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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
AED 37,585
Free shipping
Seller
Watch Hunter
 
US
Montblanc Meisterstück Timewalker 43 Chronograph Automatik |...
TOP
Montblanc Meisterstück Timewalker 43 Chronograph Automatik |...
AED 12,489
Seller
Cassa watch
RU
Cartier PVD/DLC Roadster XL Chronograph 48mm  - Automatic 3405...
TOP
Cartier PVD/DLC Roadster XL Chronograph 48mm - Automatic 3405...
AED 26,291
Seller
Austins Watches Inc.
105
US
A. Lange & Söhne Saxonia Automatic Jewelled
TOP
A. Lange & Söhne Saxonia Automatic Jewelled
AED 120,067
Seller
WatchesofMayfair.com
206
UK
Frederique Constant Slimline Automatic Heart Beat
Frederique Constant Slimline Automatic Heart Beat
AED 7,926
BrandBoutique Member
Frederique Constant SA
IWC Portuguese Automatic
IWC Portuguese Automatic
AED 27,000
Seller
Private seller
AE
Hublot Classic Fusion Automatic Titanium 45mm
Hublot Classic Fusion Automatic Titanium 45mm
AED 33,826
Seller
Haute Horologe
AE
Bulgari Bvlgari OCTO FINISSIMO AUTOMATIC Titanium Watch
Bulgari Bvlgari OCTO FINISSIMO AUTOMATIC Titanium Watch
AED 38,800
Seller
The Store
AE
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak 41mm Automatic Black Dial 18kt Rose...
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak 41mm Automatic Black Dial 18kt Rose...
AED 127,037
Seller
Luxury Souq Dubai
AE
Audemars Piguet 15400ST Royal Oak Automatic 41mm
Audemars Piguet 15400ST Royal Oak Automatic 41mm
AED 53,747
Seller
Cleopatra Watches & Jewellery
AE
IWC Ingenieur Automatic
IWC Ingenieur Automatic
AED 21,048
Free shipping
Seller
Rainbow Tech
AE
Corum Tabogan Steel Automatic
Corum Tabogan Steel Automatic
AED 7,893
Seller
Private seller
AE
Romain Jerome Spacecraft Automatic LTD 99
Romain Jerome Spacecraft Automatic LTD 99
AED 53,371
Seller
The Golden Line
AE
Frederique Constant Classics Automatic
Frederique Constant Classics Automatic
AED 4,990
BrandBoutique Member
Frederique Constant SA
IWC Portofino Automatic Moon Phase 37 Edition
IWC Portofino Automatic Moon Phase 37 Edition
AED 27,540
Free shipping
Seller
Timepiece360
AE
Girard Perregaux Laureato Skeleton Automatic 42mm Mens Watch
Girard Perregaux Laureato Skeleton Automatic 42mm Mens Watch
AED 80,000
Seller
Haute Horologe
AE
Harry Winston Premier Excenter Time Zone Automatic Rose Gold...
Harry Winston Premier Excenter Time Zone Automatic Rose Gold...
AED 70,000
Seller
The Store
AE
Breguet Marine Automatic Big Date 39mm Stainless Steel
Breguet Marine Automatic Big Date 39mm Stainless Steel
AED 38,713
Seller
Luxury Souq Dubai
AE
Panerai Luminor Marina 1950 Carbotech 3 Days Automatic 44 mm
Panerai Luminor Marina 1950 Carbotech 3 Days Automatic 44 mm
AED 34,202
Seller
Cleopatra Watches & Jewellery
AE
Girard Perregaux 1966 Automatic Men's Watch
Girard Perregaux 1966 Automatic Men's Watch
AED 40,968
Free shipping
Seller
Rainbow Tech
AE
IWC Aquatimer Chrono-Automatic
IWC Aquatimer Chrono-Automatic
AED 18,417
Seller
Limitedluxury
AE
IWC Ingenieur Automatic
IWC Ingenieur Automatic
Price on request
Seller
GMT Watches And Jewellery Trading
AE
Frederique Constant Classics Index Automatic
Frederique Constant Classics Index Automatic
AED 3,753
BrandBoutique Member
Frederique Constant SA
Montblanc Star Automatic
Montblanc Star Automatic
AED 7,500
Free shipping
Seller
Timepiece360
AE
Panerai LUMINOR SUBMERSIBLE 1950 AMAGNETIC 3 DAYS AUTOMATIC...
Panerai LUMINOR SUBMERSIBLE 1950 AMAGNETIC 3 DAYS AUTOMATIC...
AED 33,826
Seller
Haute Horologe
AE
Ulysse Nardin Maxi Marine Diver  Automatic White Gold Watch
Ulysse Nardin Maxi Marine Diver Automatic White Gold Watch
AED 98,500
Seller
The Store
AE
Roger Dubuis Excalibur 42MM Automatic Skeleton
Roger Dubuis Excalibur 42MM Automatic Skeleton
AED 157,481
Seller
Luxury Souq Dubai
AE
Longines Master Collection 38mm Automátic Date
Longines Master Collection 38mm Automátic Date
AED 5,078
Seller
The Swiss House
 
ES
Panerai Luminor Submersible 1950 Carbotech 3 Days Automatic 47 mm
Panerai Luminor Submersible 1950 Carbotech 3 Days Automatic 47 mm
AED 58,257
Seller
Rainbow Tech
AE
Breguet Reine de Naples Automatic 35mm 8967st/v8/986 blue
Breguet Reine de Naples Automatic 35mm 8967st/v8/986 blue
AED 31,759
Free shipping
Seller
East Coast Jewelry
7
US
Jaeger-LeCoultre Memovox GT E861 Alarm Automatic K825 - 60er...
Jaeger-LeCoultre Memovox GT E861 Alarm Automatic K825 - 60er...
AED 8,169
Seller
Auktionskontor Hamburg
5
DE
Frederique Constant Slimline Automatic
Frederique Constant Slimline Automatic
AED 8,788
BrandBoutique Member
Frederique Constant SA
Rolex | A Stainless Steel And Yellow Gold Automatic Chronograp...
Auction
Rolex | A Stainless Steel And Yellow Gold Automatic Chronograp...
AED 31,275
Estimated price
Seller
Sotheby´s
 
Panerai LUMINOR MARINA AUTOMATIC ACCIAIO - 44MM
Panerai LUMINOR MARINA AUTOMATIC ACCIAIO - 44MM
AED 21,611
Seller
Haute Horologe
AE
Corum BUBBLE HALLOWEEN PIRATE 47MM AUTOMATIC WATCH
Corum BUBBLE HALLOWEEN PIRATE 47MM AUTOMATIC WATCH
AED 15,500
Seller
The Store
AE
Audemars Piguet Platinum Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar Skeleton...
Audemars Piguet Platinum Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar Skeleton...
AED 306,318
Seller
Luxury Souq Dubai
AE
Breguet Marine Automatic Big Date
Breguet Marine Automatic Big Date
AED 59,756
Seller
chasovshik.ru
RU
Chopard Happy Sport Medium Automatic
Chopard Happy Sport Medium Automatic
AED 70,848
Seller
Rainbow Tech
AE
Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Stainless Steel Silvery White...
TOP
Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Stainless Steel Silvery White...
AED 16,263
Seller
VIP WATCH & JEWELLERY
18
HK
Roger Dubuis Excalibur Lady Automatic
TOP
Roger Dubuis Excalibur Lady Automatic
AED 60,626
Free shipping
Seller
Deluxe ( Asia ) Ltd
12
HK
Frederique Constant Slimline Automatic
Frederique Constant Slimline Automatic
AED 7,485
BrandBoutique Member
Frederique Constant SA
Rolex | A Lady's Stainless Steel And Yellow Gold Automatic...
Auction
Rolex | A Lady's Stainless Steel And Yellow Gold Automatic...
AED 5,774
Estimated price
Seller
Sotheby´s
 
Panerai RADIOMIR 1940 3 DAYS AUTOMATIC TITANIO - 45MM
Panerai RADIOMIR 1940 3 DAYS AUTOMATIC TITANIO - 45MM
AED 30,820
Seller
Haute Horologe
AE
Rolex Sky-Dweller Automatic Black Dial 18kt White Gold  Watch
Rolex Sky-Dweller Automatic Black Dial 18kt White Gold Watch
AED 98,500
Seller
The Store
AE
Bulgari BVLGARI BVLGARI AUTOMATIC 33MM LADIES WATCH
Bulgari BVLGARI BVLGARI AUTOMATIC 33MM LADIES WATCH
AED 30,256
Seller
Luxury Souq Dubai
AE
Breguet Marine Automatic Big Date
Breguet Marine Automatic Big Date
AED 40,588
Seller
chasovshik.ru
RU
Roger Dubuis Excalibur 42 Automatic
Roger Dubuis Excalibur 42 Automatic
AED 56,377
Seller
Rainbow Tech
AE
Panerai PAM00627  Radiomir 1940 3 Days GMT Automatic Acciaio
TOP
Panerai PAM00627 Radiomir 1940 3 Days GMT Automatic Acciaio
AED 26,464
Seller
K&S Watch & Jewellery
13
HK
Franck Muller Vanguard Stainless Steel Gray Automatic V 45 Sc...
TOP
Franck Muller Vanguard Stainless Steel Gray Automatic V 45 Sc...
AED 17,562
Seller
VIP WATCH & JEWELLERY
18
HK
Frederique Constant Slimline Automatic
Frederique Constant Slimline Automatic
AED 6,602
BrandBoutique Member
Frederique Constant SA
Vacheron Constantin | A White Gold Automatic Wristwatch With Date
Auction
Vacheron Constantin | A White Gold Automatic Wristwatch With Date
AED 21,652
Estimated price
Seller
Sotheby´s
 
Breguet Marine Automatic Big Date Mens Watch
Breguet Marine Automatic Big Date Mens Watch
AED 88,325
Seller
Haute Horologe
AE
Bulgari BVLGARI Octo Solotempo Blue Dial Steel Automatic Watch
Bulgari BVLGARI Octo Solotempo Blue Dial Steel Automatic Watch
AED 21,500
Seller
The Store
AE
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Leo Messi Automatic Chronograph Rose...
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Leo Messi Automatic Chronograph Rose...
AED 199,200
Seller
Luxury Souq Dubai
AE
Breguet Marine Automatic Big Date
Breguet Marine Automatic Big Date
AED 40,588
Seller
chasovshik.ru
RU
IWC Ingenieur Automatic
IWC Ingenieur Automatic
AED 20,672
Seller
Rainbow Tech
AE
Panerai PAM00619 1940 Radiomir Automatic Titanium
TOP
Panerai PAM00619 1940 Radiomir Automatic Titanium
AED 24,058
Seller
K&S Watch & Jewellery
13
HK
Longines Heritage 18k Rose Gold White Automatic L4.767.8.73.2
TOP
Longines Heritage 18k Rose Gold White Automatic L4.767.8.73.2
AED 7,987
Seller
VIP WATCH & JEWELLERY
18
HK
Frederique Constant Vintage Rally Healey Automatic
Frederique Constant Vintage Rally Healey Automatic
AED 7,728
BrandBoutique Member
Frederique Constant SA
Alain Silberstein | A Limited Edition Stainless Steel Automati...
Auction
Alain Silberstein | A Limited Edition Stainless Steel Automati...
AED 6,736
Estimated price
Seller
Sotheby´s
 
Panerai RADIOMIR 1940 3 DAYS AUTOMATIC ACCIAIO ( Ø 45 MM ) /...
Panerai RADIOMIR 1940 3 DAYS AUTOMATIC ACCIAIO ( Ø 45 MM ) /...
AED 34,202
Seller
Haute Horologe
AE
Cartier Santos 100 Steel Automatic Watch
Cartier Santos 100 Steel Automatic Watch
AED 17,900
Seller
The Store
AE

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.