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The Good Life

Making a Case for Cigars

By Gregory Mottola | From Jay-Z, May/June 2009

It is not at all uncommon for a young man to inherit his grandfather's or even great-grandfather's charmingly distressed cigar case, seeing how finely crafted leather goods can survive generations. Of course, fine leather can be passed on in reverse should the same young man be looking for the perfect gift for Dad. Trying to find the quality of yesteryear, we searched out some leather artisans who have focused their skills on cigar cases.

Fine stitching, plush hides and exotic hardwoods are the signatures of Atoll's heirloom quality cases. The California-based company starts with a Spanish-cedar form, binds it in aluminum for moisture retention and wraps it in such expressive Italian leathers as the "Beluga" textured finish shown here (at bottom, $115, atollaccessories.com). Polished hardwoods ranging from ebony to redwood crown all of Atoll's cases. Depending on your taste, Atoll offers simple conservative sheer leathers or more esoteric skins. The construction includes a sturdy, absorbent internal cedar lining, which allows you to season the case walls during downtime.

Andre Garcia has innovated a passive humidification system in its Pack & Go Travel Humidor series of cases. The urbane design incorporates a humidification stick neatly hidden in the bottom compartment. Its lower portion unzips, making it easy to refill the device. The top unzips for your cigars. A ventilated cedar floor separates the two, allowing for moisture to rise into the main storage chamber. Like the Atoll, it is built around a rigid cedar form and can easily withstand the rigors of travel. While the eight-cigar model here (at left, $249, andregarciacases.com) is crafted with Andre Garcia's "Vintage Brown" leather, a range of finishes, sizes and styles is available. For an additional $35, Andre Garcia will brand the owner's initials into the case's hide.

A streamlined solution is called for when the intent is as simple as an evening out. Swiss company Davidoff answers the calling with the understated elegance that has defined all of its products. A clear fashion sense informs each of its soft calfskin cigar cases, as though made to complement any leather you might be wearing as you pull it out of your inner jacket pocket. This telescoping, two-finger case (at right, $135, davidoff.com) comes in a brown finish as well.

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