If you indulge in cigars, you know that it is a passionate pastime. For some, there is nothing better than sitting back with a nice cigar – maybe with some whiskey or bourbon – and enjoying the moment. Because this is a luxurious indulgence, many cigar lovers are also watch lovers who enjoy the finer timepieces in life. To this end, some watch brands have even, over the past few years, created watches in conjunction with cigar brands, sponsored cigar events, used tobacco leaves in their watches, or have otherwise been inspired by cigars. Here we take a look at five great watches for cigar lovers.
Swiss watch brand Zenith has regularly created watches inspired by cigars and often partners with cigar brands. In fact, for a few years, it had a great relationship with Cohiba that started in 2016, when Zenith created a special El Primero Cohiba watch for the cigar brand’s 50th anniversary. The watch was a huge hit globally, and Zenith continued its relationships with cigar brands, including working with Trinidad. This year, in February 2020, Zenith unveiled a pair of Elite Moonphase watches inspired by Romeo y Julieta Cigars, made by Habanos Company.
The Romeo y Julieta Elite Moonphase watches marks the first collaboration between these two brands and represents the first special-edition pieces of the recently redesigned Elite collection. The special set of his/hers watches has a romantic edge to them. Just like the famed yet fated couple had a romance at night in the dark that was secret, the watches offer a moonphase complication in the center of the dials. The men’s version is a rich night-time blue dial, while the women’s watch is a stunning red dial that recalls the color most associated with love. The Romeo y Julieta logo is also on the dial. Each of the two silver moons (one for each hemisphere) features faces from the cigar boxes laser etched onto the moons.
Crafted in stainless steel these cigar-lover watches measure 40.5mm for the men’s, while the women’s is 36mm and features a case set with 75 diamonds on the bezel. Each is finished with a matching colored alligator strap and just 145 sets will be made as a celebration of the 145th anniversary of Romeo y Julieta Cuban cigar brand.
Cuervo y Sobrinos – Price USD 2,500
A brand with roots that started in Havana, Cuervo y Sobrinos makes fine Swiss watches today that recall its rich Cuban roots in design and accents. Since cigars are such an important part of Cuba’s culture, it is natural that Cuervo y Sobrinos would create watches that honor or celebrate the passion of hand-rolling cigars with its hand-finished watches. In addition to creating some specialty timepieces over the years, Cuervo y Sobrinos recently reaffirmed its role as the Official Timekeeper of the Cigar Smoking World Championship (CSWC) and introduced special edition Esplendidos to celebrate.
The Esplendidos CSWC limited edition watches mark the fifth year in a row that the watch brand has been the Official Timekeeper of the global event. It also marks the 10th year of the CSWC event, which has some pretty stringent smoking rules. To celebrate the 10th anniversary, as well, Cuervo y Sobrinos is launching three versions of the new edition. Initially inspired by the Art Deco style, the curved tonneau-like rectangular watch was first designed in the 1950s and has become an icon for the brand. The three versions include one unique piece with a champagne-colored dial for the World Champion, one with a silver dial for and a limited edition for main qualifiers, and then the limited edition for cigar lovers that features a tobacco-colored dial with tobacco leaves emanating outward. Just 80 pieces of that version will be made for CSWC events worldwide. However, cigar aficionados can purchase a CSWC Esplendidos without the CSWC logo directly from Cuervo y Sobrinos at its factory in the Swiss Jura. This tobacco version features cigar-shaped hands and has an art deco engraving on it.
ArtyA – Price CHF 5,900
The innovative independent brand ArtyA takes a different approach to the cigar world. In its Son of Earth Tobacco Collection, the brand uses real tobacco for the dial. Turning to alternate materials for its dials is nothing new for designer Yvan Arpa who founded his eponymous brand. He has turned to all sorts of materials for dials, but the tobacco line has such a rich appeal. He turns to precisely matched shades of browns – using cigar leaves from Cuba, Ecuador, Brazil, Nicaragua, and other countries.
According to Arpa, they had to stabilize the cigar leaves to make them as expressive as possible on the dial, while at the same time ensuring they would not break down over time. The brand executed a host of tests before moving forward with this very vivid watch. Each piece is individually made to order and so each is unique. The watches are offered in two different sizes and in either steel, black or pink gold. They are powered by a Swiss-made automatic movement.
With a tag line of “The Art of Fusion,” it makes sense that Swiss watch brand Hublot would fuse the luxury worlds of fine timepieces and fine cigars. Over the past few years, the brand has had several relationships with cigar brands and created cigar-inspired watches alongside Arturo Fuente. In fact, its Classic Fusion Arturo Fuente watch created several years ago was created in honor of the Tacalera Arturo Fuente y Compania company that was founded in 1912 in Cuba. The brand was forced to flee Cuba during the Castro takeover and moved to Nicaragua, the Dominican Republic, and Florida, where it continued its work.
For this Classic Fusion Fuente limited edition watch, Hublot worked with Carlito Fuente who established his cigar factory in the Dominican Republic. Each watch was meticulously engraved on the case, bezel, and crown – with tobacco leaf motifs. If you are lucky enough to find one of these beauties on the pre-owned circuit, you should snap it up quickly, as just 100 pieces in bronze and titanium were made of the final version. Three was also a limited edition of 50 pieces in King Gold, Hublot’s proprietary scratch-resistant gold.
It is expected that Hublot, which is an expert at forming partnerships with other brands and artists, will most likely create another cigar-inspired watch in the coming years.
Bell & Ross – Price EURO 19,900
Similar to Hublot, Bell & Ross had created a cigar-inspired watch a bit earlier in 2015. That watch, the WW1 Edicion Limitada, was limited to 99 pieces. Created with a tobacco-colored dial and crafted in a rose gold case, the 42mm watch featured gold dust on the Arabic numerals to recall the luxury of enjoying a good cigar. The watch, with the words on the dial written in Spanish as a nod to Cuba, was a reinterpretation of a vintage WWI Edicion Limitada. It also sold quickly despite it’s then $24,000 price. It is another great watch for cigar lovers to search for in the pre-owned marketplace.
About the Author
Roberta Naas is a veteran watch and jewelry journalist who began her career in the early 1980’s, and was the first female watch journalist in the United States. She is the editor and founder of the authoritative watch blog, ATimelyPerspective, has written six books on watches, writes for numerous consumer publications (including Forbes and Elite Traveler) – and always brings forth in her work the essence of what makes watches tick. She tirelessly travels the world in search of watch news and stories that she turns into compelling and enlightening articles.