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Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Chronograph 26401PO.00.A018CR.01 Unworn Platinum 44mm Automatic
TOP
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Chronograph 44mm Platinum...
NZ$ 90,444
Free shipping
Professional dealer
506
US
Patek Philippe Perpetual Calendar 5327G-001 New White gold 39mm Automatic
TOP
Patek Philippe Grand Complications Perpetual Calender 39mm...
NZ$ 101,608
Professional dealer
93
US
Richard Mille RM 011 RM11-03 Very good Titanium 44mm Automatic
TOP
Richard Mille RM11-03 Automatic Flyback Chronograph Rose Gold...
Price on request
Free shipping
Professional dealer
361
US
Audemars Piguet Very good Platinum 44mm Automatic
TOP
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Platinum Automatic Blue Watch...
NZ$ 79,835
Professional dealer
214
US
Breguet Classique Complications 5317BR/12/9V6 New Rose gold 39mm Automatic
TOP
Breguet Grandes Complications Tourbillon, 5-days power-reserve...
NZ$ 114,409
Professional dealer
58
CH
Chopard 1038 Very good White gold 33mm Automatic
TOP
Chopard White Gold Jade Saudi Arabia: King Khalid, DoubleSigned
NZ$ 12,638
Professional dealer
69
CH
Omega Speedmaster 3559.3200 Good Steel 42mm Automatic New Zealand, New Plymouth
Omega Speedmaster
NZ$ 8,800
Private Seller
NZ
Girard Perregaux WW.TC 49800 New Rose gold 43mm Automatic
TOP
Girard Perregaux Ww.tc world time chronograph
NZ$ 19,058
Professional dealer
129
CH
Vacheron Constantin Historiques 49002/3 Very good Yellow gold 35mm Automatic
Vacheron Constantin Historiques Chronograph 18K Gold Herrenuhr...
NZ$ 17,395

Sold by Chrono24

DE
Vacheron Constantin 6394 Very good Yellow gold 36mm Automatic
TOP
Vacheron Constantin Stunning 36mm Vintage 60´s 18kt Yellow...
NZ$ 12,119
Professional dealer
802
ES
Rolex Datejust 116233 Very good Gold/Steel 36mm Automatic
TOP
Rolex Datejust 36 Reference #: 116233
NZ$ 16,548
Professional dealer
80
US
Patek Philippe Nautilus 7118/1200A-011 Unworn Steel 35.2mm Automatic
TOP
Patek Philippe Nautilus Ladies 7118/1200A-011
NZ$ 109,844
Professional dealer
662
DE
Rolex Datejust 16000 Very good Steel 36mm Automatic New Zealand, Auckland
Rolex Datejust
NZ$ 7,410
Professional dealer
 
NZ
Breguet Reine de Naples 9807ST/5W/J50 New Steel 32.7mm Automatic
TOP
Breguet Reine de Naples, new, white mother-of-pearl dial,...
NZ$ 18,879
Professional dealer
58
CH
Gérald Genta G.2132.4 Very good Yellow gold 36mm Automatic
TOP
Gérald Genta Automatic Perpetual Calendar
NZ$ 18,168
Professional dealer
69
CH
Bulova 63c112 Very good Steel 42mm Automatic New Zealand, Christchurch
Bulova Accu-Swiss Gemini Chronograph
NZ$ 701
Private Seller
NZ
Zenith El Primero 01-0200-415 Very good Steel Automatic
TOP
Zenith El Primero Tv with full revision 2021 zenith
NZ$ 9,529
Professional dealer
129
CH
Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Geographic 142.8.92 Very good Steel 38mm Automatic
Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Control Geographic Automatik Stahl...
NZ$ 11,158

Sold by Chrono24

DE
Audemars Piguet Jules Audemars 25859ST Very good Steel 39mm Automatic
TOP
Audemars Piguet 1997 Automatic 39mm Chronograph Jules Audemars...
NZ$ 17,317
Professional dealer
802
ES
Panerai Luminor Power Reserve PAM 01090 Very good Steel 44mm Automatic
TOP
Panerai Luminor Power Reserve Reference #: PAM01090
NZ$ 8,564
Professional dealer
80
US
Omega Constellation Ladies 123.20.35.20.58.001 New Gold/Steel 35mm Automatic
TOP
Omega Constellation 123.20.35.20.58.001 CO‑AXIAL 35 MM
NZ$ 9,558
Professional dealer
850
US
Omega Speedmaster Date 32105000 Unworn Steel 40mm Automatic New Zealand, Papamoa
Omega Speedmaster Date
NZ$ 4,347
Private Seller
NZ
TAG Heuer Carrera Calibre 16 CV2011 Good Steel 41mm Automatic New Zealand, 0627
TAG Heuer Carrera Calibre 16
NZ$ 2,879
Private Seller
NZ
Breguet GJ24BB8548DDC3 New White gold Automatic
TOP
Breguet Secret de la Reine, paved with 595 diamonds, folding...
NZ$ 78,200
Professional dealer
58
CH
Jaeger-LeCoultre Atmos 5921 Very good Gold/Steel Automatic
TOP
Jaeger-LeCoultre Atmos Luigi Colani, 1974
NZ$ 14,218
Professional dealer
69
CH
Rolex Daytona 116503 Unworn Gold/Steel 40mm Automatic New Zealand, Auckland
Rolex Daytona
NZ$ 34,167
Professional dealer
 
NZ
Omega Speedmaster Reduced 3510.50.00 Very good Steel 39mm Automatic
Omega Speedmaster Reduced Chronograph Automatik Stahl Herrenuh...
NZ$ 4,817

Sold by Chrono24

DE
Rolex Lady-Datejust 179173 Unworn Gold/Steel 26mm Automatic
TOP
Rolex Datejust 26 Edelstahl Gelbgold 179173 Champagner Diamant
NZ$ 14,779
Professional dealer
662
DE
Rolex Lady-Datejust 178271 Very good Gold/Steel 31mm Automatic
TOP
Rolex Datejust 31 Reference #: 178271
NZ$ 15,822
Professional dealer
80
US
Breguet Type XX - XXI - XXII 3820BB/P2/9W6 Very good White gold 40mm Automatic
TOP
Breguet Rare Full Set Blue Dial White Gold 18kt 750 Type Xx...
NZ$ 20,782
Professional dealer
802
ES
Rolex Submariner Date 16610 Very good Steel 40mm Automatic
Rolex Submariner Date Automatik Herrenuhr Oyster Perpetual...
NZ$ 14,536

Sold by Chrono24

DE
Rolex Oyster Perpetual Date 15200 Very good Steel 34mm Automatic New Zealand, Nelson
TOP
Rolex Oyster Perpetual Date
NZ$ 6,756
Private Seller
NZ
Breguet Reine de Naples 8967ST/V8/J50 New Steel 43mm Automatic
TOP
Breguet Reine de Naples, new, blue mother-of-pearl dial, blue...
NZ$ 19,747
Professional dealer
58
CH
Piaget Very good White gold 34mm Automatic
TOP
Piaget Cushion Shape & 3D Indexes
NZ$ 12,638
Professional dealer
69
CH
Rolex Day-Date 40 228238 Very good Yellow gold 40mm Automatic New Zealand, Auckland
Rolex Day-Date 40
NZ$ 61,852
Professional dealer
 
NZ
Rolex Submariner (No Date) 14060M Very good Steel 40mm Automatic
Rolex Submariner No Date Automatik Herrenuhr Oyster Perpetual...
NZ$ 14,900

Sold by Chrono24

DE
Rolex GMT-Master II 116710LN Very good Steel 40mm Automatic
Rolex GMT-Master II Automatik Stahl Herrenuhr Oyster Perpetual...
NZ$ 19,543

Sold by Chrono24

DE
Rolex GMT-Master II 116710BLNR Very good Steel 40mm Automatic
TOP
Rolex GMT-Master II "Batman" Reference #: 116710BLNR
NZ$ 24,821
Professional dealer
80
US
Breguet Type XX - XXI - XXII 3800 Very good Steel 39mm Automatic
Breguet Type XX Aeronavale Chronograph Automatik Stahl...
NZ$ 9,009

Sold by Chrono24

DE
Rolex GMT-Master II 126710BLRO Very good Steel 40mm Automatic
Rolex GMT-Master II Pepsi Automatik Herrenuhr Oyster Perpetual...
NZ$ 31,862

Sold by Chrono24

DE
Rolex GMT-Master II 116713LN Very good Gold/Steel 40mm Automatic
Rolex GMT Master II Stahl / Gold Automatik Herrenuhr Oyster...
NZ$ 24,360

Sold by Chrono24

DE
Breguet Héritage 5400BB/12/9V6 New White gold 42mm Automatic
TOP
Breguet Héritage Chronograph, new, white gold, hand-guilloched...
NZ$ 44,155
Professional dealer
58
CH
Baume & Mercier Very good Yellow gold 32mm Automatic
TOP
Baume & Mercier Doublesigned: Baumatic for Saudi Arabia
NZ$ 6,319
Professional dealer
69
CH
Rolex GMT-Master II 116710LN Good Steel 40mm Automatic New Zealand, Auckland
Rolex GMT-Master II
NZ$ 21,141
Professional dealer
 
NZ
Rolex Submariner Date 16610 Very good Steel 40mm Automatic
Rolex Submariner Kermit Automatik Herrenuhr Oyster Perpetual...
NZ$ 26,318

Sold by Chrono24

DE
Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra 2104.30.00 Very good Yellow gold 36mm Automatic
Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra Mid Size 18K Gold Automatik...
NZ$ 18,105

Sold by Chrono24

DE
Rolex Submariner Date 126619LB Very good White gold 41mm Automatic
TOP
Rolex Submariner Date Blueberry Reference #: 126619LB
NZ$ 72,577
Professional dealer
80
US
Zenith El Primero Original 1969 03.2150.400/69.M2150 Very good Steel 38mm Automatic
Zenith El Primero Original 1969 Automatik Stahl Ref. 03.2150.4...
NZ$ 12,578

Sold by Chrono24

DE
Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean 2200.50.00 Very good Steel 45mm Automatic
Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean Co-Axial Automatik Stahl Herrenuh...
NZ$ 5,908

Sold by Chrono24

DE
Rolex Submariner Date 16610 Very good Steel 40mm Automatic
Rolex Submariner Automatik Stahl Herrenuhr Oyster Perpetual...
NZ$ 15,264

Sold by Chrono24

DE
Breguet Classique 8788BR/29/986 DD00 New Rose gold 36mm Automatic
TOP
Breguet Classique, new, moon phase, power-reserve indicator, ...
NZ$ 29,937
Professional dealer
58
CH
Rolex Submariner Date 116613LB Very good Gold/Steel 40mm Automatic
Rolex Submariner Date Stahl / Gold Automatik Oyster Perpetual...
NZ$ 25,434

Sold by Chrono24

DE
Rolex Datejust II 116300 Unworn Steel 41mm Automatic New Zealand, Auckland
Rolex Datejust II
NZ$ 16,853
Professional dealer
 
NZ
Rolex Submariner Date 16610 Very good Steel 40mm Automatic
Rolex Submariner Automatik Stahl Herrenuhr Oyster Perpetual...
NZ$ 15,264

Sold by Chrono24

DE
Rolex Yacht-Master 40 16623 Very good Gold/Steel 40mm Automatic
Rolex Yacht-Master 40 Stahl / Gold Automatik Oyster Perpetual...
NZ$ 16,685

Sold by Chrono24

DE
Breitling Bentley Motors A25362 Very good Steel 48.5mm Automatic
Breitling Bentley Motors Chronograph Automatik Edelstahl...
NZ$ 6,844

Sold by Chrono24

DE
Rolex Lady-Datejust 69173 Very good Gold/Steel 26mm Automatic
Rolex Lady Datejust "Pyramid Dial" Stahl / Gold Damenuhr...
NZ$ 7,000

Sold by Chrono24

DE
Rolex Explorer II 16570 Very good Steel 39mm Automatic
Rolex Explorer II Automatik Stahl Herrenuhr Oyster Perpetual...
NZ$ 13,479

Sold by Chrono24

DE
Rolex Explorer 114270 Very good Steel 36mm Automatic
Rolex Explorer I 36 Automatik Stahl Herrenuhr Oyster Ref....
NZ$ 17,932

Sold by Chrono24

DE
Breguet Marine 8828BR/5D/RM1 DD00 New Rose gold 34.6mm Automatic
TOP
Breguet Marine chronograph, sapphire crown, 170 diamonds, 7...
NZ$ 62,402
Professional dealer
58
CH
Rolex Oyster Perpetual Date 15238 Very good Yellow gold 34mm Automatic
Rolex Date 34 18K (0,750) Gold Automatik Herrenuhr Oyster...
NZ$ 19,716

Sold by Chrono24

DE
Rolex Datejust 16014 Very good Gold/Steel 36mm Automatic
Rolex Datejust 36 Stahl / Weissgold Automatik Herrenuhr Oyster...
NZ$ 8,645

Sold by Chrono24

DE
Rolex Datejust Turn-O-Graph 116264 Very good Gold/Steel 36mm Automatic
Rolex Datejust 36 Turn-O-Graph Stahl / Weissgold Oyster...
NZ$ 12,232

Sold by Chrono24

DE
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Chronograph 25940SK.OO.D002CA.01.A Very good Steel 42mm Automatic
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Chronograph Ref. 25940SK.OO...
NZ$ 28,293

Sold by Chrono24

DE

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.