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Automatic Watches

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Discover more about automatic watches

Automatic watches in the CHRONEXT online shop

Automatic watches are prized by athletes as well as by active women and men for their ease of use and versatility. Here in the CHRONEXT online shop, you will find a wide selection of impressive hand-wound models.

Ingenious simplicity: How to operate an automatic watch

Essentially, an automatic movement is a mechanical watch that winds itself. Without having to manually turn the crown of the watch to charge the mainspring, an automatic watch uses the kinetic energy caused by the movement of the wearer to power the watch. To be exact, a weight, or rotor, swings freely as the watch moves with the wrist, winding the mainspring of the automatic model.

Before the introduction of the free-floating rotor that virtually all automatic movements use nowadays, automatic watches had a “bumper” mechanism which used a pendulum-rotor that “bumped” between springs when the watch was moved. Modern automatic watches have a ball-bearing rotor that engages the mechanism once it swings, some only wind one way, whilst others are wound regardless of which direction the rotor swings. In both cases, with regular movement on the wrist, the watch is continuously supplied with power.

The temperature of the watch on your wrist is around 30°C, which is ideal for a watch to run smoothly and accurately. Thus you should not keep your watch on cold surfaces, such as glass. In general, shock, large variations in temperature, and magnetic fields should be avoided. The proper storage of a watch is important for the longevity of its intricate mechanics.

Has your watch stopped running? Day to day care of an automatic watch

Unlike hand-wound watches, automatic watches are charged by the movement of the wrist throughout the day. It should be noted that even an automatic watch will need to be wound manually in some circumstances. For instance if the watch is not worn for an extended period and is therefore not wound, the power reserve may become depleted. In these cases, the simple kinetic force provided by moving the watch will not be sufficient to get it up and running again. To get it started, the watch should be fully wound by hand. In order to do this, the crown is rotated, usually clockwise, around twenty-five to thirty times.

In addition to winding, you will have to manually set the watch. If the watch has stood still for a while and is no longer running, you will have to set the correct time and, if applicable, the date. The crown will usually have to be pulled out from the zero position into its first position to set the date and into its second position to set the time. By turning the crown you will be able to set the date and time respectively.

Watch collectors often alternate between which watches they wear, so it is not unusual for a watch to run out of power. In cases such as these, a watch winder proves to be particularly useful. With the help of such practical devices, the watch will not come to a stop, as it is continuously wound by the watch winder. Keeping the watch moving also prevents the lubricants of the watch’s movement from hardening, and prevents excess friction between the parts in the watch’s movement.

So, by keeping your watch in a watch winder, the durability and accuracy are improved. The use of a watch winder is especially beneficial for vintage watches. To help the lubrication of the watch movement, as well as retaining the flexibility of certain parts, a watch should be completely wound every two to three months, thus allowing you to experience the joy of a watch for many years to come.

Famous automatic watches from renowned manufacturers

It is not only watchmakers such as Breitling and Glashütte Original that offer exemplary automatic watches. Indeed, Piaget, for instance, is one watchmaker with an excellent selection of magnificent self-winding models.

Piaget, a manufacturer of haute horlogerie watches, has offered ever slimmer watches throughout the years, pushing the limits of what we understand to be ultra-thin in the world of watches. In 2013, two exceptional models were presented, each respectively setting two new horological records. The Piaget Altiplano is powered by an automatic movement with date display that has a height of only 3 mm, making it the thinnest of its kind, all this within a case that is only 6.38 mm thick – a laudable accomplisment indeed. Only two years prior, the Piaget Emperador Coussin Tourbillon Automatic Ultra-Thin, had become the thinnest automatic watch with a tourbillon.

The Lune Retrograde, the flagship model from Maurice Lacroix, is another fine automatic model featuring a wonderful moon phase display. The Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Selfwinding is decorated with dazzling diamonds set in the bezel and really stands out in Audemars Piguet’s collection.

Top automatic watches

Rolex Oyster Perpetual

“Perpetual” is the title given by Rolex to their automatic watches. In the same way that other automatic watches are wound if worn regularly, the Oyster Perpetual will run continuously.

The Oyster Perpetual is timeless and is quintessentially Rolex: the highest of quality, precision, as well as reliability. It is made of 904L steel, which is used in aerospace engineering and the chemical industry as well, making it incredibly resistant. The Oyster Perpetual is developed and produced entirely in-house by Rolex. It is fitted with their 3132 movement within its Rolex Oyster case and comes on a flat three-link Oyster bracelet. Also, it is a certified Swiss chronometer and thus provides the highest precision. The Oyster Perpetual is the ideal model for individuals looking for their first Rolex; it is Rolex distilled into a remarkable watch at an entry-level price.

Zenith El Primero

The Zenith El Primero: The first fully-integrated automatic chronograph. In 1969 Zenith presented the El Primero – meaning “the first” in Esperanto – before Heuer, Breitling, and Hamilton-Büren in the race to release the first self-winding chronograph. Not only did Zenith take on this challenge, but at the same time they made it their aim to produce the most accurate chronograph there was.

As such, the El Primero was fitted with a high-beat movement, improving overall accuracy of the watch and allowing the chronograph to record time to one-tenth of a second. Finally, Zenith released two models, one with a date function and another with a triple date and moon phase. Their current eponymous El Primero collection offers a wide range of impressive watches, from elegant to sporty models.

TAG Heuer Carrera

The Carrera models are inarguably the most famous of TAG Heuer’s selections. The first Carrera model was introduced in 1963 with a hand-wound movement and later as an automatic chronograph. To this day, the TAG Heuer Carrera models still feature the classic Carrera design with its elegant sloping lugs. They are the quintessential racing chronographs and showcase a sporty look that make them highly popular.

Breitling Chronomat

In 1984, the Breitling Chronomat received an entire redesign of its previous version. It now showcased the unique features, especially the distinct bezel with its quarter-hour markers, that have been a distinctive element of the Chronomat ever since. Breitling offers numerous Chronomat models in their collection, ranging from the Chronomat 41 to the Chronomat GMT. Breitling is famed for their pilot’s watches and as such, the Chronomat is a technical instrument of aviation professionals.

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Selfwinding

The Royal Oak, designed by the illustrious Gérald Genta in 1972, was the first luxury sports model to be introduced to the public. Audemars Piguet has not strayed from this iconic design and their watches still showcase the hallmark tapisserie dial, the distinctive screw-down octagonal bezel, and robust integrated bracelet. Audemars Piguet offers variations on the Royal Oak in their collection, from models made of luxury metals to others with complications.

Nomos Tangomat

The Nomos Tangomat is the automatic version of the Tangente with a manufacture movement. The watch embodies the ethos that has helped the small German manufacturer succeed in creating their fully in-house equipped models – a great achievement indeed. The Tangomat is a masterpiece of simplicity and has been highly praised for, not only its intelligent design, but also its accuracy and winding efficiency. The Tangomat represents quality, precision, and an emphasis on thought-out design.

TAG Heuer Monaco

The Monaco gets its name from the heart-stopping races that are held in Monaco and it was created by Heuer in honour of the Grand Prix in the small city-state. Moreover, the Monaco was introduced in 1969 by TAG Heuer as one of the first ever automatic chronograph watches. The characteristic square-shaped case makes the watch immediately recognisable as the TAG Heuer Monaco. It is an impressive automatic racing watch with a design that was radical at the time of its release.

Patek Philippe Nautilus

The Patek Philippe Nautilus is another legendary model designed by Gérald Genta. The Nautilus was introduced in 1974 by Patek Philippe to compete with the Audemars Piguet’s Royal Oak. Its design is inspired by the porthole of a ship, its bezel acting as a window into the dial of the watch. The Nautilus collection offers models with further complications or models made of precious metals. It is one of Patek Philippe’s most recognisable models – its distinct design would not suggest anything else.

Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra

The Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra, as the name suggests, is water-resistant up to 150 metres. Omega has channeled their innovative technologies developed throughout the years into the Seamaster Aqua Terra and the result is a cutting edge and resilient watch. The self-winding movement has a Co-Axial escapement, which is an improvement on the standard lever escapement, and is chronometer certified. Moreover, it is anti-magnetic up to an incredible 15,000 gauss, more than ten times the resistance of other anti-magnetic watches. The Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra line offers a wide selection of models with complications, colour, as well as material variations.

Used, new or vintage – watches from Glashütte & Co. at CHRONEXT online

You are looking for a high quality automatic watch? Then CHRONEXT is the right partner for you. With CHRONEXT is buying a luxury watch an unforgettable experience, where you will enjoy for many years. In comprehensive online store you will find many luxury watches from renowned manufacturers such as Breitling, or Patek Philippe Glashütte - be inspired! Each Automatic bought over CHRONEXT is carefully checked for quality and authenticity and leaves no wish unfulfilled. Convince yourself today by the variety and purchase their desired automatic watch online from CHRONEXT. Take advantage of the many benefits of online shopping and the 24-month CHRONEXT warranty.