An iconic watchmaker, Cuervo y Sobrinos, will launch a special-edition collection of Hemingway-inspired watches at a release party with Emeralds International jewelry store Friday, July 21 at 5 p.m. at the San Carlos Institute in Key West. CONTRIBUTED

History, literature, adventure and style combine Friday, July 21 at the San Carlos Institute on Duval Street, where a watchmaking company that started in Havana, Cuba in the 1800s will release three special-edition watches inspired by and dedicated to Ernest Hemingway.

The watch company, Cuervo y Sobrinos, counted the American author among its regular customers while he lived in Cuba.

After making his mark on Key West in the 1930s, Hemingway lived and wrote in Cuba from 1939 to 1960, often with a watch made by Cuervo y Sobrinos around his left wrist.

The company, now based in Switzerland, “produces luxury watches inspired by the brand’s spiritual homeland of Havana. Many of Cuervo y Sobrinos’ timepieces feature retro styling and echo the vibrant hues of the Cuban capital.”

In partnership with the local fine jewelry store, Emeralds International, which will sell the watches exclusively in Key West, Cuervo y Sobrinos will host a launch party from 5 to 7 p.m. at the San Carlos Institute of Cuban history on Duval Street. 

The Cuervo y Sobrinos company last year honored the founder of Emeralds International, Manuel Marcial de Gomar, with its annual Latino Award that honors Latin figures who have achieved international success in their respective fields. De Gomar was a Spanish-American businessman and gem expert with a hugely successful career in the South American emerald mining industry. The company created a watch inspired by de Gomar — in an emerald green hue.

The latest watch launch will celebrate Hemingway, with its release occurring during Key West’s Hemingway Days festival. The legendary author’s grandson, John Hemingway, will be in attendance at the launch party.

Author Ernest Hemingway was a longtime customer of Cuervo y Sobrinos watchmakers, which was founded in Cuba in the 1800s and is now based in Switzerland. CONTRIBUTED

“Hemingway spent more than 20 years in Cuba and deeply loved the country for its Latin identity, the same identity that pervades and animates Cuervo y Sobrinos watches,” states a press release. “The Cuervo y Sobrinos models are the first Swiss watches to be officially licensed by Hemingway Limited, an organization dedicated to this immense literary figure. “Hemingway lived in Cuba at ‘Finca Vigia’ for 20 years (from 1939 to 1960) and enjoyed his time in his Caribbean refuge. While residing in Cuba, the literary giant often visited the Cuervo y Sobrinos boutique. Now, the watch brand known for its Latin soul has chosen to honor the American writer, a longtime and loyal customer of the company, with a new series of watches produced in collaboration with Hemingway Limited.” 

The Historiador Hemingway collection includes three watches: the “Icónico” model that is offered in two color variants and the GMT model called “The Fisherman.” 

Cuervo y Sobrinos’ creative team selected vintage-inspired shades for the first model, such as soft cream and tobacco tones, colors that surely surrounded Hemingway during his Cuban sojourn. 

For “The Fisherman,” the creative inspiration is related to one of Hemingway’s loves: the infinite love for the sea; this model is meant to be an homage to “The Old Man and the Sea.” Watch and literature lovers can choose between cream or brown dials, both in a limited edition timepiece.

Each watch in the Historiador Hemingway collection will be supplied with special packaging. Cuervo y Sobrinos has designed a limited series of elegant leather watch boxes, reminiscent of the shape of a book, that can be used as a watch case, and can be slipped into the bookcase.

Mandy Miles drops stuff, breaks things and falls down more than any adult should. An award-winning writer, reporter and columnist, she's been stringing words together in Key West since 1998. "Local news is crucial," she says. "It informs and connects a community. It prompts conversation. It gets people involved, holds people accountable. The Keys Weekly takes its responsibility seriously. Our owners are raising families in Key West & Marathon. Our writers live in the communities we cover - Key West, Marathon & the Upper Keys. We respect our readers. We question our leaders. We believe in the Florida Keys community. And we like to have a good time." Mandy's married to a saintly — and handy — fishing captain, and can't imagine living anywhere else.