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Harman Watch Company

Established in the 1930s, this now forgotten brand was once part of the much larger American watchmaking history scene, but like others, quickly faded after the war as competition grew and watches became more easily manufactured at mass scale.




My research (which mainly involves internet searches and looking at any listings out there), turned up very little.


I found this tidbit on FB under user Vintage Watches:


The Harman Watch Co. was started by Harry Friedman in 1933 after a previous partnership with his brother-in-law dissolved.


Friedman and his brother in law had been in the watch business since 1922. The 1920s and ’30s were an active period of private entrepreneurship for small businesses in the jewelry trades in New York City.


In America 1933 was the year of the New Deal and new hope during a crushing depression. Friedman started the Harman Watch Co. and filed a trademark registration for Harman on October 21, 1933. The Harman company name was formed from his first and last name, HARry Fried-MAN.


There was also some promising leads on the NAWCC site that never materialized. A thread was started by the grandson of Harry Friedman back in 2013, with hopes of putting together a horological history of this company, but I was not able to find any links to this history.


As always, it amazes me how there vintage watches outlast most modern ones. Harman used imported high quality Swiss movements for their watches, which were recognized for accuracy. I found an example of what their watch presentation box looked like, proudly stating on the inside: Harman - The Recognized Watch Where Accuracy Counts


It saddens me, when someone's life work is slowly forgotten and with time, it is as if it never existed. Such beauty and trailblazing shouldn't be left to disappear.


There are many listings out there for Harman watches, but the listings provide very little background information and as such, it is near impossible to pinpoint the exact age of some of these watches, except by speculation based on design.


This Art Deco beauty that I was lucky enough to come across still ticks, and though some of the jewels may have lost their sparkle, I can already envision how spectacular it will look once it is properly cleaned and maintained.


And I can imagine how glamorous and special the first owner of this watch might have felt. I am sure it was a luxury that was treasured during the hard years of the Depression era.






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