Monday, July 27, 2009


Synonymous with the historical development of watches is the name John Harwood as the history of the first automatic wristwatch is his story. Being a soldier during World War I, he had experienced the short comings of the wristwatches available at that time. As an experienced watchmaker John Harwood knew problems, such as dust and moisture, were the most common factors in the watch movement repairs he encountered. He had the vision of a new type of a reliable wristwatch without the open-ing for the winding stem, which he identified as the point of failure. For this reason, Harwood paid particular attention to the development of a different winding and setting mechanisms, which needed to be located inside the watch. After observing children playing on a seesaw, he began to envision the basics of his self-winding mechanism.

Harwood had traveled to Switzerland with his two working prototypes and his detailed construction plans as he felt that only there he could find the technical conditions for the realization of his invention. On September 1st, 1924, one year after he registered his invention at the Federal Office for Intellectual Property of the Swiss Confederation at Berne, Harwood was issued patent No. 106583 for this pioneering invention.

Original construction plans of the Harwood Automatic 1922

After John Harwood’s invention was patented in 1924, two years later the first "Harwood perpetual" saw the light of day on the occasion of the Basel fair. Up to then the winding of wrist-watches was only manually possible
by winding the crown.

The invention of Harwood however used the kinetic energy at the wrist of the wearer for tightening the mainspring by means of an oscillating rotor in the center of the watch movement, a ’perpetuum mobile’ for an omnipresent timepiece.

This ingenious invention ranks among the milestones of watch history and acquires the title of a classic among wrist-watches, determined from the well-known watch magazine CHRONOS.

Identifying feature of the HARWOOD is its shape. The watch without a crown, with a fluted bezel and singular hand setting mechanism is a rare watchmaking piece. The traditional crown function is managed by the bi-directional adjustable turning bezel, which can likewise be used for hand setting and manual winding. A coloured dot indicates the respective mode of the watch showing up in a round dial window on the 6 o'clock position.

HARWOOD - A leading model with technical sophistication, exciting style, innovative, functional and dignified manufactured. A historical milestone having a secure place in the Olymp of the classics.

Nak cari jam Harwood ni memang susah, dah tak banyak lagi dalam pasaran, kalau ada pun harganya sangat menggerunkan sekitar USD1,500 ke atas. Setakat ini belum tengok lagi ada kat Malaysia. Kalau sesiapa ada bolehlah masukkan dalam Blog untuk kita semua tengok


  1. Tuan Syed,

    A very interesting piece of history. Thank you for the info.

  2. Terima kasih Tn. Muzill, just want to share with all the vintage collectors about the history of the watches. TQ

  3. Saya masih baru dalam bidang ni,tetapi berminat untuk memiliki jam vintage,di mana patut saya mulakan? Dan bagaimana nak pasti kan ketulenan jam tersebut

  4. Ketulinan jam boleh dipastikan dengan melihat kepada movement dia, biasanya jam-jam berjenama menyatakan dengan jelas caliber yg diginakan, marking yang diembossed pada movement. Luaran jam juga perlu diperhatikan seperti jenis casing, caseback dan marking2 yg ada padanya begitu juga dengan dial, corak, model, marking. Buat permulaan cuba ke flea market spt di Locken Ipoh, Jln Kulit Penang, Amrcorp Mall PJ dan kedai-kedai jam lama. Selamat mencari