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Light it Up

From Traditional Flints to Turbo Flames, There Is a Wide Range of Choices for High-Quality Cigar Lighters
From the Print Edition:
Arnold Schwarzenegger, Summer 96

(continued from page 1)

The Montparnasse is heavy for its size, making it more difficult to grip in a small hand, but both lighters are beautiful and work quite well, throwing a reliable flame. They lit cigars adequately. These lighters have the easiest flame adjustment mechanism of any we tested--just a twist on the tiny lever on the bottom of the lighter. Both lighters have the characteristic Dupont 'ping' when flipping open the cap.

Although not a global marque, Colibri has been creating lighters for more than 26 years. Unlike the traditional designs of other companies, Colibri's lighters boast some of the most modern designs around.

One of Colibri's top sellers is its cutting-edge Quantum series, which includes the Prime Minister ($100-$125) and the Diplomat ($130). Lightweight and compact, these lighters are made of brass with jewel-tone finishes, and each comes with a Colibri crest.

Colibri's forced flame system offers a strong and reliable flame with the flick of a finger and the push of a button. According to Colibri, "A broad circular flame is produced through eightindependent gas jets in a platinum grid. The grid is heated bythe release of butane in a jet stream, which retains heat at such a level it will immediately reignite if blown out." One benefit of a forced flame lighter is that it can work quite well outdoors, so it keeps its flame even under windy conditions. One problem with this lighter is that if you forget to open the cap before pushing the button down, the lighter won't ignite on your first attempt when you do open the cap.

The Quantam series lighters feature a large butane chamber window so you can easily see when a refill is needed. The Prime Minister comes in four finishes: black matte, stainless steel, burlwood lacquer and gold satin pearl. The Diplomat comes in a choice of two-tone silver diamond cut with gold accents, two-tone gold diamond cut with silver accents, gray marble lacquer or brown lacquer. All lacquers are hard, over-baked epoxy. By the end of May, Colibri has planned to offer an expanded selection of lacquers.

Another popular Colibri series is its Elite Collection. The Elite Classic is a flint lighter constructed of brass with a smooth finish. Compact and lightweight, it is a very attractive piece. With a flame set at a 45-degree angle, the Elite lights a cigar very adequately. Another benefit is the visible flint chamber, which allows the user to monitor the flint level. The only drawback to the lighter is that the cap sits a little too close to the flame; it should go a little further back. It comes in gold satin, gold engine-turned, green marble lacquer, gold diamond cut or brown marble finishes or a stainless steel look with gold accents. $100-$135.

The California firm of KGM Industries is known for its modern turbo lighters. Like Colibri, KGM prefers ultramodern designs. KGM's Prometheus line of lighters, named after the hero of Greek mythology who brought fire to mankind, are avant-garde in design and operate via a high-tech lighting mechanism. According to KGM, "The butane gas is discharged with high pressure by built-in suction bores. The rapidly discharged butane gas is ignited by the electrode discharged by the electronic piezo and completely combusted inside of the internal burner cylinder." Made of brass, these flameless jet turbo lighters are KGM's latest designs.

The turbo Apollo lighter ($59.95) is funky and sleek. You can choose from 12 finishes, including satin gun metal, black matte, high polished chrome, polished gold and a combination of black matte and chrome.

The Renoma lighter ($79.95) boasts dual-flame technology. The combined strength of the regular visible flame and the invisible turbo flame makes lighting cigars a breeze. Attractive and streamlined, the Renoma is made of brass and comes in six finishes: satin silver, satin gold, satin gun metal, black sandstone, grey sandstone and antique gold.

The Neptune ($85) lighter is KGM's most expensive and most high-tech of its turbo line. Although it has a standard lighter design (resembling a classic Zippo), the Neptune incorporates flameless technology with traditional flint mechanisms. This lighter lights like a torch and goes out only when you close the cap, making it ideal for lighting cigars under windy conditions.

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