One hand watch that smells of Cuba

One hand watch that smells of Cuba
Fecha de publicación: 
13 March 2024
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You smell it. You feel it on your wrist and it feels like Cuba is ticking for you.

This can well be a really nice motto for Tiempo de Luz hand watches, which are increasingly gaining momentum in social networks and, especially, in the Cuban market, true to their motto “Every moment is art.”

Already unique by being made of Cuba precious wood: acana, mahogany tree, blue mahoe or jiqui — obtained from disposable cuttings, not harming our forest — the other singularity is that they are made by MSME, the one and only of its kind devoted to the production and selling of analogue watch.

Tiempo de Luz gives name to both the watches and the MSME itself, initially attributed to its original location on Havana's Avenue Luz, in the municipality of 10 de Octubre.

But beyond that, other reasons justify such name nowadays, according to the words of the team’s president Ernesto Barrios.

In exclusive interview to CubaSí, Barrios mentions that the company he leads — made up of a dozen workers — aims not only to set the standards in the domestic production of hand watches of this type, but also the benefits of his work may shed lights on the community where he and his team are working.

Consequently, they have gotten massively involved in blood donations to save lives as sole purpose and have promoted employment to senior citizens, especially to help vulnerable people.

So much so that nearly half of the staff are made up of senior citizens from Cuba, already retired.

The light of their time also extends to a very high environmental awareness, which moves them to use only reused materials, parts and mechanisms, while thus avoiding major imports.

For watch machinery, they follow the same recycling strategy. They purchase damaged watches, generally of Japanese origin or from the former Soviet Union.

Professionals in the art of watchmaking restore them and check their precision, ultimately ensuring that each finished watch is totally exclusive and renewable.

A different ticking is born

In 2021, Barrios, who had been working as a watchmaker for over a decade, had this idea of founding this company, included among the first twenty MSME approved and properly registered and patented as a trademark by the Cuban Intellectual Property Office.

Barrios believed that the Covid-19 pause could actually become an opportunity to navigate through new paths with the purpose to fill what had been a void to date: there was no Cuban production of watches like the one they envisioned. With that motivation he began to call on friends who were watchmakers, designers... and thus they formed a solid staff marked by the desire to do things, for themselves and for others.

More than a thousand watches have been made from this endeavor since its foundation. Since then, this team continue to perfect their deliveries with the most modern technological equipment, which especially distinguishes the turnover of a new line of high-end watches.

The expectation for this small MSME, which literally goes hand in hand with time without losing one second, are trying to corner the domestic hand watch production, which today non-existent in the country. Simultaneously, they aim to enable jobs to disabled people, member of ACLIFIM (Cuban Association of People with Disability).

Prominent national figures today showcase on their wrist these hand watches Tiempo de Luz, distinguished by their completely handmade workmanship, in which the wooden openwork or drawings stand out — being sometimes a customized work —, as well as the case, which is also completely made of wood and handles made of pure leather, equally recycled.

This is a successful experience that shows how entrepreneurs on the Island can position Cuba’s image through beauty, in addition to conquering the niches in the market. At the same time and as expected, these MSME can preserve the environment and benefit the community in which they are located with their time of light, which is everyone's time.

Translated by Sergio A. Paneque Díaz / CubaSí Translation Staff

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