About era ‘1920 – 1931’

The roaring twenties, a time of change and development.

By AWCo on 21 June 2019

After the Great War, the world started to develop at a rapid pace. The wealth doubled throughout the western world and this meant the beginning of the ‘consumer society’ which we live in today.

The twenties meant the uprise of mass culture and jazz. Many freedoms were extended in the roaring twenties and groups of people were growing closer. Other freedoms were bounded when the United States government decided to prohibit all ‘intoxicating’ (alcoholic) liquors in order to keep control in cities. The most striking development was the one of the Afro-American community, these people united nationwide, many migrated to Harlem and from here on they cultivated the world. Even people in Europe were doing the Charleston to Duke Ellington’s jazz.

"...the most impact on the worldwide watch industry."

Apart from cultural and political change, wristwatches were developing as well. One development which might’ve had the most impact on the worldwide watch industry is one of the self-winding movement for wristwatches. In 1923, a watch repairer from Bolton by the name of John Harwood developed a wristwatch winding up its own spring through the kinetic energy produced by the movement of the wrist. The new bumper movement could power a watch for up to 12 hours. Not only was this one of the most innovative moments in the history of watch movements, this too meant an era of improvement for many watch manufacturers. 

In 1938 MIDO launching of the MULTIFORT line marked another milestone in the history of MIDO watches. It was one of the first antimagnetic watches with a self-winding movement and built-in water- and shock-resistance.

"Rolex presented their ‘perpetual’ movement."

Rolex was one of the first Swiss houses to gain a good position in the market of automatic watches. After they had already developed a waterproof watch case in 1926, Rolex presented their ‘perpetual’ movement by 1931. Instead of a bumper swinging up and down Rolex invented the rotor, a weight which could move around freely in the watch case winding the spring, ultimately becoming a watch which could power itself forever. This pioneering development is today, 2019, still powering many many watches, what an invention this was…

You may also like to read