Brand Directory: Cyma
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 “Dirty Dozen “ derives from. The watches had engraved into them the W.W.Ws, a code established by the British Army to distinguish these from other military equipment and it simply stood for Watch. Wrist. Waterproof. Two serial numbers were engraved, one being the manufacturer’s number, and the other (with the letter) being the military store number. A Broad Arrow (pheon) was also put on the watch to indicate British Government Issue property. 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.