Time well spent

Vir­tuoz­ity part­ners with Vacheron Con­stantin to en­joy an evening full of fine food, top-level cigars and stun­ning time­pieces

Virtuozity - - EVENT -

Vir­tuoz­ity part­nered with famed watch­maker Vacheron Con­stantin in Oc­to­ber for a pri­vate watch col­lec­tors’ din­ner. Dur­ing the event, held at the Grand Hy­att Ho­tel, 16 watch col­lec­tors en­joyed a de­li­cious menu de­signed by Chef Ist­van of the ho­tel’s Man­hat­tan Grill restau­rant. Along with the sump­tu­ous food, on of­fer was a se­lec­tion of two high-end cigars, as well as a dis­play of some of the watch­maker’s finest time­pieces.

In terms of the watches, Vacheron Con­stantin dis­played its 260th An­niver­sary Lim­ited Edi­tion Col­lec­tion, as well as its Tra­di­tion­nelle World Time col­lec­tion. The 260th An­niver­sary col­lec­tion, dubbed Har­mony, fea­tures watches with a new

cush­ion shape, with a design in­spired by one of the com­pany’s first wrist­watches. Un­der­neath the new case, there are new, in-house-de­vel­oped cal­i­bres.

Apart from the new cush­ion shape, these watches are dis­tinc­tive be­cause of the en­grav­ing that can be found on all seven mod­els. On the back of the case, “260th An­niver­sary” is in­scribed, while the dif­fer­ent mod­els have var­i­ous iden­ti­fy­ing num­ber­ings en­graved in them as well.

The Tra­di­tion­nelle World Time col­lec­tion, mean­while, was launched in 2014 to much ac­claim. A sin­gle-crown world­timer, it shows ev­ery sin­gle time­zone on the planet—in­clud­ing the 24 full-hour time­zones, as well as the half-hour and quar­ter-hour time­zones. The time­piece also fea­tures a day/night in­di­ca­tor on top of a sap­phire crys­tal. Four mod­els are avail­able in this in­cred­i­ble col­lec­tion.

To match the in­cred­i­ble col­lec­tion of watches, the Man­hat­tan Grill pro­vided an ex­cep­tional menu. For starters, there was an op­tion of spinach and goat cheese, or Idaho potato cake. The mains brought the op­tions of an Aberdeen An­gus beef ten­der­loin, Nor­we­gian salmon, or wild mush­room and truf­fle gratin. For dessert, guests were treated to a clas­sic New York cheese­cake.

For the cigars, Vir­tuoz­ity or­gan­ised a tast­ing ses­sion that aimed to be as spe­cial as the watches on dis­play. For starters, guests sam­pled an ex­am­ple from the Padron 1964 An­niver­sary Se­ries.

This line was launched in 1994 to com­mem­o­rate Padrón Cigars’ 30th an­niver­sary. It con­sists of 11 sizes that are avail­able in sun-grown nat­u­ral and maduro wrap­pers.

All of the to­bac­cos used in this lim­it­ed­pro­duc­tion se­ries are aged for four years, which cre­ates a smooth and com­plex flavour. And, in a nod to the age- old Cuban tra­di­tion of box- press­ing cigars, the 1964 An­niver­sary Line was in­tro­duced as a box- pressed se­ries. And, as an anti- coun­ter­feit mea­sure, the cigars fea­ture a spe­cially de­signed dou­ble band fea­tur­ing an in­di­vid­u­ally num­bered guar­an­tee la­bel.

One of the most cel­e­brated from this line is the Im­pe­rial Maduro, com­ing in

with a ring gauge of 54 and a length of 152mm. The rare and ex­pen­sive stick rou­tinely scores more than 90% in the lead­ing cigar mag­a­zines, and with good rea­son. Even the way it looks makes it eas­ily iden­ti­fi­able, thanks to its box­pressed shape and very dark maduro wrap­per, which fea­tures few veins and a silky look. Mean­while, the con­struc­tion is al­ways one of the most praised parts of the Im­pe­rial, and the full-flavoured but not-over­pow­er­ing taste pro­file is highly re­garded among non-cuban fans.

The sec­ond cigar of the evening was the Parta­gas Serie E No. 2, one of the brand’s more re­cent cigars. A gen­uine ro­busto ex­tra, it’s not to be tri­fled with, but it’s cer­tainly a player in the world of afi­ciona­dos who en­joy a com­plex smoke.

Al­most rolled to per­fec­tion, the Serie E fea­tures a smooth and oily Rosado wrap­per, with no no­tice­able veins and lit­tle to com­plain about. The draw is easy, and the first puff re­veals strong notes of earth and wood, though it lacks that leath­ery taste that the brand usu­ally pro­vides. Ei­ther way, the full-bod­ied and creamy smoke will be enough for any afi­cionado to en­joy. The fin­ish is strong and pep­pery, though it’s not as spicy as you’d ex­pect.

In the sec­ond third, things be­come a lit­tle more com­plex, with cof­fee and grass en­ter­ing the fray along­side slight touches of flo­ral notes. It be­comes much stronger as you make your way down, and by the fi­nal third, things get a lit­tle harsh, with a pro­found spice at­tack­ing your throat and nico­tine pound­ing your blood­stream. This is a se­ri­ous cigar, in­deed, and is not for the faint of heart.

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