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Bell & Ross BR V1 BRV126-ST-HER/SRB New Steel 43mm Automatic
TOP
Bell & Ross BRV126-ST-HER/SRB
NZ$ 5,097
Verified Dealer
19
HK
Rolex Explorer II 16570 New Steel 40mm Automatic
TOP
Rolex Explorer II 16570 NEW 2018 Random foiled cal 3186
NZ$ 22,974
Verified Dealer
21
AT
Rolex Submariner 6202 Very good Steel 36mm Automatic
TOP
Rolex TURN-O-GRAPH 6202 Pre-Submariner Unpolished & Unserviced
NZ$ 73,792
Verified Dealer
29
US
Hublot Classic Fusion 45, 42, 38, 33 mm 511.NX.1171.RX New Titanium 45mm Automatic
TOP
Hublot 511.NX.1171.RX Classic Fusion
NZ$ 8,138
Verified Dealer
19
HK
Breguet Classique Complications 5317BR/12/9V6 New Rose gold 39mm Automatic
TOP
Breguet Classique Tourbillon, new official retail price:...
NZ$ 125,107
Verified Dealer
36
CH
Breitling Bentley Motors A25363 Very good Steel 48mm Automatic New Zealand, Auckland
Breitling Bentley Motors T
NZ$ 6,785
Verified Dealer
NZ
Rado HyperChrome Captain Cook R32500305 New Steel 37mm Automatic
TOP
Rado HyperChrome Captain Cook Limited Edition - Box & Papers 2020
NZ$ 3,068
Verified Dealer
262
UK
Rolex Lady-Datejust 179179 New White gold 26mm Automatic
TOP
Rolex Lady-Datejust President Mother or Pearl 179179White Gold
NZ$ 16,925
Verified Dealer
604
US
Rolex GMT-Master II 126710BLNR Very good Steel 40mm Automatic
TOP
Rolex GMT-Master II "Batman" 126710BLNR
NZ$ 24,597
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
721
US
Rolex Day-Date 40 228238-0005 Very good Yellow gold 40mm Automatic New Zealand, Auckland
Rolex Day-Date 40
NZ$ 49,000
Private Seller
NZ
Hublot Big Bang 320.UI.440.RX Very good 44mm Automatic
TOP
Hublot Big Bang Mag Bang Limited Edition 320.UI.440.RX
NZ$ 25,441
Verified Dealer
719
NL
Omega Constellation Very good Yellow gold 30mm Automatic
TOP
Omega Full Yellow Gold Vintage Constellation
NZ$ 15,092
Verified Dealer
21
CH
Omega De Ville Very good Steel 35mm Automatic
TOP
Omega De Ville vintage automatic steel 1960 Mens watch + New Box
NZ$ 1,613
Verified Dealer
676
UK
Hublot Big Bang 41 mm 341.PX.7518.VR.1975 New Rose gold 41mm Automatic
TOP
Hublot Zebra Bang, limited edit., official retail price:...
NZ$ 36,523
Verified Dealer
36
CH
Chopard Mille Miglia 168595-300 Very good Steel Automatic New Zealand, Auckland
Chopard Mille Miglia Competitors Edition
NZ$ 6,940
Verified Dealer
NZ
Franck Muller Master Banker 6850mb Very good Steel 35mm Automatic
TOP
Franck Muller Master Banker on Steel Triple Time Zone Date -...
NZ$ 8,083
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
566
NL
Breitling Bentley Flying B R4436512/B874 Very good Rose gold 38mm Automatic
TOP
Breitling 18 K. Bentley Flying B Jumbo Chrono. Full set
NZ$ 20,251
Verified Dealer
277
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
NZ$ 41,561
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
721
US
Rolex Day-Date 36 118205F Very good Rose gold 31mm Automatic New Zealand, Tauranga
Rolex Oyster Perpetual Waterproof Day Date
NZ$ 35,470
Private Seller
NZ
IWC Big Pilot IW500402 Very good White gold 46.2mm Automatic
TOP
IWC Big Pilot IW500402 White Gold
NZ$ 24,676
Verified Dealer
719
NL
Piaget Emperador 12336 C 516 Unworn Yellow gold 34mm Automatic
TOP
Piaget Massive Emperador, Original Diamond Set Dial and Bezel
NZ$ 32,567
Verified Dealer
21
CH
Omega Seamaster Very good Steel 34mm Automatic
TOP
Omega Seamaster Crosshair 1960's vintage mens watch Automatic Box
NZ$ 2,523
Verified Dealer
676
UK
Breguet Classique 5140BA/29/9W6 New Yellow gold 40mm Automatic
TOP
Breguet Classique 40, new, official retail price: 18.300 CHF
NZ$ 18,984
Verified Dealer
36
CH
Rolex Daytona 116520 Very good Steel 40mm Automatic New Zealand, Auckland
Rolex Daytona
NZ$ 29,979
Verified Dealer
NZ
Montblanc Heritage Spirit 116534 New Steel 41mm Automatic
TOP
Montblanc Heritage Spirit Orbis Terrarum Asian UNICEF Limited...
NZ$ 6,126
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
362
LV
Bulgari Octo 103068 New Titanium 42mm Automatic
TOP
Bulgari Octo Finissimo 103068
NZ$ 21,578
Verified Dealer
1666
DE
Sinn 903 903.040 New Steel 41mm Automatic
TOP
Sinn 903 ST
NZ$ 5,020
Verified Dealer
75
DE
Rolex Submariner Date 116610LN Very good Steel 40mm Automatic New Zealand, Auckland
TOP
Rolex Submariner Date
NZ$ 18,000
Private Seller
NZ
Breguet Reine de Naples 8918BA58864 Very good Yellow gold 36.5mm Automatic
TOP
Breguet Reine de Naples 8918BA58864
NZ$ 33,780
Verified Dealer
719
NL
Piaget 8177 Very good Yellow gold 34mm Automatic
TOP
Piaget Rare Bumper Calatrava, 1952
NZ$ 7,149
Verified Dealer
21
CH
Breguet Marine 3460 Very good Yellow gold 35.5mm Automatic
TOP
Breguet Marine Chronograph3460 18 KT. Gold Automatic
NZ$ 24,465
Verified Dealer
125
CH
Breguet Marine 8827ST/59/586 New Steel 35mm Automatic
TOP
Breguet Marine chronograph, new, official retail price: 19.000...
NZ$ 20,573
Verified Dealer
36
CH
Panerai Luminor 1950 3 Days GMT Automatic PAM 00329 Very good Steel 44mm Automatic New Zealand, Auckland
Panerai Luminor 1950 3 Days GMT Automatic
NZ$ 10,147
Verified Dealer
NZ
Sinn EZM 3 603.010 New Steel 41mm Automatic
TOP
Sinn EZM 3
NZ$ 2,689
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
362
LV
Cvstos Challenge-R New Steel 50mm Automatic
TOP
Cvstos Challenge-R 50 Chronograph 50mm Automatic Open-Worked...
NZ$ 10,794
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
494
US
Patek Philippe Aquanaut 5068R-001 Unworn Rose gold 35,6mm Automatic
TOP
Patek Philippe Aquanaut Luce Ref. 5068R-001 VAT refound p
NZ$ 80,477
Verified Dealer
489
DE
IWC Ingenieur AMG IW322503 Very good Ceramic 46mm Automatic New Zealand, Christchurch
TOP
IWC Ingenieur AMG
NZ$ 10,383
Private Seller
NZ
Zenith El Primero 03.A384.400/21.C815 New Steel 37mm Automatic
TOP
Zenith 50th El Primero Anniversary El Primero A384 Revival/In...
NZ$ 10,565
Verified Dealer
302
CH
Ebel Lichine 8964970 Very good Yellow gold 33mm Automatic
TOP
Ebel Green Ladies Lichine
NZ$ 4,131
Verified Dealer
21
CH
Omega Speedmaster 176.0012 Good Steel 42mm Automatic New Zealand, Auckland
Omega Speedmaster Ref. 176.0012
NZ$ 3,995
Verified Dealer
NZ
Jaquet-Droz New White gold 43mm Automatic
TOP
Jaquet-Droz "The Times Zones", unique piece, official price:...
NZ$ 36,523
Verified Dealer
36
CH
Sinn 103 103.0619 New Steel 41mm Automatic
TOP
Sinn 103 St Sa RB Classic Watch Sondermodell
NZ$ 4,169
Verified Dealer
75
DE
Rolex Yacht-Master Very good Automatic
TOP
Rolex YACHT-MASTER LADIES -18CT YELLOW GOLD – 29MM - 69628
NZ$ 12,615
Verified Dealer
41
UK
Corum Admiral's Cup AC-One 277.101.04/F373 AB12 New Titanium 45mm Automatic
TOP
Corum Admiral's Cup AC-One
NZ$ 10,976
Verified Dealer
62
ES
Universal Genève Compax U-901 Unworn White gold 39mm Automatic
TOP
Universal Genève Compax Chronograph White and Yellow Gold
NZ$ 12,287
Verified Dealer
1425
ES
JeanRichard Paramount Unworn 38mm Automatic
TOP
JeanRichard Paramount Pack 3 watches
NZ$ 31,908
Verified Dealer
186
ES
Frederique Constant Manufacture Slimline Moonphase FC-705N4S6 New Steel 42mm Automatic
TOP
Frederique Constant Manufacture Slimline Moonphase
NZ$ 4,210
Verified Dealer
302
CH
Zenith El Primero 65.0520.4026 Very good White gold 44mm Automatic
TOP
Zenith Grande Class Grande Date Rattrapante, Split Second,...
NZ$ 21,447
Verified Dealer
21
CH
Longines Lindbergh Hour Angle L2.678.4.11.0 Very good Steel 47mm Automatic New Zealand, Auckland
Longines Lindbergh Hour Angle Ref. L2.678.4.11.0
NZ$ 4,750
Verified Dealer
NZ
Rolex Datejust 116188 New Yellow gold 36mm Automatic
TOP
Rolex Datejust 36, new, official retail price: 29.800 CHF
NZ$ 31,376
Verified Dealer
36
CH
Sinn EZM 13 613.010 New Steel 41mm Automatic
TOP
Sinn EZM 13
NZ$ 3,829
Verified Dealer
75
DE
Breguet 3420 Very good Platinum 36mm Automatic
TOP
Breguet Jump Hour 3420 Platinum Porcelain Dial 36mm Automatic...
NZ$ 24,673
Verified Dealer
17
US
Corum Admiral's Cup Legend 42 984.101.20/F373 AA12 New Steel 42mm Automatic
TOP
Corum Admiral's Cup Legend 42
NZ$ 6,263
Verified Dealer
62
ES
Franck Muller 2000SR Very good Steel 40mm Automatic
TOP
Franck Muller Like New Bi Retrograde Transamerica Master Of...
NZ$ 5,607
Verified Dealer
460
ES
Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Chronograph Q1538420 or 1538420 New Steel 40mm Automatic
TOP
Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Chronograph Stainless Steel 40mm
NZ$ 13,257
Verified Dealer
792
UK
Rolex Bubble Back 6084 Fair Steel 34mm Automatic
TOP
Rolex Bubble Back 6084 Bubbleback Oyster Perpetual
NZ$ 6,016
Verified Dealer
37
US
IWC 1830 Very good Steel 35mm Automatic
TOP
IWC Vintage Steel Bracelet Golf Club, cal 8541 B, Full Set
NZ$ 6,911
Verified Dealer
21
CH
TAG Heuer Monaco Calibre 12 CAW2110.FC6177 Very good Steel 39mm Automatic New Zealand, Auckland
TAG Heuer 2010 Steel Monaco Calibre 12 Chronograph
NZ$ 4,700
Verified Dealer
NZ
Chaumet Liens W23871-02A New Rose gold 33mm Automatic
TOP
Chaumet Liens 33, new, official retail price: 18.700 CHF
NZ$ 12,693
Verified Dealer
36
CH
Rolex Day-Date 36 118296 Very good Platinum 36mm Automatic
TOP
Rolex Day Date 118296 Platinum Diamonds 36mm
NZ$ 54,809
Verified Dealer
589
CH
Hanhart Pioneer 712  01056 Unworn Steel 40mm Automatic
TOP
Hanhart Pioneer TachyTele chronograph full set 712 01056
NZ$ 3,936
Verified Dealer
34
UK
Ulysse Nardin Diver Chronometer U263-10.7M/92 New Steel 44mm Automatic
TOP
Ulysse Nardin Marine Dive
NZ$ 10,636
Verified Dealer
62
ES
Sinn 903 903.045 New Steel 41mm Automatic
TOP
Sinn 903 St B E
NZ$ 4,918
Verified Dealer
75
DE
Breitling Superocean Héritage II Chronographe U13313121B1S1 New Gold/Steel 44mm Automatic
TOP
Breitling Superocean Heritage II Chronograph 44
NZ$ 9,156
Verified Dealer
792
UK
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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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