From the Print Edition:
Kelsey Grammer, January/February 2013
When Arturo Fuente marked its centennial last year, Hublot celebrated the milestone with the limited-edition King Power Arturo Fuente timepiece. While partnerships between watch brands and automotive marques have become commonplace, this unusual collaboration stems from the longstanding friendship between Hublot chairman Jean-Claude Biver and the cigar patriarch Carlos Fuente Sr. Their kinship is said to have grown from the men’s shared values, pioneering spirits and their drive to be different.
Hublot unveiled the new models last November in the Dominican Republic, where in the 1980s, Fuente had boldly begun to harvest wrapper tobacco plants. Despite widespread skepticism, the experiment yielded the assertively complex and much coveted Fuente Fuente OpusX. The watch has its logo on the dial, while an image of Carlos Sr. and his son Carlito is on the case back with a designation of the anniversary.
Limited to 100 pieces in Hublot’s proprietary 18-karat King Gold alloy ($44,700) and 200 pieces in microblasted black ceramic ($24,000), each watch is presented in a special humidor case crafted from Macassar ebony and carbon. Even better, the box is stocked with special edition OpusX cigars that were specially produced for Hublot.
Humidors have been in use as presentation boxes at Cuervo y Sobrinos since the 2004 relaunch of the brand named for the prominent pre-Revolution Cuban jeweler. Cuervo y Sobrinos named four of its five watch families after cigar sizes: Esplendidos, Prominente, Robusto, and Torpedo. In 2009, it introduced the Historiador collection, which revived a round case that was popular during the 1950s.
The firms 130th anniversary last year brought two limited-edition watches. Each is packaged in a Spanish cedar humidor and allows the option of purchasing a special set with a matching pen in a commemorative box. Recalling the vintage timepieces from Havana’s heyday, the rectilinear steel 1015 Prominente (at left, $3,600) is housed in a smaller, thinner case than its predecessors and is limited to 500 pieces powered by automatic ETA movements. The cream-colored dial is distinguished by the applied numerals 1, 3, and 0 where 1, 2, and 3 would traditionally be.
The same unusual configuration differentiates the black dial of the 18-karat rose gold 3130 Historiador 130th Anniversary Limited Edition ($11,500) an elegantly thin, round model limited to 130 pieces. The special Historiador is the first modern Cuervo y Sobrinos with a hand-wound movement—an ETA 7001 engraved with the words: “130 anniversario—Edicion Limitada—1882-2012.”
And if tobacco brown dials are more your style, you can still get a hold of one of the few remaining Grand Classic Havanas by Tutima. Limited to 800 pieces paying tribute to the German watchmaker’s 80th anniversary in 2007, the dual-time-zone chronograph was named for its rich brown dial, chosen to give the anniversary model its distinct character.
Visit hublot.com, cuervoysobrinos.com and tutima.net.
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