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Omega Seamaster 300 SPECTRE Limited Edition
Top
Omega Seamaster 300 SPECTRE Limited Edition
C$ 12,200
Seller
Scorpio Luxury Corp
5
US
Rolex 18K/SS DATEJUST Royal Blue Diamond Dial NATO Strap 36mm
Top
Rolex 18K/SS DATEJUST Royal Blue Diamond Dial NATO Strap 36mm
C$ 4,485
Seller
Austins Watches Inc.
85
US
Patek Philippe Calatrava Vintage 3429J Yellow Dial 3X signed
Top
Patek Philippe Calatrava Vintage 3429J Yellow Dial 3X signed
C$ 13,722
Free shipping
Seller
Watch Hunter
 
US
Bulgari OCTO  ULTRANERO ULTRA SOLOTEMPO BLACK 102581 RO
Top
Bulgari OCTO ULTRANERO ULTRA SOLOTEMPO BLACK 102581 RO
C$ 6,764
Seller
Plus Watch - Luxury Watches
2088
IT
Rolex Submariner Pro Hunter
Top
Rolex Submariner Pro Hunter
C$ 17,922
Free shipping
Seller
Turelojya SL
123
ES
Sinn 104 St Sa A Die klassische Fliegeruhr
Top
Sinn 104 St Sa A Die klassische Fliegeruhr
C$ 1,553
Seller
Classic Watch
 
DE
Hublot Men's 411.JB.4901.RT Big Bang Unico  All Black...
Top
Hublot Men's 411.JB.4901.RT Big Bang Unico All Black...
C$ 54,512
Seller
Swiss Elevate GmbH - HarveyStore.com
462
CH
Rolex Yacht-Master II Edelstahl / Rosegold Ref. 116681
Top
Rolex Yacht-Master II Edelstahl / Rosegold Ref. 116681
C$ 27,331
Seller
Uhren2000 GmbH
206
DE
Omega SPEEDMASTER BROAD ARROW Ref. 3851.20.00/35512000
Top
Omega SPEEDMASTER BROAD ARROW Ref. 3851.20.00/35512000
C$ 4,779
Seller
WINGOO WATCHES
178
IT
Bulgari Diagono Scuba GMT SD38 G GMT -Gold 18k/750
Top
Bulgari Diagono Scuba GMT SD38 G GMT -Gold 18k/750
C$ 9,633
Seller
Dreamwatch - fine used watches
111
DE
Rolex GMT Master 6542 OCC glossy gilt dial very rare 1956’s
Top
Rolex GMT Master 6542 OCC glossy gilt dial very rare 1956’s
C$ 44,057
Seller
Watches Management
5
IT
Vacheron Constantin ASYMMETRICAL 1972 PRESTIGE DE LA FRANCE  #...
Top
Vacheron Constantin ASYMMETRICAL 1972 PRESTIGE DE LA FRANCE #...
C$ 20,583
Free shipping
Seller
Watch Hunter
 
US
Patek Philippe 18k Rose Gold Perpetual Calendar Ultra Thin...
Top
Patek Philippe 18k Rose Gold Perpetual Calendar Ultra Thin...
C$ 60,668
Free shipping
Seller
Watches & Jewellery of Bond Street Ltd
60
UK
Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Compressor Chronograph - Stainless Steel
Top
Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Compressor Chronograph - Stainless Steel
C$ 10,887
Free shipping
Seller
WatchesofMayfair.com
178
UK
Panerai Luminor 1950 GMT 10 Days Ceramica
Top
Panerai Luminor 1950 GMT 10 Days Ceramica
C$ 16,876
Free shipping
Seller
Turelojya SL
123
ES
Glashütte Original Men's 1-90-02-49-35-30 PanoMaticLunar
Top
Glashütte Original Men's 1-90-02-49-35-30 PanoMaticLunar
C$ 21,206
Seller
Swiss Elevate GmbH - HarveyStore.com
462
CH
Tudor Heritage Black Bay Automatik Dark 79230DK Lederband
Top
Tudor Heritage Black Bay Automatik Dark 79230DK Lederband
C$ 4,391
Seller
Uhren2000 GmbH
206
DE
Rolex DAY-DATE 1803 18K Gold with Original Matt Blue Dial
Top
Rolex DAY-DATE 1803 18K Gold with Original Matt Blue Dial
C$ 11,227
Seller
Alex Pig Timepieces
31
HK
Omega Seamaster 300 165014
Top
Omega Seamaster 300 165014
C$ 19,380
Seller
Watch Investments
 
UK
Rolex Daytona 16520 by BEYER Floating Tropical dial 1989’s
Top
Rolex Daytona 16520 by BEYER Floating Tropical dial 1989’s
C$ 72,433
Seller
Watches Management
5
IT
Chopard VINTAGE 70S LARGE HAPPY DIAMOND SAUDI KING REF. 2121
Top
Chopard VINTAGE 70S LARGE HAPPY DIAMOND SAUDI KING REF. 2121
C$ 13,098
Free shipping
Seller
Watch Hunter
 
US
Sinn 103 St Sa RB Classic Watch Sondermodell
Top
Sinn 103 St Sa RB Classic Watch Sondermodell
C$ 3,569
Seller
Classic Watch
 
DE
Universal Genève Rare 18k RG Microtor Desswatch / 35 mm /...
Top
Universal Genève Rare 18k RG Microtor Desswatch / 35 mm /...
C$ 3,584
Free shipping
Seller
VintageCaliber GmbH
30
DE
Zenith El Primero Defy Open Blue Ocean 1000 Chronograph...
Top
Zenith El Primero Defy Open Blue Ocean 1000 Chronograph...
C$ 7,094
Free shipping
Seller
Dreamwatch - fine used watches
111
DE
Glashütte Original Men's 1-90-02-45-35-04 PanoMaticLunar
Top
Glashütte Original Men's 1-90-02-45-35-04 PanoMaticLunar
C$ 21,206
Seller
Swiss Elevate GmbH - HarveyStore.com
462
CH
Breitling Navitimer 01  Blacksteel 46 mm MB012822.BE51.252S.M2...
Top
Breitling Navitimer 01 Blacksteel 46 mm MB012822.BE51.252S.M2...
C$ 10,141
Seller
Uhren2000 GmbH
206
DE
Blancpain Ultraplate
Top
Blancpain Ultraplate
C$ 10,454
Free shipping
Seller
WatchesofMayfair.com
178
UK
Richard Mille 18k R/G Diamond Set Skeleton Dial Extra Flat...
Top
Richard Mille 18k R/G Diamond Set Skeleton Dial Extra Flat...
C$ 85,946
Free shipping
Seller
Watches & Jewellery of Bond Street Ltd
60
UK
Rolex Turn-O-Graph 6202 Gilt Tropical brown dial very rare 1953
Top
Rolex Turn-O-Graph 6202 Gilt Tropical brown dial very rare 1953
C$ 38,084
Seller
Watches Management
5
IT
Patek Philippe VINTAGE  PATEK PHILIPPE1960S 18KT YG REF 3425 AUTO
Top
Patek Philippe VINTAGE PATEK PHILIPPE1960S 18KT YG REF 3425 AUTO
C$ 12,475
Free shipping
Seller
Watch Hunter
 
US
Omega De Ville Prestige Co-Axial Hour Vision Ref. 433.33.41.21...
Top
Omega De Ville Prestige Co-Axial Hour Vision Ref. 433.33.41.21...
C$ 6,750
Seller
WINGOO WATCHES
178
IT
Omega 14K Gold Bumper Automatic
Top
Omega 14K Gold Bumper Automatic
C$ 1,262
Seller
Vintage Watch Services
86
NL
Breitling Navitimer Fighters Chronograph -Serie Speciale...
Top
Breitling Navitimer Fighters Chronograph -Serie Speciale...
C$ 6,347
Seller
Dreamwatch - fine used watches
111
DE
Glashütte Original Glashutte Men's 100-02-22-12-05 Senator...
Top
Glashütte Original Glashutte Men's 100-02-22-12-05 Senator...
C$ 20,011
Seller
Swiss Elevate GmbH - HarveyStore.com
462
CH
Breitling Avenger II GMT A3239011.BC35.170A
Top
Breitling Avenger II GMT A3239011.BC35.170A
C$ 4,406
Seller
Uhren2000 GmbH
206
DE
Mühle Glashütte Teutonia Sport II Herrenuhr, M1-29-73-NB
Top
Mühle Glashütte Teutonia Sport II Herrenuhr, M1-29-73-NB
C$ 2,763
Free shipping
Seller
Juwelier Bucher GbR
140
DE
Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Compressor Extreme LAB 2 Limited Edition
Top
Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Compressor Extreme LAB 2 Limited Edition
C$ 52,197
Seller
L'Angolo del Tempo by Goldfingers
 
IT
Rolex Submariner 5512 cornino gilt glossy PCG underline dial
Top
Rolex Submariner 5512 cornino gilt glossy PCG underline dial
C$ 39,577
Seller
Watches Management
5
IT
Corum Admiral's Cup Challenger 48
Top
Corum Admiral's Cup Challenger 48
C$ 15,681
Free shipping
Seller
Ducado Jóias, Lda
19
PT
Roger Dubuis EXCALIBUR 42 mm rose gold
Top
Roger Dubuis EXCALIBUR 42 mm rose gold
C$ 28,227
Seller
CORTI GIOIELLI
 
IT
Omega Seamaster Cosmic
Top
Omega Seamaster Cosmic
C$ 918
Seller
Vintage Watch Services
86
NL
Sinn U1 S E Die Taucheruhr im Retro-Stil
Top
Sinn U1 S E Die Taucheruhr im Retro-Stil
C$ 3,226
Seller
Classic Watch
 
DE
Glashütte Original Men's 1-36-01-01-02-30 Senator Excellen...
Top
Glashütte Original Men's 1-36-01-01-02-30 Senator Excellen...
C$ 9,407
Seller
Swiss Elevate GmbH - HarveyStore.com
462
CH
Rolex Day-Date 36 18 kt Everose-Gold 118205 Schoko DIA
Top
Rolex Day-Date 36 18 kt Everose-Gold 118205 Schoko DIA
C$ 38,293
Seller
Uhren2000 GmbH
206
DE
Rolex Daytona “P” Series “Cream” dial UNWORN
Top
Rolex Daytona “P” Series “Cream” dial UNWORN
C$ 42,130
Seller
The Watch Collector Ltd.
13
UK
Vacheron Constantin Overseas
Top
Vacheron Constantin Overseas
C$ 19,116
Seller
OROeORA PRINTEZIS
48
GR
Rolex Day-Date 1803 President Stella Oxblood dial Full Set
Top
Rolex Day-Date 1803 President Stella Oxblood dial Full Set
C$ 29,197
Seller
Watches Management
5
IT
Chopard LUC  JOSE CARRERAS    LIM.EDIT 1000
Top
Chopard LUC JOSE CARRERAS LIM.EDIT 1000
C$ 7,169
Free shipping
Seller
NOS 1969
182
PL
Panerai Ferrari Granturismo Chronograph
Top
Panerai Ferrari Granturismo Chronograph
C$ 7,318
Free shipping
Seller
Joaillerie Royale
200
BE
Porsche Design MONOBLOC Actuator GMT-Chronotimer Titanium Blue
Top
Porsche Design MONOBLOC Actuator GMT-Chronotimer Titanium Blue
C$ 9,633
BRANDBOUTIQUE Member
Porsche Lizenz- und Handelsgesellschaft mbH & Co. KG
Zenith Type 20 GMT Tribute to the Rolling Stones
Top
Zenith Type 20 GMT Tribute to the Rolling Stones
C$ 7,647
Free shipping
Seller
WatchesofMayfair.com
178
UK
Glashütte Original Men's  1-36-01-02-05-01 Senator Excellence
Top
Glashütte Original Men's 1-36-01-02-05-01 Senator Excellence
C$ 16,421
Seller
Swiss Elevate GmbH - HarveyStore.com
462
CH
Montblanc Nicolas Rieussec Open HomeTime 107067 2015 Men's...
Top
Montblanc Nicolas Rieussec Open HomeTime 107067 2015 Men's...
C$ 25,270
Seller
WT Time Pieces
21
UK
Maurice Lacroix Masterpiece Gravity  Herrenuhr, MP6118-SS001-4...
Top
Maurice Lacroix Masterpiece Gravity Herrenuhr, MP6118-SS001-4...
C$ 11,201
Seller
Juwelier Bucher GbR
140
DE
Rolex GMT PCG
Top
Rolex GMT PCG
C$ 23,172
Seller
The Watch Collector Ltd.
13
UK
Elgin Self-winding Vintage
Top
Elgin Self-winding Vintage
C$ 381
Seller
Vintage Watch Services
86
NL
Breitling Mans Automatic Semi Perpetual Calendar Wristwatch...
Top
Breitling Mans Automatic Semi Perpetual Calendar Wristwatch...
C$ 7,094
Seller
joseph-watches.com / Gisbert A. Joseph SLU
226
DE
Doxa D196SBU SHARK CERAMICA LIMITED EDITION 397/2000
Top
Doxa D196SBU SHARK CERAMICA LIMITED EDITION 397/2000
C$ 1,920
Free shipping
Seller
Przedsiębiorstwo Handlowe Usługowe
46
PL
Gérald Genta Retro solo
Top
Gérald Genta Retro solo
C$ 5,152
Free shipping
Seller
nautilus class
24
IT
Panerai Special Editions Regatta Limitiert auf 500 Weltweit
Top
Panerai Special Editions Regatta Limitiert auf 500 Weltweit
C$ 9,708
Seller
Cash4Watches
 
DE
Glashütte Original Men's 1-65-01-25-15-04 PanoReserve Red...
Top
Glashütte Original Men's 1-65-01-25-15-04 PanoReserve Red...
C$ 20,752
Seller
Swiss Elevate GmbH - HarveyStore.com
462
CH
Rolex Explorer II
Top
Rolex Explorer II
C$ 10,603
Seller
Ari's Luxury Watch
 
US

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.