Emperador – The One Million Dollar Cigar Humidor by Imperiali
We often get asked – What’s the craziest thing we’ve ever seen in the watch industry, or what’s the most valuable thing we’ve ever held in our hands or took pictures of? While the ‘most valuable’ is a very tough thing to determine with so many watches and creations worth a mililon dollars or more nowadays, we can definitely tell you what the most insane product we’ve ever seen is… In this post we’re going to tell you all about it.
Founded just 2 years ago Imperiali Geneve is a new brand in the luxury market, and they decided to launch bigger and louder than any other company we’ve seen out there. Stephane and David, the two minds behind Imperiali thought it would be a good idea to re-invent the way (wealthy) people smoke, and after several years of research, development and design they came up with a revolutionary product – the ‘Emperador’ cigar chest.
Not your average humidor, it features a tourbillon clock, a safe system activated by the passcode entry, power reserve, temperature and humidity indicators, its own cutter, lighter and ashtray, and most importantly (wait for it) its own humidity system.
While all other things we listen aren’t really breakthroughs in today’s world but more of luxury accessories, this self-regulating humidity system developed by Imperiali is the next big step for all cigar aficionados. The owner of this chest wouldn’t be required to put water inside, open it up, check the level of humidity manually because everything is done by Emperador itself.
The humidor features 24 fine cigars. The blend was carefully selected out of hundreds of different possible variations by the owners and long time friends David Pasciuto and Stephane Nazzal. We tried a couple, they are indeed great cigars. However you forget any other cigar you’ve smoked before because these 24 beauties are also wrapped in 4 layers of real gold. It gives the cigar a big or a chocolate taste and makes the ash look like you’re actually smoking gold. For now the only way you can get more of those cigars is by getting the box first, but we’re guessing the demand might be too high on them for the brand to resist selling them on their own
Emperador will also tell you how many cigars are left in the chest in the third aperture window above the safe system. That is quite helpful, as each cigar is worth around $1’200 and you wouldn’t want to smoke them too quickly.
After talking to Stephane and David we’ve learnt that each box takes about 18’000 hours of work and requires 27 different skills to be finished. That makes the production numbers extremely small, with only 12 boxes that are going to be created in the first year. As ‘Emperador’ is quite fascinating from every aspect we’ve decided to take a look at each of its elements, starting (obviously) with the watch. Made entirely by hand it was created by Fabrice Thuler, watchmaker from Swiss Jura. Composed of over 300 parts it features a subtle but beautiful guilloche dial and a 60 second tourbillon, with a power reserve of 80 hours. What’s interesting here though is the mechanics – it is the very first tourbillon in the world to have a constant automated winding system built into the watch with torque detection that allows the tourbillon to beat 24/7 365 days a year without any human interference!
Surrounding the tourbillon is the already mentioned safe system that prevents your underaged kids from smoking your cigars while you’re at work. Jokes aside though we have no idea why there is a safe system, but it definitely looks awesome and gives the whole thing a very Bond-like spin. To open it up the owner has to tap on the right letters of the text ‘IMPERIALI’. That will make the gears turn and the top of the box will slowly open up.
Now having the box is cool, but wouldn’t you also love to have the matching lighter, cutter and ashtray? – Is what David and Stephane probably thought and decided to gear ‘Emperador’ with its own accessory table that you can open up by tapping on another button inside the humidor. Let’s start with the first thing you’d do after opening up your cigar – cutting. Emperador’s cutter offers cutting edge technologies (no pun intended), and as you insert the cigar inside it the only thing you need to do is tap. The cutter will determine what length is there to cut and show it to you with a red laser.. A red laser, Carl!!! Then you can obviously adjust it manually and cut with a double guillotine, or choose the second mode where a hole is punched in the cigar (using some kind of sorcery).
After the cigar is cut we can use Emperador’s own and very strong lighter, and during the smoke we can ash it in its own ashtray, which features a very cool aperture that will only open up when it senses the cigar nearby.
We’ve probably shown you everything there is to show about the ‘Emperador’ and chances are you know the price now after reading the article’s title but we’ll just say it again anyway – this is indeed a One Million Dollar Cigar Humidor. At first we were quite skeptical about the product actually being worth that much, but after seeing the box live, playing with it, experiencing the whole process of smoking a gold wrapped cigar, we have absolutely no doubt – this is the thing to buy if you have a million bucks to spend.
First few boxes are already pre-sold, and the very first deliveries are going to be by end of January.
Photography by James Cole of WatchAnish.com