Insider: Zenith El Primero Chronomaster 1969 Cohiba Edition. Hands-on with a Cuban-at-Heart Timepiece in a 500-Piece Limited Edition.

As you guys know, here at WCL we are serious cigar lovers and when it comes to Habanos, Cohiba is one of our favorites. About four months ago, we brought you the news on the new Zenith El Primero Chronomaster 1969 Cohiba Limited Edition. Back then with the Cuban Embargo in full force, a press sample of the watch making it into the U.S. was simply out of the question. Last week, while we were attending and reporting live from the SIAR 2016 —Salón Internacional Alta Relojería— in Mexico City, we were finally able to peruse this watch to bring you our hands-on review of this Cuban-at-heart timepiece. As the regulations around the Cuban embargo are starting to loosen up as of last Monday October 17th, what a better way to celebrate than with this beautiful timepiece.

The Dial & Case

To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the founding of Cohiba —the most prestigious and luxurious hand rolled cigar brand in the world—, Zenith released the new Zenith El Primero Chronomaster 1969 Cohiba Edition. Created in 1966, today Cohiba is celebrating half a century of existence. With 50 watches in 18K rose gold and 500 in stainless steel, all featuring a gorgeous light brown dial —called Habana by Zenith— with the iconic Cohiba yellow and black/white checkered cigar ring motif. The dial features faceted applied markers, a 12-hour chrono register at 6 o'clock, a 30-minute chrono register at 3 and an opening between 9 and 11 o'clock that offers partial view of the balance wheel and regulating organ. Sadly, this watch doesn't offer a date function which is a huge deal breaker for us.

This new watch reference 03.2047.4061/76.C494 is fitted with 42 mm stainless steel case featuring pump pushers and angled lugs like the legendary Zenith El Primero, the Zenith El Primero Chronomaster 1969 Cohiba Edition. The case mixes satin brushed finishes with mirror polished areas. The watch is fitted with a pullout crown.

The Movement

The beating heart inside the new Zenith El Primero Chronomaster 1969 Cohiba Edition is the automatic calibre El Primero 4061 and is fully visible via the display case back. The case back is equipped with a sapphire crystal bearing the 'Cohiba 50th anniversary' logo in black. Beating at a frequency of 36,000 vph and able to measure down to 1/10th of a second, this COSC certified chronometer features an integrated column-wheel construction. Equipped with a silicon lever and escape-wheel, this 282-part movement provides a 50-hour power reserve when fully wound.

On the Wrist & Pricing

On the wrist, the new Zenith El Primero Chronomaster 1969 Cohiba Edition wears true to its size, quite light and comfortably. The watch is equipped with a brown alligator strap with the usual double-folding clasp with integrated pin buckle in matching stainless steel.

If you are a lover of Cuban cigars and a fan of Cohiba, it really doesn't get any better than this with a limited edition that is nice but without being too over the top. This Zenith is definitely one of our favorite limited editions recently released by the brand and had this watch being released as an El Primero with a bigger case and date aperture, we would've already purchased one.

Sticker Price CHF19,900 Swiss Francs for 18K Rose Gold and CHF9,300 Swiss Francs for stainless steel —approximately $20,500 USD and $9,600 USD respectively. For more info on Zenith click here.