A cigar-inspired, retro-styled limited-edition watch and presentation case
For CronotempVs Collectors and The Lounge by Watchonista by Cuervo y Sobrinos in collaboration with Eric Giroud’s Somewhere
Inspired by the world of premium cigars, the Lonsdale watch and its presentation case are the brainchild of two seasoned cigar smokers: Scaramanga, co-founder of CronotempVs Collectors international watch collectors club, and Marco Gabella, chairman and publisher of leading online watch magazine Watchonista, and its luxury lifestyle sub-platform The Lounge.
These two watch collectors and “brothers of the leaf” were savoring a couple of Cuban vitolas as part of a virtual cigar “herf” on Zoom during the COVID-19 pandemic, when they came up with the idea of collaborating with a watch brand to create a timepiece and presentation case that took cues from the sphere of fine cigars. Two years later, the Lonsdale is born.
Made by Cuervo y Sobrinos – the only luxury Swiss watchmaker with Cuban heritage – the Lonsdale is an understated time-only watch oozing vintage appeal thanks to its old-school design, inspired by classic Cuervo y Sobrinos references spawned during Havana’s mid-20th century heyday.
Boasting a distinctively shaped 40mm case in polished stainless steel and a clean, elegant dial with Alpha hands and period typeface, the Lonsdale comprises three 82-piece, small-batch limited editions, each named after shades of traditional cigar wrapper leaves: Candela, with silvered and green dial; Claro, with champagne dial; and Oscuro, with brown dial. “Uno de 82” is engraved on each caseback.
The Lonsdale is delivered in a versatile presentation case which, like a high-end cigar box, is crafted from Spanish cedar. On the outside, its leatherette cover features a gilded and embossed smoke swirl motif created by acclaimed watch designer Eric Giroud, as part of his personal design side project, Somewhere.
Inside, a presentation tray houses not only the Lonsdale watch but also three accessories fit for cigar lovers: a black cigar rest, a black and gilded cigar tube, and a NATO strap that resembles the silk ribbon used to bundle a wheel of quality cigars. The tray can be removed allowing the presentation case to be repurposed as a vide-poche for storing watch and cigar accessories, collectibles, or other personal effects. If combined with a humidity pack, the case can also be used for storing your favorite smokes.
The Londsdale and its presentation case can be pre-ordered now by visiting the CronotempVs online shop and committing to a 50 per cent down payment on the €2,500 sale price, excluding taxes and shipping. Click the following links to pre-order the Candela, Claro, or Oscuro edition of the Lonsdale.
Genesis of The Lonsdale: CronotempVs Collectors x The Lounge by Watchonista
Most watch enthusiasts tend to be renaissance men and women. Beyond their fascination for horology, they often have a range of interests about which they are passionate and knowledgeable: An appreciation of art and design, a taste for fine wine, good food and high-end spirits, or a need for speed met by superlative cars and motorbikes.
It’s with this in mind that Watchonista chairman and publisher Marco Gabella created The Lounge by Watchonista, a Watchonista sub-platform devoted to watch-adjacent lifestyle topics, through editorials, photoshoots and videos, as well as events and co-creations with friends and partners of The Lounge. It was while indulging in one of Gabella’s own non-watch pursuits – cigar smoking – that the seed for The Lonsdale was sown.
He and fellow cigar aficionado Scaramanga – co-founder of CronotempVs Collectors, known for its special-edition collaborations with watch brands – were enjoying an online cigar smoking session during lockdown in 2020 when their conversation turned to cigar-inspired watches. Why not join forces, they thought, and work together with a watch brand to create not just a special timepiece, but also a special presentation case inspired by the world of fine cigars?
Cuervo y Sobrinos: Swiss Manufacture, Latin Heritage
Gabella and Scaramanga immediately thought of Cuervo y Sobrinos. Today, Cuervo y Sobrinos operates out of its watchmaking atelier in Capolago, Switzerland and its production facility in Saignelégier in the Swiss Jura.
But its story began in 1882 when Don Ramón Fernández Cuervo, having emigrated from Spain to Cuba, established a jewelry boutique in Havana along with his six nephews, or sobrinos in Spanish. Offering a mix of its own-branded, Swiss-made watches as well as dual-branded watches – made by the likes of Patek Philippe, Rolex, and Longines – Cuervo y Sobrinos went on to enjoy huge success, especially during Havana’s roaring 1950s.
Nowadays, the modern-day brand expresses its “Swiss manufacture, Latin heritage” tagline through its art nouveau and art deco styled timepieces boasting tobacco tones, champagne hues and flamboyant flashes of color, delivered in watch boxes that can be repurposed as humidors.
Scaramanga says: “We were familiar with Cuervo y Sobrinos’ rich Cuban history and its cigar-inspired watches and accessories today. But to our knowledge, it hadn’t yet made a co-creation with passionate cigar smokers like us, so we proposed a collaboration feeling we were a natural fit for one another.”
Inspiration for The Lonsdale
With Cuervo y Sobrinos on board, the next step was to work on the watch design. While the watchmaker was open to exploring different designs, some wilder than others, CronotempVs Collectors and The Lounge by Watchonista were both intent on creating something in line with the roots of the brand.
Scaramanga says: “Thanks to the brand as well as friends who are vintage watch collectors, we were aware of Cuervo y Sobrinos’ historical references that it had offered at its Havana boutique as it flourished between the 1930s and ‘50s. Two pieces in particular caught our eye because of their mid-century elegance: The ‘Tradition’, for its eye-catching case, and another unnamed piece, for its clean, understated dial.”
He continues: “Marco and I asked Cuervo y Sobrinos if it would be possible to take the respective case and dial designs of these two references from yesteryear and recreate them in the form of a neo-vintage watch that transported us back to the heady times of 1950s Havana. Cuervo y Sobrinos shared our enthusiasm for reviving these seductive designs from the past.”
Distinctively Shaped Case
One of the first things you notice about the Lonsdale is the distinctive shape of its stainless-steel case, freshly developed for this project. The lugs’ lateral lines are straight and fan out along the caseband, lending the case a slight tonneau profile. However, the case is visually slimmed thanks to steps cut into the side at 3 and 9 o’clock, just like on the Tradition back in the day.
While the Tradition’s diameter was around 34mm, the Lonsdale’s is 40mm, that contemporary sweet spot that wears well on most wrists. Lug-pin to lug-pin distance is 44.6mm, and its height, excluding the sapphire crystal, is a pretty thin 8.6mm. Apart from these updated dimensions, there are plenty of period details to admire, each a throwback to the mid-20th century.
The case surfaces, for example, have been entirely polished, while the sapphire crystal is double domed in a protruding box style, contributing to the watch’s overall 10.5mm height. On the caseback, an engraved “coin slot” acts as a nod to the erstwhile system for opening up the back eight decades ago. The Lonsdale’s caseback is actually screwed down, but the screws have been concealed in order to remain aesthetically faithful to the original.
Clean, Retro-Styled Dial
Nearly every detail of the visually-balanced dial is in keeping with the historical reference on which it is modelled: The dial plate features a smart vertical brushing, the central hours and minutes are displayed via Alpha hands, while the hour numerals are in a retro, sans serif typeface. Even the Cuervo y Sobrinos Habana logo is presented as it would have been back in the day. Next to the recessed, concentrically decorated small seconds are the words “Unicos Importadores” in reference to Cuervo y Sobrinos’ former status as sole importers of luxury watches in Cuba. Completing the indications is a printed railroad track for minutes around the dial periphery. And, in a rare touch of modernity, the hour-minute hands, numerals and dots at 6 and 12 o’clock all feature a colored Super-LumiNova that glows green in the dark for enhanced legibility.
Tried-and-Tested Automatic Movement
Adaptable Calfskin Strap
The Lonsdale is delivered on a hand-stitched brown calfskin strap with quick-release spring bar and polished stainless-steel pin buckle. Owners will receive two long and two short strap pieces which can be combined to make an overall strap that matches large, medium, or small wrist sizes.
The LONSDALE by Cuervo y Sobrinos
The Lonsdale watch is named after the premium cigar type of the same name, and with good reason. Like the Lonsdale watch, the Lonsdale cigar is quite slim, typically six to seven inches in length and with a 42 to 44 ring gauge. And like the Lonsdale watch, the Lonsdale cigar is evocative of a bygone era, for it was at the height of its popularity among smokers many decades ago.
Presentation Case: Like a Cigar Box, and Bearing the Touch of a Design Master
When owners receive their Lonsdale watch, the experience will be akin to that of receiving a box of limited-edition, premium smokes. That’s because the watch’s presentation case is fashioned in the style of a high-end cigar box.
Crafted from Spanish cedar – known for its ability to lock in moisture, thus helping cigars to age – the case has a leatherette cover that is decorated with a gilded smoke swirl pattern conceived by none other than Eric Giroud. This celebrated watch designer has started a personal side project – Somewhere – dedicated to the creation of designs for non-watch-related objects. His sinuous, modernist motif for the case of the Lonsdale is Somewhere’s first design commission.
Inside the case, owners will find not only the Lonsdale watch, but also three accessories sure to delight cigar fans: a cigar rest, a cigar case and a NATO watch strap to fit the Lonsdale. Connoisseurs will note the strap’s resemblance to the silk ribbon used to bundle high-end cigars. The case contents are presented on a tray that can be removed, allowing the case to transform into an attractive vide-poche. Inside, accessories, collectibles, and other personal effects can be stored – even cigars, when combined with a humidity pack.
How to Pre-Order
To pre-order the Londsdale, visit the CronotempVs online shop and place a 50 per cent down payment on the €2,500 sale price, excluding taxes and shipping. Each edition has its own page link: The Candela, the Claro, and the Oscuro.
3 x 82-piece limited editions in polished stainless steel
Candela: Silvered dial, black hour-minute hands treated with mint green Super-LumiNova, mint green Super-LumiNovanumerals, black small seconds hand
Claro :Champagne dial, blued hour-minute hands treated with cream Super-LumiNova, cream Super-LumiNovanumerals, blued small seconds hand
Oscuro: Brown dial, rhodium-treated hour-minute hands treated with gilt Super-LumiNova, gilt Super-LumiNovanumerals, white small seconds hand
Dial and Hands
Vertical brushed dial plate
Central hours and minutes
Small seconds at 6 o’clock, recessed and concentrically decorated
Peripheral printed railroad track for minutes
Super-LumiNova-treated hour-minute hands, numerals and dots at 6 and 12 o’clock
CYS 5158 caliber, base Sellita SW 261-1
Dimensions: 25.6mm x 5.6mm
Power reserve: 38 hours
Number of jewels: 31
Balance frequency: 28,800 vph / 4Hz
Case and Crystal
Material: Polished stainless steel
Height: 8.6mm; 10.5mm including sapphire crystal
Lug-pin to lug-pin distance: 44.6mm
Inter-lug width: 20mm
Water resistance: 50m/170ft/5atm
Double domed box sapphire crystal with interior anti-reflection coating
Crown signed with Cuervo y Sobrinos logo
Caseback: Horizontal coin slot, engravings “Cuervo y Sorbrinos Havana”, “Uno de 82”, gilded “Lonsdale”
Strap and Buckle
Hand-stitched brown calfskin strap with quick-release spring bar and polished stainless-steel pin buckle, length can be adapted to the owner’s wrist size
TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS: PRESENTATION CASE
The Lonsdale watch
Leatherette travel pouch with embossed CronotempVs Collectors logo
Blackened and gilded aluminum cigar tube
Blackened aluminum cigar rest
Yellow NATO strap emblazoned with “Cuervo y Sobrinos”, “La Habana 1882” and “Lonsdale”
Dimensions: 290mm x 175mm x 54mm
Solid Spanish cedar case covered with black leatherette
Decorated with gilded, embossed smoke swirl motif by Eric Giroud’s Somewhere
Inside of lid decorated with embossed Cuervo y Sobrinos logo
Removable leatherette-covered tray with compartments for above contents