex Oyster Perpetual 1501 Date Vintage 1977 Auto 35mm 7inch...
R 52,863
Free shipping
Seller
GMTSKY
349
US
Raymond Weil Nabucco
TOP
Raymond Weil Nabucco
R 31,621
Seller
Antonio Group
5
GI
Corum Bubble Lucifer Special Edition
TOP
Corum Bubble Lucifer Special Edition
R 50,535
Seller
The Vintage Luxury
 
US
Tudor Fastrider Black Shield
Tudor Fastrider Black Shield
R 35,000
Free shipping
Seller
The Vault Melrose (Pty) Ltd
ZA
IWC Da Vinci Perpetual Calendar Chronograph
TOP
IWC Da Vinci Perpetual Calendar Chronograph
R 394,221
Seller
WatchesofMayfair.com
413
UK
Louis Moinet 20-Second Tempograph
Straight from the manufacturer
Louis Moinet 20-Second Tempograph
R 324,454
BrandBoutique Member
Louis Moinet
Breguet Classique
Breguet Classique
R 185,000
Seller
Private Seller
ZA
Omega Seamaster Diver 300 M
TOP
Omega Seamaster Diver 300 M
R 50,000
Seller
Private Seller
ZA
Daniel Roth Datomax Big Size Grande Date 18K White Gold 208.X.40
TOP
Daniel Roth Datomax Big Size Grande Date 18K White Gold 208.X.40
R 93,302
Free shipping
Seller
Pawndeluxe
114
NL
Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Squadra World Chronograph
Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Squadra World Chronograph
R 106,971
Seller
Private Seller
ZA
TAG Heuer Grand Carrera
TAG Heuer Grand Carrera
R 27,500
Seller
Private Seller
ZA
Chronoswiss regulateur
Chronoswiss regulateur
R 45,000
Seller
Private Seller
ZA
Omega Seamaster. Planet Ocean Series
Omega Seamaster. Planet Ocean Series
R 50,000
Seller
Private Seller
ZA
Oris Artelier Translucent Skeleton
TOP
Oris Artelier Translucent Skeleton
R 27,755
Seller
WatchesofMayfair.com
413
UK
Hublot Classic Fusion Chronograph
Hublot Classic Fusion Chronograph
R 120,000
Free shipping
Seller
The Vault Melrose (Pty) Ltd
ZA
Louis Moinet 20-Second Tempograph
Straight from the manufacturer
Louis Moinet 20-Second Tempograph
R 324,454
BrandBoutique Member
Louis Moinet
Rolex Day-Date President
TOP
Rolex Day-Date President
R 180,000
Seller
Private Seller
ZA
Zenith Elite Grand Class Reserve De Marche RDM Dual Timer
TOP
Zenith Elite Grand Class Reserve De Marche RDM Dual Timer
R 43,123
Free shipping
Seller
Pawndeluxe
114
NL
Rolex 18K/SS  DATEJUST Custom Black Onyx - Leather Band -...
TOP
Rolex 18K/SS DATEJUST Custom Black Onyx - Leather Band -...
R 48,100
Seller
Austins Watches Inc.
175
US
Roger Dubuis La Monegasque Moon Phase Perpetual Calendar Rose...
TOP
Roger Dubuis La Monegasque Moon Phase Perpetual Calendar Rose...
R 468,863
Seller
RIVIERAWATCH
85
FR
Omega Seamaster Automatic Date Steel Mens Vintage Watch
Omega Seamaster Automatic Date Steel Mens Vintage Watch
R 11,529
Seller
Watch World Star
224
UK
F.P.Journe Octa Calendrier Platinum LE NEW
TOP
F.P.Journe Octa Calendrier Platinum LE NEW
R 658,604
Seller
Noblesse LP
65
UK
Chopard Happy Sport 36 mm Automatic
TOP
Chopard Happy Sport 36 mm Automatic
R 263,755
Seller
WatchesofMayfair.com
413
UK
Zenith El Primero Chronomaster
Zenith El Primero Chronomaster
R 72,500
Free shipping
Seller
The Vault Melrose (Pty) Ltd
ZA
Louis Moinet Memoris
Straight from the manufacturer
Louis Moinet Memoris
R 735,920
BrandBoutique Member
Louis Moinet
Chopard cal. 80 automatic vintage dress watch 18k yellow gold
TOP
Chopard cal. 80 automatic vintage dress watch 18k yellow gold
R 26,558
Seller
Vintage & Prestige
20
UK
IWC Portofino Automatic Date All  Steel Rare W4473
TOP
IWC Portofino Automatic Date All Steel Rare W4473
R 38,419
Free shipping
Seller
Pawndeluxe
114
NL
Omega Speedmaster Automatic
Omega Speedmaster Automatic
R 29,794
Free shipping
Seller
A. Grimmeissen Uhren An- und Verkauf
193
DE
Chopard L.U.C Pink Gold chrono One 22000ht
TOP
Chopard L.U.C Pink Gold chrono One 22000ht
R 404,571
Seller
RIVIERAWATCH
85
FR
Richard Mille RM 030 TI
TOP
Richard Mille RM 030 TI
R 1,334,014
Seller
TimeWorld
28
CH
Sinn 103 St Sa RB Classic Watch Sondermodell
TOP
Sinn 103 St Sa RB Classic Watch Sondermodell
R 38,419
Seller
Classic Watch
18
DE
IWC Big Pilot’s Annual Calendar  "Antoine De Saint Exupery"
TOP
IWC Big Pilot’s Annual Calendar "Antoine De Saint Exupery"
R 564,517
Seller
WatchesofMayfair.com
413
UK
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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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