As defiantly eclectic as it is, the new Cuervo y Sobrinos Historiador Vuelo still makes quite a strong impression with its deliberately oversized stainless steel body and a dial that could make your eyes bleed if only it wasn’t matched so convincingly well to the energetic shape of the case. Clearly not designed according to the book that most Swiss-based watchmakers seem to live by, this new wristwatch may be a timekeeper of choice for a person who looks for something entirely different.
The new member of CyS’s gorgeous Historiador line of vintage-styled timekeepers has recently been joined by a new member. Presented last March at Baselworld 2015 event, the watch may surprise those who always referenced the collection to their more subdued, dressier models, like the 2012 Pequenos Segundos (Small Seconds) and the 2013 Flameante.
However, it is clear that the new watch tries to further develop the idea first presented in their earlier Historiador 3197 Cronotiempo model. Compared to the 3197, the Vuelo features a design language, which is more evolved and thus more sophisticated.
Although I certainly prefer the 3197 with its gorgeous off-white dial with blacked-out hands and numerals to this new variety that, to my taste, features too many colors, this is my personal opinion and I will try to keep it to myself making this brief review as unbiased as possible.
As I have already hinted, this new watch was designed for those looking for a sporty timekeeper with a nice vintage vibe to it. Compared to the 3197, the Historiador Vuelo features a more energetic dial layout with bright blue color of the wide sword-shaped hour and minute hands visually dominating the layout. Accented with strokes of red (too, very bright), they give the dial a lot more jovial expression. The watch just emanates that positive vibe that you actually expect from an artifact that never fails to reiterate that it was born on a pre-Communist Cuba: a Caribbean island that was previously associated with a relaxed, easy-going attitude towards everyday problems.
As sporty as it is, the watch is deliberately massive, which may seriously limit the number of sales since there are not so many men who would feel comfortable wearing such a beast on their wrists.
The timepiece is said to be powered by what they prefer to call Caliber CYS 8120 self-winding movement. Based on a time-proven ETA 2824-2 blank movement with Dubois-Depraz 30342 add-on module, the mechanism was previously used in their 2013 Cup 2013 Historiador Racing collection.
While the add-on module greatly expands functionality of a simple three-hander adding a bi-compax 30-minute chronograph and a 24-hour second time zone display, and, of course, an inevitable tachymeter, it also partly somewhat detracts from the movement’s fabled reliability and ease of servicing. With the total jewel count increased to 51 synthetic stones, it now has too many moving parts for you to sleep good at nights when the original warranty expires.
Also, the extra module contributed at least a couple of millimeters to the timepiece’s impressive thickness, although I have an impression that there is something deliberate about its size.
Case & Strap
Yes, the case is extremely bulky. Measuring 44 millimeters in diameter and immensely thick, it will take a great deal of space on your wrist. The fact that it is equipped with “historic” teardrop-shaped lugs that add close to a centimeter to its total lug-to-lug length of some 52 or 53 millimeters certainly doesn’t help making this device a better fit for a wider selection of men willing to shell around €3500 for this specimen.
However, physical dimensions aside, the case looks interesting enough to at least try one on a wrist. I can’t call it elegant, but, however exaggerated it is, the stainless steel body of this watch is well-sculpted and all of its elements seem to be well fitted together with the chronograph push-pieces, as well as the setting crown big enough to be easily manipulated by thick fingers.
The “Vuelo” inscription, which is engraved on the left side of the case near the corrector button across a machine-brushed decorative strip, is certainly a nice touch.
The strap with its combination of dark blue alligator leather and Alcantara is what worries me a little: while the synthetic material may make the strap a bit more comfortable to wear during a colder season, it may not feel as good during summer. You may actually want to change the part for a stainless steel bracelet.
Perhaps, the only thing that really disappoints me is the water resistance. Rated for just 30 meters, it is certainly not waterproof enough for a timekeeper that seems to be designed for a person who loves adventures more than he likes black tie events.
All things considered, the dial, too, leaves a good impression.
Yes, it is busy, but so is case with its complex shape and lots of elements stuffed together. It is not an example of perfect legibility with so many elements of different shapes and colors fighting for your attention, but that, too, seems to be a part of the general idea of a “deliberately complex” timekeeper.
Also, the blue hour and minute hands are large enough to be easily read at single brief glance, as is the date. As for the secondary time zone and the chronograph indicators, well, their function is what I called it: secondary. You rarely have to read GMT display while driving your Porsche 911 at 150 miles per hour on a winding mountain road.
Build Quality: 5/5
Overall Legibility: 3/5
Nighttime Legibility: 3/5
Value for Money: 4/5
Overall Rating: 4.5/5
Photos: Cuervo y Sobrinos
Cuervo y Sobrinos Historiador Vuelo specification
Price: CHF 4900
Movement: Automatic, Caliber CYS 8120 (base ETA 2824-2 with Dubois-Depraz 30342 module), Swiss Made
Number of jewels: 51
Movement frequency: 28,800 vph
Power reserve: 40 hours
Movement decoration: Decorated oscillating weight
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, date, chronograph, 24-hour GMT, tachymeter
Case material: Stainless steel
Bezel material: Matches case
Crown material: Matches case
Case shape: Round
Bezel shape: Round
Case size: 44.00 mm
Case height: No data
Lug width: No data
Numerals: Arabic, red
Hour markers: Applied
Hands: Blue, luminous
Water resistance: 30 meters
Strap: Blue alcantara and alligator leather strap with folding clasp
Crystal: Sapphire, antireflective, domed
Case back: Sapphire