Harwood ‘Bumper’

Up today is a very rare and special treat. This is a watch created by John Harwood. Mr. Harwood invented the first serial produced automatic wristwatch and this particular example is one of those models. The company was only around for a few years before it went bankrupt.

The watch featured a ‘bumper’ oscillating weight as opposed to a perpetual rotor which travels 360 degrees around the movement in order to wind it. The bumper travels around 200 degrees, hits a spring and bounces back. This isn’t a very efficient way of winding, but it was good at the time. This watch was first showcased in 1926 and was produced until 1931.

You will notice the watch doesn’t have a crown. It cannot be manually wound and the time is set via the bezel. You will see a red dot on the dial and then a red paint mark on the movement. That red dot indicates the watch is in the normal running position. To set the time forward you turn the crown clockwise until the red dot disappears and you will start to see the hands move. To set the time backward, you do the opposite.

The bezel has teeth inside and they engage with the crown type wheel you see at 3 o’clock. This watch came to me from a collector of early automatic watches and was in need of a general overhaul.

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