It's been a while since they have produced a new divers watch but the Cuervo y Sobrinos Robusto Manjuari has an abundance of unusual design details, from its jagged-edged bezel to its subtly rippled lugs - it has the special mix of Swiss precision and Latin presence that got us hooked on this brand in the first place.......
Cuervo y Sobrinos are perhaps better known for creating retrospective pieces - dress watches with big curvy lugs and unexpected dial designs - than for divers watches. The brand was revived by businessman and enthusiast, Luca Musumeci and watch industry savvy Mario Villa after it had lain dormant for over forty years. When production resumed in Switzerland in 2001, it was with the authentic accuracy of the drawings, designs and original watch cases and components discovered by Luca Musumeci in the Cuervo's derelict shop on Havana's Avenida Quinta, from which the family had hastily fled when the revolution took hold in Cuba - a momentous discovery, which provided the blueprint for the rebirth of Cuervo y Sobrinos and is perhaps what makes the watches produced by the brand today so special.
The Robusto Manjuari measures a very manageable 43mm across, its modular case is constructed from sections of steel, titanium and rubber. On the titanium bezel the unidirectional rotating ring has a sapphire crystal inlay and is operated via the crown.
On the black dial, an ensemble of fine features - "sharpened" hour markers and chunky indices, a GMT subdial at 6 o'clock, its bright blue rim replicated in the background colour of the big date aperture, the Cuervo coat of arms logo, red script and the unique sword-shaped hands. This is a watch which is built to withstand the depths and be highly legible yet unlike many divers watches available it won't look like you have a survival device strapped to your wrist - its size and distinctive styling make it a wear-anywhere piece, and it's dapper enough to get noticed too.
Inside the Robusto Manjuari is the automatic CyS 2511 Calibre, based on an ETA movement to which a GMT function and big date module have been added. Power reserve is 42 hours. The case back features an engraving of the big scary Cuban fish, the Manjuari, from which the piece takes its name. In honour of the year Don Armando Rio Cuervo first founded his watchmaking business in downtown Havana, the piece is water resistant to 1882 feet or 600m.
The Cuervo y Sobrinos Robusto Manjuari comes presented on a black rubber strap with constrasting red stitching.