In October 1923, a small watchmaker in Switzerland created a legend.
It all started back in October 1923 when John Harwood, an English watchmaker, developed a watch with an automatic winding mechanism. For the first time in history, he had eliminated the need to manually wind a watch to keep it going. He registered his invention at the Federal Office for Intellectual Property of the Swiss Confederation at Berne and in 1926 his invention, the world's first automatic wristwatch, was exhibited at the Basle Trade Fair.
Twelve years later, in 1938, the first automatic wristwatch to also display day and date was designed and commissioned from a small Swiss watchmaker.
But only 7 of these magnificent timepieces were ever made. The War changed everything, and both design and watch were almost lost to history. In fact, the only surviving record of this masterpiece is to be found in a history book of watches and rare timepieces. We were fascinated with the complex functions of this historical gem, and investigated further.
One thing our research revealed was that automatic watches made in Switzerland in the 1930’s are rapidly becoming highly prized items by today’s collectors. One leading auction house recently sold an exquisite 1929 mechanical wrist watch for close to 20,000 US$.
Inspired by that brilliant original, WM of Switzerland has painstakingly recreated the design of that very first automatic watch, and handcrafted a new original to the demanding standards of vintage watch collectors. The result is this impressively handsome watch: