Many watch collectors are also epicureans. So they sometimes spend hours smoking the best cigars – from Havana of course – slowly swirling a spirit worthy of the name – cognac, whiskey, rum … – in a glass that will gradually warm up under the head of their palm. After the special Legend of Cohiba edition, the Zenith manufacture once again aserts its attachment to the volutes of Cuba with two Elite Moonphase “Romeo y Julieta” models
Inspired by Cohiba – a tobacco found at Habanos and considered one of the most prestigious in the world by connoisseurs – a beautiful piece thus enriched the Zenith collections in 2016. Called El Primero Chronomaster 1969 Cohiba Edition, 50 pieces of this anniversary watch were proposed to mark Cohiba’s 50th anniversary. After this came the El Primero Legend of Cohiba chrono in pink gold, equipped with a tricompax-date movement (read our article El Primero “Legend of Cohiba” : Time unites Twin Traditions of production and Expertise), then followed in 2018 by the Pilot Type 20 Chronograph Cohiba Maduro 5 Edition in bronze.
In 2019, the Swiss manufacture presented three original variations of the Pilot Type 20 Chronograph Trinidad Edition, to celebrate the half-century of Trinidad – another havanas entity of the Cuban House, named after a rich, aromatic and slightly full-bodied type of cigar.
This trio of chronographs is a variation of the atypical vintage “Pilot” watch, recalling the navigation instruments Zenith manufactured in the early days of aviation. With a 45 mm diameter case in pink, yellow, or white gold and an oversized crown typical of the line, they are limited to fifty pieces.. Also inspired by Trinidad, the watches feature details pertaining to the cigar aesthetic, sporting a tan-brown dial with a tobacco leaf pattern and a calfskin strap in the same amber hue embellished with the Trinidad logo.
Today, the partnership with Romeo y Julieta, another historic cigar house belonging to the Habanos group, is a logical continuation. As José María Lopez, vice president of development at Habanos, declared: “We have always said that our relationship with Zenith is marked by the emotion that unites our brands, and we are proud to witness the series of unique watches that are the result of the alliance of these two icons of luxury. ” For his part, Julien Tornare, the young and full of energy president of Zenith, confided his ” immense pleasure of returning to Havana with our dear friends at Habanos for a new chapter in our partnership, which is all about celebrating the finer pleasures in life. With Romeo y Julieta, we have conceived a special his and hers set of watches that highlight the timeless beauty of our Elite collection and the enduring appeal of Romeo y Julieta’s exquisite cigars, as well as Zenith’s commitment to creating inimitable ladies’ watches unique in their kind.”
Intended for both men and women, the Elite collection – named after the ultra-thin automatic caliber created by Zenith in 1994 – is the perfect line to embody the great love story that the romantic souls still dream of. Indeed, recalling the celestial vault that was the backdrop of this doomed couple, these steel pieces feature a moon phase, both hemispheres of which bear the logo of the Romeo y Julieta cigar. Herein are laser-engraved the faces of the two protagonists, visible through two small round apertures, instead of the usual and unique arc-shaped opening.
Both original and elegant, this creative approach allows the dial to keep the stunning harmony of its sunburst pattern which inexorably draws the eye to the center. The watch sports a dark blue gradient for the men’s version, 40.5 mm in diameter, or an intense red for the women’s, whose 36 mm diameter case features a bezel set with seventy-five diamond
To celebrate the 145th anniversary the Romeo y Julieta House, the two timepieces are reunited in a box set limited to 145 pieces. They come with alligator bracelets in coordinated colors and a nice surprise: inverted color linings (red for the blue model and vice versa). As if to reaffirm the deep link between these two watches, just as deep as the one between the two brands, and as inseparable as the two original characters of Shakespeare’s tragedy written in 1597…an eternity ago.
One question remains: why borrowing the title of Shakespeare’s Forbidden Love Story? The origin of the brand and cigars name can actually be explained by an historical fact: the lector – an important position in the making of Habano cigars – used to read classical literature to the workers to simulate them. This particular play being exalting, the passion was thus transmitted to the cigars themselves.