I have a great soft spot for Cuervo y Sobrinos. The brand with Cuban roots offers exotic timepieces that stand out immediately. Quite a few of them could be described as an acquired taste. But if you like the brand’s style, there is plenty of goodness to be found in its collection. The latest addition is the Cuervo y Sobrinos Historiador Cronógrafo 1946. It’s a limited-edition chronograph that is a tribute to the year that the inaugural Historiador model debuted. This new chronograph takes inspiration from the great age of classic chronographs and combines it with modern execution for exceptional results. Cuervo y Sobrinos pleasantly surprised me again!

My love for Cuervo y Sobrinos started with the remarkable Buceador Caribe dive watch that I reviewed two years ago. But it was more than just the watch that I loved. I had to get into the story of the brand, which reads like a great history novel. The story is set in a rich and exciting time in Cuba before Fidel Castro took over in 1959. It’s far from the typical story accompanying most Swiss brands, and I like that a lot. When Cuervo y Sobrinos was revived in 1997, that story became a big part of its modern charm. And we see this not just in the brand’s words and marketing but also in the Caribbean signature present in its designs, colors, and packaging.

Historiador Cronógrafo 1946 flat lay

The new Cuervo y Sobrinos Historiador Cronógrafo 1946

That distinct signature is again present in the Cronógrafo 1946. As mentioned, this limited-edition chronograph is a tribute to the year the first Historiador model was released. The Historiador became the brand’s most important model and collection, and today, it contains a wide variety of iterations. They are easily recognizable by their striking horn-like lugs. This lug design connects all the different pieces, some of which look amazing and others less to my taste.

Historiador Cronógrafo 1946 dial close-up

When it comes to the new Cronógrafo 1946, some of us immediately see a resemblance to the famous Vacheron Constantin ref. 6087 from the 1950s or its modern-day counterpart, the Historiques Cornes de Vache 1955. The iconic chronograph with its cow-horn lugs has become legendary among watch fans, and at first glance, you might think that the lugs of the Cronógrafo 1946 result in a watch with the same style. But look again, and you’ll see that the lugs are different. Still, the overall classic chronograph style of the 1940s and 1950s is very much present in this new watch.

The specs of the Cronógrafo 1946

Let’s look at some basic specs. The new Cuervo y Sobrinos Historiador Cronógrafo 1946 has a 40mm stainless steel case that is 12mm thick and 51.5mm long. As mentioned, the lugs immediately catch the eye and give the watch plenty of character. But due to the way they curve downward, they also ensure that the watch sits very comfortably on the wrist, so they are more than just an aesthetic touch. The polished case, which is water resistant to 50 meters, features two rectangular chronograph pushers and a branded crown on the right side. Overall, the case profile looks great, and the proportions are very friendly for a variety of wrist sizes.

Historiador Cronógrafo 1946 dial close-up

If we zoom in, you will see a panda-style dial executed in two beautiful colors. This dial comes in a classic salmon color graced by two horizontally placed tobacco-brown sub-dials. These two sub-dials feature a nice snailed finish and white numerals.

Historiador Cronógrafo 1946 wrist shot

The dial also features a tachymeter scale in black print and applied silver-colored numerals for the hours. Overall, I have to say I love the color combination. It gives the watch great charm, and the colors simply work very well together.

The charming dial in more detail

Looking at the stylistic execution, we see a well-balanced mix of elements. Hovering above the dial are the leaf-shaped hour and minute hands along with more straightforward, baton-like hands for the chronograph functions and running seconds. All of these have a high-polished finish and no lume, just like the numerals that mark the hours. Due to the way these elements reflect and absorb light, they often look black, providing good legibility against the light salmon background. Honestly, though, against the darker brown sub-dials, the hands do tend to “disappear” in certain lighting conditions. While polished hands on a watch can be beautiful and dynamic, they can make it difficult to always read the time or chronograph at a glance.

Another element we debated is the text on the dial. As you can see, the upper part of the dial features the “Cuervo y Sobrinos” wordmark and “Habana” placed in a straight line. The lower part features the words “Unicos” and “Importadores” in two lines, with the latter placed on a curve.

Historiador Cronógrafo 1946 diagonal

If you ask me, that wasn’t necessary. I get the playful element, but it would have been fine if it had been in a straight line. I would have rather seen the designers play with the sizes of these lines. That could have created a more exciting dynamic in my book. Having said that, when wearing the watch, I never thought for a second that the chosen solution was distracting or weird. It’s just a visual preference in the overall design that I would have loved to see done differently to make it even better.

Historiador Cronógrafo 1946 movement

The Cuervo y Sobrinos caliber CYS 8123

If you turn the watch around, you are greeted by the Cuervo y Sobrinos caliber CYS 8123 visible through the sapphire display case. The automatic caliber is based on the ETA 2094, operates at 28,800vph, and provides a 42-hour power reserve. As you can see, it features a customized rotor with the brand’s logo and name. Additionally, the case back has an engraving with a unique limited-edition number out of 100 pieces.

Wearing the Cronógrafo 1946

The watch comes on a chocolate-colored alligator strap that pairs well with the brown tone of the sub-dials. Affixing it to the wrist is an easily adjustable butterfly clasp with a dual-pushbutton release and the Cuervo y Sobrinos crest. Once on the wrist, the watch really shows how much character it has. It’s not often that I get to wear a chronograph with such a classic profile. I loved putting it on my wrist, giving it time to sink in, and wearing it for a couple of days. What stands out immediately is that the dial design is nicely balanced. There are no cut-off numerals, and it’s simply a very neatly designed watch.

I loved mixing up the watch with some of the other more modern pieces we had in for review, and it quickly stood out. The unique case profile, the beautiful dial colors, and the comfortable fit on my wrist make for simply a great chronograph in a style that we don’t see that often anymore.

While I had to get used to the lug profile, I started to greatly appreciate it after a couple of hours. And after a couple of days, my appreciation turned into love. Additionally, the watch feels very well made. This is evident, for instance, when operating the rectangular chronograph pushers. It is easy to use them once on the wrist, and they start, stop, and reset the chronograph with reassuring clicks.

Final thoughts about the Cuervo y Sobrinos Historiador Cronógrafo 1946

Overall, the Cuervo y Sobrinos Historiador Cronógrafo 1946 is a high-quality and, in my opinion, beautiful chronograph. But once again, I also realize that the classical style of the watch is an acquired taste. Cuervo y Sobrinos is a brand that creates watches with a ton of character, but you have to be a fan to appreciate them. I am one of those people. While not all of the brand’s watches are for me, this one is a winner.

As mentioned, 100 pieces of this model are available for a price of €3,900 each. That is a substantial amount of money that will allow you to pick from a variety of different chronograph options. None of them, however, will have the unique mid-century character that the Cronógrafo 1946 has. And that’s what makes this a standout pick in today’s wide world of watches. In fact, this model is probably my favorite watch from the brand so far. It’s even better than the Buceador Caribe with the navy-blue dial that I adore. So I must give my compliments to Cuervo y Sobrinos for this charming limited edition.

For more information, visit the official Cuervo y Sobrinos website. Let us know your thoughts on this vintage-inspired chronograph in the comments section.

Watch specifications

Historiador Cronógrafo 1946
Salmon with tobacco-brown sub-dials and polished Arabic numerals
Case Material
Stainless steel
Case Dimensions
40mm (diameter) × 51.5mm (lug-to-lug) × 12mm (thickness)
Dual-curved sapphire with AR coating
Case Back
Stainless steel with sapphire exhibition window
CYS 8123 — automatic chronograph, ETA 2094 base, 28,800vph frequency, 42-hour power reserve, 33 jewels
Water Resistance
5 ATM (50m)
Chocolate-brown Louisiana alligator with matte finish and butterfly clasp
Time (hours, minute, small seconds) and chronograph (30-minute counter, central seconds)
Special Note(s)
Limited to 100 pieces