Harwood Auto Display Back Wristwatch
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Thread: Harwood Auto Display Back Wristwatch

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  1. #1
    Sponsor thoth's Avatar
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    Aug 2009

    Harwood Auto Display Back Wristwatch

    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.

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    The crystal is scuffed but is glass. The case sides cleaned up nice....

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    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...

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    There is even a formed bezel on the back. So either this is original or someone with skill at case making adding it later.

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    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.

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    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.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2010

    Re: Harwood Auto Display Back Wristwatch

    I love bumper automatics and think having a display back is a cool idea! I may have to look into finding a way to do that to some of my watches! In regards to all those numbers, usually they are invoice numbers from the person that did the service. Do you have to pop the back off to set the time?? Is that where the crown is?
    Last edited by RonD.; March 19th, 2017 at 04:38.

  3. #3
    Member Unsolved_Mistry's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    United Kingdom

    Re: Harwood Auto Display Back Wristwatch


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  5. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2013

    Re: Harwood Auto Display Back Wristwatch

    Ah a Harwood. The first automatic watch. If i recall, you turn the bezel to set the hands. That indicator at the 6 o'clock position is to let you know when it is in setting mode You turn the bezel counter clockwise until the indicator turns white. Then you can set the watch. To disengage the setting mode, turn the bezel the other way and when the indicator turns red then set mode is disengaged. If you look at the movement, at the bottom of it, there is a gear, this is what the bezel turns to set the watch.

    Mr. Harwood was a watch maker and saw that most watches that needed to be repaired were due to water getting in. The most likely place water could get in was a crown so he got rid of it.

    As i have seen several Harwood watches and all of them had a solid case back, I suspect yours is a display model for shows or a jewelry store so that potential customers could see the new automatic movement. Sort of like the Bulova Accutron Spaceview several years later. The case back seems to match the rest of the case so that it looks like it was made in the factory.

    Nice watch
    thoth likes this.

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