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 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'
Barry Cooper aka BAZZAB
FORTIS 100 Years of History
Mr Marcus Hardy - My Harwood