WATCH TALK FORUMS banner
1 - 7 of 7 Posts

·
Banned
Joined
·
149 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi All--

I see that Adam (GLADIATOR) posted this in another forum and thought you'd like to see it too....I think this post puts the whole story together incredibly well!

Best,
Ike


A Visionary's Tale - The 'HARWOOD' Jig-Saw comes to-gether.

It all started when I received from my English Mentor, the following email:

"Here we go. I'll start with the Harwood. The significance of this watch cannot be overstated. It was the first ever automatic wristwatch. It is the ancestor of every selfwinding watch on the market and represents Genesis for this type of movement. The British museum have a Harwood on permanent display and no collection would be complete without one. Horrible nickel cased versions sold in the USA sometimes appear online, but UK market examples in solid gold do not surface. This is the best Harwood I have seen in years."

From that E mail, I ended up with the most beautiful, 1929 18kt mint Harwood:


And so my love of Horology was started, and my quest to learn everything on the 'Birth of Automatic Wristwatches'

So came Harwood's watch number two, and, with true British grit, despite his eponymous company being declared bankrupt in 1931, Harwood was convinced of the innate advantages of the self winding movement that he appeared again in 1931, with the wonderfully ingenious and delightful eccentric 'Autorist':




From there, I wanted the adverts from these immaculate time pieces. First the Harwood:

A 1930 advert showing my actual model. "5 guineas(£5.50)"

Then this, again from 1930. Depicting a man (with the watch as 'his' face) climbing stairs.
It says: (translated): "A watch without a winder. It works and winds all by itself (toute seule)." - Wonderful stuff.

.

Now some Harwood Horology.
John Harwood was English, his watches model were licensed for sale by following companies.

Fortis.--> Switzerland and Germany.
Blancpain.--> France and Spain.
Harwood.-->UK.
and
Perpetual Self Winding watch Company (owned by Harwood) -->USA.

OK.
Then, I came across this 1930 advert:
Again, what an advert. Saying "One cigarette and your watch is wound." Doubt we could say that to-day. Political correctness!



But look at the picture! Is that really a Harwood in that advert? My search re-started, to find, yes 'Blancpain' who had the license for France and Spain, wanted the watch shaped oblong or square back then in 1926/7. Remember the Autorist was not launched till 1931.

But Harwood's original design was round, and the 'round' bezel set the hands. You can not fit a round bezel on a square faced watch. So Harwood modified his design for Blancpain to manufacturer, and we have this wonderful but so rare watch.
The hands are now set/adjusted by turning NOT the front bezel, BUT the back of the case!!

Here you all go. Look no front bezel!

But a Harwood:

Now see the back, - Ingenious!


Then I came across these ultra rare Harwood Share Certificates from 1929 and 1930. How many people kept their share certificates 80 years after the company went bankrupt!




So, the final part had to be the original watch box, but this proved even scarcer than any other part of the jig-saw. I was offered one for £1500 two years ago, then same box a few months ago for £2000.
I really could never justify, that price just for a box.

Then 2 weeks ago, I saw something that excited me so much, I watched, waited, cancelled a dinner appointment (due to auction end time) and at 3 secs before the allotted time last Saturday night I won this!

Yes, a HARWOOD SELFWINDING Watch box:

But LOOK again, not 'just the box, but:

Yes: The Guarantee, signed and dated December 22nd 1930 (A Xmas present maybe?)

AND
The Instructions. Read these wonderful instructions, how to hold and wind this FIRST automatic:


Now, one last important Horology point. Harwood, patented his self winding watch in 1924 (applied 1923). He applied the name 'Perpetual' in 1926 in USA - look at the Guarantee and Instructions. The Perpetual Self-Winding Watch Company of America, inc., New York.
A FULL 9 years before Hans Wilsdorf launched the Rolex 'perpetual'
No, the name 'Perpetual' was John Harwood's as was the first manufactured automatic wrist watches..


So there you have it friends. My 'Grail' came home.

Acknowledgement
Mr Hardy - my mentor
Perpetual Watch Box pictures by seller.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,679 Posts
Adam. This is hands down the most interesting and historic research I've read. I love it! Congratulations!!!
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
132 Posts
A good post indeed, but do you have permission for this repost?
Adam is very passionate about this and spends lots of time putting those together.
To avoid conflict, I would suggest seeking his approval.
Just a thought. :thumbup1:
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
149 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
A good post indeed, but do you have permission for this repost?
Adam is very passionate about this and spends lots of time putting those together.
To avoid conflict, I would suggest seeking his approval.
Just a thought. :thumbup1:
Thanks SLDdude
Of course, I got the permission of Adam, actually I was there in Spain as I posted (copied) this. I would never post anything of Adam's (or any one) without their prior consent.

Also, thanks your positive comment on the post, Adam was a bit disappointed in the lack of comments.

Once again thanks your advice and comments, I surely do not want to upset anyone.
Best
Ike
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,679 Posts
I too was hoping for more response to it, but I like to think that those that are close with Adam send him personal thank yous for sharing his information. Maybe, like me, no one had any value to add to such a complete post? I'm not sure. I sure took the opportunity to absorb more information from Adam.

Thanks for sharing Ike! You're the best. :cool1:
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
149 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I too was hoping for more response to it, but I like to think that those that are close with Adam send him personal thank yous for sharing his information. Maybe, like me, no one had any value to add to such a complete post? I'm not sure. I sure took the opportunity to absorb more information from Adam.

Thanks for sharing Ike! You're the best. :cool1:
Hi Jeff
Thanks your kind words, no I am not the best, but I try to act like a friend should do.

Maybe you are right, but Adam was surely disappointed that this (my opinion) post was so important and relevant. Actually, he showed it to Mme Cinette Robert, and she replied
"Fantastic !! Congratulations."

Best
Ike
 
1 - 7 of 7 Posts
Top