Hot on the heels of the Sandoz skin diver that we posted a few days ago we thought that we would share this great Cyma Watersport from the 1930’s. Why you ask? Well, both of these companies were founded by the same person, Henri Sandoz. After Sandoz had established his primary brand in Le Locle he entered into a partnership with the Schwob brothers and Cyma was officially registered in 1903. At the same time, the company would trademark the names Tavaness and Cyma Tavannes, and they used all three to market watches. The name Cyma itself is derived from the french word ‘cime’ which means peak or top, which reflects the brand’s initial goal of creating highly accurate watches. By 1910, Cyma had grown tremendously into one of the largest watch manufactures in Switzerland. Most importantly, Cyma was a true manufacture of watches. This meant that they created cases and movements, and didn’t just buy pieces from other supplies and slap their name on it like many other brands of the era. Unfortunately, the Cyma brand was a casualty of the quartz crisis and they shut down production completely by the late 1960’s. The brand made a modern return in 2005, but it is not associated in any way with the original company.
The watertight cushion case is one of the most important and recognizable of the early Cyma watches. While often compared to early Rolex models of similar visual design, the watches are quite different. On March 17th, 1931 they filed swiss patent CH 155519 entitled “Boîte de montre”, or watch box in English, for the fitment of a round movement into a cushion shaped case. A quick google search will bring up numerous case and dial variants of Cyma cushion shaped watches including models that we military issued. Above is an advertisement from the era of a similar Tavaness watertight watch and a diagram from the original patent.
The 30mm stainless steel cushion shaped case is in good condition. The watch has been polished in the past but it retains its overall form nicely. Of note on this case is a smooth bezel as opposed to a coin bezel that is seen on many of these watches. The major flaw with this watch is a deep scratch on the crystal that should be noted. With limited examples available for reference it is hard to say if the crown is correct but it looks to be of the correct era.
The Dial and Hands
The two-tone sector dial of this watch is in fair condition. The dial has taken on a fair bit of patina but it has for the most part aged fairly evenly to a nice caramel color. The major flaw is at the bottom of the dial where a piece seems to have chipped off. The hands appear to be correct and original as we have seen them on similar examples.
This watch is powered by a manually wound 15 jewel Cyma movement. The watch is running and the service history is unknown.
|Location||New York City|
|Movement||Manual, 15 Jewel Cyma|
|Case Material||Stainless Steel|
|Band Material||Nylon Strap|