I recently had the opportunity to meet Sassoun Sirmakes, founder and CEO of Cvstos at an intimate dinner for watch collectors at The Forge restaurant on Miami Beach. Even as a watch collector, the Cvstos brand was relatively unknown to me, so I was very much looking forward to this gathering as an excellent way to be formally introduced to the brand.
Although it launched only a mere six years ago, the brand has an impressive lineup of watches. Every model has an open dial design which allows you to see the beauty of the detailed movement.
At first glance it appears to be a skeleton dial, but upon closer inspection you can see that the collection has a clear sapphire dial and exhibition back. This is a hallmark of the brand and a design which allows even greater visibility of the movement than a skeleton dial. The look of Cvstos timepieces is similar in appearance to a Richard Mille, but with a sportier look and price.
My personal favorite was the particularly striking Challenge Jet-Liner, Limited Edition Carbon Red Gold, a Tonneau-shaped, (53.7mm x 41mm) in Titanium, Red Gold and lacquered carbon case. On this model (pictured above) you can see the Arabic numbers applied directly on the clear sapphire dial. Functions include hour, minute, and seconds in the center with a date disc that is skeletonized. Details are everywhere, like the polished titanium screws which attached the carbon watch strap and the unique folding clasp and buckle. With the combination of red gold and carbon fiber, it’s an extremely elegant yet sporty watch.
The crowd favorite was on Sirmakes’ wrist; the Challenge Tourbillon Yachting Club, a tonneau shaped (53.7mm X 41mm) in platinum. This watch features a totally in-house caliber CVSTOS CVS 2600CY, hand wound, openwork flying tourbillon movement, with a 60 hour power reserve. The dial features an hour, minute and “3 X 20 Seconds” indicator; and building on the yachting theme, the movement has a wood inlaid baseplate. Total production is limited to 25 pieces.
As an aficionado of fine Italian automobiles, I would be remiss if I did not mention the collaboration between Pagani Automobili S.p.a. and Cvstos. The Pagani Zonda still remains my favorite of the recent Italian supercars.
So much so that I visited the Pagani factory in Modena in 2010 and toured with Horacio Pagani his manufacturing facility and design center; all in a rather modest building considering that it handcrafts approximately 20 cars per year, each selling for in excess of $1Million.
Side note – later that year I was able to help connect Pagani with one of my corporate law clients who is now the distributor of Pagani in the San Francisco Bay Area. Funny how things work out sometimes.
Cvstos partnered with Pagani to make the Zonda F Chrono, a watch true to the Pagani heritage. The now sold out Zonda F Chrono had an extremely limited production of only 50 pieces (25 titanium and 25 red gold). The dial features a chrono, power-reserve indicator and date function, on an automatic calibure. Details of the automobile are evident in the case design.
See the quad exhaust feature at the 9 o’clock and the mesh grill design on the side of the tonneau-shaped (53.70mm X 41mm) polished and satin-finished titanium case. Other details include the Zonda F logo on the case between the lugs and the Zonda design elements on the strap and clasp. The result is one of the most elegant watches that Cvstos has manufactured; if you can find one. Like the Zonda F automobile, these watches were produced in extremely limited numbers and typically sell in the secondary market for more that their original retail price.
Cvstos is a relatively new brand that is off to a strong start. They are well designed, with extensive attention to details, yet versatile enough to be worn both as sport and dress watches. I look forward to their future offerings.
Photos courtesy Cvstos.