As the only Swiss watch brand with Cuban roots, Cuervo y Sobrinos likes to flaunt its unusual and exotic origins. The latest Historiador Asturias time-and-date watch is named after the birthplace of founder Ramón Fernández Cuervo, who sailed from Asturias, in northwest Spain, to the Americas in search of fortune in the late 19th century. Flaunting an elegant anthracite dial, the other novelty of this Historiador Asturias is the incorporation of an automatic movement by La Joux-Perret with a robust power reserve.
Ramón Fernández Cuervo sailed to Havana and set up a jewellery store in the Cuban capital in 1862. Joined by his nephews twenty years later to become Cuervo y Sobrinos, the firm also carried several high-end watch Swiss watch brands, making it the go-to reference for luxury watches and jewellery on the island. For a taste of the brand’s history before the arrival of Fidel Castro, this article covers the rise and fall and eventual revival of the brand.
Dress watch With A Twist
The Historiador is a cornerstone collection at Cuervo y Sobrinos and exudes a refined, classical spirit in its more straightforward three-hand-and-date (Asturias), or three-hand-and-seconds (Pequeños Segundos) references. Inspired by the design cues of a 1940s Cuervo y Sobrinos model but offered in a more contemporary 40mm case size, the Historiador stands out from the crowd with its stylised jutting lugs, now a signature shared by all Historiador models. In keeping with its dress watch appeal, the stainless steel case has a slim height of 9.9mm and is polished throughout. A vintage-inspired domed sapphire crystal covers the dial, allowing light to enter and enhancing legibility.
Two years ago, CyS introduced four Historiador Asturias models with gradient dials and bright, eye-catching colours: Agua Blue, Negroni Red, Tropical Tobacco and British Green. The latest model tones down the flamboyance and proposes a more sober and elegant anthracite colour. Decorated with a sunray-brushed finishing, the dial is also fumé, and the grey colour intensifies as it reaches the perimeter. Slim baton rhodium-plated indices are applied to the dial with slightly thicker and faceted dagger indices at 3, 6 and 9 o’clock and the Cuervo y Sobrinos family crest at noon. The index at 6 o’clock is truncated to host the bevelled rectangular aperture for the date window with a black background and white numerals. The lozenge-style hour and minute hands are complemented by a slim central seconds hand.
Perhaps the most exciting news regarding this release is not the dial colour but the incorporation of an automatic movement – calibre CYS 5124 – based on the La Joux-Perret G-100. Unlike former editions of the Historiador Asturias with calibres based on the Peseux 224 with a limited autonomy of 38 hours, the latest model bumps up the power reserve to 68 hours (consulting the brand’s webpage, it seems that all models of the Historiador Asturias going forward are equipped with the La Joux-Perret movement). Considered a powerful alternative to the ETA 2824, La-Joux Perret’s G100 is a robust automatic movement with a central rotor mounted on a ball bearing and a frequency of 28,800vph. As you can appreciate in the photos, the rotor is customised for Cuervo y Sobrinos with Còtes de Genève and the brand’s family crest.
Fitted with a matte black cordovan leather strap and a stainless steel folding buckle with an openworked CyS clasp, the watch comes with a spring bar mechanism deployed by a small latch to change the strap.
The brand’s strategic decision to reposition the Historiador Asturias collection in the competitive EUR 2,000 to EUR 3,000 price segment means that the latest models, all fitted with La Joux-Perret movements, have not suffered a price increase and retail for CHF 2,100 / EUR 1,980. For more information, please consult the brand’s webpage.