Twenty-five years of anything calls for celebration, for a quarter century is a major milestone. In the world of weddings, tradition dictates that it be honored with a gift of silver. For Davidoff, that benchmark was celebrated with cigars.
On Wednesday, I joined Davidoff in honoring 25 years of their flagship store in New York City, the Davidoff shop on Madison Avenue. The store has gone through relocation and redesign over the past quarter century. Today, it's a beautiful cigar-smoker haven with a comfortable smoking lounge and a large variety of handmade cigars for sale, not only from the Davidoff group but a host of other companies. It's a fitting testament to the Davidoff name.
The dinner was a grand four-course affair and cigar smoking was allowed and encouraged. I made my way through a Davidoff Nicaragua Toro (93 points, Cigar Insider) and Davidoff Nicaragua Robusto (91 points). I enjoyed them both.
Luis Torres, who manages the Davidoff Madison shop, spoke about the first visitor to sign the guest book—Zino Davidoff himself. If you have smoked cigars for some time, you no doubt know the name. Zino Davidoff (1906-1994), the son of a tobacco merchant, traveled to Cuba as a young man to learn about cigars and tobacco. He opened a shop in Geneva in 1929 under his own name, and created the Davidoff cigar brand in 1969, which was acquired by Oettinger Imex AG in 1970. Davidoff today is a global brand, with a considerable cigar portfolio including Davidoff, Camacho, Avo, Room 101 and Cusano cigars, among others.
Torres translated the words Davidoff etched into the book:
It is June 10th, 1987, and I am happy to find a sensational store, which I can be very proud of. Lots of success.
- Zino Davidoff
I had the pleasure of sitting next to Hans-Kristian Hoejsgaard, president and chief executive officer of Oettinger Davidoff AG, Davidoff's parent company, Jim Young, president of Davidoff U.S.A. and Rudolf Schaffner, vice chairman of the board of Oettinger Davidoff.
"What we do is all about pleasure," said Hoejsgaard, speaking to the crowd in between courses. He invoked Davidoff's new corporate motto—Time Beautifully Filled.
Smoking fine cigars certainly fits my idea of filling time in a beautiful way; good company is also a must. On Wednesday night, I was lucky enough to have both.