Cuervo y Sobrinos creates wristwatches that combine Swiss craftsmanship with a style that nods to the brand’s Latin heritage. Today they revive one of their historical models and they do this by using the exact same movement as the original timepiece, a hand-wound Landeron chronograph calibre 248 that has been completely refinished and refurbished. Let’s take a closer look at the Cuervo y Sobrinos Historiador Landeron.
A look back in time
Cuervo’s roots began as a boutique in Havana, Cuba in 1882. Reputable watch companies like Vacheron Constantin, Patek Philippe and Rolex produced watches exclusively for the store, each one bearing the “Cuervo Y Sobrinos” name upon its dial. The ‘unicos importadores’ lettering seen on the new Historiador Landeron models echoes that same detailing on the original 1950’s vintage wristwatches. Translating to ‘only importers’ it reflects the watchmaker’s exclusive reputation at that time.
The company then closed its doors following changes in Cuba’s political regimes during the 1960s, until 1997, when Luca Musumeci and Marzio Villa revived the company. Fast-forward 20 years and the company acquired new investors and new ownership. Massimo Rossi took over the brand in 2018, relocating its facilities to Le Noirmont, Switzerland.
Over the years Cuervo y Sobrinos has created several timepieces that tip their hat to vintage wristwatches from a bygone era. The Historiador watch collection is where many of these can be found, including the Historiador Landeron.
The Historiador Landeron
The original Cuervo y Sobrinos Historiador Landeron was produced in 1948. Two new models now recreate the vintage feel of this original chronograph, powered by a revamped and fully restored movement from the 1960’s – the Landeron 248. The reimagined watch measures slightly larger than its predecessor, taking residence upon the wrist at a more contemporary 40mm diameter.
There is no flamboyancy or outrageous technical know-how behind the movement equipped to the heart of a Cuervo y Sobrinos watch. Nevertheless, substance over style certainly works for the Historiador model, which comes in two new variations. The reference 3146.1W features a white dial with blued coloured accents with Feuille-shaped hands and Arabic numerals. The reference 3146.1N, which we didn’t photograph, boasts a black dial adorned in rich rose gold-coloured indices and a vivid red-coated central chronograph seconds hand.
Compared to its former vintage ancestor, this bi-compax dial features counters in the familiar 3 and 9 o’clock location that have been moved away from the edge of the tachymeter scale – a feature we presume is afforded by its larger bezel. The two-counter dial also benefits from an appealing symmetry – a feature that will likely appeal to those with a preference for the bi-compax dial over the common 3-6-9 chronograph set-up. The sub-counter duo placed on an east-west axis provides a 45-minute register and a small seconds function respectively with push-pieces located at 2 and 4 o’clock on the case.
As mentioned before, the format of the period text on the dial mirrors the same style as seen on said vintage models from the 1950s, paying homage to Cuervo’s unique positioning within the watch industry at that time.
Flip the stainless steel case of the new Historiador Landeron over and you’ll have a view of the calibre CSY 4008, a restored Landeron 248 movement, which can be seen behind a transparent sapphire crystal glass. The view is pretty generous since the brushed bridges are of an unimposing size. Landeron is noteworthy for its contribution to the chronograph world. ETA (formerly known as Ebauches SA) purchased the company in 1921 and went on to provide several chronograph movements for the Swiss watch industry. Its most significant invention was the “cam-lever” mechanism, which paved the way to a more affordable alternative to the column-wheel mechanism.
The Landeron 248 led on from the Calibre 48, which ceased production in the 1970s. Although not the finely honed column wheel that many a collector desires, the 248 mechanism differs from other cam-lever movements on the market. The top button starts a timing while the bottom pusher stops and resets it. The hand-wound Landeron 248 movement beats to the rhythm of 18,000 vibrations per hour and provides a 41-hour power reserve.
Aesthetically, the Ref: 3146.1W is noticeably more reserved than the black and rose gold version, the latter of which seems to convey a more distinct period style. Of course, with just a 50-meter water-resistant capability, both models lack aquatic aspirations, but elongated lugs and a double curved anti-reflective sapphire crystal glass enable each watch to sit squarely on the wrist with a 12mm case depth.
There’s a choice to make between a dark blue high-gloss or matte black Louisiana alligator leather strap, depending on whether you opt for the black dial (black strap) or the silver dial (blue strap) variation. Either way, the Cuervo y Sobrinos Historiador Landeron is a well-sized, well-balanced design without the need for an exuberant in-house movement.
Availability and Price
Each version of the Cuervo y Sobrinos Historiador Landeron, black or white dial, is a limited edition of 100 pieces. They are now available for order on the brand’s website, for EUR 4,350 here and here.
More details at www.cuervoysobrinos.com.