Founded 1891 in Tavannes by Tavannes Watch, F. Henri Sandoz.
Frederic Henri Sandoz was in heart and soul a businessman. To get on in his profession he turned his back on his home town of Le Locle and the Henri Sandoz & Co. watch company that he had founded there. In the nearby town of Tavannes he started a new company for the production of simple and complicated watches, including chronographs, an aptitude for which was proved by a chronograph patent registered in 1890. Further patents ensued, among them for a stem-winding mechanism and a chiming movement. The new workshops covered more than 1000 square meters. Forty employees, with the help of 55 modern machine-tools completed more than 40 timepieces a day. Some of these went onto the market under the Cyma name. Towards 1892 the company entered into a cooperative agreement with Schwob Freres of La Chaux-de-Fonds. The company continued to expand after the turn of the century.
By around 1905, daily production amounted to some 1000 watches. New markets in the Far East and elsewhere gave a noticeable boost to growth. In 1938, around 2000 employees and 2200 machine-tools reached an output of about 4000 watches and movements a day The company's 20th-century product range naturally included wristwatches of the most diverse character - for example the shock-proof models with a protective cover issued to soldiers in 1915. These were followed by "waterproof" versions. Catalogs from the 1930s also show wrist-chronographs equipped with Valjoux movements. At that time, Tavannes-Cyma claimed to be Switzerland's largest supplier of precision watches.
In 1943 the company launched its first automatic movement, the caliber 420, with a swinging arm winding in one direction. This movement was fitted into the square-cased "Watersport" model, for example. Another collector's item is the "Autorotor" self-winding caliber 485, launched in around 1957. Thereafter Cyma used ETA calibers.
In 1966 Tavannes-Cyma ceased production and the rights to the brand name passed to Chronos Holding.
History provided by Mr. Laurie Kemp.
We are still working on the individual histories of each manufacturer, as time permits. If you'd like to submit a manufacturer history, let us know and we will credit you as a contributing author.