By Sergio Arturo Cardozo, a Chrono24 magazine reader
Hi! My name is Sergio Cardozo, and I’m from Colombia. Passion for watches is something that runs in my family. My father loves watches, as do my grandfather and uncle. I’ve seen them wearing many different watches from brands like Omega or Cartier over the years. Ever since I was a child, I have been attracted to timepieces. My very first watch was a Swatch. At just 10 years old, I didn’t think about the importance of that watch introducing me to the watch world. When I was 14 years old, I began getting more interested in watches. That interest led me to Chrono24, the website I like to use to read about watches, brands, and their stories. Today, I’m a collector, about to finish high school, and hoping to continue learning more about watches. But I’m here to tell you how our family passion all began with my grandfather’s first watch.
In the 1940s, my grandfather was a medical student in Bogota, Colombia. Due to World War II, there were very few imports of Swiss watches to Colombia, and there was only one jewelry store that imported them, Glauser, which still exists today. The store was on the route my grandfather took to university every day. As a watch enthusiast, he stopped to look at the timepieces in the display case at Glauser, especially a particular Cyma watch.
In June 1948, my grandfather was in his hometown visiting his father. It was a colonial town, and although it wasn’t the most modern of places, it was picturesque and beautiful. My grandfather only had one semester left before graduating when an accident happened in town: a boy was run over, causing his right leg to become gangrenous. The only doctor who could amputate the leg required help to anesthetize the boy. He asked my grandfather for assistance, who readily agreed. After sedating him, the operation was performed successfully. The doctor went to see my grandfather at the end of his visit home and paid him for his help. This was his first income.
Fulfilling a Dream: My Grandfather and His Cyma Watch
Back in Bogota, my grandfather wanted to fulfill his dream of buying the watch he had seen so many times in the window. He went straight to the Glauser jewelry store and bought what would be his first watch – one that remained a favorite throughout his life – a hand-winding, antimagnetic, stainless steel Cyma.
My grandfather wore that watch for years. It accompanied him when he traveled to the United States in the early 1950s to earn his postgraduate degree. It served him over and over as a field watch, being used in situations where it could get wet, hit, or dropped. The watch stood the test of time, all the while remaining precise, reliable, and functional.
The Growth of a Watch Collection: Omega, Mido, Tissot, and Cyma
When he began to earn a regular salary, my grandfather began acquiring other timepieces for his collection, including some Omegas, Midos, and Tissots. But no matter what he bought, he continued wearing his Cyma.
My grandfather continued wearing it until the mid-1980s, when it stopped working. Its cover had become completely corroded, and the numbers had come off, probably due to the heavy use it had seen since the day it was purchased. In 2002, we took the watch to a very good watchmaker in Bogotá, who performed a complete overhaul, including repairing the dial, making it like new again.
The Cyma was stored in my grandfather’s desk for 18 years. After he passed away, I decided to open the desk, and found the watch still in perfect condition.
I don’t wear the watch very often. I prefer to keep it as a family heirloom, only wearing it on very special occasions in memory of my grandfather.