I have been collecting for over 25 years and have known about who Harwood was for many of those...but shame on me I never put up the money to buy one....until now.
The dim grainy pics on the auction site made it look so bad. The vague description made it even more risky. Said it was cleaned recently...in very poor grammer. You only live once and it is just money, I just don't tell the wife that it is just money...she is an accountant. I bit the bullet, pulled the trigger, and put my money where my mouth is. When it arrived it looked much better than the pictures. The case had crud in the engraved parts of the case. The movement was obviously dirty. I set to work on my new jewel of the collection.
The crystal is scuffed but is glass. The case sides cleaned up nice....
The real treat was the back. The seller said that someone in the past had put a crystal on the back. I was expecting some poorly cut out case back with a plastic crystal glued on....surprisingly it too is glass and anything other than a botched job...
There is even a formed bezel on the back. So either this is original or someone with skill at case making adding it later.
The movement has had a basic clean and oil. It still needs a good thorough clean. When I got it the regulator was hard banked to slow. Nice and in the middle now. Not perfect but better.
I found an interesting point about the watch in that any repair marks were not applied to the inside case back. While there is space the watchmakers chose to put their markings to the top of the setting block and under where the automatic weight swings. I found all of the following.... 15789 and 13554 on the setting block. 9274, a6937, a8225, a4905, a11324, 10183, and 14065 under the weight on the movement. And on the case but not in the case back 02X25 and 09X1081. Lots of numbers that these days mean absolutely nothing. I wish I could know what every one of them was a reference to but at least it has a rich history.
Other than the very nice example of a display back HOROLOGIST007 has, which with the brass front and back is amazing looking, I have not seen another display back Harwood. I feel that Harwood watches in general are greatly underappreciated in the watch collecting world. The first viable automatic wristwatch that only survived a few years in production....If it said Rolex it would have a massive price tag...I will stick with history and innovation over a name any day.