Cuervo y Sobrinos Historiador Clasico 135th Anniversary

No risk of forgetting

The Cuervo y Sobrinos Historiador Clasico 135th Anniversary watch features a slender case and uses three hour markers to remind the wearer that it is 135 years since Cuervo y Sobrinos was founded in Havana, Cuba.

Image of Cuervo y Sobrinos Historiador Clasico 135th Anniversary

There have been many occasions when I have realised at the eleventh hour that I have overlooked my impending wedding anniversary. With an overwhelming sense of panic, I have driven to my nearest shop to acquire the obligatory card, flowers and chocolates, narrowly escaping the almost certain, and justified, wrath of my wife.

Now, Swiss watch brand, Cuervo y Sobrinos has devised the perfect aide memoire, marking the dial of its latest anniversary watch with ‘135’ on the applicable hour markers. Cuervo y Sobrinos was founded in 1882 in Havana and from the outset earned a reputation for prestige and glamour. The company continues to fuse Swiss watchmaking prowess with the latin soul of the ‘Pearl of the Caribbean’, Cuba.

Recently, I was introduced to the ‘first model of the 135th anniversary’, implying that more models will be released during 2017, the Cuervo y Sobrinos Historiador Clasico 135th Anniversary.

The dial

The brand describes the dial as ‘velvety black’, although I think its tone is more subtle than that; perhaps ‘anthracite’ would be a more apt description. It is certainly an elegant dial exuding a gentle, tasteful hue.

Image of Cuervo y Sobrinos Historiador Clasico 135th Anniversary

The Swiss maison also describes the hands as ‘baton’ style. Irrespective of their name, they certainly exhibit a modest air, quietly conversing with the silver toned, applied hour markers. While applied baton-like hour markers occupy most positions, bold Arabic numerals occupy the addresses at 1, 3 and 5 o’clock, a reminder of the anniversary being celebrated. At noon, the brand’s flamboyant logo resides.

A recessed subdial, positioned above 6 o’clock, features a small running seconds, with the year of foundation and the current year straddling this display.

There is a notable elegance and grace to this dial. It avoids vulgar labelling proclaiming the anniversary, employing subtle markings to convey the importance of the current year.

Beyond its aesthetic beauty, this is a highly practical dial, proving simple to read and, despite the idiosyncratic use of Arabic numerals at 1, 3 and 5 o’clock, nothing detracts from the objective of imparting time cleanly.

The case

The 40mm case is usually ideal for small, slender wrists, however, I also found the diminutive proportions of this timepiece proved appropriate for my larger than average wrist. Part of the reason for the watch appearing suitable for my wrist relates to the elongated, articulated lugs which prominently protrude from the caseband.

Image of Cuervo y Sobrinos Historiador Clasico 135th Anniversary

This is a watch which cleverly plays with proportions. It is slender with a modest thickness of 7.1mm and, as such, hugs the wrist closely without its height protruding unduly or fouling a stylish shirt cuff.

Cuervo y Sobrinos intends to offer the Historiador Clasico 135th Anniversary in both stainless steel and 18-carat rose gold. I personally prefer the simplicity of the stainless steel version and like the combination of this metal with the so-called ‘black’ dial. However, I accept this is merely a subjective opinion and some readers may not share my viewpoint, preferring the case formed of noble metal.

Image of Cuervo y Sobrinos Historiador Clasico 135th Anniversary

The crown sits close to the caseband, with little protrusion. The narrow slither of knurling does facilitate ease of winding and adjustment while delivering a very tidy aesthetic. The watch features an exhibition caseback bestowing views of the hand-wound movement within.

The movement

The Historiador Clasico 135th Anniversary contains the hand-wound CYS 2052 movement (ETA 7001 base). This movement is a mere 2.50mm in depth, according a very flat profile and explaining the slenderness of the watch.

Image of Cuervo y Sobrinos Historiador Clasico 135th Anniversary

The balance has a frequency of 21,600 VpH (3 Hz) and the movement contains 17 jewels. The sole spring barrel confers 42 hours of autonomy.

Blued screws adorn the movement. Three bridges dominate the dorsal view of the movement. Two bridges are decorated with Côtes de Genève motif or ‘Geneva Stripes’, while one bridge features Côtes de Genève Rayonnantes. The juxtaposition of the two motifs proves very attractive.

While this movement is not the last word in haute horlogerie, the finishing is very agreeable for this comparatively modest price point, namely €3,700.

Closing remarks

Cuervo y Sobrinos always delivers watches which are styled unlike any other brand’s offerings. Some designs I find attractive while others are not to my liking. However, all are unique and highly original. The Historiador Clasico 135th Anniversary is very much to my liking and incorporates a very unusual and appealing reference to this significant year. The three digits ‘1’, ‘3’ and ‘5’ tastefully usurp the usual hour batons and provide a very subtle and stylish reference to the year the company was founded.

The dial is simple to read while incorporating a few well chosen design elements to augment interest. The case is beautifully formed with its elongated articulated lugs. Moreover, the case is slender and its restrained diameter ensures that it does not unduly impose its presence upon the arm. The movement incorporates some pleasing finishing, including two juxtaposed motifs presented on the three prominent bridges.

Ultimately, I like this watch. It is handsome and comfortable to wear. If only it had ‘1’ and ‘8’ presented on the dial in Arabic numerals, I would never fail to remember an anniversary again.

Technical specification

  • Model: Cuervo y Sobrinos Historiador Clasico 135th Anniversary
  • Reference: 3130.1.135
  • Case: Stainless steel; diameter 40mm; height 7.1mm; water resistant to 3 bar (30 metres); sapphire crystal to front and caseback.
  • Functions: Hours; minutes; small sweep seconds
  • Movement:CYS 2052 movement (ETA 7001 base); hand-wound movement; frequency 21,600 vph (3Hz); 17 jewels; power reserve 42 hours
  • Strap: Black alligator leather strap supplied with a steel pin buckle
  • Price: €3,700 (RRP as at 6.2.2017)
  • Limited Edition: 135 pieces

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Angus Davies

Angus is a self-confessed watch addict and is frequently asked to contribute to various printed magazines and websites around the globe. He also writes for individual watch companies on matters of horology and has appeared on television and radio as an industry expert.