Cigar Aficionado

IM Double Corona Lighter

How is it that plastic dime-store lighters seem to last forever while some of the most expensive, elegantly styled torches crumble to pieces after minimal use? This is perhaps a rhetorical question. Some lighters are simply made to fail. If elegance and durability can in fact come together, then IM Corona has engineered these two concepts into the Double Corona series of lighters, aptly named for both the copious dual flame they produce, and their ability to easily light cigars of that size.

The butane lighters have been distributed by Savinelli Inc. since 1972, and each one is attractively crafted without ostentation, never straining or posturing to make a fashion statement. A small number of stately, conservative finishes can range from the pewter half-moon pattern (center, $183) to the simpler, finely knurled face of the chrome barley finish, (right, $150). Vertical ribs along the side can streamline the lighter's appearance for a skyscraper aesthetic (left, $217). And these finishes are indeed rugged. Ion plating makes them very difficult to abrade.

But they feel good as well. Each lighter, although only 2.6 inches high, is weightier than expected. The lid snaps open with smooth, sturdy action solidly locking into open position. And the flint wheel, which gives no dubious foreshadows of ever coming loose, is good for an estimated 25,000 ignitions. So while there are certainly moving parts, there are no flimsy parts.

A brisk thumb-flick of the flint wheel conjures two convergent flames from its patented dual-port nozzle. The twin flames make it ideal for lighting cigars with large ring gauges, and while the flames are wide, they are at the same time mellow, unlike some of the other overblown cigar torches better suited to welding than smoking.

From a technical standpoint, the lighters are made with solid brass casings, silicon inner seals and internal carbon filtering to keep the butane fuel free of contaminants. In the unlikely event that a Double Corona lighter fails, it is covered by a lifetime warranty.