back to top

The Million-Dollar, Watchmaking-Inspired Imperiali Genève Emperador Cigar Chest

The Million-Dollar, Watchmaking-Inspired Imperiali Genève Emperador Cigar Chest Luxury Items

On the surface, the union of cigars and timekeeping is rather ‎contradictory — cigars, ideally accompanied by a whisky, Cognac, or at least espresso, have been an archetypal leisure activity for the past five centuries, one that should ideally be enjoyed in the company of companions and punctuated by spirited conversation, with the constraints of a ticking clock overhead going unnoticed. With that in mind, the $1 million Imperiali Genève Emperador cigar chest should be regarded more as an extravagant horological objet d’art, and less as a cigar humidor — though it certainly is one, in a Q-Branch sort of way.

The Million-Dollar, Watchmaking-Inspired Imperiali Genève Emperador Cigar Chest Luxury Items

Let’s take a momentary step back: Fine handcrafted cigar humidors — constructed of exotic woods, their exteriors often embellished with marquetry designs or, at the very least, hand-rubbed lacquer finishes, their interiors lined with Spanish cedar — are, while not commonplace, plentiful considering the number of foliumphiles (“lovers of the leaf,” or cigar lovers) worldwide. Prominent humidor makers and purveyors that come immediately to mind are Alfred Dunhill of London (perhaps the best-known), David Linley of London, Elie Bleu de Paris, Davidoff of Geneva, and Michel Perrenoud de La Chaux-de-Fonds. Both Dunhill and Perrenoud have produced humidors (table lighters too, in Dunhill’s case) with clocks incorporated into the design, though hydrometers and thermometers are far more de rigueur.

The Million-Dollar, Watchmaking-Inspired Imperiali Genève Emperador Cigar Chest Luxury Items

Prior to the Imperiali Genève Emperador cigar chest, the Michel Perrenoud “Temps d’un Cigare” was the most notable timekeeping cave à cigare. Perrenoud himself was based in the Swiss watchmaking town of La Chaux-de-Fonds; the original family concern produced wooden presentation watch boxes. Although he retired and the firm closed in 2009, new old-stock Temps d’un Cigare — in which the humidor was very much the focus, which came in black or red mahogany and which featured a clock set into the lid — can still be acquired online and at fine tobacconists around the world. Regardless, the Temps d’un Cigare is at best a training-wheels humidor compared to the technological wonderment of the Imperiali Genève Emperador, which seamlessly blends mechanics and electronics.

The Million-Dollar, Watchmaking-Inspired Imperiali Genève Emperador Cigar Chest Luxury Items

This exclusive cigar chest (annual production will be set at 12 units) dovetails nicely with Imperiali Genève’s credo that it is “much more than a brand; it is an art of living.” Hard to argue with that, considering the Imperiali Genève Emperador is a seven-figure humidor featuring a selection of 24-karat gilded cigars (yes, you read that right), a laser-guided guillotine cigar cutter, and an elegant torch lighter and matching ashtray, all housed in a secret compartment in the box’s below-deck hull.

The Million-Dollar, Watchmaking-Inspired Imperiali Genève Emperador Cigar Chest Luxury Items

The Emperador’s lid can be opened only after an unlocking code is entered, and the alphanumeric keypad surrounds an Imperiali flying tourbillon. Comprising 323 components, this hand-wound clock is produced by a master watchmaker in the Swiss Jura, and offers exceptional finishes such as a delicate “Clous de Paris guilloché” dial.


The Million-Dollar, Watchmaking-Inspired Imperiali Genève Emperador Cigar Chest Luxury Items

Inside you’ll find the full clock and three gauges displaying, in real time, the relative humidity and temperature (preset to 70 percent humidity and 60°F (if you prefer wetter and warmer, you can set them yourself), the power reserve and the number of cigars remaining in your inventory. Naturally, the cigars inside must be the best of the best, the rarest of the rare. And while the gilded cigars are ostentatiously cute and kitschy, vintage Davidoff Dom Pérignons or Cohiba 40th Anniversary Behikes seem more appropriate (though the Behikes come housed in their own Elie Bleu).

The Million-Dollar, Watchmaking-Inspired Imperiali Genève Emperador Cigar Chest Luxury Items

For the same $1,000,000 price as the Imperiali Genève Emperador cigar chest, you could likely acquire a La Casa del Habano and Davidoff of Geneva franchise, or purchase the entire inventory inside one. So while the Emperador is a remarkable, even commendable, achievement, if you have a spare million burning a hole in your pocket, you could alternately go buy a Greubel Forsey double tourbillon, 10 Oettinger-Davidoff humidor cabinets, a lightly used copy of Min Ron Nee’s An Illustrated Encyclopedia of Post-Revolution Havana Cigars… then spend the remaining $400,000 filling up the cabinets. (While you’re at it, pick up a few bottles of A.E.D’Or Reserve No. 6 and 8 and Hibiki 30.) After all that, you’ll have just enough money left for a nice steak dinner and a postprandial cigar.

Aaron Sigmond is the founding editor of Smoke Magazine and The Cigar Report, as well as the author of PLAYBOY: The Book of Cigars, an bestseller, and the forthcoming Rizzoli title, DRIVE TIME: Watches Inspired by Automobiles, Motorcycles, and Racing.



Disqus Debug thread_id: 4421071453

  • wallydog2

    How many cancer cells does $1000,000 buy?

    • Just think about how many it could treat…

  • Marius

    For $1 Million, you could also buy a nice villa in Rome, which would be a much better place to store your cigars in.

    • DanW94

      If you’re purchasing this for a million bucks, I’m guessing you already have your vacation home situation in order…..

  • 200 Fathoms


  • DanW94

    A flying tourbillon in a million dollar cigar chest? I love it!! Conspicuous consumption is alive and well. (Don’t know if Cuban cigars are legal to purchase yet, but people will need something to keep their Montecristo’s in)

  • Right, now I need to sell the house (and kids) so I can have a wooden box with cancer sticks. A fool and his money….


    1 million bucks + lung cancer = a winner for sure…………not

  • BrJean

    Is it suitable for cooking?

    • Krystoph Roric

      Cuba? Why yes, but you must tenderize it first.

  • IanE

    No thanks – the yacht must come first!

    • Omegaboy

      I have to finish paying for my emerald-studded iPad.

  • Ulysses31

    It’s funny and just a bit tragic that a product rolled by a poor old woman in a Cuban sweatshop is housed in such an opulent manner. In the West, cigars have better accommodation than human beings in Cuba. I bet Arnie would love one of these things. Gotta keep those smokey little coffin-nails in peak condition; shame they won’t return the favour. Rich people don’t get cancer, right? RIGHT?!

    • SuperStrapper

      There is all kinds of stuff wrong with Cuba, just like countries like Canada, the UK, and so on, but you should go visit Cuba. It is a beautiful place, and the people are not desperate.

    • Boogur T. Wang

      Oh…Lets all look! A Canadian SJW in full plumage!

      • Ulysses31

        Oh look, a degenerate retard in full plumage! You’re a few thousand miles off course there, asshole. Get your information about someone straight before insulting them – and expect insults in return.

        • Boogur T. Wang

          Beautiful plumage!

          • Krystoph Roric

            – Damn! You rustled those feather quick! (which triggered me, so now I’m hiding in my safe space!)

          • Boogur T. Wang

            SJWs never sleep.
            They just cower…and ‘stew.’

    • Krystoph Roric

      Why do you assume the woman who rolls the cigars to be old and poor? Or in an unhappy condition in any manner? I think that’s pretty bigoted of you. Have you ever even been to Cuba, or the Dominican Republic to see how these workers live? If you think this mechanical contraption is a disgusting show of opulence, and symbol of oppression, you just might be on the wrong website. No one here likely cares about your feelings on the inequality of wealth, or it’s distribution around the world. These forums are not for your political exploitation. Lastly, I have yet to meet an American who isn’t guilty of the exploitation of third world workers. At least indirectly, by purchasing cheap consumer goods. World keeps spinning man.

      • Ulysses31

        You know, I wasn’t trying to make any kind of political point at all with my initial comment. That he felt the need to insult me because he misunderstood my intentions angered me and I responded. I was making a point about how idiotic we are as fellow “WIS”, that we would happily pay so much for something that isn’t even required. The same kind of craziness applies to the world of fine cigars. This humidor is completely over-engineered to the point of it being quite laughable. It was meant to be a light-hearted, perhaps even amusing comment – something which I often do on this blog if you’ve been following it for the last several years. You are a new name here so are probably not familiar with the way I post. Don’t compound his error by making one of your own. I realise that the political climate these days is highly charged but that doesn’t warrant attacking someone because you don’t understand the intent with which something was said.

      • And U31 does not live in America.

        • Krystoph Roric


      • socrates35

        How about addressing the cancer issue also raised? What’s your spin on that one now?

  • DanW94

    I’m a bit surprised at some of the cigar bashing below. Obviously we’re all aware of the dangers and I don’t smoke cigarettes or cigars, but who hasn’t enjoyed a cigar with friends at some special moment or get together in their life? I’m not saying you have to be a 15-20 cigar a month smoker, but one on the rare occasion with a nice drink and good company is enjoyable.

    • Shinytoys


  • Boogur T. Wang

    Is this a “sponsored post” ?

    • Sarthak Sharma

      Doesn’t look like it. Usually it says “Sponsored Post” under the title where the author’s name should be. Here, we have an author so I’m assuming it’s just a regular info post.

  • *WOOF* I have to say, it looks really nice.

  • I_G

    Only $1m ? Meh, this is for low ballers.

    • Krystoph Roric

      Exactly. I wouldn’t even let the riff-raff who’d use something like this into our home!

  • Drop files here or
    Accepted file types: jpg, png.