The First
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Thread: The First

  1. #1
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    Hi there everyone,

    Being my first post, and thread on Watch Talk I thought it would be fitting to ask for info on the following topic. Who was the 'first' to achieve various feats in watchmaking (ie first company to use certain case materials, chornographs, GMT, tachymeter, self winding wrist watches etc etc)? When was this feat achieved?

    There's always claims from different companies so let's try to set the record straight!

    Cheerio,

    MBP

  2. #2
    Super Moderator WTF Veteran CometHunter's Avatar
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    I'll do the easiest one first.

    In 1924 John Harwood filed his patent for the first self-winding movement to be used in a wrist watch.



    Abraham-Louis Breguet (1747-1823) is generally credited with inventing the very first self-winding movements (for pocket watches).
    -Bill

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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by CometHunter View Post
    Abraham-Louis Breguet (1747-1823) is generally credited with inventing the very first self-winding movements (for pocket watches).
    pssssst, it's Abraham Louis Perrelet. While Breguet is credited with many firsts, Perrelet was the first to use a bumper-like oscillating mechanism in a pocketwatch back in 1770. He also had a full rotor self winding unit that is often deemed the first of it's kind, but it was actually Hubert Sarton that did it first. Read HERE for more on the hustory of automatic watches.

    I'll add one first to the thread: Jaeger LeCoultre was the first to put a power reserve meter on an automatic watch - 1947.

  4. #4
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    (pssssst!- thank you!)
    Breguet did invent a self-winding movement. However, I went back and re-researched. It indeed looks like Perrelet's version, with central oscillating rotor, more resembles the automatic movement as we know it. I stand corrected.

    I'm not budging on the Harwood though.
    -Bill

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