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Cartier Santos 100 2878 Unworn Gold/Steel 33mm Automatic
TOP
Cartier Santos 100 18k Rose Gold / SS Pink Crocodile Strap
NZ$ 9,793
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
429
US
Chopard Happy Sport 278559-3006 New Steel 36mm Automatic
TOP
Chopard 278559-3006 HAPPY SPORT
NZ$ 18,884
Verified Dealer
20
HK
Chopard Happy Sport 278559-6003 New Gold/Steel 36mm Automatic
TOP
Chopard 278559-6003 HAPPY SPORT
NZ$ 28,390
Verified Dealer
20
HK
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Lady 26048SK.ZZ.D002CA.01 Very good Steel 37mm Automatic
TOP
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Stainless Steel Factory...
NZ$ 26,902
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
297
US
165.024 Fair Steel 41mm Automatic New Zealand, Auckland
RARE Omega 1966 SEAMASTER 300 DIVERS Watch Ref 165.024-64 on...
NZ$ 8,900
Verified Dealer
22
NZ
Seiko Grand Seiko SBGR099 Good Steel 42mm Automatic New Zealand, Auckland
Seiko Grand Seiko
NZ$ 3,300
Private Seller
NZ
Breguet Classique 5930BA/12/986 36mm Automatic
TOP
Breguet 5930BA/12/986 Classique Gents 36mm - Yellow Gold -...
NZ$ 16,078
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
209
UK
Louis Moinet Tempograph LM-39.20N.50 New Titanium 43.5mm Automatic
TOP
Louis Moinet Tempograph
NZ$ 24,794
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
347
EE
Omega Constellation 167.021 Very good Steel 33mm Automatic
TOP
Omega Constellation Chronometer with box 1966
NZ$ 2,569
Verified Dealer
107
HU
IWC Big Pilot IW502617 Very good Rose gold 46mm Automatic
TOP
IWC Big Pilot Perpetual Calendar Saint Exupery 46mm 18K Rose...
NZ$ 41,202
Verified Dealer
691
US
Patek Philippe Perpetual Calendar 5320G-001 New White gold 40mm Automatic
TOP
Patek Philippe Perpetual Calendar
NZ$ 110,013
Verified Dealer
19
CY
Tudor Prince Date 76214G Very good Steel 36mm Automatic New Zealand, Auckland
Tudor Prince Date Day
NZ$ 5,000
Private Seller
NZ
Rolex Lady-Datejust 179179 New White gold 26mm Automatic
TOP
Rolex Lady-Datejust President Mother or Pearl 179179 White Gold
NZ$ 21,749
Verified Dealer
770
US
TAG Heuer Aquaracer 500M wak2122 Good Gold/Steel 41mm Automatic New Zealand, Auckland
TAG Heuer Aquaracer 500M
NZ$ 2,350
Private Seller
NZ
07 Very good Steel 44mm Automatic New Zealand, Christchurch
Zelos Hammerhead Chrono SS with meteorite dial and bezel #007...
NZ$ 1,950
Private Seller
NZ
Clerc Hydroscaph H1 Chronometer H1-1.4.3 Very good Steel 48mm Automatic New Zealand, Auckland
Clerc Hydroscaph H1 Chronometer Carbon Edition
NZ$ 4,000
Private Seller
NZ
Pierre Kunz G016 Fair Steel 44mm Automatic New Zealand, Auckland
Pierre Kunz Sport
NZ$ 4,500
Private Seller
NZ
Tissot Le Locle L164/264-1 Good Steel 39mm Automatic New Zealand, Palmerston North
Tissot Le Locle Tissot Le Locle Automatic steel strap watch
NZ$ 342
Private Seller
NZ
Longines Legend Diver L3.674.4.56.2 Good Steel 42mm Automatic New Zealand, Auckland
Longines Legend Diver
NZ$ 4,400
Private Seller
NZ
Alfred Dunhill 2000s Triple Calendar Moonphase Mens Wristwatch Ref CH079 MINT Very good Steel 40mm Automatic New Zealand, Auckland
Alfred Dunhill Jaeger LeCoultre 1000hours 2000s Triple...
NZ$ 6,500
Verified Dealer
22
NZ
Omega Seamaster Diver 300 M 2532.80.00 Very good Steel 41mm Automatic New Zealand, Papamoa
Omega Seamaster Diver 300 M
NZ$ 3,695
Private Seller
NZ
Ulysse Nardin Maxi Marine Diver 2007 Very good Steel 42mm Automatic
TOP
Ulysse Nardin Maxi Marine Diver Pièce unique Only Watch Monaco...
NZ$ 34,896
Verified Dealer
10
MC
Rolex GMT-Master II 116710LN Very good Steel 40mm Automatic
Rolex GMT-Master II Automatik Edelstahl Herrenuhr Oyster Ref....
NZ$ 17,870

Sold by Chrono24

DE
Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra 2513.30.00 Good Steel 42mm Automatic New Zealand, Auckland
Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra
NZ$ 4,100
Private Seller
NZ
Concord C1 0320008 Good Steel 44mm Automatic New Zealand, Auckland
Concord C1 Big Date Chronometer
NZ$ 3,000
Private Seller
NZ
IWC Pilot Mark IW327001 Very good Steel 40mm Automatic New Zealand, Papamoa
IWC Pilot Mark
NZ$ 5,294
Private Seller
NZ
TAG Heuer Link Calibre 16 CAT2017.BA0952 Good Steel 43mm Automatic New Zealand, Auckland
TAG Heuer Link Calibre 16
NZ$ 4,000
Private Seller
NZ
Seiko 5 Sports SRPD73K2 Very good Steel Automatic New Zealand, Remuera
Seiko 5 Sports
NZ$ 420
Private Seller
NZ
SN007 SS Unworn Steel 40mm Automatic New Zealand, Auckland
San Martin 62MAS Homage
NZ$ 335
Private Seller
NZ
Longines Présence L4.804.4.11.6 Very good Steel Automatic New Zealand, Lower hutt
Longines Présence Automatic Swiss Made
NZ$ 1,550
Private Seller
NZ
IW324702 Very good Ceramic 41mm Automatic New Zealand, Auckland
IWC 2017 CERAMIC Mark XVIII Top Gun Miramar Pilot´s Wristwatch...
NZ$ 6,200
Verified Dealer
22
NZ
Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean 522.32.40.20.04.001 522.32.40.20.04.002 522.32.40.20.04.003 522.32.40.20.04.004 New Steel 39.5mm Automatic
TOP
Omega Olympic 2008 Beijing China 522.32.40.20.04.001
NZ$ 46,475
Verified Dealer
770
US
Glashütte Original Senator Power Reserve Display 39-44-04-12-04 Very good Steel 39mm Automatic
Glashütte Original Senator Gangreserve Mondphase Automatik...
NZ$ 7,089

Sold by Chrono24

DE
Tudor Black Bay Fifty-Eight M79030B New Steel 39mm Automatic
TOP
Tudor Black Bay Fifty Eight Navy Blue
NZ$ 6,520
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
537
LV
Rolex Day-Date 36 118239 Very good White gold 36mm Automatic
TOP
Rolex President 118239 Super Rare Beige Anniversary Computer...
NZ$ 38,347
Verified Dealer
169
DE
Graham Chronofighter 2OVAV.B13A New Steel 46mm Automatic
TOP
Graham Chronofighter Overzise Night Ranger
NZ$ 5,480
Verified Dealer
101
CH
Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra 2603.30.00 Good Yellow gold Automatic New Zealand, Auckland
Omega Aqua Terra
Price on request
Verified Dealer
21
NZ
Mido Multifort Chronograph M005.614.36.051.22 New Steel 44mm Automatic
TOP
Mido Multifort Chronograph
NZ$ 2,024
Verified Dealer
9
CH
Tissot Seastar 1000 T120.407.17.041.00 New Steel 43mm Automatic
TOP
Tissot Seastar 1000 Automático Powermatic 80
NZ$ 1,001
Verified Dealer
201
ES
15710ST.OO.A051CA.01 Very good Steel 42mm Automatic New Zealand, Auckland
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak OFFSHORE 300m DIVER Wristwatch...
NZ$ 28,500
Verified Dealer
22
NZ
JeanRichard Paramount Unworn 38mm Automatic
TOP
JeanRichard Paramount Pack 3 watches
NZ$ 34,436
Verified Dealer
230
ES
Rolex Datejust 126231 Very good Gold/Steel 36mm Automatic
Rolex Datejust 36 Stahl / Roségold Automatik Diamanten 126231...
NZ$ 22,829

Sold by Chrono24

DE
Baume & Mercier Capeland M0A10106 New Steel 44mm Automatic
TOP
Baume & Mercier Capeland Worldtimer
NZ$ 7,255
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
537
LV
Bell & Ross BR 01-97 Réserve de Marche BR 01-97 Very good Steel 46mm Automatic
TOP
Bell & Ross BR 01-97 Réserve de Marche Limited Edition 250...
NZ$ 21,106
Verified Dealer
169
DE
Graham Chronofighter 2CVCS.U14A New Steel 44mm Automatic
TOP
Graham Chronofighter Vintage Pulsomètre
NZ$ 5,994
Verified Dealer
101
CH
Omega Speedmaster '57 331.10.42.51.01.001 Good Steel 41.5mm Automatic New Zealand, Auckland
Omega Speedmaster '57 Chronograph Co-axial
NZ$ 9,581
Verified Dealer
21
NZ
Rolex Submariner Date 16610LV Unworn Steel 40mm Automatic
TOP
Rolex Submariner Date Ghiera Verde NOS 2005 FULL STICKERS
NZ$ 51,205
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
116
IT
Sinn 103 103.0619 New Steel 41mm Automatic
TOP
Sinn 103 St Sa RB Classic Watch Sondermodell
NZ$ 4,500
Verified Dealer
138
DE
166.071 Fair Steel 40mm Automatic New Zealand, Auckland
Original Omega 1970s MEMOMATIC (1970) Vintage Auto Steel Men...
NZ$ 2,750
Verified Dealer
22
NZ
Hamilton Khaki Aviation H76726130 New Steel 44mm Automatic
TOP
Hamilton Khaki Aviation Converter Auto Chrono
NZ$ 3,021
Verified Dealer
201
ES
Chronoswiss Opus CH7520S Very good Platinum 38mm Automatic
Chronoswiss Opus Skeleton 950 Platin Chronograph Automatik...
NZ$ 23,986

Sold by Chrono24

DE
Baume & Mercier Clifton M0A10059 New Rose gold 38.8mm Automatic
TOP
Baume & Mercier Clifton Rose Gold
NZ$ 7,255
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
537
LV
Cartier Calibre de Cartier Diver W2CA0008 New Steel 42mm Automatic
TOP
Cartier Calibre de Cartier Automatic W2CA0008 Men's Watch Gold...
NZ$ 13,929
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
429
US
Graham Swordfish 2SXAK.G01A New Bronze 46mm Automatic
TOP
Graham Swordfish Bronze
NZ$ 11,303
Verified Dealer
101
CH
Zenith El Primero Chronomaster 01.0240.410 Very good Steel 40mm Automatic
TOP
Zenith El Primero Chronomaster Moonphases Triple Calendar -...
NZ$ 7,255
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
774
NL
Tudor Black Bay Bronze 79250BM Very good Bronze 43mm Automatic
TOP
Tudor Heritage Black Bay 79250BM
NZ$ 5,676
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
1182
US
Sinn 3006.010 New Steel 44mm Automatic
TOP
Sinn JAGDUHR 3006
NZ$ 7,200
Verified Dealer
138
DE
IW371491 Very good Steel 40.9mm Automatic New Zealand, Auckland
IWC 2018 Portuguese Chronograph 40mm Blue IW371491 with Box ...
NZ$ 8,400
Verified Dealer
22
NZ
Hamilton Jazzmaster Auto Chrono H32586511 New Steel 42mm Automatic
TOP
Hamilton Jazzmaster Auto Chrono
NZ$ 2,434
Verified Dealer
201
ES
Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe 5000-1110 Very good Steel 43mm Automatic
Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe Automatik Herrenuhr Ref....
NZ$ 12,048

Sold by Chrono24

DE
Ulysse Nardin Diver Black Sea U263-92-3C/92 New Steel 45,8mm Automatic
TOP
Ulysse Nardin Marine Diver Black Sea Blue Dial
NZ$ 10,836
Verified Dealer
86
ES
Rolex Lady-Datejust 6802 extremely rare white gold florentine Very good White gold 26mm Automatic
TOP
Rolex Lady Datejust 18K Gold Weissgold Automatic Automatik
NZ$ 10,083
Verified Dealer
589
DE
Jaeger-LeCoultre Unworn Yellow gold 37mm Automatic
TOP
Jaeger-LeCoultre Kryos
NZ$ 12,845
Verified Dealer
101
CH
Cartier Tank Solo W5200026 Very good Gold/Steel 31mm Automatic
TOP
Cartier Tank Solo Automatic XL 40.85 mm 18 K Rose Gold - W5200026
NZ$ 9,826
Free shipping
Verified Dealer
774
NL

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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