We have here a classic Rare 1940s stylistic wristwatch from Cyma / Tavannes with the most fabulous exaggerated lugs and stylish case. We particularly love the beautiful original dial, which has a nice even patina to it and gives no doubt to its originality. A mixture of painted Arabic numerals and round dot markers sit inside the outer-minute tracking and this is mirrored in the subsidiary seconds at 6 o'clock. Original hands with aged lume are at the centre pinion.
Remembering the battle for waterproof watch supremacy with Rolex being the main contender, this ultra rare solid steel, rectangular, hermetic, Deco-style case is in great condition. Cyma- Tavannes were ahead of the rest as far as hermetically sealed case construction, This watch comes apart in four pieces with an internal seal for the glass. This design was another patent produced to improve the issue at the time of protecting the movement from the elements in square and rectangular cases. Housed inside the 24x38mm case is Cyma's own manual wind, lever escapement caliber 404 , with bi-metallic compensation balance and Cymaflex shock absorber, fully serviced by us and running strongly. We've paired the watch on a Brown Croco-grain leather strap, which we feel is in keeping with the age and style of the watch, but it looks great on black too.
Cyma was founded in 1862 by the brother’s Joseph Schwob and Theodore Schwob, in the town of Le Locle Switzerland. In 1871, Henri Sandoz established Sandoz & Cie in Le Locle. Sandoz moved to Tavannes in 1891, just north of Biel where he manufactured highly desirable repeaters and chronographs. Sandoz soon saw the potential of Cyma forming a business relationship with the Schwob brothers and Cyma was officially registered in 1903.
During the 1940’s Britain's Military of Defence (MOD) needed watches to be issued to the Army during World War II. Rather than relying on one watch manufacturer, they invited many Swiss brands to build a watch to a tight specification. Out of those submitted 12 brands were chosen: Buren, Cyma, Eterna, Grana, Jaeger Le-Coultre, Lemania, Longines, IWC, Omega, Record, Timor and Vertex. This is where the name “Dirty Dozen “ derives from. They were delivered by 1945 which was the closing period of the war, therefore many of these watches never actually saw action. Cyma produced an estimated 20,000 watches.
In 1943, Cyma unveiled its first automatic wristwatch, endowed with a 420 calibre featuring a unidirectional rotor. In 1966 the company was bought by the ASUAG Chronos Holding and production continued under their Synchron group in 1968. Cyma became a sister company to Doxa and Ernest Borel throughout the 1970s. The company is currently owned by Stelux International Ltd, a Hong Kong holding firm that invests in jewellery and watches.
This watch comes fully serviced by our on-site workshop and with a 12 month, non-waterproof service cover.
For a watch of this age, we would recommended that it is considered for occasional use, once or twice a week. This is largely because watches of this age weren't built to deal with modern life. They do not have dust proofing, shock absorption and are easily magnetized. Please do try and keep the watch away from magnets such as computers, phones, speakers etc.
What we think
A real piece of history when the challenge was to waterproof a 4 sided watch case. Round watches being an easier task watch companies patented various designs with mixed results. Only a few made them in solid steel and with such a fantastic design. A comfortable fit on the wrist, a 1940 style must wristwatch is perfect for him or her. A must have in any collection especially for the 'all about the lugs' collector.
Age : 1941/1950
Specific Age : 1940s
Case Size : 24mm
Case Thickness :
Lug to Lug : 38mm
Lugs : 18mm
Condition : Pre-Owned
Box & Papers : No
Case Material : Solid steel unique hermetic design
Service History : Our 12-Months NON-Waterproof Warranty