Zenith’s partnership with high-end cigar brand manufacturer Cohiba got off to a smoking start in 2018 at the prestigious Cuban Habanos Festival with the launch of two new limited-edition versions of the brand’s celebrated Pilot Type 20 model: the 50-piece Pilot Type 20 Extra Special Cohiba Maduro 5 Edition in 18-karat rose gold; and the 150-piece Pilot Type 20 Chronograph Cohiba Maduro 5 Edition in bronze.
An epic year for Zenith, 2017 saw the launch of a number of groundbreaking new references, including two stunning new iterations of the brand’s famous Pilot watch, with its imposing presence and adventurous temperament. Showcasing a neo-retro look fueled by the adventurous spirit of the aviation pioneers that the manufacture has accompanied since the early days of flight, this famous aviator’s watch expressed its trailblazing style in chronograph mode as the Pilot Type 20 Chronograph Extra Special; and as an automatic alternative in the Pilot Type 20 Extra Special, Special Edition.
With its virile bronze case, high-frequency El Primero ‘engine’ and black dial bearing green-emission Super-LumiNova (SLN) Arabic numerals, the Pilot Type 20 Chronograph is a natural heir to the onboard instruments developed by Zenith in the early years of aeronautics, known for their precision, sturdiness and outstanding legibility.
Its counterpart, the Pilot Type 20 Extra Special, Special Edition, is powered by an automatic Zenith Elite 679 caliber. Featuring elegant hues and ideal proportions, it naturally lends itself to the most stylish vintage variations while never losing sight of the spirit of adventure that forged its legend.
Like mechanical watches, Habanos cigars have a long cultural history and are a quintessential expression of lifestyle. Aged, full-bodied and with the classic Cohiba finish, the Maduro 5 is no exception to this rule. Contrary to what one might assume, Maduro is not a type of leaf, but a color shade achieved through an extra fermentation of the wrapper leaves harvested from the very top levels of the shade-grown tobacco plants and aging a longer time than is usual for standard wrapper leaves. The wrapper leaves used for the Maduro 5 line belonging Cohiba brand are specially aged for five years. This well-aged wrapper yields the top-quality maduro color and flavor quality that makes the distinct tasting Maduro 5 cigars.
Shared Noble Bearing and Vintage Patina: This year, Zenith stokes its two-year-old partnership with the Cuban flagship cigar brand on the occasion of Cohiba’s 50th anniversary. What could be more natural for two luxury cult brands to come together in a pair of timepieces distinguished by this shared noble bearing and vintage patina?
So it is that in 2018, in tribute to these legendary and highly sought-after top-end cigars, Zenith has produced the Pilot Type 20 Extra Special Cohiba Maduro 5 Edition and Pilot Type 20 Chronograph Cohiba Maduro 5 Edition in warm tones of rose gold and bronze respectively. Water resistant to 10o meters and endowed with a 50-hour power reserve, the trademark striking case, wide ratcheted easily adjustable crown (along with pushers in the case of the Pilot Type 20 Chronograph Cohiba Maduro 5 Edition), and oversized luminescent numerals of the Zenith/Cohiba Pilot watches proudly flaunt all the DNA of a line of airborne conquerors, while emulating the rich tones of the Maduro 5 wrapping.
Produced in a numbered edition of 50 for the Pilot Type 20 Chronograph Cohiba Maduro 5 Edition and 150 in bronze for the Pilot Type 20 Cohiba Maduro 5 Edition, these magnificent timepieces display both the Zenith and the Cohiba logos on their sandblasted black dials. Both feature gold-plated hour and minute hands with a small seconds hand at 9 o’clock, as well as solid casebacks with an engraving of Cohiba’s “El Laguito” historical factory.
While taste in any area is subjective, Maduro 5 connoisseurs have a very specific and highly desirable set of expectations and the same could be said of their watchmaking doppelgängers. United by a love of exceptional style and quality, aficionados of both fine Cuban cigars and magnificent timepieces are sure to be captivated by these latest spectacular embodiments of this unlikely, yet highly successful partnership between two totally unrelated but fully complementary industries.