The Truth Behind The Myth - The Final Story Read more: http://wristwatchforums.proboards.com/thread
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  1. #1
    Member HOROLOGIST007's Avatar
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    The Truth Behind The Myth - The Final Story Read more: http://wristwatchforums.proboards.com/thread

    I wrote below article a while ago. After purchasing my first Harwood I fell in love with both the timepiece and the inventor, It was the start of a 5 year passion to research, learn and collect everything related to John Harwood

    Many people (including Rolex) believe that Rolex made the first automatic watches, the 'Perpetual'

    Indeed up to 1940 Rolex adverts clearly state as can bee seen below from this Original Rolex advert of 1937:

    The myth:
    "The Rolex 'Rotor' as the new self winding mechanism was called,
    WAS PATENTED IN 1931


    Well we can see here from the original patent Was ONLY was GRANTED in March 1933 (filed in January 1932


    The MYTH and the Truth to-gether:


    No the Englishman John Harwood, patented the first Automatic mass produced wrist watch in Sept 1924 (applied Oct 1923)
    His prototype was completed in 1922 a FULL 11 Yrs before Rolex!!

    No! This is the 'true' KING and GENESIS of automatics:







    The Final Story:
    Now John Harwood was most saddened by this is whole life, he was understandably incensed at the Rolex claim, but after much wrangling he was able in 1956 to secure an official apology from Rolex.
    An advertisement in the Daily Express - complete with a photograph of John Harwood acknowledging him as the true inventor of the automatic, a fact that is re-iterated in 'The Rolex Official History of Self Winding Watches published in 1952
    The Rolex Official History Book I managed to purchase a few months ago, but the advert and the apology printed by Rolex seemed impossible.
    I even wondered if Rolex had purchased every copy.
    Then Barry aka BAZZAB, sent me a link, and within the link was the elusive advert and the retraction/apology.


    So after five years we can truly say without doubt that John Harwood was the original inventor of the 'mass produced wristwatch.

    He died from a 'freak' accident 4 yrs after receiving the Rolex apology and retraction.

    Here are those two documents.






    And the Original Rolex advert withOUT Harwood acknowledged:


    Now The MYTH, can NOT be 'perpetuated'
    Acknowledgements:
    Barry Cooper aka BAZZAB
    FORTIS 100 Years of History
    Mr Marcus Hardy - My Harwood
    Last edited by HOROLOGIST007; June 1st, 2013 at 10:00.
    Emre, Tick Talk, watchma and 5 others like this.
    NEVER ARGUE WITH AN IDIOT. FIRST THEY WILL DRAG YOU DOWN TO THEIR LEVEL. THEN, THEY WILL BEAT YOU WITH EXPERIENCE.

    "Failure is not an option" - Gene Kranz
    "Owning a vintage watch is great, understanding where it sits in Horology is magnificent"
    and
    "By Teaching Others, We Teach Ourselves"
    Adam

  2. #2
    Member AbslomRob's Avatar
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    Re: The Truth Behind The Myth - The Final Story Read more: http://wristwatchforums.proboards.com/th

    Nice research. Roland has a good chronology on automatics on his site: Ranfft Watches, Infos
    My growing collection of "affordable" vintages: http://www.abslomrob.com

  3. #3
    Member HOROLOGIST007's Avatar
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    Re: The Truth Behind The Myth - The Final Story Read more: http://wristwatchforums.proboards.com/th

    Quote Originally Posted by AbslomRob View Post
    Nice research. Roland has a good chronology on automatics on his site: Ranfft Watches, Infos
    Thanks, yes I know and respect Roland greatly. He has outstanding knowledge
    Thanks
    adam
    NEVER ARGUE WITH AN IDIOT. FIRST THEY WILL DRAG YOU DOWN TO THEIR LEVEL. THEN, THEY WILL BEAT YOU WITH EXPERIENCE.

    "Failure is not an option" - Gene Kranz
    "Owning a vintage watch is great, understanding where it sits in Horology is magnificent"
    and
    "By Teaching Others, We Teach Ourselves"
    Adam

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    Re: The Truth Behind The Myth - The Final Story Read more: http://wristwatchforums.proboards.com/th

    Many Thanks Adam, but,
    I only sent the link!
    The rest is down to you
    Pleased it completes your Harwood project?
    B

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    Member HOROLOGIST007's Avatar
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    Re: The Truth Behind The Myth - The Final Story Read more: http://wristwatchforums.proboards.com/th

    Quote Originally Posted by Bazzab View Post
    Many Thanks Adam, but,
    I only sent the link!
    The rest is down to you
    Pleased it completes your Harwood project?
    B
    Your the man - Now if I could only find how to get an original copy????
    NEVER ARGUE WITH AN IDIOT. FIRST THEY WILL DRAG YOU DOWN TO THEIR LEVEL. THEN, THEY WILL BEAT YOU WITH EXPERIENCE.

    "Failure is not an option" - Gene Kranz
    "Owning a vintage watch is great, understanding where it sits in Horology is magnificent"
    and
    "By Teaching Others, We Teach Ourselves"
    Adam

  7. #6
    Member Emre's Avatar
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    Re: The Truth Behind The Myth - The Final Story Read more: http://wristwatchforums.proboards.com/th

    I don't know really who accepts the Rolex rotor as the first self winding, but who wants to know the truth knows already that in the wristwatch the first one is Harwood. Correct me if I am wrong, but even the word ' Perpetual ' was used by Blancpain in North America while they were distributing the Harwood watches, no?

    The good thing about internet, we have now the option to deep search into printed documents in e-libraries and can reach the true source. I am surprised that even Pritchard's book has some non - relevant and no fact information, just referring to other books and the truth on the ground is different than presented.

    Edit:

    Actually Harwood's earliest pat application is from 7th Jul 1923 in GB

    British Patent: applied in 7th Jul 1923 and registered in 10th Jul 1924
    Swiss patent: applied in 16th Oct 1923 and registered in 1st Sept 1924
    US Patent: applied in 8th Oct 1923 and registered in 9th Mar 1926
    Last edited by Emre; May 31st, 2013 at 19:07.

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    Re: The Truth Behind The Myth - The Final Story Read more: http://wristwatchforums.proboards.com/th

    Now that you mention Blancpain, I found this quote from Michael Balfour's book The Classic Watch:

    "By 1926, after a late entrance into the wristwatch field, Blancpain contributed to history by making a prototype of the first wristwatch to have an automatic winding mechanism; it was powered by the wearer's movements, and was the invention of John Harwood, a brilliant English horologist. In 1929 Blancpain produced the watch for the French market."
    Tick Talk says, "A watch in the hand is worth two on the wrist"

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    Member Sparcster's Avatar
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    Re: The Truth Behind The Myth - The Final Story Read more: http://wristwatchforums.proboards.com/th

    Hi Adam,

    Another interesting thread. I was unaware of this story (Rolex originally claiming to be the first auto).... but as I have not 'research' that many early adverts/articles that would have contained that claim, im not sure when this would have come up.... good to know!

    Marc
    A designer knows he has achieved perfection not when there is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to take away...

    Antoine de Saint-Exupery

    Twitter: quickpicmarc

  10. #9
    Member HOROLOGIST007's Avatar
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    Re: The Truth Behind The Myth - The Final Story Read more: http://wristwatchforums.proboards.com/th

    Quote Originally Posted by Emre View Post
    I don't know really who accepts the Rolex rotor as the first self winding, but who wants to know the truth knows already that in the wristwatch the first one is Harwood. Correct me if I am wrong, but even the word ' Perpetual ' was used by Blancpain in North America while they were distributing the Harwood watches, no?

    The good thing about internet, we have now the option to deep search into printed documents in e-libraries and can reach the true source. I am surprised that even Pritchard's book has some non - relevant and no fact information, just referring to other books and the truth on the ground is different than presented.

    Edit:

    Actually Harwood's earliest pat application is from 7th Jul 1923 in GB

    British Patent: applied in 7th Jul 1923 and registered in 10th Jul 1924
    Swiss patent: applied in 16th Oct 1923 and registered in 1st Sept 1924
    US Patent: applied in 8th Oct 1923 and registered in 9th Mar 1926
    Hi Emre
    strangly enought in Europe Harwood used 'The Self Winding Watch Company'
    BUT
    In US he called it the 'Perpetual' Watch company

    I have the box and instructions from both Europe and America
    Here is the American Instructions and Guarantee - Perpetual Watch Company - The Europe ones are different





    Yes I have all those patents - there is a 4th - Blancpain - France

    Regards
    Last edited by HOROLOGIST007; May 31st, 2013 at 20:57.
    Emre likes this.
    NEVER ARGUE WITH AN IDIOT. FIRST THEY WILL DRAG YOU DOWN TO THEIR LEVEL. THEN, THEY WILL BEAT YOU WITH EXPERIENCE.

    "Failure is not an option" - Gene Kranz
    "Owning a vintage watch is great, understanding where it sits in Horology is magnificent"
    and
    "By Teaching Others, We Teach Ourselves"
    Adam

  11. #10
    Member HOROLOGIST007's Avatar
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    Re: The Truth Behind The Myth - The Final Story Read more: http://wristwatchforums.proboards.com/th

    Quote Originally Posted by Tick Talk View Post
    Now that you mention Blancpain, I found this quote from Michael Balfour's book The Classic Watch:

    "By 1926, after a late entrance into the wristwatch field, Blancpain contributed to history by making a prototype of the first wristwatch to have an automatic winding mechanism; it was powered by the wearer's movements, and was the invention of John Harwood, a brilliant English horologist. In 1929 Blancpain produced the watch for the French market."
    Correct
    and they made a very unique version of Harwood watch. Patent No 580247 / Blancpain had the market of France and Spain

    Here you go.
    The Blancpain version - Spot the difference??






    Regards
    adam
    NEVER ARGUE WITH AN IDIOT. FIRST THEY WILL DRAG YOU DOWN TO THEIR LEVEL. THEN, THEY WILL BEAT YOU WITH EXPERIENCE.

    "Failure is not an option" - Gene Kranz
    "Owning a vintage watch is great, understanding where it sits in Horology is magnificent"
    and
    "By Teaching Others, We Teach Ourselves"
    Adam

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