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. 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, Hong Kong holding firm that invests in jewellery and watches.
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.
Our 1945 Cyma has a 38mm stainless steel case. Its gently curved lugs have a lug to lug length of 46mm, making it a comfortable fit on your wrist. On the right side a large crown for easy winding and adjustment. The brushed surfaces have crisp lines. A bevelled bezel holds a domed crystal. The black dial has even patina, an outer minute track with hour pips. Arabic numeral indexes are clearly marked for the hours. The broad hands have been relumed at some stage in its life removing the Radium originally used, the same goes for the pip indexes. At 6 o’clock a sub-seconds. Just above it the Broad Arrow (Pheon). On the reverse a screw-down case back with “W.W.W. 26781 31781” engraved into it, as fresh as the day it was done. Inside a Manually Wound Cal. 234, 15 Jewels, 18,000 beats per hour. Fitted on an 18mm Nato Strap.
Points of Mention
This watch is sold as "Watch Only" and therefore comes with no original Box or Paperwork. The watch comes paired on a fitting NATO strap, fixed spring bars. The watch is from Circa. 1945 and is in worn vintage condition, the dial has had the radium removed in the past and replaced with luminova. The watch comes with our 12-Months NON-Waterproof Warranty.
The Dirty Dozen series of British Military watches are incredibly collectable and only growing in appreciation, rightfully so too! The CYMA is arguably the best of the Dirty Dozen is all steel and 38mm, it's incredible on the wrist and gives a VERY modern feel. Personally, I don't mind the relumed dial at all, but then again some of the hardcore collectors will, but this will save you some money getting this one due to the fact.