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In the event, this proved unnecessary because H & F's Cuban Corporate Director, Ana Lopez, sourced a more modern method from the German company, which produces most of the clasps and hinges for Habanos boxes. Hunters & Frankau purchased all the specially designed studs and poppers as well as a die for nailing the stud and a lever arch machine for securing the popper through the ribbon, all of which was delivered to Havana in June 2008.

Production was completed in the Autumn, but shipment to the UK was held up because of the hurricanes.

Suffice it to say that, if British cigar enthusiasts have had to wait over 40 years for the re-appearance of the Punch Serie D'Oro No. 1, a few more months of patience was perhaps not too much to ask for such a collectors' item.


Punch was first registered as a cigar brand in Cuba in 1840 by a German named Stockmann. 

It is often claimed that the brand was named after the humorous British magazine called Punch, but since the title was not published until July 1841, this is unlikely.  Nevertheless Punch, the magazine, became a British institution for over a hundred and fifty years, which no doubt assisted Punch, the cigar, to become the firm favourite that it has been with British smokers for ever longer.

In 1884 the brand was purchased by Manuel Lopez, the man who oversaw its rise to global fame and whose name is still commemorated on the Punch emblem.

Lopez died in 1925 and the brand was bought by a young man named Fernando Palicio with help from the British importer Melbourne Hart & Co., which lent him 30,000 to fund the deal.  In return for the load, which Palicio repaid within five years, Melbourne Hart was granted the distribution rights for Punch in the UK and throughout the British Empire.

A few years later Palicio and Melbourne Hart also bought Hoyo de Monterrey and, from 1931, production of both brands was amalgamated into one factory.

Since the Cuban revolution both Punch and Hoyo have remained under one roof at La  Corona, the factory that is now situated in Havana's Avenida 20 de Mayo.

Punch cigars are classified as Medium flavoured. Consequently the Serie D'Oro No. 1 is unique amongst the Piramide-sized cigars offered by Habanos S.A., which are: the Partagas Serie P No. 2 (Full); the Montecristo No. 2, the Diplomaticos No. 2, the Vegas Robaina Unicos, the Cuaba Piramide LE 2008 and the Cohiba Piramide LE 2006 (Medium to Full); and the H. Upmann No. 2 (Light to Medium)


For the last four years, the companies that distribute Habanos in different territories around the world have been invited by Habanos S.A. to bid for the chance to develop their own special sizes in certain Habanos brands, which will be made in limited quantities for sale only in their own markets.  They are known as Regional Editions.

In 2005 Hunters & Frankau helped to pioneer the project with the Ramon Allones Belicosos Fino. Since then the concept has been refined by the addition of numbers on all boxes and a second band to identify the region for which the cigar has been made.

In 2007 H & F was granted the Por Larranaga Magnifico for which a special century-old cigar band was recreated. The Magnifico proved very popular and sold out almost as soon as it was shipped.

For 2008 the Punch Serie D'Oro No. 1 joins the Gloria Cubana Glorisos and for 2009 H & F has been granted two more Regional Editions.

Reproduced from Hunters & Frankau (www.cigars.co.uk)

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Email: sales@cgarsltd.co.uk for more information

Double Banded and packed in specially constructed semi boit nature box the design of which has not been reproduced in Cuba for over 40 years! Serie D'Oro no 1 was the name used by Punch or its Piramides size popular in the 1930s and last sold in the UK in the 1960's.

6 1/8" (156MM) by 52 ring gauge
Size name: Piramide (like Montecristo No. 2)
Flavour: Medium

Hunters & Frankau is pleased to introduce the Punch Serie D'Oro No. 1 (Gold Series No. 1) as one of the two Regional Edition cigars that were authorised by Habanos S.A. in 2008 exclusively for the United Kingdom. (The other is the Gloria Cubana Glorisos, a doble size like the Trinidad Robusto Extra.)

The special production of Serie D'Oro No. 1s has been made at La Corona, the factory responsible for Punch. They are presented in 1,210 very special, numbered, SBN boxes containing 25 cigars each.

Each cigar bears two bands, one for the brand and the other declaring 'Exclusivo Reino Unido' or 'Exclusively United Kingdom'.

The shipment of both 2008 UK Regional Editions was delayed by devastating effects of the three hurricanes (Gustav, Ike and Paloma), which struck Cuba between 30th August and 9th November 2008. Consequently these cigars could not be made available until January 2009.


The idea of making a Piramide sized Punch cigar arose from discussions held between Hunters & Frankau and some leading UK specialist cigar retailers.

From a 1929/1930 price list published by Melbourne Hart & Co., a former  British Habanos importer, Hunters & Frankau knew that Punch had once produced this size.  In fact before the Second World War, the brand offered a range of three figurado shapes: the full sized Piramide, a 5 1/2 inch by 52 ring gauge Campana and a 5 inch by 50 ring gauge Petit Piramide. They were called the Punch Serie D'Oro No.s 1, 2, and 3.

However, as no one had ever seen or heard of these cigars, it was decided, for simplicity's sake, to call the 2008 UK Regional Edition the Piramide del Punch.

Then one day H & F's Marketing Director, Simon Chase, was scrolling through the countless boxes of vintage Cuban cigars, which can be found in the museum section of C.Gars Ltd website, when he found himself staring at a full box of Serie D'Oro No. 1.  It dated from the early 1960s and was the property of a collector.

Here not only was proof that the cigar was still in production after the Cuban revolution, let alone the Second World War, but also evidence of the way vitola was presented.

The box was most unusual by today's standards. It was an SBN (Semi Boite Nature) like the Partagas D 4, a style no longer used by Punch, and there was a yellow, printed ribbon stretched across the cigars that disappeared through a slot in the side of the box where it was secured by a stud and popper to the outside.

Hunters & Frankau decided that, if this box with its slotted ribbon could be re-created, the cigar's name would be changed from Punch Piramide del Punch to Punch Serie D'Oro No. 1.

Some forty years has passed since a box like this had been made in Cuba, so it was hardly surprising that there was some concern at the factory in Havana about taking on such a task. Nevertheless, they agreed. After solving the way to cut the slot, they started work on studs and poppers.

Standard dressmakers' studs and poppers had been used on the original boxes with one part neatly nailed to the outside and the other part hand sewn into the ribbon. Soon reports were received that the factory had located one of the ladies who had performed the sewing during the 1960s and they were prepared to bring her out of retirement to do the job.