The year 1935 marks a big milestone for Panerai as they landed their first contract to supply the Italian Navy with professional diving instruments, but it also does for the world of cigars, as the iconic Montecristo Cuban cigar brand was founded that year. The Montecristo Línea 1935 celebrates the founding of Montecristo and it was released last year as a ‘totally by hand long filler’ line of cigars. The Línea 1935 cigars are available in three different vitolas and packaged in a very distinct presentation box unlike other Habanos. The beautiful box is dark brown matte Carmelite lacquer finished and uniquely shaped with beveled edges and the traditional fleur-de-lis that has distinguished the Montecristo brand since its founding.
Introduced to the Habanos. S.A. portfolio in 1997, the same year the Patek Philippe Aquanaut was born as reference 5065A and 5066A, Vegas Robaina cigars are a tribute to the Robaina family who had been cultivating tobacco since 1845 in the region of Vuelta Abajo in Cuba. The name 'Vegas Robaina' is composed of two words where the word 'vegas' is the Spanish word commonly utilized in Cuba to refer to plantation fields and the word 'Robaina' is Don Alejandro Robaina's —descendent of the Robaina family— last name.
Experience: La Flor de Las Antillas 'Toro'. Number One Cigar in 2012 and Still as Good as Back Then.
La Flor de Las Antillas 'Toro' was ranked by Cigar Aficionado as the number one cigar for 2012 made by the renowned Nicaraguan cigar company My Father Cigars S.A. which is owned and lead by acclaimed Cuban cigar maker José 'Pepin' Garcia, his son Jaime and daughter Janny. My Father Cigars is a company that started as a small family operation out of Miami with a dozen rollers that slowly grew into one of the most prominent cigar makers establishing their factory in Estelí, Nicaragua. This company is also well known for being the manufacturers of Tatuaje when that brand was first started by Pete Johnson.
Tracing the footsteps of its founder, the father of Japanese whisky Masataka Taketsuru, the Japanese Nikka Whisky distillery brings the Taketsuru Pure Malt Whisky as a homage to this great visionary. In 1918, Taketsuru went by himself to Scotland to unveil the secret of whisky making, becoming the first Japanese ever to master this complex art. After enrolling at the University of Glasgow and taking chemistry courses, he apprenticed at three Scotch distilleries. Upon returning to Japan, Kotobukiya Limited —what is today Suntory Distilleries— hired him to build the Yamazaki distillery as he was the only Japanese who knew how to produce whisky at the time.
Experience: Sipsmith London Dry Gin. As Refreshing as the Look on the Vacheron Constantin FiftySix Collection.
A few months ago while we attended the release of the Vacheron Constantin FiftySix Tourbillon, we visited the Sipsmith distillery in London. Sipsmith is the first copper pot distillery in London in nearly two hundred years. A classic and refreshing London Dry Gin that is bold, complex and very aromatic, this well balanced gin is perfectly suited for a Negroni or a classic Gin and Tonic. As refreshing as the look on the recently launched Vacheron Constantin FiftySix collection, Sipsmith is produced using a complex mix of botanicals that include the fundamental juniper berries —without them you can’t make Gin—, Bulgarian coriander seed, Belgian angelica root, Chinese cassia bark —from the same family as cinnamon—, Italian orris root, Spanish ground almond, Madagascan cinnamon bark, Spanish liquorice root, Seville orange peel and lemon peel.
Experience: Three of the Top Habanos, Hennessy X.O and a Rolex GMT Master II Everose Gold ref. 126715CHNR 'Rootbeer' to Light Them Up
Cuban cigars come in all shapes and forms and today there are 27 different brands. While all Habanos are Cuban, by no means all Cuban cigars are Habanos. The title ‘Habano’ is the Protected Denomination of Origin —Denominación de Origen Protegida D.O.P—, reserved for a selection of the most outstanding brands whose cigars are manufactured to highest standards from tobaccos grown only in particular areas of Cuba —which are also protected as denominations of origin— and fully hand made. While there are between six and eight brands that are the most renowned and the usual choice of Habanos for cigar connoisseurs, there are three brands that are in the top of mind and that we tend to consider three of the five kings of Cuban cigars.
Experience: Cinco Jotas Ibérico Ham & Alión. The Patek of Jamones and the Small Child from Vega Sicilia.
Just like Patek Philippe is at the pinnacle of watchmaking, the same goes for Iberico hams and Cinco Jotas —the five Js. With Joselito ham only a small notch above Cinco Jotas, when it comes to the pinnacle of Iberico hams from Spain, Cinco Jotas is the authority. Faithful to its origins, Cinco Jotas makes one of the finest acorn-fed hams in Spain and the company has maintained the purity of the 'Pata Negra' —black hoof— Iberian pigs they use, flawlessly. Much like Patek Philippe has maintained their DNA intact over the last 179 years. The 'Pata Negra' acorn-fed Cinco Jotas ham is unmistakably identified by its color, texture, overall appearance and it’s a ‘jamón’ that cannot be faked as those that are true connoisseurs will know better. Just as it happens with a Patek Philippe timepiece that cannot be faked.
Experience: Edmundo Dantes El Conde Belicoso 'Exclusivo Mexico'. An Exceptionally Smooth Limited Edition Habano.
Named after ‘Edmond Dantés’ the main character in the novel ‘Le Comte de Monte-Cristo’ —The Count of Montecristo— by Alexandre Dumas, the Edmundo Dantes El Conde Belicoso —the belligerent Count— cigar is the last regional edition exclusive to Mexico that was released by Habanos S.A. at the end of 2016. Unlike the character in Dumas’ book, this cigar is not aggressive at all but the complete opposite, an ultra smooth cigar like no other. Just like the three previous regional editions of this cigar for Mexico, but in a much larger number of boxes produced, the Edmundo Dantes Conde Belicoso Exclusivo Mexico was produced in a limited run of 6,000 individually numbered boxes of ten cigars each.
Experience: Santiago de Cuba Extra Añejo 12 Years Rum. As Scarce as a Patek Philippe Nautilus ref. 5980R.
Just as scarce as a Patek Philippe Nautilus ref. 5980R is one of Cuba’s most legendary rums. Less popular outside the Cuba than the well known Havana Club —produced by the same state company Cubaron—, Ron Santiago de Cuba takes its name from its birthplace, Santiago de Cuba a.k.a the craddle of Cuban light rum. Established since 1862 and produced by Cubaron since 1960 when the revolutionary government nationalized the Bacardí and Matusalén factories. It is the work of dedicated masters of rum and workers of old rum factories in that region, who became the owners of the factories with the triumph of the Revolution.
Experience: The Hibiki 17 Years Old Kacho Fugetsu Limited Edition Japanese Whisky. Unique, Harmonious and Ultra Rare.
Hibiki was introduced in 1989 to commemorate the 90th anniversary of the Suntory Distillery and since then, this whisky has been the paragon of the Art of Japanese Whisky. Not only it is one of Japan’s most highly awarded blended whiskies, but it is also among the most prestigious whiskies in the world. Hibiki 17 years old was first introduced in 2015 as a harmonious blend blessed with the riches of Japanese nature and craftsmanship. Inspired by the riches and subtleties of Japan’s 24 seasons of the traditional Japanese lunar calendar and mastered by Suntory’s Art of Blending, Hibiki 17 is a meticulous blend of the finest selection of malt and grain whiskies from the House of Suntory Whiskies
Moët & Chandon Ice Imperial is still a relatively new champagne launched a few years ago but one that have not gotten as popular in the U.S. as it is in the rest of the world. This is the first and only champagne especially created to be served over ice. Refreshing, crisp and ideal for champagne based cocktails, this new champagne combines fun, fresh and free sensations while remaining true to the Moët & Chandon style, a style distinguished by its bright fruitiness, its seductive palate and its elegant maturity.
Experience: El Rey del Mundo 'Exclusivo Francia'. A Mild Habano with Strong Character Like the Patek Philippe Golden Ellipse.
Just like a Patek Philippe Golden Ellipse ref. 3738, the El Rey del Mundo, is a cigar reserved for connoisseurs. While the Patek Philippe Golden Ellipse might not be the most popular watch in the Patek line-up, it is one of those references that is instantly recognizable. With its divine proportions, the case of the Golden Ellipse, launched in 1968, has no doubt inspired one of the most beautiful chapters of horological history. Thanks to its unique blend of bold simplicity and formal purity, this watch has become one of the flagships of the Patek Philippe collection. The same goes to El Rey del Mundo, a cigar that might not be the most popular among cigar connoisseurs that enjoy Habanos, but for sure one of the most iconic brands in the Habanos, S.A. line-up.
Experience: Drumshanbo Gunpowder Irish Gin. Influenced by World Travel, Like the Vacheron Constantin Overseas Perpetual Calendar.
Infused with twelve botanicals like the twelve months of the year, the Drumshanbo Gunpowder Irish Gin is as well balanced as the Vacheron Constantin Overseas Perpetual Calendar. Distilled at the edge of a lake in a shed in a small Irish town called Drumshanbo —like the Vacheron Constantin manufacture founded at the edge of a lake—, the ordinary is made extraordinary. Within this small shed the laboratory of PJ Rigney is located. PJ is a begetter of handmade spirits who slow distills this gin with natures finest oriental botanicals and gunpowder tea.
Experience: Nusr-Et Steakhouse. When you Come to see #Saltbae's Patek, But you Leave in Awe by his Food.
When you're a watch collector and a foodie, a visit to one of Nusret Gökçe's restaurants Nusr-Et Steakhouse is a must. Better know as #Saltbae, Nusret is one of Instagram's biggest hit stars with more than 10 million followers. However, what makes Nusret more interesting to us, is his fascination for watches, specifically Patek Philippe timepieces that we've spotted a dozen times on his wrist throughout his posts on the gram. All the way from a Patek Philippe Aquanaut...
Cohiba is a brand that enjoys a formidable reputation in the world of cigars and is considered to be the 'crème de la crème' when it comes to Habanos —Cuban cigars. Created in 1966 for Fidel Castro and handmade 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. Today, Cohiba cigars are sold internationally and are the most reputable and consistent brand when it comes to quality and a superior cigar smoking experience.
For the last seven years the Negroni has been our cocktail of choice. Surprisingly, despite its recent popularity and comeback, this cocktail is not necessarily well known by all bartenders and often we find ourselves explaining how it needs to be served and what goes in it. The Negroni, just like Panerai, comes from the cradle of the renaissance and the home to the Medici, Florence, Italy. As Florentine as an Officine Panerai wristwatch, the Negroni is a quintessential and very distinctive cocktail.
Experience: The Hakushu 12 Years Single Malt Japanese Whisky. Refined and Understated like a Vacheron Constantin Patrimony.
While Japanese whiskys have increasingly become more popular lately, there are still a few whiskys that still remain understated and very refined just like a Vacheron Constantin Patrimony on the wrist. The Hakushu 12 Years Japanese Whisky is distilled by the Suntory Distillery in Japan, the same distillery that gave the world the exquisite Yamazaki whisky, the Hibiki and the Suntory Whisky Toki.
Experience: Havana Club Gran Reserva Añejo 15 Años. As Unique and Smooth as our Armin Strom Gravity Date WCL Unique Piece.
Sitting a notch above the Havana Club 'Selección de Maestros' is the Havana Club Gran Reserva Añejo 15 Años from Cuba. Produced by repeatedly blending and aging selected rums and 'aguardientes' in old oak casks that add that delicate touch of tannin, this unique ageing process liberates the aromas and flavor and gives that extra smoothness that is the top mark of top quality rum. Aged for no less than 15 years and with a limited production of only 58 barrels per year, the Havana Club Gran Reserva is one of the best rums we've ever had with a unique aroma, intense flavor and unparalleled smoothness.
Experience: Johnnie Walker Blue Label Schiphol Airport Limited Edition. Perfectly Paired with the Blue dial on the AP Royal Oak Extra-Thin 15202OR.
Landing at the Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam is always a treat if you like the finer things in life as much as we do. After a long-haul flight on KLM's World Business Class, the perfect way to start your day on the other side of the pond is by enjoying all that this airport has to offer. Schiphol is without a doubt, one of our favorite airports in the world and one that truly offers a great experience for watchlifestylers.
Experience: Por Larrañaga Picadores. A Mild Cigar that Pairs Well with a Zenith Montre d'Aéronef Pilot Type 20 Extra Special 'Bronze'.
Founded in 1834 in Cuba, Por Larrañaga is a brand with a long history. With all its filler and binder tobacco leaves from the Vuelta Abajo region, the most prestigious area for tobacco leaves in the world, the range includes cigars using both long and short fillers with a totally hand made technique. Available in only three different vitolas —Montecarlos, Panetelas and Petit Coronas—, the Por Larrañaga Picadores were offered for just a few years along with the three existing vitolas between 2015 and 2016.