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