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Vacheron Constantin Overseas 47040/000R-9666 New Rose gold 42mm Automatic
TOP
Vacheron Constantin 47040/000R-9666 Overseas
R 392 763
Verified Dealer
19
HK
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak 26552BC.OO.D002CR.01 Unworn White gold Automatic
TOP
Audemars Piguet ROYAL OAK OPEN WORKED GRANDE COMPLICATION
R 9 938 683
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
268
US
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak 15410BC.GG.1224BC.01 New White gold 41mm Automatic
TOP
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak 15410BC.GG.1224BC.01 Blue Dial
R 996 857
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
268
US
Ball Engineer Hydrocarbon DG2018C-S3C-BE New Steel 42mm Automatic
TOP
Ball Engineer Hydrocarbon AeroGMT II
R 53 454
Verified Dealer
44
NL
Patek Philippe Calatrava 6006G-001 New White gold 39mm Automatic
Patek Philippe Calatrava
R 383 102
Verified Dealer
 
SG
Rolex Datejust 116203 Very good 36mm
Rolex - 18kt Gold & SS 36mm Mens DateJust Champagne Diamond...
R 138 245
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
6
US
Breguet Classique Complications 5317BR/12/9V6 New Rose gold 39mm Automatic
TOP
Breguet Classique Tourbillon, new official retail price:...
R 1 210 158
Verified Dealer
36
CH
Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean 2201.50.00 Good Steel 42mm Automatic South Africa, Johannesburg
Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean
R 35 000
Private Seller
ZA
Rolex Lady-Datejust 179179 New White gold 26mm Automatic
TOP
Rolex Lady-Datejust President Mother or Pearl 179179White Gold
R 164 026
Verified Dealer
604
US
Rado HyperChrome Captain Cook R32500305 New Steel 37mm Automatic
TOP
Rado HyperChrome Captain Cook Limited Edition - Box & Papers 2020
R 29 550
Verified Dealer
262
UK
Rolex Submariner Date 16610LV Very good Steel 40mm Automatic
Rolex Submariner Date 16610LV Mk VI Kermit
R 208 473
Verified Dealer
51
US
Piaget Emperador 12336 C 516 Unworn Yellow gold 34mm Automatic
TOP
Piaget Massive Emperador, Original Diamond Set Dial and Bezel
R 315 025
Verified Dealer
21
CH
IWC Big Pilot IW500402 Very good White gold 46.2mm Automatic
TOP
IWC Big Pilot IW500402 White Gold
R 238 487
Verified Dealer
719
NL
F.P.Journe Octa AR G 40 A Very good Rose gold 40mm Automatic
TOP
F.P.Journe Octa Automatique Reserve AR G 40 A
R 402 778
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
723
US
Rolex Lady-Datejust 68273 Very good Gold/Steel 31mm Automatic
Rolex Datejust 31mm Ice Blue Diamond Dial/Bezel/Lugs 68273
R 127 394
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
409
US
Rolex Lady-Datejust Pearlmaster 80319 New White gold 29mm Automatic
TOP
Rolex Lady-Datejust Pearlmaster, official retail price: 32.600...
R 334 234
Verified Dealer
36
CH
Ulysse Nardin Unworn 33mm Automatic South Africa, Johannesburg
Ulysse Nardin Automatic 21 jewels waterproof Incabloc
R 25 000
Private Seller
ZA
Hublot Classic Fusion Aerofusion 525.OX.0180.LR.1704 New Rose gold 45mm Automatic
Hublot Classic Fusion Aerofusion King Rose Gold Pavé Diamonds...
R 542 600
Verified Dealer
148
UK
Breitling Superocean 44 A17367D71B1S1 Unworn Steel 44mm Automatic
Breitling Superocean 44 Unworn Box & Papers EU 2020
R 52 587
Verified Dealer
262
UK
Cartier Ballon Bleu 42mm 3765 Very good Steel 42mm Automatic
Cartier Ballon Bleu 42mm Silver Dial Leather Strap Box/Paper
R 82 200
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
19
US
Piaget 8177 Very good Yellow gold 34mm Automatic
TOP
Piaget Rare Bumper Calatrava, 1952
R 69 152
Verified Dealer
21
CH
Breguet Reine de Naples 8918BA58864 Very good Yellow gold 36.5mm Automatic
TOP
Breguet Reine de Naples 8918BA58864
R 326 481
Verified Dealer
719
NL
Panerai Radiomir 1940 3 Days Automatic PAM 00572 Very good Steel 45mm Automatic
Panerai Radiomir 1940 3 Days Automatic 45mm 2015
R 102 796
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
107
NL
Rolex Lady-Datejust 68273 Very good Gold/Steel 31mm Automatic
Rolex Datejust 31mm Black Diamond Dial 68273
R 102 735
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
409
US
Breguet Tradition 7037BA/11/9V6 New Yellow gold 39mm Automatic
TOP
Breguet Tradition, new, official retail price: 35.200 CHF
R 353 289
Verified Dealer
36
CH
Ingersoll Apache Very good Steel 48mm Automatic South Africa, Johannesburg
Ingersoll Apache Ingersoll Apache Automatic watch
R 2 800
Private Seller
ZA
Hublot Classic Fusion Aerofusion 517.OX.0180.LR.1104 New Rose gold 45mm Automatic
Hublot Classic Aerofusion Moonphase Rose Gold Diamonds 45mm New
R 440 790
Verified Dealer
148
UK
Rolex Daytona 116515ln Very good Ceramic 40mm Automatic
Rolex Daytona 116515LN Box & Papers EU 2016
R 485 920
Verified Dealer
262
UK
Omega De Ville Very good Steel 35mm Automatic
TOP
Omega De Ville vintage automatic steel 1960 Mens watch + New Box
R 15 533
Verified Dealer
676
UK
Ebel Lichine 8964970 Very good Yellow gold 33mm Automatic
TOP
Ebel Green Ladies Lichine
R 39 954
Verified Dealer
21
CH
Hublot Big Bang 301.CV.130.RX.110 Fair Steel 44mm Automatic
Hublot ウブロ HUBLOT ビッグバン ブラックマジック 301.CV.130.RX.110 純正ダイヤ 自動巻...
R 140 191
Verified Dealer
28
JP
Patek Philippe Unworn Rose gold 33,5mm Automatic
TOP
Patek Philippe 5000 FR LIMITED
R 195 724
Verified Dealer
170
IT
Rolex Lady-Datejust 68273 Very good Gold/Steel 31mm Automatic
Rolex Datejust 31mm Pink String Diamond Dial/Bezel/Lugs 68273
R 127 394
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
409
US
Breguet Reine de Naples 8967ST/V8/J50 New Steel 43mm Automatic
TOP
Breguet Reine de Naples, new, official retail price: 18.000 CHF
R 192 012
Verified Dealer
36
CH
Omega Genève 166.0163 Fair Steel 35mm Automatic South Africa, Claremont/ Cape Town
Omega Genève
R 9 046
Private Seller
ZA
Bell & Ross BR V3 BRV394-RS19/SST New Steel 43mm Automatic
Bell & Ross BR V3-94 R.S.19 Chronograph Steel Fiber Carbon...
R 48 026
Verified Dealer
148
UK
Patek Philippe Calatrava 5107J-001 Good Yellow gold 37mm Automatic
Patek Philippe カラトラバ 5107J-001
R 328 896
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
469
JP
Breitling Bentley Flying B R4436512/B874 Very good Rose gold 38mm Automatic
TOP
Breitling 18 K. Bentley Flying B Jumbo Chrono. Full set
R 195 724
Verified Dealer
277
NL
Zenith El Primero 65.0520.4026 Very good White gold 44mm Automatic
TOP
Zenith Grande Class Grande Date Rattrapante, Split Second,...
R 207 456
Verified Dealer
21
CH
Panerai Radiomir Black Seal PAM 000754 Very good Steel 45mm Automatic South Africa, Johannesburg
Panerai Radiomir
R 44 999
Verified Dealer
ZA
Rolex Yacht-Master II 116688 Very good 44mm Automatic
Rolex 116688
R 485 710
Verified Dealer
 
US
Rolex Explorer 1016 Good Steel 36mm Automatic South Africa, Cape Town
Rolex Explorer
R 279 999
Verified Dealer
ZA
Rolex Explorer II 216570-0001 Unworn Steel 42mm Automatic South Africa, Cape Town
Rolex Explorer II
R 126 346
Private Seller
ZA
Corum Admiral's Cup Legend 38 132.101.47/V200PN19 New Steel 38mm Automatic
TOP
Corum AC Chronograph 38, new, official retail price: 10.000 CHF
R 69 075
Verified Dealer
36
CH
Hublot Classic Fusion 45, 42, 38, 33 mm 565.OX.1181.LR.1704 New Rose gold 38mm Automatic
Hublot Classic Fusion Automatic King Rose Gold Pavé Diamond 38mm
R 186 678
Verified Dealer
148
UK
Rolex Explorer II 16570 Good Steel 40mm Automatic
Rolex エクスプローラーII 16570
R 93 187
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
469
JP
Bell & Ross 144 Good Steel 40mm Automatic South Africa, Johannesburg
Bell & Ross Pilot Chrono by Sinn
R 22 717
Private Seller
ZA
IWC 1830 Very good Steel 35mm Automatic
TOP
IWC Vintage Steel Bracelet Golf Club, cal 8541 B, Full Set
R 66 847
Verified Dealer
21
CH
IWC Pilot Mark IW325501 Fair Steel 39mm Automatic South Africa, Johannesburg
IWC Pilot Mark
R 34 999
Verified Dealer
ZA
Rolex 126710 BLRO New Steel 40mm Automatic
Rolex 126710 BLRO
R 283 947
Verified Dealer
 
US
Tissot Heritage Visodate T0194303603101 Very good Steel 40mm Automatic South Africa, Boksburg , Johannesburg
Tissot Heritage Visodate
R 5 700
Private Seller
ZA
Breguet Marine 3460 Very good Yellow gold 35.5mm Automatic
TOP
Breguet Marine Chronograph3460 18 KT. Gold Automatic
R 236 653
Verified Dealer
125
CH
Jaquet-Droz J016933210 New Rose gold 43mm Automatic
TOP
Jaquet-Droz Grand Date, new, official retail price: 25.200 CHF
R 211 298
Verified Dealer
36
CH
Rolex Daytona 116520 116520 Very good Steel 40mm Automatic
Rolex Montre Rolex Daytona en acier Ref : 116520 Vers 2008
R 328 784
Verified Dealer
57
FR
Bremont Supermarine S2000/BK Unworn Steel 45mm Automatic South Africa, Randburg
Bremont Supermarine S2000 / BK
R 59 707
Private Seller
ZA
Breitling A32390 Good Steel 44mm Automatic
Breitling アベンジャー II GMT A32390
R 37 686
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
469
JP
Rolex Submariner (No Date) 5513 Very good Steel 40mm Automatic
Rolex Submariner (No Date)
R 184 686
Private Seller
 
UK
Breitling Chronomat K13050.1 Good Yellow gold 40mm Automatic South Africa, Cape Town
Breitling Chronomat
R 199 999
Verified Dealer
ZA
IWC Porsche Design IW3702 Very good Titanium 42mm Automatic South Africa, Harkerville
IWC 3702 serial number: 2297099
R 41 847
Private Seller
ZA
Rolex Datejust 116231 Very good Steel 36mm Automatic
Rolex 116231
R 125 526
Verified Dealer
 
US
Cartier Ballon Bleu 36mm W3BB0007 New Gold/Steel 36mm Automatic
Cartier Ballon Bleu W3bb0007 18k Pink Gold Steel 36 Mm...
Price on request
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
 
US
Zenith Elite Chronograph Classic 03.2270.4069/01.C493 Unworn Steel 42mm Automatic South Africa, Cape Town
Zenith Elite Chronograph Classic
R 87 979
Private Seller
ZA
Breguet Classique 8788BR129986DD00 New Rose gold 36mm Automatic
TOP
Breguet Classique 36, new, official retail price: 29.000 CHF
R 288 133
Verified Dealer
36
CH
IWC Pilot Double Chronograph 3713 Good Steel 425mm Automatic
IWC Pilotswatch Doppelchronograph new Service Card from 2004
R 73 191
Verified Dealer
204
DE
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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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