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Montecristo x ST Dupont 150th Anniversary Collaboration

Montecristo x ST Dupont 150th Anniversary Collaboration

Fine, handcrafted Cuban cigars go hand-in-hand with fine, handcrafted cigar accessories.  The stylish smoker will usually have a host at their disposal: cutters, lighters, cases and ashtrays, all designed to enhance the smoking experience by ensuring the elegance of the environment in which it takes place. 2022 sees one of the market leaders in the creation of these accessories, ST Dupont, celebrate its 150th anniversary.  In recent years many Havana brands have turned to ST Dupont to help celebrate their own milestones; this year, it falls to Montecristo to return the favour.

The early days of St Dupont were not, in fact, dedicated to smoking accoutrements.  In 1872, Simon Tissot Dupont began to create fine leather goods, making luggage for the high and mighty of Parisian society at the time and developing tanning methods which ensured his products were among the most hard-wearing and luxurious around.  In 1935 – serendipitously, the year in which Montecristo was founded, making them ideal partners for this anniversary – Dupont mastered the art of applying Chinese lacquer to metal, an incredibly difficult skill which is still used to decorate their flagship lighters.  During the Second World War the first of those lighters was commissioned by the Maharaja of Patiala, a purchase which began an extraordinary legacy of exquisite and luxurious cigar lighters.

Montecristo x ST Dupont 150th Anniversary

The Montecristo logo adorns each piece in the collection.  Images from Habanos SA/ST Dupont.

Since that first royal order some of the most beautiful lighters in the world have been created for some of the biggest names in the world, all in the workshops of ST Dupont.  More recently, the Cohiba 55th anniversary was marked by a Limited Edition collection of Dupont smoking accessories.  The latest chapter in the story of Habanos SA’s association with this celebrated artisanal brand has a literary connection, thanks to the Montecristo name, and has produced another beautiful range of products.

As well as the 150th anniversary of ST Dupont, 2022 marks the 220th year since the birth of Alexandre Dumas, the French author of The Count of Montecristo.  This, in addition to the shared significance of 1935 and the shared country of origin, made the choice of Montecristo as the collaborative brand for this anniversary an easy one.  A wonderful collection of new lighters, cutters, ashtrays and pens are the result.

Montecristo x ST Dupont 150th Anniversary

The decoration represents three stages in the life of Edmund Dantes

The collection features 3 sees the famous Montecristo logo printed on one side of each piece, set against a background reminiscent of a glorious sunset.  The opposite side features one of three astrological emblems designed to represent a phase in the life of Edmund Dantes, the hero of the novel.

The Twilight finds Edmund as a young man, full of promise and hope, but with the shadow of impending betrayal looming over him.

The Night represents the period spent by our protagonist in chains, despairing of his situation but at the same time beginning to formulate the plan of his escape.

The Dawn signifies triumphant return of our hero, free at last from his prison and able to enjoy the world anew.

The release of this range, along with the Cohiba 55 range from last year, confirms the place of ST Dupont as one of the closest friends of Habanos cigars.  Like their fellow Parisians Elie Blue, they are regularly entrusted with the manufacture of commemorative items.  It is no surprise that a brand who have in the past been trusted by Audrey Hepburn, Humphrey Bogart and The Queen are given such illustrious instruction, given their history of innovation and excellence.  Their reputation has been hard-won, but is well-deserved.

Montecristo x ST Dupont 150th Anniversary

Each piece wears beautiful sunburst lacquer, one ST Dupont's trademarks

Positioning a Habanos brand alongside such a revered manufacturer is more than just an exercise in friendly collaboration.  It is a sign of the ambition of the custodians of the 27 Havana cigar makers to grow the perception of their product as something of the highest luxury.  Having a revered maker such as ST Dupont create their lighters, or the equally respected Elie Bleu make the humidors for the annual charity auction, shows that important minds outside of the tobacco industry believe in the future of the product, not just a small cross-section of devoted smokers.  Perhaps the finest example of this tactic, and biggest achievement in terms of winning the partnership, is having LVMH-owned Zenith co-branding several watches with the Habanos global marques.  Pairing with such a behemoth is a sure sign of intent, and respectability.

In the future, we will no doubt see many more of these partnerships springing up.  Habanos must look for new ways to get their brand names in front of new consumers while fighting against perception and legislation that places cigars alongside cigarettes in the minds of many.  Code sharing with established names in ither luxury sectors is an excellent way to do so.  This may mean we see more adjustments to prices like the ones to recently hit Cohiba and Trinidad as more and more global consumers look to discover the magic of fine Cuban tobacco.  Until then, we should all enjoy the beautiful and stylish lighters born of the early days of this new marketing method.

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