To the untrained eye, the Lotus T3 seems like the biggest pocket lighter ever created. Paranoiacs, petrified of being stranded with a beautiful cigar and no fuel, may delight in its copious reserves and travel around hauling the bulky instrument in their hip pocket. But in truth, this behemoth isn't meant to venture outside the confines of one's home base.
Probably every Gilded Age robber baron invited business associates to spark up by sliding a large device for lighting cigars across his desk, but the practice seems to have fallen off significantly since that time. The T3 tabletop lighter is a classic remade with contemporary details, displaying the size and weight of a traditional stay-at-home incendiary device, but with a modern flare that makes you wish the old tradition was again the norm.
The design does have the appearance of a jumbo-sized pocket lighter. But pick it up, and its heft and size will immediately dispel any notions of portability. What you will feel is a sturdy, solid metal construction. Flip back the lid to find a push-button ignition instead of the typical flint wheel. Click the broad, steely switch and a tall, blue fire jets out. The adjustable, wind-resistant butane flame burns in a three-torch configuration that will ignite the end of any smoke in seconds, and a mirror on the underside of the lid helps you see if the foot of your cigar is evenly lit. But functionality aside, and at the risk of sounding pyromaniacal, this baby is just a blast to light.
The T3 is a product of Integral Logistics LLC, the same company that makes Porsche Design and Bugatti cigar accessories. And yes, the Lotus brand is inspired, as are its sister brands, by the company's belief in a natural connection between accessories for cigars and high- performance automobiles. However, given its size, the T3 might not be the lighter you choose to carry in your sporty Lotus Exige.
The Lotus T3 tabletop cigar lighter, which retails for $60, is available in three different finishes: gunmetal, chrome (as pictured above) and striped. The company also offers engraved and customized lighters.