If you time it right, you just might be treated to a Grammy award-winning artist performing in the Arturo Fuente booth. Arturo Sandoval, the legendary jazz trumpeter, is a friend of the Fuente family and regularly performs at the IPCPR Convention & Trade Show. This year, I just happened to stroll into the booth as he was playing.
As for the booth, it is split with J.C. Newman, whose salesforce the companies share. It’s a long aisle with a lounge up front and more meeting areas on each side.
There’s other various intricacies: the sign about not opening up accounts, the roof, the vintage car and the sign for retailers who participate in the Cigar Family Charitable Foundation Toast Across America packs to sign. The infamous “no samples” and “no new accounts” signs were back, though the latter was much larger and redesigned.
Given the lack of new product, I decided to ask Carlos “Carlito” Fuente Jr. about what it was like to release Fuente Fuente OpusX for the first time.
Hands of Time Ashtray
There’s new colors of Fuente’s hands of time ashtray.
Hublot Classic Fusion Fuente 20th Anniversary Special Edition
Carlito told me that, as of day three, Hublot had sold six of the watches during the trade show, which is undoubtedly more in sales than at least a dozen cigar companies. There are three different versions of the watch, each limited to 20 pieces and all designed by Manny Iriarte.
Iriarte told me this is the first time Hublot has allowed a designer to design a Hublot watch entirely outside of the company. It speaks volumes to the partnership, which is now in its third collection. This one pays tribute to the 20th anniversary of Fuente Fuente OpusX and uses elements from both the OpusX 20 Years, as well as other classic Fuente and Cuban symbols.
The Titanium and Black Ceramic models are both priced at $15,000, while the Rose Gold/Rodium version is priced at $33,000. All three come in a special blue humidor containing 20 Fuente Fuente OpusX 20 Years cigars. The watches begin shipping next week.
Angel’s Share Three-Packs
This looks new, but the word from multiple people was “no new cigars.” I’m told this was just here for show.
Fuente Fuente OpusX 20 Years
The blue boxes are back for another shipment.
Toast Across America 2017
It’s the same cigars as last year, Untold Story vitolas of a Diamond Crown Black Diamond and Fuente Fuente OpusX. I was told that production will be much more limited than last year. As always, the cigars are (supposed to be) sold at $50 per pair with the retailer making no money and all proceeds benefiting the Cigar Family Charitable Foundation in the Dominican Republic.
- Diamond Crown Black Diamond Toast Across America 2017 (7 5/8 x 54) — $25
- Fuente Fuente OpusX Toast Across America 2017 (7 5/8 x 54) — $25
Carlos Fuente Sr. Tribute
It’s been almost a year since Carlos Fuente Sr. passed away. The tributes to the man were throughout the booth, but most notably at the front, a sign from Ybor City after a street was named for him last year.