Insider: Zenith Academy Christophe Colomb Tribute to Cohiba. Hands-on with an Exceptional Timepiece with a Gold Dial That Looks Like a Tobacco Leaf.

Resembling a tobacco leaf on its dial, the new Zenith Academy Christophe Colomb Tribute to Cohiba is an exceptional timepiece that celebrates the 50th anniversary of one of the most iconic and exclusive Cuban cigar brands in a very classy an elegant way. Cohiba was created in 1966 for Fidel Castro as a handmade cigar at the world famous 'El Laguito' factory, these cigars were originally only seen outside of the island when presented as gifts to heads of state or dignitaries throughout the world. Cohiba is a brand with a very limited production of cigars per year and present in no less than 150 countries throughout the world. The Cohiba name has its origins from the the ancient 'Taino' language word that was used to refer to bunches of tobacco leaves. 'Taino' is the language used by the Taino Indians that populated the islands of the Caribbean before the Spanish Conquest in the 1500s. The leaves used in Cohiba cigars are the best of the best and they come from the renowned and prestigious Cuban region of Vuelta Abajo.

The Dial & Case

The Zenith Academy Christophe Colomb Tribute to Cohiba is equipped with a highly polished and elegant 18K rose gold case measuring 45 mm in diameter and with a hand-engraved and enameled gold dial that resembles a dry tobacco leaf. The work on the dial is so remarkable that anyone not knowing the specifics of it, would think that is indeed a tobacco leaf. Replicated all the way down to the most minuscule texture and veins, the process of creating this dial includes hand engraving all veins on the dial and then finish it with brown enamel to create the appearance of a tobacco leaf. This exceptional timepiece is exclusively available in a limited edition of only five pieces and each piece is simply unique as none of dials look exactly the same.

Equipped with the Gravity Control gyroscopic module —composed of 171 parts— at 6 o'clock, the Zenith and Cohiba brand names are discretely disguised in milk chocolate brown color at 7 and 5 o'clock respectively. An applied delicate miniature gold star is right on top of the Zenith logo to provide that extra pop.

The stunning hand-engraved and enameled dial features a subdial at 12 o'clock with applied dot markers and Roman numerals in 18K rose gold to indicate the hours and minutes. Additionally, the dial features a very discreet 50-hour power reserve indicator between 2 and 4 o'clock and a running seconds indicator at 9 o'clock. Honestly, these indicators add absolutely nothing to this dial and could've been left out as they're almost completely illegible.

The Movement

Fully visible via the display case back, the uniqueness of the Academy Christophe Colomb Tribute to Cohiba is also reflected in its manual wound in-house manufacture movement composed of 308 parts and which combines two mechanisms. One of these mechanisms is a regulating organ beating at 36,000 vph —5 Hz— and the other is a patented Gravity Control gyroscopic module —composed of 171 parts— which neutralizes the effects of gravity on the watch. Housed in a case with a water resistance of up to 30 meters this movement provides a power reserve of 50 hours and is exquisitely decorated with Geneva waves guilloché in a 'Côtes de Genève Rayonantes' layout. 

On the Wrist & Pricing

On the wrist, the Zenith Academy Christophe Colomb Tribute to Cohiba wears slightly bigger than its actual size —more like a 47 mm timepiece— and sits high due to the domed sapphire crystal on the back protecting the gyroscopic Gravity Control system. Surprisingly, the watch does wear quite comfortably and with impeccable wrist presence. The Academy Christophe Colomb Tribute to Cohiba is equipped with a brown alligator rubber-lined strap with a rose gold triple folding clasp and presented in an exclusive wood humidor box which transforms into a cigar humidor. Only five pieces available worldwide, therefore, its exclusivity is unparalleled.

Sticker Price $243,700 USD. For more info on Zenith click here.