CARLOS P. FUENTE Jr - PRESIDENT OF THE FUENTE COMPANIES
W4watch : People often say that the Watchmaking & Car industries are cousins.
I discovered that the way your company is doing Cigars is also quite close/similar.
Am i right?
CARLOS P. FUENTE Jr. : Honestly, we can't speak about the future without paying tribute to the past. Time is the most important element of cigars. Our family tradition, our history and like Watchmaking, our models has been produced for many many years. "We will never watch the hands of time"
Time is the only precious/priceless element that you cannot purchase or own. Time is something that is very important in Cigar making.
How do you see the future?
We are the best Cigars just like the best timepieces. Precious to those who appreciate the very very best in life. Cigars are going to become one of the most rarest commodities and possessions of luxury items that exist in the world because there are very few families left in the world of hand making cigars. We are putting every leaf together! Each herbs and spices like the greatest chefs. It's like watches with all those little particles that look like Gold dust. They're so small that you can't see them with human eyes. You know, how they put together springs and gears and all these different things to make a timepiece. That will last for generations!
Cigars : Every puff, every cigar enjoyed will also last for a long time because there's some memory. What you want to do is to capture memories. The best cigars in the world will always capture a moment! I see a bright future for my children.
I am very blessed to be in this wonderful world and we're honored. We have a great responsibility as being the oldest Cuban family in the handmade cigar business or Handmade Cigar World. I don't even like to call it "business" because it's my Life, it's my History, it's my DNA.
Could you elaborate why the word "Business" is not appropriate?
I don't like to call it “business” because it's about Family. I see that my children have a great opportunity and responsibility. Much more than I ever had! You know, the people who enjoy our products are an extension of our family.
HUBLOT is also an extension of your family, right?
There's something that binds us all together: The appreciation of the finest things in life but not the product directly. It's through the bondage of those that have a similar love for these great luxury products that bring us together for a good conversation. A "Community", that’s what it is.
I travel a lot and for instance when i go through TSA securities and they look at my watch and say:
I have owned other watches, some of the most famous names in the world. Nobody's ever mentioned me the name but when you have a Hublot, you're part of a Community.
Is the "Community" thing, the same within Cigars aficionados?
It's the same with our cigars! Our family name. We're a community and i think that one of the greatest fusions that has taken place in the last years, it's “Time” with a great Hublot watch and our cigars. I'm really thrilled of our relationship and I pay the highest respect and gratitude to Hublot.
How did it all started ?
I think someone heard how much i love cheese so... (laugh). It wasn't something that was decided overnight. A discussion took place, maybe a year or more. Like everything, we were both very cautious but you know, when you meet someone and you build a friendship/relationship, it's like a romance. First there's a dating and then the marriage.
In a relationship, there is also the "feeling" factor...
You know, it's more than a relationship. They are human, they are creative, there is Magic! When they started speaking to me about their social responsibility, giving back, the things they do for all the kids all over the world, that's where actually our relationship bonded because i also have a charity for children and i realized that they're of course, great business people (probably the most amazing brand in the last 20 years) but they also have a heart.
Your company manufactures products. It must be a huge challenge?
The flavors i bring are the same flavors that are felt in the heart of someone who wears a Hublot. We have so many similarities; our philosophies are so much the same. I've always said: It's not about cigars. It's about the people.
We are lucky to have your son (Carlos A. Fuente) with us tonight so i would like
to have few words from him.
Could you tell us your story and how you see the future?
CARLOS A. FUENTE : Ever since i was little, i've been inside the factory/industry and to see what my family has created is something that to me is the most beautiful thing in the world because i see the passion that my family has for what we do. At the moment, i want to very much learned from my dad and follow his steps (also, my grandfather steps) into bringing the industry to new heights.
Thank you, Gentlemen.