Zenith and the world's finest cigar
The manufacture in Le Locle has come out with the attractive El Primero Chronomaster 1969 Cohiba Edition to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of the famous Cuban brand. How can one wed a chronograph with a cigar? See for yourself...
Time can be measured and time can be experienced. The latter form of time is the one that is cut up into little segments by means of a beat of 36,000 vibrations per hour. This is what we have right here and it lets us read time in tenths of a second. Time experienced however, is the kind that flies fast or slow, higher or lower, making the odd detour…much like the smoke of a cigar jostled haphazardly by the breeze. This is time as seen by both the scientist and the poet, the Cartesian and the hedonist. And occasionally, these two come together and find that they are in perfect harmony with one another.
Meeting of the third kind
Zenith really has really created an unusual pairing with its El Primero Chronomaster 1969 Cohiba Edition. The legendary chronograph from the heights of Le Locle, Switzerland and the first to feature automatic winding in the history of watchmaking, pays tribute to the famous Cuban cigars that are celebrating their fiftieth anniversary this year. The dial of this limited edition (five hundred in steel and fifty in rose gold) will be in the colors and graphic codes of the Cuban brand. A yellow band and a black band with three rows of white dots traverse the entire tobacco colored dial. The two brands, Zenith and Cohiba, coexist there. Once a minute, the star which tips the seconds hand caresses the logo of the cigar brand, a silhouette of a Taino Indian.
Many brands have already joined in the fun of co-branding. Watchmaking and the automobile industry have formed more or less legitimate couples many times before, either as long-term unions or one-night stands, the players sharing a common pride in their mechanical prowess. However, pairing up a chronograph and a cigar, that is far more unusual. The two companies have nevertheless found common ground in shared values: authenticity, precision, excellence.
Serving a unique customer
Cohiba saw the light of day in 1966 in the suburbs of Havana. Its raison d’être was to satisfy a single customer, namely Fidel Castro. The cigars from the small factory located at a place called El Laguito were later offered to the nomenklatura of the regime and were then used as gifts to foreign dignitaries. All were seduced by the special flavor provided by a triple fermentation. In 1982, on the occasion of the Football World Cup in Spain, Cohiba decided to go international. Except, of course in the United States, where the name had meanwhile been trademarked by a Dominican company.
So this particular cigar and the chronograph not only share certain values, but they are almost the same age. It was in 1969 that Zenith which was founded in 1865 in Le Locle went public with its El Primero movement, an integrated caliber developed without any additional modules, a genuine revolution in watchmaking. Not a bad thing to please the Máximo Líder, who had already been smoking some very exclusive Cohibas for three years by that time.
The El Primero Chronomaster 1969 Cohiba Edition was unveiled on May 24 in Havana, where Zenith had already celebrated a Rolling Stones concert a few months prior. It comes in a 42-millimeter case that is water-resistant to 100 meters. As for the dial, it features an opening at 11 o’clock that offers a view of the escapement with a silicon escape wheel and pallet fork. At the back of the watch, a sapphire crystal shows the entire COSC-certified movement behind the moving oscillating mass which itself is decorated with côtes de Genève. The 282 components drive the hours and minutes, a chronograph and tachymeter, while giving a solid power reserve of 50 hours.