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Piaget MASSIVE 36mm 1970s 18KT WG AUTOMATIC CUFFLING SET BOX
TOP
Piaget MASSIVE 36mm 1970s 18KT WG AUTOMATIC CUFFLING SET BOX
S$ 13,668
Free shipping
Seller
Watch Hunter
 
US
Roger Dubuis Excalibur Spider Pirelli - Automatic Skeleton
TOP
Roger Dubuis Excalibur Spider Pirelli - Automatic Skeleton
S$ 66,971
Seller
Artex AG
7
CH
Patek Philippe VINTAGE  PATEK PHILIPPE1960S 18KT YG REF 3425 AUTO
TOP
Patek Philippe VINTAGE PATEK PHILIPPE1960S 18KT YG REF 3425 AUTO
S$ 11,481
Free shipping
Seller
Watch Hunter
 
US
Rolex Oyster Perpetual DateJust Automatic Steel Mens Watch 1625
TOP
Rolex Oyster Perpetual DateJust Automatic Steel Mens Watch 1625
S$ 3,671
Seller
Watch World Star
153
UK
Cartier Pasha Series Mens Black Dial Swiss Automatic Watch...
TOP
Cartier Pasha Series Mens Black Dial Swiss Automatic Watch...
S$ 2,493
Seller
Inventory Adjusters
83
US
A. Lange & Söhne Saxonia Automatic Jewelled
TOP
A. Lange & Söhne Saxonia Automatic Jewelled
S$ 44,019
Seller
WatchesofMayfair.com
229
UK
Breguet Classique Automatico Brillantes
TOP
Breguet Classique Automatico Brillantes
S$ 22,584
Seller
Fernando Monge SA
84
ES
Tissot Couturier Automatic Chronograph
Tissot Couturier Automatic Chronograph
S$ 1,200
Seller
Private Seller
SG
Frederique Constant Classics Index Automatic
Frederique Constant Classics Index Automatic
S$ 1,376
BrandBoutique Member
Frederique Constant SA
Richard Mille RM 11-01 AUTOMATIC FLYBACK CHRONOGRAPH - ROBERTO...
TOP
Richard Mille RM 11-01 AUTOMATIC FLYBACK CHRONOGRAPH - ROBERTO...
Price on request
Seller
Luxury Souq KSA
SA
Panerai Luminor GMT Automatic
Panerai Luminor GMT Automatic
S$ 7,550
Seller
Private Seller
SG
Panerai Luminor Power Reserve Automatic PAM90
Panerai Luminor Power Reserve Automatic PAM90
S$ 5,750
Seller
Monster Time Gallery
SG
Franck Muller Cintree Curvex Big Date Automatic Limited Edition
Franck Muller Cintree Curvex Big Date Automatic Limited Edition
S$ 9,000
Seller
Lu-Ann Vintage Collection
SG
Corum Admiral's Cup Automatic Ref 082.830.20
Corum Admiral's Cup Automatic Ref 082.830.20
S$ 3,663
Seller
Asia Timepiece
SG
Rolex 14000 Air King Saudi Military S/S Automatic Watch
Rolex 14000 Air King Saudi Military S/S Automatic Watch
S$ 5,194
Seller
Timescube
SG
Panerai Luminor Marina Automatic Acciaio - 44mm
Panerai Luminor Marina Automatic Acciaio - 44mm
S$ 8,900
Seller
Fino Pte Ltd
SG
Frederique Constant Ladies Delight Automatic
Frederique Constant Ladies Delight Automatic
S$ 2,833
BrandBoutique Member
Frederique Constant SA
Richard Mille RM 033 Extra Flat Automatic
Richard Mille RM 033 Extra Flat Automatic
S$ 91,800
Seller
Chrono95
SG
Hublot - Fusion King Opalin , Oro Rosa, 42mm, Automático - 5
Auction
Hublot - Fusion King Opalin , Oro Rosa, 42mm, Automático - 5
S$ 13,761
Estimated price
Seller
Catawiki BV
 
Panerai PAM 616 Luminor Submersible 1950 Carbotech 3 Days...
Panerai PAM 616 Luminor Submersible 1950 Carbotech 3 Days...
S$ 20,501
Seller
BuyGoodWatches
 
US
IWC Super Rare Portugiser Automatic 2000 stainless steel
IWC Super Rare Portugiser Automatic 2000 stainless steel
S$ 11,900
Seller
Monster Time Gallery
SG
Omega Vintage Omega Seamaster De Ville Automatic
Omega Vintage Omega Seamaster De Ville Automatic
S$ 1,093
Seller
Lu-Ann Vintage Collection
SG
Davosa Mecanique Regulateur Regulator Automatic 47.5mm
Davosa Mecanique Regulateur Regulator Automatic 47.5mm
S$ 927
Seller
Asia Timepiece
SG
Rolex 18K Gold & S/S Diamond Automatic Men's Watch
Rolex 18K Gold & S/S Diamond Automatic Men's Watch
S$ 7,927
Seller
Timescube
SG
Rado AUTOMATIC
Rado AUTOMATIC
S$ 872
Seller
John Bull & Company Ltd
 
UK
Frederique Constant Classics Index Automatic
Frederique Constant Classics Index Automatic
S$ 1,700
BrandBoutique Member
Frederique Constant SA
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Automatic Rose Gold Black Dial 15400OR
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Automatic Rose Gold Black Dial 15400OR
S$ 43,800
Seller
Chrono95
SG
IWC Portuguese Stainless Steel Silver Automatic IW371446
TOP
IWC Portuguese Stainless Steel Silver Automatic IW371446
S$ 7,424
Seller
VIP WATCH & JEWELLERY
21
HK
Panerai Luminor Marina Titanium Pam 296 Automatic (mint)
Panerai Luminor Marina Titanium Pam 296 Automatic (mint)
S$ 8,350
Seller
Goldman Luxury
SG
Panerai PAM00619 1940 Radiomir Automatic Titanium
TOP
Panerai PAM00619 1940 Radiomir Automatic Titanium
S$ 8,751
Seller
K&S Watch & Jewellery
16
HK
Seiko Vintage Day-Date Automatic
Seiko Vintage Day-Date Automatic
S$ 150
Seller
Lu-Ann Vintage Collection
SG
Omega Speedmaster Reduced Automatic Chronograph - aus 1991
Omega Speedmaster Reduced Automatic Chronograph - aus 1991
S$ 2,250
Seller
wagener-gold International e.K.
825
DE
Omega 4877.60.37
TOP
Omega 4877.60.37
S$ 12,076
Seller
Deluxe ( Asia ) Ltd
20
HK
Ingersoll IN2819CH Columbia No.1 Automatik
Ingersoll IN2819CH Columbia No.1 Automatik
S$ 419
Seller
Timeshop24.de Ltd.
3266
DE
Frederique Constant Ladies Delight Automatic
Frederique Constant Ladies Delight Automatic
S$ 2,582
BrandBoutique Member
Frederique Constant SA
Panerai Radiomir Composite Black Seal 3 Days Automatic PAM...
Panerai Radiomir Composite Black Seal 3 Days Automatic PAM...
Price on request
Seller
Chrono95
SG
Franck Muller Vanguard Titanium Black Automatic V 45 Sc Dt...
TOP
Franck Muller Vanguard Titanium Black Automatic V 45 Sc Dt...
S$ 6,388
Seller
VIP WATCH & JEWELLERY
21
HK
Breitling Chronomat Chronograph Automatic
Breitling Chronomat Chronograph Automatic
S$ 4,100
Seller
Goldman Luxury
SG
Panerai Luminor Marina Automatic 44 PAM164 Ref. PAM00164
Panerai Luminor Marina Automatic 44 PAM164 Ref. PAM00164
S$ 5,747
Seller
Uhren2000 GmbH
230
DE
Seiko Vintage SEIKO Bellmatic Alarm Day-Date Automatic
Seiko Vintage SEIKO Bellmatic Alarm Day-Date Automatic
S$ 450
Seller
Lu-Ann Vintage Collection
SG
Sevenfriday Essence Automatic - SF-P1/01
Sevenfriday Essence Automatic - SF-P1/01
S$ 955
Seller
wagener-gold International e.K.
825
DE
Roger Dubuis Excalibur Lady Automatic
TOP
Roger Dubuis Excalibur Lady Automatic
S$ 22,053
Seller
Deluxe ( Asia ) Ltd
20
HK
Ingersoll IN6900RWH Grand Canyon IV Automatik 42mm 3ATM
Ingersoll IN6900RWH Grand Canyon IV Automatik 42mm 3ATM
S$ 484
Seller
Timeshop24.de Ltd.
3266
DE
Frederique Constant Classics Automatic
Frederique Constant Classics Automatic
S$ 1,829
BrandBoutique Member
Frederique Constant SA
Doxa Into the Ocean D196SBU Automatic Limited Editon Watch
Doxa Into the Ocean D196SBU Automatic Limited Editon Watch
S$ 1,760
Seller
JOYCE JEWELLERY
 
AU
IWC Portofino Stainless Steel Black Automatic IW391008
TOP
IWC Portofino Stainless Steel Black Automatic IW391008
S$ 5,233
Seller
VIP WATCH & JEWELLERY
21
HK
Franck Muller Curvex 5850 Diamond Automatic Black (new-unworn)
Franck Muller Curvex 5850 Diamond Automatic Black (new-unworn)
Price on request
Seller
Goldman Luxury
SG
Glycine Combat 6 Automatic 3890.4 – 43mm Date Stainless Steel...
Glycine Combat 6 Automatic 3890.4 – 43mm Date Stainless Steel...
S$ 745
Seller
The Sutor House
 
US
Omega Constellation Chronometer Brick Bracelet 18KYG Automatic
Omega Constellation Chronometer Brick Bracelet 18KYG Automatic
S$ 11,500
Seller
Lu-Ann Vintage Collection
SG
Omega Seamaster Professional  300m Automatic - 41 mm
Omega Seamaster Professional 300m Automatic - 41 mm
S$ 2,898
Seller
wagener-gold International e.K.
825
DE
Chronoswiss Imperator Automatic
TOP
Chronoswiss Imperator Automatic
S$ 5,233
Seller
Deluxe ( Asia ) Ltd
20
HK
Ingersoll IN2301BBKO Pomo Automatic Herren 5ATM 47mm
Ingersoll IN2301BBKO Pomo Automatic Herren 5ATM 47mm
S$ 262
Seller
Timeshop24.de Ltd.
3266
DE
Frederique Constant Classics Index Automatic
Frederique Constant Classics Index Automatic
S$ 1,538
BrandBoutique Member
Frederique Constant SA
Montblanc Meisterstück Star Chronograph - ref. 7016 - automati...
Auction
Montblanc Meisterstück Star Chronograph - ref. 7016 - automati...
S$ 2,266
Estimated price
Seller
Catawiki BV
 
Franck Muller Cintree Curvex Pink Gold Diamond Gold Automatic...
TOP
Franck Muller Cintree Curvex Pink Gold Diamond Gold Automatic...
S$ 71,076
Seller
VIP WATCH & JEWELLERY
21
HK
Pasha De Cartier 35mm Ss Automatic (near Mint)
Pasha De Cartier 35mm Ss Automatic (near Mint)
S$ 2,850
Seller
Goldman Luxury
SG
Wempe Zeitmeister Glashütte /SA automatic chronograph white dial
Wempe Zeitmeister Glashütte /SA automatic chronograph white dial
S$ 1,617
Seller
Luxury-Time
231
DE
Panerai Luminor Marina Automatic Gent's Stainless Steel 44mm
Panerai Luminor Marina Automatic Gent's Stainless Steel 44mm
S$ 6,765
Seller
Diamond Box, Inc. DBA Solitaire Bridal & Estate Jewellers
 
US
Omega Speedmaster Reduced Automatic Chronograph - aus 1998
Omega Speedmaster Reduced Automatic Chronograph - aus 1998
S$ 2,250
Seller
wagener-gold International e.K.
825
DE
Doxa Into the Ocean D127SBO Men's Automatic Watch
Doxa Into the Ocean D127SBO Men's Automatic Watch
S$ 1,173
Seller
JOYCE JEWELLERY
 
AU

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.