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Vacheron Constantin Overseas Automatic
TOP
Vacheron Constantin Overseas Automatic
S$ 24,446
Seller
Ronald Grob, Exklusive Zeitmesser
168
CH
H.Moser & Cie. Pioneer Centre Seconds
TOP
H.Moser & Cie. Pioneer Centre Seconds
S$ 14,467
Seller
chronostars
13
AT
Seiko Limited Edition Presage Power Res Fuyugeshiki Men's...
TOP
Seiko Limited Edition Presage Power Res Fuyugeshiki Men's...
S$ 793
Seller
Diligence#1 International Distribution Inc.
PH
Doxa GRANDE METRE BLUE PLANET LIMITED EDITION 800PCS WORLD
TOP
Doxa GRANDE METRE BLUE PLANET LIMITED EDITION 800PCS WORLD
S$ 4,778
Free shipping
Seller
Przedsiębiorstwo Handlowe Usługowe
172
PL
Sevenfriday P3-1 Full Set P3/01 or P3-01
Sevenfriday P3-1 Full Set P3/01 or P3-01
S$ 870
Seller
ETI International Consulting
 
SG
Panerai Tuttonero Luminor 1950 3 Days GMT Automatic
TOP
Panerai Tuttonero Luminor 1950 3 Days GMT Automatic
S$ 13,935
Seller
Private Seller
 
SG
Cartier Calibre Diver Wsca0010
TOP
Cartier Calibre Diver Wsca0010
S$ 8,380
Seller
Mall of the Watch
957
MC
Rado 56-H Chronometre, 1st Version, Very Rare
TOP
Rado 56-H Chronometre, 1st Version, Very Rare
S$ 10,857
Seller
Plus Ultra AG
5
CH
Rolex GMT-Master II 116759SARU june 2020 Rolex warranty
TOP
Rolex GMT-Master II 116759SARU june 2020 Rolex warranty
S$ 109,094
Seller
MMC RIVIERA
6
MC
Rolex OYSTER PERPETUAL CHRONOMETER 18K GOLD HONEYCOMB WABENBLATT
TOP
Rolex OYSTER PERPETUAL CHRONOMETER 18K GOLD HONEYCOMB WABENBLATT
S$ 7,890
Seller
Timeless Watches GmbH
271
DE
Bell & Ross Vintage 126XL  Limited Edition
TOP
Bell & Ross Vintage 126XL Limited Edition
S$ 11,818
Seller
Fernando Monge SA
141
ES
Omega Constellation deluxe 18 ct gold
TOP
Omega Constellation deluxe 18 ct gold
S$ 7,008
Seller
The Watch Collector Ltd.
95
UK
Cartier Ballon Bleu Le Cartier Carbon watch
TOP
Cartier Ballon Bleu Le Cartier Carbon watch
S$ 8,500
Seller
Private Seller
 
SG
Rolex Datejust 16030
Rolex Datejust 16030
S$ 3,850
Seller
ETI International Consulting
 
SG
Tissot Seastar 1000
Tissot Seastar 1000
S$ 850
Seller
Private Seller
SG
Davidoff Men's Very Zino (Self-Winding), 10009
TOP
Davidoff Men's Very Zino (Self-Winding), 10009
S$ 1,250
Seller
Private Seller
 
SG
Breitling Navitimer Fighters, Limited Edition, Full Set, Rare:...
TOP
Breitling Navitimer Fighters, Limited Edition, Full Set, Rare:...
S$ 23,465
Seller
Plus Ultra AG
5
CH
Rolex GMT-Master II 116758SARU with 2 years warranty
TOP
Rolex GMT-Master II 116758SARU with 2 years warranty
S$ 109,094
Seller
MMC RIVIERA
6
MC
Rado Voyager (automatic)
Rado Voyager (automatic)
S$ 470
Seller
Private Seller
SG
Richard Mille RM 30 Rose Gold
Richard Mille RM 30 Rose Gold
S$ 161,000
Seller
Private Seller
SG
Rolex Daytona
Rolex Daytona
S$ 44,800
Seller
Private Seller
SG
TAG Heuer cv2a10.fc6235
TAG Heuer cv2a10.fc6235
S$ 2,300
Seller
Private Seller
SG
Hamilton Jazzmaster Auto Chrono
Hamilton Jazzmaster Auto Chrono
S$ 800
Seller
Private Seller
 
SG
Omega Seamaster 2226.80.00 James Bond 007 Casino Royal Box Papers
Omega Seamaster 2226.80.00 James Bond 007 Casino Royal Box Papers
S$ 4,950
Seller
ETI International Consulting
 
SG
Hublot CLASSIC FUSION AEROFUSION CHRONOGRAPH ORLINSKI ALL BLACK
Hublot CLASSIC FUSION AEROFUSION CHRONOGRAPH ORLINSKI ALL BLACK
S$ 26,000
Seller
Private Seller
 
SG
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Chronograph
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Chronograph
S$ 22,925
Seller
Private Seller
IT
Patek Philippe Nautilus 3800 18K White Gold first serie 1996
TOP
Patek Philippe Nautilus 3800 18K White Gold first serie 1996
S$ 102,769
Seller
MMC RIVIERA
6
MC
Rado Voyager Day Date
Rado Voyager Day Date
S$ 620
Seller
Private Seller
SG
Glycine Airman World Timer GMT
Glycine Airman World Timer GMT
S$ 1,330
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
Glycine Combat Chronograph
Glycine Combat Chronograph
S$ 1,450
Seller
Private Seller
SG
Seiko Presage
Seiko Presage
S$ 950
Seller
Private Seller
 
SG
Cartier Santos 100
Cartier Santos 100
S$ 5,853
Seller
Private Seller
SG
Rolex Yacht-Master
Rolex Yacht-Master
S$ 11,000
Seller
Private Seller
SG
Breitling Skyracer Chronograph Full Set
Breitling Skyracer Chronograph Full Set
S$ 3,600
Seller
ETI International Consulting
 
SG
Seiko Alpinist SARB0017 (new in box)
Seiko Alpinist SARB0017 (new in box)
S$ 950
Seller
Private Seller
SG
Rolex GMT Master 1675/8 PCG Cornino
TOP
Rolex GMT Master 1675/8 PCG Cornino
S$ 61,662
Seller
MMC RIVIERA
6
MC
Rolex Lady-Datejust
Rolex Lady-Datejust
S$ 5,800
Seller
Private Seller
 
SG
Rolex Datejust Pearlmaster
TOP
Rolex Datejust Pearlmaster
S$ 31,590
Free shipping
Seller
Chronometrie Stäuble AG
 
CH
Hublot Iconic Big Bang Earl Grey Steel ref 342.ST.5010.LR Watch
TOP
Hublot Iconic Big Bang Earl Grey Steel ref 342.ST.5010.LR Watch
S$ 20,903
Free shipping
Seller
Ye Olde Timekeepers, Inc.
21
US
Tudor Black Bay
Tudor Black Bay
S$ 3,800
Seller
Private Seller
SG
King Seiko Hi-Beat 5625-7111 70s vintage
King Seiko Hi-Beat 5625-7111 70s vintage
S$ 520
Seller
Private Seller
 
SG
Rolex Yacht-Master
Rolex Yacht-Master
S$ 16,500
Seller
Private Seller
SG
TAG Heuer Carrera Calibre 1887
TAG Heuer Carrera Calibre 1887
S$ 3,000
Seller
Private Seller
 
SG
Jaeger-LeCoultre Amvox5 World Chronoraph
Jaeger-LeCoultre Amvox5 World Chronoraph
S$ 28,800
Seller
Private Seller
SG
Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Tourbillon
Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Tourbillon
S$ 52,000
Seller
Private Seller
SG
Panerai Luminor 1950 3 Days GMT Power Reserve Automatic
Panerai Luminor 1950 3 Days GMT Power Reserve Automatic
S$ 8,400
Seller
Private Seller
 
SG
TAG Heuer Autavia
TAG Heuer Autavia
S$ 3,557
Seller
Private Seller
 
SG
Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean Casino Royale James Bond Edition
Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean Casino Royale James Bond Edition
S$ 5,500
Seller
Private Seller
 
SG
Cartier Calibre De Cartier
Cartier Calibre De Cartier
S$ 6,968
Seller
Private Seller
SG
IWC Pilot Chronograph Top Gun
IWC Pilot Chronograph Top Gun
S$ 12,000
Seller
Private Seller
SG
Seiko Grand Seiko SBGA211 SNOWFLAKE
Seiko Grand Seiko SBGA211 SNOWFLAKE
S$ 8,300
Seller
Private Seller
 
SG
Seiko Presage Power Reserve
Seiko Presage Power Reserve
S$ 680
Seller
ETI International Consulting
 
SG
Corum Admiral's Cup AC-One
TOP
Corum Admiral's Cup AC-One
S$ 7,705
Free shipping
Seller
Chronometrie Stäuble AG
 
CH
IWC Aquatimer Deep Two
IWC Aquatimer Deep Two
S$ 18,500
Seller
Private Seller
SG
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Chronograph
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Chronograph
S$ 43,500
Seller
Private Seller
SG
Rolex Day-Date
TOP
Rolex Day-Date
S$ 10,787
Seller
Bijouterie-Horlogerie Langel
62
CH
Rolex GMT-Master II Well maintained V Series GMT
Rolex GMT-Master II Well maintained V Series GMT
S$ 11,000
Seller
Private Seller
 
SG
Omega AQUA TERRA 150M OMEGA CO-AXIAL MASTER CHRONOMETER 41 MM
Omega AQUA TERRA 150M OMEGA CO-AXIAL MASTER CHRONOMETER 41 MM
S$ 5,660
Seller
Private Seller
 
SG
Panerai Special Editions
Panerai Special Editions
S$ 15,999
Seller
Private Seller
SG
Omega chronometer rated cal 333 RG
TOP
Omega chronometer rated cal 333 RG
S$ 4,385
Seller
The Watch Collector Ltd.
95
UK
Breguet Classique
Breguet Classique
S$ 55,555
Seller
Private Seller
SG
Cartier Pasha C GMT With Box
Cartier Pasha C GMT With Box
S$ 2,230
Seller
ETI International Consulting
 
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
  • 30
  • 60
  • 120

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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