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A Brief History of Savinelli

Savinelli Pipe

Savinelli is synonymous with fine tobacco-smoking products, including their legendary lineup of pipes that have become luxury items within the tobacco world.  Many of us, including avid consumers of the brand, overlook the rich history of the company that paints a fuller picture of why their products have such distinctive value, even today.

The First Savinelli Store

Savinelli as a brand began in 1876 in Milan, when Achille Savinelli Sr. opened up one of the very first smoking stores in the world, selling fine tobaccos and pipes along with other related products.  The store was in the center of Milan at the time, close to Piazzo Duomo, where the high foot traffic made the store a fast success.  Notable people of the time gathered at the store to socialize and discuss issues of the day, making Savinelli a sought-after destination.

The Earliest Savinelli Pipes

The success of the Savinelli store led Achille to begin designing pipes with which the fine tobaccos he sold could be thoroughly enjoyed.  His designs showed a lot of promise even early on, despite his lack of experience in the field.  These designs were sent to local artisans in Milan who used the finest techniques of the time to ensure exceptional quality.

The store’s success led to another step that would secure the brand’s name.  Achille’s brother and sister opened a second Savinelli location in Galleria Mazzini, offering these new pipe designs to a whole new clientele which took the company’s reputation to new heights.

Savinelli’s pipes became so popular that in 1881, only five short years after the company was first launched, Achille was able to show off his designs at the Italian Industrial Exposition, similar to the World’s Fair in America, which would eventually be known as the Milan Fair.

A New Generation

In 1890, Achille Sr. stepped down and his son Carlo took over operations.  Often, a new generation taking over a business is risky, but the move was hugely successful, and Carlo was able to keep the business growing throughout the next 50 years under his wing.  During this time, Carlo developed crucial relationships with suppliers around the world so that the Savinelli name could spread internationally, ushering in a new era of unprecedented success and demand.

Another way in which Carlo excelled was by maintaining relationships with customers on an individual level.  When many brands see this level of success, they become detached from the personal needs of customers, but Carlo made sure to always listen to what his customers had to say, often developing pipes based directly on customer feedback.  This level of care and thoughtfulness has become a staple principle of the brand that is still maintained to this day.

Carlo’s son Achille Jr. was born in 1918, and his artistic talents were apparent early on.  It did not take long for Achille Jr. to show a keen interest in pipe design himself, and while his father kept the business growing, Achille Jr. would spend time in the backroom designing and crafting pipes for the family business.  Achille Jr. was responsible for the first Savinelli pipe design that would become a signature of the company.  His talents continued to blossom, but were ultimately interrupted by World War II, when he had to leave his post at the family business and fight for Italy.

A New Era of Pipe Craftsmanship

Still a young man, Achille Jr. returned from war with a new goal: to launch his own pipe business independent of his father’s store.  He was inspired partially by the fact that the pipes that were the most popular throughout Italy were not made domestically but were imported.  Knowing fully well that his native land boasted a wealth of top-quality materials, he decided to prove that Italy could be a sought-after importer of pipes.

Achille Jr. settled in the Varese district located in Northwest Italy and employed the help of his friends to launch an artisan pipe business.  By 1948, he was able to open up a fully outfitted workshop and factory.  Demand continued to grow as the pipes gained a reputation for being part of the luxury market, whereas before, Italian pipes were associated with poor craftsmanship.

Today, Savinelli is maintained by Giancarlo Savinelli, who has continued to expand the brand to address the needs of the modern customer while staying true to the principles of the brand set forth by the men preceding his generation.  Some of the pipes that have become classics include:

  • Alligator
  • Trevi
  • Roma
  • Roma Lucite
  • Bing’s Favorite
  • Churchwarden
  • Arcobaleno
  • Tortuga

In fact, the brand has expanded to offer a wide array of accessories including lighters, stands, tobacco jars, and leather bags.  All of these accessories are made with the same craftsmanship, artisanal approach and attention to detail that has given the name such prestige for well over a century.

Savinelli has maintained its association with luxury by never wavering in its dedication to satisfying the needs of its clientele.  Many of the brand’s iconic pipe designs are still in circulation today, having stood the test of time while staying true to the same values that launched the company 100 years ago.  The same high-end materials are imported from carefully selected sources, and the same intricate details are performed by hand to ensure a high-end product that has a personal touch.

Savinelli - A Top-Rated Brand Throughout the Pipe Smoking Industry

Anyone who has an interest in exploring their signature products should check out what we have to offer here at BnB Tobacco, where you can view classic pipes, accessories, and other exceptional products that show off the true luxury that this brand has become known for.

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