Seasoned cigar veterans and casual smokers alike know that the exquisite humidors of Elie Bleu are synonymous with quality and reliability. But for its 40th anniversary in 2016, the French maker wanted to branch out with a company first: cigar accessories in regular production. Because its home operation is not set up for large-scale manufacturing, the company partnered with a factory in Japan to create the four lighters and cigar cutter that the collection comprises. After a limited soft launch two years ago, the collection was further refined and has now been rolled out to more markets.
Built for portability, each piece looks stunning and comes in a variety of finishes. Despite their light weight, the pieces feel solid, durable and, most importantly, work flawlessly.
The EBC-1 double-guillotine cutter (bottom, $200) sports a stainless steel body with surgical-grade, stainless steel blades. The edges of the blades are not straight, but rather have been tempered to create a diamond when they come together. The maw is large and the blades are sharp enough to handle any cigar you throw at it, even 60-ring grandes.
The aficionado with a minimalist bent will likely gravitate to the J-11 (second from bottom, $175) and J-12 lighters (top, $200). Only .31 inches thick, the J-11’s single-flame jet, triggered by a slide ignition, gently toasts your smoke. The J-12 lighter, while only slightly thicker, throws a flame like a paint brush to your cigar canvas.
The body casing of the J-14 lighter (third from bottom, $300) sports a bit of brass covered in a rhodium finish. Flip open its piston-operated cap to reveal a jet flame shaped like a diamond that’s wide enough to easily light fatter smokes.
The standout piece is the F-1 lighter (second from top, $500 to $850 depending on finish). Instead of a piezo ignition, the F-1 uses good ol’ reliable flint for easy replacement. When sparked by the side roller, the flint creates two soft flames that can be adjusted to suit your needs.