Held by many as the best cigar you can buy, this celebrated post-revolution Cuban cigar named Cohiba debuted in 1966; while the prized Swiss chronograph caliber “El Primero” was originally unveiled in 1969. But, 2016 marks their encounter in this limited edition “Zenith El Primero Chronomaster 1969 Cohiba Edition”.
There have been other Cohiba cigar watch editions in the past, but this being the 50th anniversary of the famous Cuban cigar, does justify and shed a bright light on this endeavor. The first luxury brand to get involved with Cohiba was Frédérique Constant in 2010 when they issued the limited edition “Frédérique Constant Cohiba LTD ED”.
It was released in a stainless-steel and a rose gold-plated version, both limited to 188 pieces each model. And by purchasing the watch you were also gifted its special box with a humidor, which included 25 Cohiba Crystal cigars and the watch!
Video courtesy of: Frédérique Constant
Of all the highly regarded Habano hand rolled cigars available to purchase, the Cohiba is one of its finest specimens. It was originally established in the late 1960’s as a private brand that exclusively supplied Fidel Castro and other high-level officials in the Communist Party of Cuba and the Cuban government. This fact garnered the brand a respectable cult status and would only begin being commercially available to the public in 1982.
Their production facilities are located in Cuba, but they also established a facility in the Dominican Republic. Do to the US embargo against all Cuban goods, only the Cohiba produced in the Dominican Republic, without any Cuban tobacco, can legally be sold in the United States. The term “Cohiba” derives from the indigenous people of the Caribbean and Florida, called Taíno Indians and it means “tobacco leaf”.
Video courtesy of: Zenith
The 42mm round case is available in either 18k rose gold or a stainless-steel version. It features a fluted crown and two round push-pieces. The transparent caseback bears the “Cohiba 50th Anniversary Logo” and the limited edition serial number for each piece engraved. We can also visualize the inner movement and its oscillating weight adorned with “Côtes de Genève” motif.
This dial exhibits a glossy chestnut brown, evocative of the color found on these prestigious cigars, which could be called Havana brown. Other elements of the Cuban brand are also represented on the dial like the: iconic profile of the Taíno aboriginal chief; the manufactures emblem; and each brands logo. Time is told via gold-plated or rhodium-plated hour index markers, depending on the version.
Hands and hour-markers are faceted and coated with SuperLuminova, for an enhanced legibility, further assisted by the domed sapphire crystal with an anti-reflective treatment on both sides. There are three off-set sub-dials on this timepiece: a 30-minute counter at the 3 o’clock position; a 12-hour counter at the 6 o’clock position; and a sub-seconds in the midst of an opening that allows to see the inner movement, located between the 9 and 11 o’clock positions. Also includes a tachymeter scale circling along the rim of the dial near the bezel.
Zenith El Primero Chronomaster
This “Zenith El Primero Chronomaster” is powered by a self-winding mechanical movement, caliber “El Primero 4061”, with 31 jewels, 282 components and 36,000 vph. Power reserve on this timepiece can last up to 50 hours and water-resistance can reach up to 100m (330 feet). Features an oscillating weight with “Côtes de Genève” and a silicon made escape-wheel and lever.
Mounted to this watch is a brown alligator leather strap with protective rubber lining and a stainless-steel folding clasp or rose gold pin buckle (depending on the chosen model version). This watch is a limited edition of 50 pieces for the rose gold version and 500 pieces for the stainless-steel option. The purchase of this watch is accompanied by a commemorative box, built to resemble a standard “Cohiba Robusta 25 Cigar Box. But, no cigars in this one, just a great new watch by Zenith.
“Zenith El Primero Chronomaster” (Ref#: 18.2042.4061/76.C494) in rose gold
“Zenith El Primero Chronomaster” (Ref#: 03.2047.4061/76.C494) in stainless-steel
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