The Swiss brand with Cuban heritage expands its Historiador collection with a racing-red chronograph inspired by the exciting Cuban Grand Prix of 1957. Looking back over its shoulder, Cuervo y Sorbinos has chosen its flamboyant vintage-inspired Historiador model to host the chronograph. Decked out in rich colours that echo those of Juan Manuel Fangio’s winning Maserati 300S, fans of the brand who share a passion for vintage motorsports are in for a treat.
Gran Premio de Cuba
Cuervo, a jewellery and watch repair shop, was established in Havana, Cuba, in 1882 by Spanish immigrant Don Ramón Cuervo. As business prospered, Don Cuervo’s nephews were recruited, becoming Cuervo y Sobrinos. The go-to establishment for prestigious imported timepieces during its heyday in the 1950s, Cuervo y Sobrinos counted on a roster of illustrious clients like Caruso, Gary Cooper, Hemingway and Einstein. By the 1950s, Havana had become a luxurious playground for the rich and famous. To raise Cuba’s profile and organise an event to attract more American tourists to the island, President Fulgencio Battista staged the Cuban Grand Prix car race in 1957.
Juan Manual Fangio won the first edition of the short-lived race, the famous Argentinian pilot driving a Maserati 300S. Tearing around Havana’s elegant avenues and down the iconic Malecón esplanade, the Cuban Grand Prix also attracted anti-government revolutionaries who kidnapped Fangio in 1959. Political instability marked the race’s demise, which returned for one last edition in 1960 when British driver Stirling Moss took first prize in a Maserati Tipo 61.
Cuervo y Sobrinos has selected a model from its Historiador family for this Grand Premio de Cuba 1957 edition. The dominating trait of the Historiador family is its distinctive, somewhat flamboyant case with prominent sculptural lugs that hark back to a vintage 1950s model from Cuervo y Sobrino’s archives.
The case, which has a 42mm diameter and height of 12mm, is stainless steel and features polished surfaces. Vintage piston-style chronograph pushers and the double-curved sapphire crystal consolidate the retro mood of this chronograph. As hallmark features of the Historiador, the lugs play a fundamental role in the personality of this watch and curve slightly for a more ergonomic fit.
The livery of the dial captures the colours of Fangio’s red and yellow Maserati 300S with a predominant splash of ‘tropical red’ in the centre combined with creamy chronograph counters and a telemeter scale. Legibility is enhanced with the large, plump printed Arabic hour numerals with black profiles and plenty of beige Super-LumiNova in their interiors.
The peripheral black tachymeter scale, used to determine the speed of a vehicle over a known distance, is treated to a host of colourful inscriptions with red, orange, yellow and blue numerals printed on the track and the word ‘Taquimetro’ picked out in white and spelt in Spanish. Placed beneath the tachymeter scale is the creamy-coloured ‘telemetro’ scale, followed one step lower by the tropical red dial. This layered effect adds a good deal of depth to the dial.
The two chronograph counters – 30-min elapsed times at 3 and 12-hour totaliser at 6 o’clock – match the colour of the telemeter scale and rely on dark arrow-shaped hands alighting on the precision railway tracks with Arabic numerals. At 9 o’clock is the running seconds counter with white markings and a white hand to match the Cuervo y Sobrinos 1882 inscription at noon. The central leaf-shaped hour and minute hands, also treated with beige Super-LumiNnova, are topped by the white central chronograph seconds hand.
The reverse side of the watch is sealed and stamped with the Gran Premio 1957 de Cuba insignia, which hides the CyS 8099 automatic calibre. Based on the Valjoux 7753 automatic cam chronograph, the movement beats at 28,800vph, delivers a power reserve of 48 hours and features an engraved oscillating weight.
Availability & Price
The Historiador Gran Premio de Cuba 1957 is fitted with a black matte racing-style leather strap with racy red stitching and perforations revealing the red lining and an openworked CyS clasp. It is presented as a limited edition of 162 pieces, a number that references the 162-mile distance of the Cuban race. The watch retails for EUR 3,700 (inc. tax).
For more information, please visit cuervoysobrinos.com.