Cuervo y Sobrinos Prominente Solo Tiempo

Cuervo y Sobrinos can trace its origins to Havana, Cuba. While the company is now based in the Jura mountains of Switzerland, its models remain infused with a latin spirit.

The Cuervo y Sobrinos Prominente Solo Tiempo is a rectangular-shaped timepiece, incorporating an elaborately detailed dial and an automatic movement. Angus Davies reviews this Swiss-Latin watch in detail.

Cuervo y Sobrinos Prominente Solo Tiempo

I love Switzerland. The landlocked country is comparatively safe, its inhabitants are invariably polite, the food is delicious, albeit calorific, and the landscape is beautiful. A further attribute of this nation is the extraordinary dependability that pervades all aspects of life. The trains are punctual and the watches impart time with impressive accuracy.

Cuervo y Sobrinos, based in the Jura mountains, a region of Switzerland synonymous with watchmaking, upholds everything that is wonderful about this snow-capped nation. However, its products are also infused with a significant dose of passion and Latin spirit.

Founded in 1882, Cuervo y Sobrinos began life in Havana, Cuba. The family-run retail business sold high-end jewellery and watches. The firm was a byword for luxury, attracting the patronage of Ernest Hemingway, Clark Gable, Albert Einstein and Sir Winston Churchill, to name but a few. As the company expanded, it established operations in Paris, Pforzheim and the watchmaking capital of Switzerland, La Chaux-de-Fonds. 

Havana is world famous for the manufacture of luxurious cigars. Cuervo y Sobrinos has recognised this fact, choosing to name a family of watches, ‘Prominente’. This particular nomen is used to described one of the largest Cuban cigars available. Therefore, the name seems most apt for this generously proportioned timepiece infused with Caribbean charm. One member of this collection of classically styled watches is the Cuervo y Sobrinos Prominente Solo Tiempo.

The dial

The Cuervo y Sobrinos Prominente Solo Tiempo is offered with a selection of dial colours. In addition, the model can be specified with a gem-set case. The oval centre of the dial incorporates mother of pearl and is presented in a contrasting hue.

Cuervo y Sobrinos Prominente Solo Tiempo

The hours are denoted with prominent, elaborately-formed numerals, adding a dose of flamboyance while remaining legible. The curvaceous hour and minute hands are comparatively short, owing to the width of the case, yet exude a becoming grace. Cuervo y Sobrinos successfully demonstrates that practicality and style don’t need to be mutually exclusive.

A chemin de fer hugs the periphery of the dial. The truncated hands fail to reach the extremities of the dial, yet, despite this, the railway track adds a further soupçon of style to the horological vista presented. The company’s logo is positioned below noon and is applied to the dial epidermis, bestowing a three-dimensional charm.

An aperture, positioned above 6 o’clock, presents the date in lucid form. A central sweep seconds hand completes the inventory of functions.

Cuervo y Sobrinos has masterfully played with depths. For example, the main dial surface is enriched with guilloché, incorporating a wave-like motif. With this watch, style is omnipresent.

The case

The Cuervo y Sobrinos Prominente Solo Tiempo is a leviathan, measuring 33.75mm x 52mm. However, the virtual absence of lugs and the arcing profile of the caseback help mitigate the sense of scale.

Cuervo y Sobrinos Prominente Solo Tiempo

All surfaces are highly polished, save for the caseback, which is satin brushed. The case of the Cuervo y Sobrinos Prominente Solo Tiempo is complex, incorporating numerous contours and facets. The vertical flanks of the case project outwards near the horns, while the upper surface of the case assumes a stepped profile. Despite the plethora of details and the elaborate composition of the case, the watch remains elegant, shrewdly avoiding excess.

Cuervo y Sobrinos Prominente Solo Tiempo

The dorsal flank of the case features an elliptical pane of sapphire crystal. An array of text along with the brand’s logo and a fan-like motif adorn the crystal. While the embellished glass proves attractive, I was left frustrated that I could not see the oscillating mass, bridges and balance. Nevertheless, I concede that not everyone will share my point of view.

The Swiss-Latin brand has paired the watch with a sumptuous Louisiana alligator strap. Interestingly, the strap features quick-release fittings, allowing the wearer to easily exchange it without the need for tools. I wish more companies would incorporate this user-friendly feature.

The movement

The automatic Calibre CYS 5102 incorporates 25 jewels. The balance has a frequency of 28,800 VpH (4Hz) and the power reserve is capable of delivering 42 hours of autonomous operation. Cuervo y Sobrinos stipulate that the rotor features a ‘fan decoration and CyS engraving’.

Closing remarks

Cuervo y Sobrinos has indulged would-be wearers with an impressive amount of choice. The Prominente Solo Tiempo is offered in an array of dial colours as well as the option of a gem-set case.

Irrespective of the dial colour selected, the display of each option is enriched with a myriad of details. Indeed, the guilloché motif, the chemin de fer, the vintage hues, the curvaceous numerals and the applied brand logo all coalesce wonderfully, enhancing the overall aesthetic. Nothing is mundane with this watch, character prevails throughout.

The case is large, however, the Maison does offer other options to sate the needs of those of diminutive build. I found the watch granted a sublime ergonomic union with my wrist and attribute this to the curved caseback and short lugs.

Elaborate styling, vintage tones, intricate case shapes and a touch of flamboyance all amalgamate to deliver a unique mien. Furthermore, at the heart of this watch is a Swiss movement. Indeed, Cuervo y Sobrinos proffers the best of both worlds, delivering Swiss precision while adopting a unique Latin tempo which is difficult to resist.

Further reading

Technical specifications

  • Model: Cuervo y Sobrinos Prominente Solo Tiempo
  • Reference: 1012.1
  • Case: Stainless steel; dimensions 33.75mm x 52mm; water resistance 3 ATM (30 metres)
  • Functions: Hours; minutes, central sweep seconds; date
  • Movement: Calibre CYS 5102automatic movement; frequency 28,800 VpH (4Hz); 25 jewels; power reserve = 42 hours
  • Strap: Alligator leather with steel folding buckle
  • Price – CHF 3,500 excluding tax (RRP until 15.4.2019)

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