Imperiali The world’s most expensive humidor
In the first of what promises to be a series of truly exceptional luxury products, Imperiali Genève presents a magnificent Swiss Made humidor.
Savouring a fine single malt and smoking a fine cigar are two popular ephemeral activities among gentlemen. But much as a single malt is carefully conditioned in barrels of different provenance to give it its unique flavour, a fine cigar must be kept at a constant humidity and temperature for it to preserve its aroma.
Having failed to find the world’s most exclusive cigar for a client several years ago, two young Swiss entrepreneurs decided to make it themselves. But before that they embarked upon the even more ambitious task of developing the most amazing humidor in which to keep them. Thousands of hours of work, culminating in several international patents and 2,675 high-quality components have produced what is undeniably a work of art and will be available to just twelve lucky customers per year at a price of one million Swiss francs.
Mechatronics at its heart
No matter what the price, the primary function of any humidor is to maintain a constant temperature and humidity inside in order to preserve the cigar. Imperiali has developed the world’s first self-regulating humidity system, which requires neither water nor any human intervention. It guarantees a constant humidity level of 70% and a temperature of between 16 and 18 degrees Celsius, irrespective of the conditions outside the box.
Aside from its intrinsic function, however, the Imperial humidor comes with three integrated accessories that turn the moment of savouring a cigar with friends into a ceremony. It starts with cutting the cigar: a separate cutting module can be removed from the humidor and can be used to cut the cigar using a guillotine or to perforate it like a cigar punch. A series of motors open the cutting slot to allow the cigar to be inserted and grasped before the appropriate cutting method and length is selected. A laser beam then indicates the length of the cut before the cigar is cut and the clippings are ejected.
The next stage in the ceremony, and the real ritual for any cigar smoker, is lighting the cigar. Forget the tricky process of holding a lighter up to the cigar with it in your mouth for a certain period (too short and the cigar will not release its full aroma; too long and the leaves will burn too quickly and destroy the aroma) and instead savour the moment as the three tiny gas rings produce the perfect flame on demand.
There is no need to search for an ashtray either, since this is the third accessory. Its lid remains fimly closed until the cigar approaches it. Proximity sensors detect its approach and trigger an electric motor that opens a diaphragm, allowing the ash to be collected. It can be emptied from a removable tray and reacts only to the presence of the cigar, not to individual flecks of ash.
Not complete without the world’s most precious cigar
The cigars in the world’s most prestigious humidor have been specially developed by Imperiali. They come not from Cuba, as you might think, but from the fertile plantations of the Jamastran Valley in South Honduras and the Jalapa Valley of northern Nicaragua and are produced by Cuban emigrants. The leaves are aged for four years before being carefully processed to create the Grand Cru of cigars. As a finishing touch, each cigar is individually wrapped in four sheets of gold leaf.
Inside the humidor, each cigar is protected inside its own glass tube. Remove a cigar (using your secret code entered using the letters of the Imperiali name to open the lid) and replace an empty tube and the intelligent humidor will recognize the absence of a cigar and adjust the tally on its display accordingly.
The tourbillon as a symbol of horological perfection
The designers chose to adorn the centre of their humidor with an item that symbolizes the very best of Swiss watchmaking excellence. A tourbillon watch dial produced by an independent master watchmaker is found at the very centre of the piece, with all the usual watchmaking decoration. But how do you wind a manual movement hidden at the centre of an immobile humidor? Imperiali’s answer is another special development, which hides an electrically-powered winding stem underneath the movement that is regularly activated to ensure sufficient power reserve at all times.