The roaring twenties is a marvellous time where prosperity thrived through America and Western Europe. This decade is known for its wealth and crazy years. emphasizing the era’s social, artistic and cultural dynamism. Jazz music blossomed, the flapper redefined the modern look for British and American women, and Art Deco peaked.

It was also the time of economical well fair. The economies saw rapid industrial growth, accelerated consumer demand, plus significant changes in lifestyle and culture. A time for celebrities, sports heroes and movie stars. Most of them were men, and those men were still true gentlemen.

One of those men was John Harwood, he was the inventor of the first self-winding wristwatch. He was Born in Bolton in 1893. During World War One he had served as an armoury staff sergeant, developing an automatic pistol and explosive tools. When the war ended he served a watchmaking apprenticeship at Hirst Brothers and Co. In 1922 he decided to move to the Isle of Man to open his own watch repair business.

John started developing a self-winding wristwatch supported by a local businessman in 1923. He applied for a patent in Switzerland which was granted in September 1924. Harwood exhibited his world’s first automatic wristwatch at the 1926 Basle Trade Fair. And he brought his watches to the market in 1928 with the brand name ‘Harwood’. Over the years his company the Harwood Self Winding Watch Company sold around 30.000 watches until 1931. In that year Harwood company couldn’t withstand the effects of the Great Depression and became bankrupt.

© 2017 MOBERLY JOURDAIN, AMSTERDAM

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