John Harwood first automatic men's watch

The first automatic men’s watch was made back in the early 1920’s by a pioneer named John Harwood. John Harwood was a soldier in the first World War and also was an English watchmaker. His dream was to make a better and newer model of a watch which then put him into the history of automatic men’s watches.

John Harwood first automatic men's watch
John Harwood first automatic men’s watch

His idea came from an observation he seen when watching some kids play on a see-saw this was what made the self-winding mechanism also known as the automatic watch. The first model was a big hit in the watch industry to start making the watch he first had to register his invention with the Federal Office for Intellectual Property of the Swiss Confederation located in Berne. He had to travel to Switzerland to find the right information on technical conditions to help him understand how to complete his invention because, as a theory alone, the invention would not make a difference unless he started producing watch movements.

He had patented many different ideas in just over a year; the ones he issued, however, were number 10, 65, and 83. Then 2 years later at a Trade Fair he proudly introduced the world’s first automatic wristwatch in a serial production. His patent went on to produce watches though many factories located in several countries including London, France, Switzerland, and the United States of America. Two years after the Trade Fair the watches went to stores around the world to be sold to the public. The automatic watch was primarily produced from 1928-1931.

Over 30,000 watches were sold by John Harwood but in 1931 when the Great Depression was at its peak, the companies creating the automatic watches collapsed. Even though they did collapse, the development that came later of the watch prospered. It was still known that John Harwood was the pioneer of the idea and will go into history as the man who pioneered the first automatic watch in history.

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