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Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Chronograph
TOP
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Chronograph
S$ 36,245
Seller
LUXE WARE (HK) LIMITED
65
HK
Patek Philippe Nautilus
TOP
Patek Philippe Nautilus
S$ 72,667
Seller
LUXE WARE (HK) LIMITED
65
HK
Zenith EL PRIMERO TOURBILLON
TOP
Zenith EL PRIMERO TOURBILLON
S$ 52,820
Seller
ZEGG & CERLATI
48
MC
Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Compressor Extreme W-Alarm
TOP
Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Compressor Extreme W-Alarm
S$ 10,888
Seller
Private Seller
 
SG
Rolex LADY PEARLMASTER DATEJUST MASTERPIECE GOLD DIAMANT DIAMOND
TOP
Rolex LADY PEARLMASTER DATEJUST MASTERPIECE GOLD DIAMANT DIAMOND
S$ 28,578
Seller
Timeless Watches GmbH
218
DE
Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Control
Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Control
S$ 3,000
Seller
Private Seller
SG
Richard Mille RM 30 Rose Gold
Richard Mille RM 30 Rose Gold
S$ 161,000
Seller
Private Seller
SG
Patek Philippe Nautilus
Patek Philippe Nautilus
S$ 63,888
Seller
Private Seller
SG
Patek Philippe Annual Calendar
Patek Philippe Annual Calendar
S$ 34,500
Seller
Private Seller
SG
Audemars Piguet AP Royal Oak Offshore 44mm 26401ro
Audemars Piguet AP Royal Oak Offshore 44mm 26401ro
S$ 48,900
Seller
Private Seller
SG
TAG Heuer Carrera Calibre 16 NT5190
TAG Heuer Carrera Calibre 16 NT5190
S$ 1,990
Seller
Private Seller
SG
U-Boat U-1001 Limited Edition 78/1001
U-Boat U-1001 Limited Edition 78/1001
S$ 4,800
Seller
Private Seller
SG
Omega Seamaster 300 Limited Edition 1957 Re-Issue (No. 2112 of...
Omega Seamaster 300 Limited Edition 1957 Re-Issue (No. 2112 of...
S$ 7,500
Seller
Private Seller
SG
Swiss Military by R
Swiss Military by R
S$ 200
Seller
Private Seller
SG
Piaget Polo s
Piaget Polo s
S$ 9,065
Seller
Private Seller
SG
Patek Philippe Nautilus
Patek Philippe Nautilus
S$ 67,000
Seller
Private Seller
SG
Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Chronograph
Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Chronograph
S$ 8,888
Seller
Private Seller
SG
U-Boat Classico 1001/47 9mm Limited Edition 20/300
U-Boat Classico 1001/47 9mm Limited Edition 20/300
S$ 4,900
Seller
Private Seller
SG
Cartier Santos 100
Cartier Santos 100
S$ 5,857
Seller
Private Seller
SG
Longines Heritage Retrograde FULL SET BOX and PAPERS
Longines Heritage Retrograde FULL SET BOX and PAPERS
S$ 2,989
Seller
Private Seller
SG
Rolex Yacht-Master
Rolex Yacht-Master
S$ 11,000
Seller
Private Seller
SG
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Chronograph
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Chronograph
S$ 22,000
Seller
Private Seller
SG
Rolex Daytona
Rolex Daytona
S$ 44,800
Seller
Private Seller
SG
Panerai Special Editions
Panerai Special Editions
S$ 15,999
Seller
Private Seller
SG
Patek Philippe Nautilus Ref. 5712G
Patek Philippe Nautilus Ref. 5712G
S$ 65,000
Seller
Private Seller
SG
Richard Mille RM 11-03 NTPT
TOP
Richard Mille RM 11-03 NTPT
S$ 258,000
Seller
Private Seller
SG
Chopard Mille Miglia GTXL Chronograph, Split-second
Chopard Mille Miglia GTXL Chronograph, Split-second
S$ 11,900
Seller
Private Seller
SG
TAG Heuer cv2a10.fc6235
TAG Heuer cv2a10.fc6235
S$ 2,300
Seller
Private Seller
SG
Omega Seamaster 600 Ploprof
Omega Seamaster 600 Ploprof
S$ 12,391
Seller
Private Seller
SG
Rolex Yacht-Master
Rolex Yacht-Master
S$ 16,500
Seller
Private Seller
SG
Ball GM 10520-ST-BK
Ball GM 10520-ST-BK
S$ 1,388
Seller
Private Seller
SG
Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Tourbillon
Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Tourbillon
S$ 52,000
Seller
Private Seller
SG
Panerai Luminor Due
Panerai Luminor Due
S$ 13,929
Seller
Private Seller
SG
Patek Philippe World Time Chronograph
Patek Philippe World Time Chronograph
S$ 88,600
Seller
Private Seller
SG
IWC Pilot Chronograph Top Gun Miramar
IWC Pilot Chronograph Top Gun Miramar
S$ 9,553
Seller
Private Seller
SG
Girard Perregaux Richeville
Girard Perregaux Richeville
S$ 3,486
Seller
Private Seller
SG
IWC Portuguese (Yacht Club Worldtimer - steel with rubber strap)
IWC Portuguese (Yacht Club Worldtimer - steel with rubber strap)
S$ 12,000
Seller
Private Seller
SG
Jaeger-LeCoultre Amvox5 World Chronoraph
Jaeger-LeCoultre Amvox5 World Chronoraph
S$ 28,800
Seller
Private Seller
SG
Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Compressor Navy Seals Diving Limited...
Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Compressor Navy Seals Diving Limited...
S$ 13,528
Seller
Private Seller
SG
Breguet SECRET DE LA REINE
TOP
Breguet SECRET DE LA REINE
S$ 139,795
Seller
ZEGG & CERLATI
48
MC
Chopard Mille Miglia Speed Black Power Control
Chopard Mille Miglia Speed Black Power Control
S$ 25,000
Seller
Private Seller
SG
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Chronograph
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Chronograph
S$ 44,500
Seller
Private Seller
SG
Snyper Ironclad Red Special Edition
Snyper Ironclad Red Special Edition
S$ 3,277
Seller
Private Seller
SG
Rolex Lady-Datejust
Rolex Lady-Datejust
S$ 5,800
Seller
Private Seller
 
SG
Maurice Lacroix Masterpiece with Moonphase AJ20383, MP6066
Maurice Lacroix Masterpiece with Moonphase AJ20383, MP6066
S$ 2,500
Seller
Private Seller
 
SG
Rolex Datejust
Rolex Datejust
S$ 10,615
Seller
Private Seller
 
SG
Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch Brown dial
Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch Brown dial
S$ 6,500
Seller
Private Seller
 
SG
Rolex Oyster Perpetual Lady Datejust
Rolex Oyster Perpetual Lady Datejust
S$ 5,324
Seller
Private Seller
 
SG
De Grisogono UNO GS N08 Or 18 KT. Bruni
TOP
De Grisogono UNO GS N08 Or 18 KT. Bruni
S$ 13,871
Seller
Bijouterie-Horlogerie Langel
47
CH
Cartier Calibre De Cartier
Cartier Calibre De Cartier
S$ 6,973
Seller
Private Seller
SG
Corum AdmiralS.C.One
TOP
Corum AdmiralS.C.One
S$ 8,737
Seller
CANTELI JOYEROS SL
5
ES
Omega De Ville Prestige 18K Gold Luxusuhr Goldband Unisex...
TOP
Omega De Ville Prestige 18K Gold Luxusuhr Goldband Unisex...
S$ 11,118
Seller
Uhrenkapital
322
DE
Rolex Lady-Datejust
TOP
Rolex Lady-Datejust
S$ 6,500
Seller
Private Seller
SG
Vacheron Constantin Overseas Chronograph 42mm Silver Dial NEW
TOP
Vacheron Constantin Overseas Chronograph 42mm Silver Dial NEW
S$ 24,623
Seller
Timepiece Bank
380
BE
Breitling Super Avenger Military
TOP
Breitling Super Avenger Military
S$ 6,950
Seller
Private Seller
SG
IWC vintage automatic Cal 854B Stainless Steel from 1971
TOP
IWC vintage automatic Cal 854B Stainless Steel from 1971
S$ 2,381
Seller
qualityextra
12
HU
Chopard L.U.C Lunar One 161927-1001
TOP
Chopard L.U.C Lunar One 161927-1001
S$ 52,344
Seller
Watchdeals
169
NL
Perrelet Turbine Macau  (Limited Edition)
TOP
Perrelet Turbine Macau (Limited Edition)
S$ 6,513
Free shipping
Seller
Istock LTD
99
LV
Breitling Chronomat 44
TOP
Breitling Chronomat 44
S$ 7,599
Seller
Private Seller
SG
Rolex NEW Rolex 126711 GMT Master II ROOT BEER
TOP
Rolex NEW Rolex 126711 GMT Master II ROOT BEER
S$ 23,707
Seller
WearingTime LLC
14
US
Rolex Unpolished 18K Gold Day-Date Factory 8+2 Champagne Dial
TOP
Rolex Unpolished 18K Gold Day-Date Factory 8+2 Champagne Dial
S$ 19,517
Seller
Austins Watches Inc.
189
US
Breguet Transatlantique Type XX Chronograph Black Dial...
TOP
Breguet Transatlantique Type XX Chronograph Black Dial...
S$ 7,625
Free shipping
Seller
Pawndeluxe
138
NL
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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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