Carlos Fuente Jr., the charismatic self-professed “humble cigarmaker” at the helm of Arturo Fuente cigars, is passionate about family and symbolism. The sweeping lawn at Chateau de la Fuente, the Dominican farm where he grows wrapper for his Fuente Fuente OpusX cigars, is decorated with colorful pictures composed of painted rocks that pay tribute to his parents and his grandparents.
So, it’s only fitting that the third Arturo Fuente watch produced with Hublot got personal. “Every little symbol on the back and front has an emotional, strong meaning to the family,” Fuente says during the unveiling of three Hublot Classic Fusion 45mm Fuente 20th Anniversary Special Edition watches at the Chateau, where a new cigar club decorated with family photos has opened. “It is about people, it’s not about cigars.”
Fuente created the Fuente Fuente OpusX cigar brand more than 20 years ago to show the world that great wrapper could be grown in the Dominican Republic. The anniversary is referenced on the watch with two prominent Xs (20 in Roman numerals) on the dial at 4 o’clock and marking the 12 o’clock hour. The blue dial (the favorite color of Carlos Jr.’s grandfather Arturo Fuente, the company founder) is also embossed with a pattern of interlocking Xs that repeats on the engraved bezel.
The watch’s designer Manny Iriarte, a family friend and native of Cuba, boldly references Arturo Fuente’s birth in Cuba, as well as his descendants’ Cuban spirit. The elaborately engraved watch’s case depicts Old Havana’s wrought iron railings, Cuban tile patterns and tobacco leaves. On the case back is an image of Fuente Jr. and his father, Carlos Fuente Sr., who died last year.
The engraved versions are available in Hublot’s Magic Gold ($30,400), an alloy of gold and ceramic, and brushed titanium ($14,600). A third model in satin-finished black ceramic ($13,600), which cannot be engraved, offers a less ornate option. Each 45-mm watch is limited to 20 pieces, though Hublot CEO Ricardo Guadalupe promises a more accessible design soon.
Sales of the watches will benefit Fuente’s Cigar Family Charitable Foundation, which sponsors school development, medical facilities and other local projects. “Hublot understood our responsibility to give back,” says Fuente, who notes that a nursing school is currently being built with funds from watch sales. “The mentality is not only about the most sought-after luxury products, it’s being able to give back and build relationships, because that’s what brings a smile to our hearts.”