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December 19, 2012updated Feb 13, 2013


By Chris Boyle



Cuervo y Sobrinos


Marzio villa Marzio Villa takes great care to maintain the heritage of the brand. “Eras and fashion do not affect our solid philosophy, which is still anchored to the company’s own origins.

Cuervo watches are the witnesses of a world in which elegance, excellence, quality and style were experienced in a ‘natural’ way, in that they were values of everyday life. Wearing a Cuervo y Sobrinos means acquiring the essential values and emotions of this style.”




Celebrating its 130th anniversary in 2012, Cuervo y Sobrinos (“Cuervo and Nephews”) continues a legacy of refinement and tradition. This legendary brand traces its origins to Havana, Cuba, in 1882, where it began as a luxury jewelry store. The family began designing their own watches, which were manufactured in La Chaux-de-Fond, Switzerland and sold alongside the most prestigious brands in the industry. The Cuervo y Sobrinos name can still be seen co-branded on many of these vintage pieces sold at auction today.

By the 1930s the store had become Cuba’s preeminent luxury retailer. To accommodate its international following, shops were opened in Germany, Paris and Switzerland. The family fled Havana during the political turmoil in the late 1950s and the store was closed. Re-launched in 2004 by Marzio Villa, the brand is headquartered in Lugano, Switzerland. A flagship boutique and museum opened in Havana near the site of the original shop in 2009.

The current watches are unique with collections based on the sketches and designs left at the original site in 1959. Each watch is presented in a full-size Spanish cedar humidor. Not limiting its offerings to timepieces, the collections have expanded to include jewelry and pens.

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Historiador Retrograde


A superb 18K rose gold watch announced at Basel 2012, Historiador Retrograde’s classic elegance is inspired by an original design from the 1950s. CYS 2512 movement allows display of hours, minutes, seconds, day, retrograde date and 42-hour power reserve.

The watch features a 40mm case with double-curved sapphire crystal and see-through case back. Available with silvered or tobacco dial, alligator strap and 18K gold buckle ($15,900).

REF 2412.1C82 ESPLENDIDOS 1882


This watch celebrates the year Cuervo y Sobrinos was founded: 1882. The novel presentation of time without standard “hands” is a triumph of master watchmakers.

Each three-dimensional dial is created from a single block with laser-striped pattern reminiscent of pinstripe suits worn by dapper men in 1940s Havana, during the city’s golden age. Esplendidos 1882 features an automatic CYS movement with 40-hour power reserve, a 37mm by 47mm Art Deco silhouette case in either stainless steel (shown) or 18K rose gold and an alligator strap with deployant buckle (stainless steel version: $4,400).


Torpedo Pirata chronograph


True to its roots in the islands of the Caribbean, this watch exudes charm— with a rebellious streak. Like the buccaneers of legend, these watches mirror a spirit of freedom in their unique 45mm case design of titanium, bronze and burnished steel.

The crown resembles a cannonball and the pushers are shaped like the end of a musket. Torpedo Pirata chronograph day-date features an automatic CYS movement with 44-hour power reserve, is water resistant to five ATM, displays hours, minutes, seconds, date and day of the week. The chronograph has 12 hours, 30 minutes and central seconds. The watch is available in an ostrich strap with a titanium buckle. A limited-edition DLC version is also available (as shown with ostrich strap: $8,600).


Robusto Manjuari

This professional diving watch is water resistant to 1,882 feet, marking 1882 as the year the brand was founded.

The innovative 43mm modular case is made of three materials: Stainless steel, titanium and rubber. The case back is engraved with rare Cuban Manjuari fish and “1882” is engraved on case side at nine o’clock. Robusto Manjuari has an automatic CYS 2511 movement with 42-hour reserve, hours, minutes, seconds, big date and second time zone, a rotating bezel and superluminova indices and hands. The watch is available with a black or white rubber strap with red stitch and steel deployant buckle ($6,200).



Announced at Basel 2012, this classic Historiador case houses a useful GMT automatic movement.

The cream toneon- tone dial (also available in black) provides a uniquely vintage appearance to this 40mm timepiece whose hours, minutes and central seconds are all finished in gleaming steel. This masterful timepiece features an applied CYS logo and 42-hour reserve, curved sapphire crystal with anti-reflective coating and caiman strap with steel deployant buckle ($3,400).


With a completely redesigned honeycombpattern dial, this Robusto watch is clean and classic, featuring an automatic CYS day-date movement with 38-hour reserve and displays hours, minutes, seconds, date and day of the week.

A 43mm modular case has a transparent back and is water resistant to ten ATM. A sapphire glass with anti-reflective coating, see-through case back, applied indices and logo, superluminova hour and minute hands, central seconds hand in red and alligator strap with steel deployant buckle merge to create a timeless design. The watch is also available in a stainless steel bracelet (as shown with alligator strap: $3,800).


Buceador Dive Watch

This modern sports watch is as well suited to daily wear as it is to aquatic activities. Single piece case with two screw crowns and screwed-on case back guarantee it is perfectly water tight to 200 meters.

Immersion time is displayed via an internal rotating bezel. The automatic movement features hours, minutes, seconds, date and internal rotating bezel while the steel 43mm case has sapphire crystal with anti-reflective coating. The watch is available in blue, white or black with bright orange as the detail color in all versions for the dial, top of crown and rubber strap stitch contrast. The unique flexible double-sided rubber strap is handmade and the watch has a steel deployant buckle ($3,900).


Torpedo Chronograph Pulsometro

The Torpedo line derives its name from the classic Havana cigar, a rounded stogie known for its discrete and balanced proportion.

Elegance of form combined with highperformance technology make this watch an emblematic piece in the CYS collections. The case is noted for the hollowed out, beveled edge as well as the characteristic horns, which add a special charisma. The graphics on the dial, speedometer and pulsometer functions transport us to a world of speed races and physical performance. The watch features an automatic movement with 44-hour reserve, steel 44mm case, sapphire crystal, see-through case back and is water resistant to five ATM. The watch features hours, minutes, small seconds and big date and a chronograph with 12- hour counter, 30 minutes and seconds with double central hand for tachymeter functions and pulsometer. Torpedo Chronograph Pulsometro comes in an alligator strap with steel deployant buckle and is also available in 18K rose gold. Dial colors include cream, black, tobacco, tobacco and cream and black and cream ($6,200).

130TH ANNIVERSARY: 1882-2012

130th anniversary of Cuervo y Sobrinos.


This year marks the 130th anniversary of Cuervo y Sobrinos.

For this occasion, two special edition pieces have been introduced. Of particular note is a combination set presented in an anniversary humidor: The 130th anniversary gold Historiador watch and the 130th anniversary pen. Watch and pen are each limited to 130 pieces. The Historiador 130th anniversary special edition watch is an 18K rose gold tribute to this special occasion. The extra-flat, 40mm case has a manually wound movement displaying small seconds at six o’clock and 42- hour reserve. Meticulous craftsmanship is evident through the crystal case back where the bridge on the wheel mechanism is engraved with Côte de Genève fan pattern. The movement case reads “130 Anniversario-Edicion Limitada-1882-2012.” A velvety black dial with baton-style luminova hands displays the CYS logo printed in “gold dust” at twelve o’clock. Note the “130” in place of the one, two and three indices. The watch comes with a glossy black alligator strap with 18K rose gold buckle. The 130th anniversary pen has been designed with a unique gray mother-of-pearl motif barrel and rose gold accents and is available as a roller ball or a fountain pen. Sold only as a set, the Anniversary set retails for $12,495 with roller ball pen and $12,895 with fountain pen.



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