The market for collecting Cuban cigars is downright extensive: vintage cigars, limited editions, and also socalled jars get collectors’ hearts racing. However, here I want to dedicate myself to a number of humidors that have been manufactured since 2006 by Habanos S.A. These aren’t the customary table humidors that can meanwhile be found in the house of every cigar lover, but a series of special, noble humidors that have been manufactured based on a historical model for the worldwide collector’s market and are better known by the name Réplica de Humidor Antiguo (Replica Antique Humidor). The production of these exceptionally fine and particularly desired humidors is a Cuban tradition that dates back to the beginning of the 19th century. These humidors were made in the Fábrica Nacional de Envase de Tabacos (Cigar Packaging National Factory), not far from the center of Havana’s Luyanó neighborhood. In this factory, it wasn’t just the boxes for regular production that were made. Customers could order custom- designed, personalized items that were especially produced.
On the boxes, cases, and humidors, craftspeople especially trained for this delicate activity engraved the names and emblems of the clients.
The Replicas to Date
In 2006, Habanos S.A. launched the first Réplica de Humidor Antiguo, dedicated to the brand H. Upmann, on the collectors’ market. This humidor is the precise replica of an ancient humidor from the collection of Valerio Cornale, owner of the Casa del Habano on the Cayman Islands, Hombre Habano 2016, and great collector of antique cigar boxes and humidors, and also numerous Cuban cigar memorabilia. The Cuban craftsman Ernesto Aguilera only produced 200 of these special humidors. As well as the cigars, they contain a small booklet in which all the characteristics and the history of the humidor are described. The humidor contains 50 Grandes by H. Upmann, better known by the name Vitola de Galera Tacos Imperiales, with a 49 ring gauge and measuring 168 mm in length. This format was manufactured from the same brand in the Sixties and later removed from the catalog.
In 2007, Habanos S.A. dedicated the second edition of the ancient humidor to the favorite brand of many passionados – namely Partagás. This one is the reproduction of a Partagás humidor from the first decade of the 20th century. From this edition, also only 200 numbered humidors were produced. They contained 50 Sobresalientes made from tobaccos from the Vuelta Abajo region, measuring 153 mm in length and with a ring gauge of 53.
In 2008, another historic Habanos S.A. brand was next: the Romeo y Julieta, founded in about 1850 and registered in 1873, which, around 1950, specialized in the production of the particularly attractive Figurado format. The third edition of the Humidor Antiguo series, which, as mentioned, was dedicated to the brand Romeo y Julieta, subsequently contained 50 Romeos measuring 162 mm, with a 52 ring gauge. Of this humidor, 250 numbered examples were made from cedar and mahogany. As with the earlier edition of this series, these humidors were also crafted by the Cuban artist Ernesto Aguilera. The Romeos format was manufactured until the early Seventies; later it appeared again in a special humidor in the year 2000, produced on the occasion of the brand’s 125th anniversary.
The fourth edition was dedicated to Montecristo, another historical cigar brand, and consisted of a wonderful humidor containing 50 Double Coronas (194 mm and a 49 ring gauge). Habanos S.A. had an ever increasing number of humidors produced by the Cuban artist Aguilera that were exclusively sold in La Casa del Habano. Consequently, once the Montecristo replica was introduced on the market, only 350 humidors for the worldwide collectors’ market were manufactured.
After 2010, no more new humidors from this series appeared; in 2011 a beautiful special humidor, dedicated to the brand Hoyo de Monterrey was launched. This edition also saw the production of 350 units, which each contained 50 Monterreys. The Vitola de Galera of these cigars (194 mm, ring gauge 55) was the Maravillas No. 1. This format had never been manufactured by Hoyo de Monterrey. In the Sixties, the brand Alfred Dunhill commissioned Cubatabaco to produce a cigar in limited numbers, which had the Parejo format (length 230 mm, ring gauge of 55). It was exclusively sold in individual cases called Maravillas.
In 2012, the Parejo, dedicated to the brand Ramón Allones, was launched, which was manufactured based on the historical example of a Ramón Allones humidor of the early 20th century. It contained several Coronas Inmensas that belonged to collector Miguel Cabrera. Inside this replica, of which likewise 350 were made, were 50 Imperiales, measuring 165 mm in length, with a ring gauge of 48. The Vitola de Galera is called Partagás 15.
The next humidor of this series was dedicated to the brand H. Upmann and made in 2014 – with an impressive cigar, the Supremas No. 2, a Double Figurado, reminiscent of the historical Butifarra format from a British catalog of the year 1935 (125 mm, ring gauge 55). The cigars contained in the humidor are, however, larger, measuring 180 mm, with a ring gauge of 55. This humidor, produced for the first time in an edition of 450 units, had 50 cigars.
In the year 2015, the last humidor of this series was launched (even if one had to wait until 2016 to purchase it). To celebrate one of the important jubilees, namely 170 years of Partagás, the Partagás 170 Aniversario Réplica Antigua humidor was presented. This also saw the production of 450 units, each containing 50 cigars of the Vitola de Galera Partagás 170, measuring 170 mm in length with a ring gauge of 56. This cigar had a special anniversary cigar ring made for it, which is embellished with both the brand name as well as the inscription, 170 Aniversario.
This article was published in the Cigar Journal Spring Edition 2018. Read more