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Known as the “Pearl of the Caribbean”, at the end of the 19th century, Havana became a centre for refined good living and luxury.

Intellectuals, adventurers and businessmen, as well as the “crème de la crème” of high society came to the city to enjoy the parties and exciting social scene unfolding in spectacular homes, lavish hotels, casinos, streets and gardens.


The wonderful atmosphere, the glamour and the exquisitely international feel made Havana into an exceptional and exclusive place. In this select climate of sophistication, Armando Rio y Cuervo with the help of his family, managed his uncle Ramon Cuervo’s jewelery and watchshop, hence the name Cuervo y Sobrinos (Cuervo and Nephews). Their skill and dedication brought great success and the business thrived. In the spring of 1882, the family opened the “La Casa” boutique on Havana’s prestigious Fifth Avenue. In less than half a century, the combination of the quality of its products and the brand’s Latin spirit made it so famous that Cuervo y Sobrinos decided to extend its production network. Three offices were opened at different nerve centres in Europe: Pforzheim, Germany, where the precious stones are chosen, in the heart of Paris in the Rue Melzay, where the most prestigious pieces of jewellery are made and, in Switzerland, where the company founded its own factory in La Chaux-de-Fonds, a place where nearly all watchmaking creations are still born. Over these years, as well as their own creations, Cuervo y Sobrinos distributed and sold the most important brands in global watchmaking.

The family achieved such renowned that some of these great watchbrands sold in their stores, decided to engrave the Cuervo y Sobrinos name on thedials of their watches. Throughout the years a loyal clientele from the international world of literature, science, film, entertainment and politics frequented the boutique when they visited the island; personalities such as Hemingway, Neruda, Gable, Churchill, Einstein and countless other celebrities from the era.

Restaurant interiors

LA CASA AT CAPOLAGO, Cuban tradition on the shores of Lake Lugano

Decades ago, an impressive late 19th century villa facing Lake Lugano was converted into Cuervo y Sobrinos’ International Sales office and Production centre. This place, the heart of the Brand, has been named “La Casa”, in memory of the original old shop in Havana. The décor is inspired by the style which reigned in Cuba at the start of the 1900s, with wooden furniture in warm, exotic shades. The top floor, with completely glassed-in walls, houses the production area, offering the master watchmakers splendid views over the lake.

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