|Harwood Steel with Diamonds|
While watching a couple of kids playing on a see-saw, in a flash the possibility became a reality. After a couple of trial and errors, the first automatic winding system on a wristwatch was born. John Harwood journeyed to Switzerland with two working prototypes and intricate plans for design to and registered his invention at the Federal Office for Intellectual Property of the Swiss Confederation at Berne. A year later Harwood was issued patent No. 106583 . Between 1924 and 1929 Harwood commissioned Anton Schild S.A to help him develop the winding system and produce the raw movements, and Fortis S.A. finished them. Fortis then brought this new line of automatic watches to market. Weird thing about this story is that in 1929, the year Fortis displayed this breakthrough line of automatic watches "Harwood perpetual" at Basel World, Harwood filed for bankruptcy and the company was liquidated two years later. 30,000 watches were made before the collapse, which I have no doubt are attractive collectors items.
|John Harwood automatic prototype|
Here is a great insightful blog from Oriental Watchsite about the Harwood History.
As to the watches, I find the design comfortably appealing. The fluted bezel serves as the point of adjustment with a clear "safe mode" or "adjustment mode" at the 6 'o'clock just in case one turns the bezel by accident. The watches are all automatic in vision with the original Harwood invention. The watches are available in steel, gold, sterling silver (not often used) as well as an edition sporting 48 brilliant cut diamonds on the bezel. The watches are sized at either 35mm or 39mm strapped to the wrist by high quality alligator leather straps.
To Commemorate 80 years of John Harwood receiving the automatic winding patent, current Harwood unveiled Limited Edition Watch called the "HARWOOD LOUIS REGUIN" The enamel dial is decorated with an exquisite vision of floating angels surrounded by china blue borders. As the name suggests, the artistry on the dial is reminiscent of renowned Swiss miniature painter, Louis Reguin (1872-1948).
Platinum versions are limited to 25 pieces and steel versions to 100 pieces.