Résumé : Multiple time scales appear in many nonlinear dynamical systems. Semiconductor lasers, in particular, provide a fertile testing ground for multiple time scale dynamics. For solitary semiconductor lasers, the two fundamental time scales are the cavity repetition rate and the relaxation oscillation frequency which is a characteristic of the field-matter interaction in the cavity. Typically, these two time scales are of very different orders, and mutual resonances do not occur. Optical feedback endows the system with a third time scale: the external cavity repetition rate. This is typically much longer than the device cavity repetition rate and suggests the possibility of resonances with the relaxation oscillations. We show that for lasers with highly damped relaxation oscillations, such resonances can be obtained and lead to spontaneous mode-locking. Two different laser types--a quantum dot based device and a quantum well based device-are analysed experimentally yielding qualitatively identical dynamics. A rate equation model is also employed showing an excellent agreement with the experimental results.