How Cigars Became a Symbol of Luxury

Cigar insider Carlito Fuente on how a simple smoke transformed into a premium status symbol.

Robb Reports

BY RICHARD CARLETON HACKER

Carlos “Carlito” Fuente, Jr. is president of Tabacalera A. Fuente y Cia, the largest family-owned premium cigar company in the world. Headquartered in Santiago, Dominican Republic, they employ 4,000 people and produce 30 million cigars a year.

The company was founded in the United States in 1912 by Arturo Fuente, who came from Cuba and was eventually joined in the business by his son, Carlos Fuente, Sr., and then his grandson, Carlos Jr. (Carlito) and granddaughter Cynthia. At various times since the Cuban embargo, the Fuentes had factories in Puerto Rico, Nicaragua, and Honduras, often losing everything due to civil unrest. Finally, in 1980, they settled in the Dominican Republic.

Since then, Carlito Fuente has become the persona of the Fuente brand and with his late father, brought back many figurado shapes and introduced innovative blends. Entire rooms in their factories are dedicated to their most famous cigars, including the Don Carlos, Hemingway, and OpusX  – a cigar that revolutionized the industry by becoming the first successful all-Dominican puro.

Hublot Honor World’s Rarest Cigar With King Power Arturo Fuente

Luxury watchmakers Hublot have announced the creation of the King Power “Arturo Fuente”, a watch made in tribute to the Opus X, a cigar which connoisseurs have dubbed the rarest in the world.

The Opus X is no ordinary cigar, so you can be certain the King Power “Arturo Fuente” timepiece is just as extraordinary.  This limited edition timepiece will be delivered in a genuine cigar case of Macassar ebony and carbon which bears the Opus X and Hublot logos. Inside the case is a special edition of Arturo Fuente’s Opus X cigar. Arturo Fuente Sr. founded his eponymous company in 1912 in West Tampa, Florida. Today the brand is world-famous for their premium, hand-rolled cigars.

Only 100 pieces of the Gold version of the King Power “Arturo Fuente” will be produced, while the Ceramic version is limited to 200 pieces. Check out our exclusive gallery to see more views of this timepiece, as well as the limited-edition cigar case.

Arturo Fuente Cigars back in Nicaragua!

On Jan 26th, Carlito Fuente surprised those in attendance at Puro Sabor 2018 when he announced that “Carlito’s Back!” in Nicaragua. Having had a presence in the country in the 1970s, Arturo Fuente has returned to build a cigar factory in the heart of Esteli with the name “Gran Fabrica de Tabacos La Bella y La Bestia.” The concept of the colonial design, which is a tribute to Nicaragua, was created by Carlito and designed by Manny Iriarte. In addition, Carlito announced that Felix Mesa, an experienced tobacco man and owner of El Galan Cigars, will oversee operations at the new Fuente facility. Finally, Carlito shared his desire to bring to Nicaragua his United Nations-recognized Cigar Family Charitable Foundation, which has helped so many children in the Dominican Republic. Aside from Carlito, Felix and Manny, Liana Fuente was in attendance at the announcement representing the 4th generation of the Fuente family.

The People Behind the Cigars We Love

Robb Report AUGUST 28, 2014

During the 82nd annual International Premium Cigar & Pipe Retailers trade show held in Las Vegas in July, we had the opportunity to spend some quality time with the people who make some of the finest cigars in the world.

In the coming weeks, we’ll share with you the conversations that we had with those influential cigar makers, highlighting the passion that they have for their craft and their recommendations for cigar smokers who are looking to develop a discerning palate for quality tobacco. We won’t give away too much here, but what we will say is that from all of those conversations, one thing was made abundantly clear: Cigar making is an art form, one that—in most cases—has been passed down through multiple generations of a family, and one that remains a labor of love for all who excel at it.

This week’s video highlights the people behind the business of luxury cigars and features legends of the craft and newcomers to the trade.

Legendary Musician Arturo Sandoval receives two 2013 Latin Grammy Nominations

Los Angeles, CA —  Legendary musician Arturo Sandoval has been nominated for two 2013 Latin Grammy Awards: Album of the Year, Gian Marco’s Versiones (Producer)  and Best Traditional Tropical Album, Un Siglo De Pasión.(Dedicated to the 100 anniversary of the Fuente Family)  The award ceremony will take place on November 21, 2013. Go to www.latingrammy.com/es for more information.

A protégé of the legendary jazz master Dizzy Gillespie, Sandoval was born in Artemisa, a small town in the outskirts of Havana, Cuba, on November 6, 1949, just two years after Gillespie became the first musician to bring Latin influences into American Jazz.   Sandoval began studying classical trumpet at the age of twelve, but it didn’t take him long to catch the excitement of the jazz world.  He has since evolved into one of the world’s most acknowledged guardians of jazz trumpet and flugelhorn, as well as a renowned classical artist, pianist and composer.

He is one of the most dynamic and vivacious live performers of our time, and has been seen by millions at the Oscars performing with Celine Dion, at the Grammy Awards with Justin Timberlake and in his own right as a leader. He also performed at the Billboard Awards with Alicia Keys.

Sandoval has been awarded 9 Grammy Awards, and nominated 19 times; he has also received 6 Billboard Awards and an Emmy Award. The latter for his composing work on the entire underscore of the HBO movie based on his life, “For Love or Country” starring Andy Garcia.  His two latest Grammy award winning albums, “Dear Diz “Everyday I think of you” and Tango “Como Yo Te Siento” are now available worldwide. Soon to be released, is a new book chronicling his relationship with Dizzy Gillespie entitled “The Man Who Saved Me”.

Arturo Sandoval’s versatility can be heard on recordings with everyone from Dizzy Gillespie, Woody Herman, Woody Shaw, Michel Legrand, Bill Conti, and Stan Getz to Johnny Mathis, Frank Sinatra, Paul Anka, Rod Stewart and Alicia Keys amongst many others.  He has performed with John Williams with the Boston Pops, and in the Super bowl with Tony Bennett and Patti LaBelle.

Arturo Sandoval reaches beyond the scope of mere effort.  His struggles while in Cuba and since his defection have given him more energy and strength, urging him to accomplish and surpass his childhood dreams. Filled with a virtuoso capability, he desires nothing more than to share his gift with others who feel the same intense adoration for music as he does. One frequently speaks of Arturo Sandoval’s virtuoso technical ability or his specialty in high notes, but he who has seen him on the piano, lyrically improvising a ballad, or has had the opportunity to enjoy the diversity of his music, through his compositions from the most straight ahead jazz, Latin jazz or classical, knows that Arturo Sandoval is a prominent musician, and one recognizes that Arturo is one of the most brilliant, multifaceted and renowned musicians of our time.  This year Arturo will be receiving the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Obama.

For more information about Arturo Sandoval go to www.arturosandoval.com or call 818-453-5299