John Harwood First Automatic Watch Movement

John Harwood was the man who pioneered the automatic men’s watch, he always had a goal to create something that was better than the original watch. One day he knew how he could create this watch; the idea came to him by watch a few kids playing on a see-saw. From this, he decided on a way to make this watch that will be more efficient than the previous watches.

John Harwood First Automatic Watch Movement
John Harwood First Automatic Watch Movement

The first automatic men’s watch had a small weight that was placed inside of the watch. The weight inside of the watch would swing back and forth; as the weight swung it would hit a small gear that would then wind the watch. This weight did not make a full 360 degree rotation, only roughly 180 degrees because of the spring bumpers that were restricting it from a full rotational swing. These spring bumpers made it, so the weight swung in a back and forth motion, like a see-saw. This type of self-winding small machine is now called a hammer or bumper.

This first model of an automatic men’s watch had no crown. A crown is the part on the side of the watch where you can pull it out to stop time and turn it to change the time. The time was set by rotating the bezel, a bezel is the rim on the watch that rotates and has markings on the watch. This bezel would undo the automatic bumper movements and make the hands of the watch able to be set.

If the watch was fully wound up it would last 12 hours, with no stem winder to move the hands the bezel had to be rotated manually. The current automatic men’s watches on the market have become much more high-tech than the one of earlier years. They have watches that let you go 200 feet below water without breaking the watch, there are battery and solar powered watches, and they have many more features.

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