Review: Camy Genéve
Camy watch S.A was a popular manufacture d'horlogerie, using movements from eta, Fabrique d'Horlogerie de Fontainemelon, et cetera. The brand used ebáuche* movements. They were very popular in the 50s and 60s but became victims of the quartz crisis*, which led to their demise. Camy Watch co. has been associated with famous people like Simon Bédat and Raymond Weil. Camy was a sister brand to Cyma (like Tudor is a lower-end offering towards Rolex); thus, the name Camy can be seen as an anagram of Cyma. Not much is known about the manufacturer, but they made good quality Swiss timepieces.
Coming to this particular piece, this was NOS and dates to somewhere in the 60s. The watch has an armored crystal and a beautiful sunburst dial. The way the dial plays with light is beautiful. There is a great feeling you have while bringing a watch into service for the first time, half a century after it was made. The newness of the dial adds another charm to the watch; I know people buy vintage watches for the character of the watch, but adding your own marks to a clean, unscratched watch case is like writing on a fresh piece of paper.
No matter what you say, one must admit that vintage watches were more well made than modern watches. For example, in my opinion, a vintage, cheap 7 jewel Elgin is much better than a modern Rolex. Despite having better technology, the simple fact that these watches work after decades and centuries since their creation is a testament to the robust and good craftsmanship of our ancestors.
The watch is very comfortable on the original leather strap and wears larger than expected at 34mm. The watch is simple, non-hacking, Swiss 3 hander. The watch blends in as if it were modern due to its simple, minimalistic design and is fairly waterproof due to its new gaskets and tight-fitting crystal. I found no issues while washing hands and on few occasions when the water went under the screw-down case-back. The watch is the perfect every day, no-nonsense watch. The watch, despite being an elegant sports watch of its era, can also double as a dress watch in modern times, where we have relaxed rules about what can be considered formal, but for me, it is still my everyday sports watch and not my dress watch, as I am somewhat strict about the rules.
The watch has a Fabrique d'Horlogerie de Fontainemelon (FHF) 96 movement. The watch has 17 jewels, a 48-hour power reserve, and the beat sedates at 18,000 beats per hour. The watch is triple signed: Crown, movement & dial.
Overall, this watch is an excellent watch that represents the common man of the era, who wanted a sturdy, reliable, working, yet stylish timepiece. The swiss craftsmanship is totally evident in this beautiful watch, and, in my opinion, this brand is totally underrated. The brand deserves more respect and love. Many would say that the watch has few or no technical merits, but we do not collect vintage watches; we collect stories of that era.
*ebáuche means that incomplete movements which companies use for their watches from other manufacturers
*A movement in history around the 70s in which the downfall of the swiss watch industry began. Because American and Japanese watches were cheap as they used quartz/ battery-operated movements and people started buying them instead of the traditional Swiss mechanical watches. The Swiss watch industry was saved by the establishment of swatch S.A.