In 2022, Swiss watchmaker Cuervo y Sobrinos debuted the first pieces in the Historiador Ernest Hemingway collection of watches. The Ernest Hemingway collection began with two simple limited-edition three-hand models to celebrate the famed American author. The success of the initial Hemingway timepieces allowed Cuervo y Sobrinos to develop more Ernest Hemingway models, including this 2023 Historiador Hemingway GMT “The Fisherman” Watch, as well as the Cuervo y Sobrinos Historiador Hemingway Iconico, which has a pointer date complication and comes in two dial colors. I will cover the Hemingway Iconico in another aBlogtoWatch article, and for now, I will focus on the Hemingway GMT “The Fisherman”, which is inspired by Ernest Hemingway’s famous novel, The Old Man And The Sea.

Why Cuervo y Sobrinos and Ernest Hemingway? That’s a good question, especially if you were one of the people seeing the watchmaker’s presence during “Hemingway Days” in Key West, Flordia — an annual event that has been going on for decades. Ernest Hemingway had a home in Key West, which is why the city at the southern-most end of Florida (and the United States) honors him. Hemingway also lived in Cuba for around 20 years. Havana, Cuba is where Cuervo y Sobrinos as a brand began. Ernest Hemingway often visited the Cuervo y Sobrinos store in Cuba, and it is known that he was someone who appreciated fine timepieces. This history encouraged the Cuervo y Sobrinos of today (no longer Cuban but very much tied to the Cuban and Latin heritage of the brand) to explore its legacy relationship with Hemingway and develop a modern, yet classically inspired, watch collection based on the Historiador model. This involves an official relationship between Cuervo y Sobrinos and the Hemingway Foundation which owns the rights to the author’s likeness, as well as Ernest Hemingway’s family. His grandson, for example, was an honored guest at Cuervo y Sobrinos’ activities in Key West around the Hemingway Days celebration this year.

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What helped the initial success of the Historiador Hemingway collection, and what continues to make these limited-edition models perform well in the market, is Cuervo y Sobrinos’ authorized dealer in Key West, a legacy family-owned jeweler known as Emeralds International. Cuervo y Sobrinos is actually the only wristwatch brand the store carries, which makes the relationship all the more interesting for Cuervo y Sobrinos. It is a good idea for the company to work closely with a retailer that has such an excellent connection with the local community, and that doesn’t already have showcases packed with competitor products.

The Historiador Hemingway GMT “The Fisherman” is the sportiest of the current Hemingway watches and is also the most expensive (but not by that much). For the money, the watch does come on both a Cordura fabric textile strap (in blue, of course) on a folding deployant clasp, as well as a steel metal bracelet. The strap and the bracelet come on quick-release spring bars, which makes it simple to swap between the two. The blue color palette of the watch is attractive, trendy, and still very conservative, meaning that it can go with many outfits and styles. While being blue doesn’t require additional justification, according to Cuervo y Sobrinos, the color relates to the ocean — and this watch is inspired by Hemingway’s love of the water and his famous book, The Old Man And The Sea. This and other Historiador Hemingway watches come in special “book style” packaging in mostly leather and wood, which is a nice presentation set.

At 40mm-wide and about 11.75mm thick with big lugs, the Historiador Hemingway GMT wears on the larger size but isn’t proportionally a huge watch. I really like how Cuervo y Sobrinos’ robusto lugs offer some added personality to what would otherwise be a mostly focused and utilitarian product. That is on purpose because even though this watch is meant to celebrate the world of Ernest Hemingway, it is supposed to be a good watch first (which is important). The case is water resistant to 100 meters with a slightly domed sapphire crystal over the dial. This domed crystal gives the watch a more high-end look but makes it challenging to photograph the watch dial and not get too much glare.

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Aside from the conspicuous “Ernest Hemingway” name on the dial, there are a few other subtle nods to the author on the watch, including the Marlin “H” Hemingway family logo – which, apparently, Hemingway conceived himself. You can find that H logo on the automatic movement’s rotor, which is visible through the sapphire crystal caseback. Not all Historiador Hemingway watches have display casebacks, and those that don’t just have larger versions of the Hemingway “H” logo in relief on the solid steel caseback. Another nod to Mr. Hemingway is a quote laser cut vertically into the inner steel peripheral ring around the dial. On this Historiador GMT “The Fisherman” watch (the text is different on other Hemingway watch versions), the quote reads: “Every day is a new day, it is better to be lucky.”

Powering the Historiador Hemingway GMT “The Fisherman” is a Swiss Made Soprod C125 automatic movement that Cuervo y Sobrinos calls its caliber CYS 8122. The C125 operates at 4Hz with two days of power reserve. It has a GMT module, which adds a 24-hour-based additional time zone to existing time and date complications. The dial layout is symmetrical, as well as very legible. It really helps that the design uses easy-to-see Panerai-font-style Arabic hour numeral markers along with matching legible and lumed hands. The blue dial itself has an attractive brushed metal texture that is later given the particular blue coloring. The polished fixed-position bezel has engraved 24-hour markers filled in with blue-colored lacquer paint.

What I like about this and other Hemingway pieces by Cuervo y Sobrinos is that the watches don’t need the Hemingway branding to be likable. They might be a bit on the sedate side without the story but are still very handsome and competent watches that with the Hemingway story collection offer enough personality to get people interested in a watch that will serve them well in a variety of situations. When taking into consideration the strong relationship Cuervo y Sobrinos has with its retailer in Key West, and the clear interest the market has for the Ernest Hemingway watches, it is likely that Ernest Hemingway watches by Cuervo y Sobrinos will continue to be a thing for a while to come. This Historiador Hemingway GMT “The Fisherman” is a handsome and capable sports watch with a cultural and decorative twist that makes it that much more fun to talk about and wear. As a limited edition of 288 pieces, the price for the reference 3192B.1B Cuervo y Sobrinos Historiador Hemingway GMT “The Fisherman” watch is $3,850 USD. Learn more at the Cuervo y Sobrinos website.

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