Tavannes Cyma 14k Solid Gold Watch Column Wheel Chronograph Valjoux 23 Ref 400L

Tavannes Cyma 14k Solid Gold Watch Column Wheel Chronograph Valjoux 23 Ref 400L


Vintage 14ct 585 Yellow Gold 

Military Pilots TELEMETRE (tachymeter) Dial 

Early Valjoux 23 Column wheel Chronograph CYMA / Tavannes Ref.400l 

Circa 1940



  • Description

    Vintage 14ct 585 Yellow Gold 

    Military Pilots TELEMETRE (tachymeter) Dial 

    Early Valjoux 23 Column wheel Chronograph CYMA / Tavannes Ref.400l 

    Circa 1940


    The History of Cyma Tavannes Watch Company


    Cyma is a watch brand that has long been associated with accuracy. Even the name Cyma, derived from the French cime for top or summit indicated the aims of the company, that of reaching the pinnacle of of accuracy. Cyma can trace its routes back to the Schwob brothers Joseph and Theodore, who initially established cyma in 1862 as a watch manufacturer that assembled watches from components derived from multiple Swiss sources.  At about the same time 1871, Henri Sandoz established Sandoz & Cie in Le Locle. However Sandoz moved to Tavannes in 1891, just North of Biel where he focused on the manufacture of highly complex repeaters and chronographs. Soon after this move Sandoz formed a developed a business relationship with the Schwob brothers and Cyma was officially registered in 1903. Sandoz used the most modern of manufacturing processes and produced very high quality time-pieces, trademarked as Tavannes, Cyma and Cyma Tavannes. The quality of the product allowed Tavannes/Cyma to develop into one of the largest Swiss watch manufacturers by 1910. Even basic models were very accurate and many were consequently sold as officially tested chronometers. By the 1920s, Cyma had followed a growing trend to standardise watch part manufacture, but typical of the company, it wasn’t enough to just produce parts that were interchangeable, they had to be precision made to ensure long term accuracy.


    What is a chronograph?

    A chronograph is a specific type of watch that is used as a stopwatch combined with a display watch. A basic chronograph has an independent sweep second hand; it can be started, stopped, and returned to zero by successive pressure on the stem. Less simple chronographs use additional complications and can have multiple independent hands to measure seconds, minutes, hours and even tenths of a second

    Chronographs can be extremely complicated devices, but they all have the basic function of telling time, as they are watches, and of displaying elapsed time.



    Flyback chronographs have a timing hand that can be rapidly reset, or 'flyback', to zero. Ordinarily the sweep second hand is stopped to record the time and started again at that spot on the dial, or reset by spinning the second hand all the way to zero again, clockwise. The flyback allows a reading and a quick reset, a counterclockwise 'flyback', for the next measurement to start at zero.


    Telemetre? AKA telemeter AKA tachymeter? 

    It tells you the traveling speed over a fixed distance in km/hour or miles/hour. You can also use it to measure a production process in units/hour.

    While the scale markings may look complicated at first glance to the uninitiated, reading the tachymeter is really easy. Here's how.


    Measuring Speed


    1) Start the chronograph at a starting line or marker.

    2) Stop the chronograph at the next kilometer or mile marker.

    3) The value on the scale at which the second hand is pointing indicates the speed in km/hour or miles/hour depending on the unit of distance used.


    Let's get a little more "indepth" just skip if you know or simply aren't interested.. 

    For example, we want to know the speed of a moving car.

    Start the chronograph when the car passes a predetermined starting line or marker A, and stop the chronograph when the car passes the next line or marker B, 1 km (or mile) away.

    The second hand is pointing at 6 o'clock. Read the tachymeter value at that position and it shows 120, telling us that the car was traveling at a speed of 120 km/h (or miles/h).

    What if the distance is less than a km or mile?

    No problem, but a little simple calculation is required.

    For example, we want to know how fast a 200m athlete is running.

    Start the stopwatch when the race starts, and stop it when the athlete crosses the finishing line.

    Let's say the athlete crossed the line at 20 seconds. The tachymeter value at the 20 second mark (4 o'clock position) shows 180, which means 180 km/h if the distance timed was 1 km.

    But the athlete only ran one-fifth of a kilometer. Therefore, we need to divide 180 by 5 (1/5 of 180) to get 36 km/h, which is the speed of the athlete in that 200 m race.

    What if the object is traveling very fast?

    Again, a little simple calculation will do.

    Let's say an aircraft took 35 seconds to cover a distance of 10 km.

    The tachymeter shows us a speed of 100 km/hour at the 35 seconds mark.

    However, 10 km have been traveled. Therefore the speed of the aircraft is 100 x 10, which is 1000 km/h.


    resume the listing... 


    Remember we are using a "Macro lens" to pick up on and massively exaggerate any and all imperfections


    The Case 

    A Classic Vintgae LARGE Chronograph case at 36mm in diameter (excluding crown) 39.5mm (inclusive) Large Jimbo "easy grip" type 21 style Crown. Case cast in Solid 14ct Yellow Gold marked Verso 585 (14ct Solid gold)  A truly Handsome masculine case hard angular lugs. 



    The Dial

    A gain a classic Military Aviators or Pilots Dial with the aforementioned tachymeter / telemetre markings continuous seconds at 9, 30 minute chronograph counter at 3 blued steel "Plume" hands. a handsome tonal dial with outstanding money cant buy natural age patina. but all detail crisp lettering highly visible and unfaded. Again the name of the game is "Patina"

    all original condition dial displaying beautiful money can't buy natural age patina. But again importantly all original so often we see these classic vintage watches repainted redialed restored and frankly ruined. collectors will look for natural age patina above a restored and redialed watch of this period So leave that dial alone! a watches dial is its story its age its history and to repaint this frankly absurd.



    The Band 

    Quality New (unused) but Genuine vintage Hirsch gold "H" studded" Exotics antelope Hide watch strap with military strap style perforations. A quality strap befitting the age and style of the watch 


    The Movement 

    Valjoux 23 Cyma Ref 400.L



    manual-wind chronograph, 60s, 30min, pillar wheel

    sub second

    17 jewels

    f = 18000 A/h

    power reserve 48h




    13''', Dm= 29.5mm, Do= 30.0mm

    H= 5.82mm

    F= 0.5mm

    T= 1.6mm


    Balance staff U1546

    Stem W1276

    Mainspring Zf889, 1.30 x 12.0 x 0.14 x 360mm

    Hands 1.60 x 1.10 x 0.25 / 0.25 x 0.23mm