Cyma - Around the early 1880s, Frederic Henri Sandoz set up a watch making facility in the Jura mountain district of Switzerland to make complicated watch movements. This was Sandoz' second venture into watch making, his first being the Henri Sandoz & Co watch co. that he left to set up the new operation. Sandoz was an innovator and as early as 1890 he developed and manufactured a chronograph movement that was to become the foundation of his business from then on.
Sandoz' inventiveness didn't end there, and soon he had patented a musical movement and new stem-wind system for his watches. By this time the Sandoz Empire was quite a large organization, with a factory producing more than 50 completed timepieces per day, many of which carried the Company's name. Many of these were exported and the resulting exposure brought the company to the attention of the Schwob Freres Company. A partnership was struck and this gave Sandoz the backing he needed to further expand his watch making operations.
Production soon expanded to over 1000 completed movements per day and the company continued to expand. New markets for the Cyma brand were sought, and Asia proved to be another boom area for them. For the first half of the century, the company expanded rapidly and by 1940 there were over 2000 employees producing over 4000 completed timepieces per day.
Throughout the century the company supplied watches that suited prevailing conditions, for example they made a military watch that had a shock-proof mechanism and a protective cover, similar to a hunter pocket watch. Just before 1943 Cyma introduced its first automatic watch, the caliber 430.
For the collector Cyma represents good value with a couple of notable collectors pieces still being actively sought. These are the caliber 430 automatics, usually in a square case and the "Autorotor" caliber 485, an automatic watch first launched in 1957. If you like precious metals, Cyma are now making plenty of new designs in solid cases.
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