In the world of suave accoutrements, the lighter is towards the very top (above the lozenge and the umbrella, but just below the comforting handkerchief). Even as smokers have become scarce, the true gentleman is always prepared. Unfortunately it’s pretty hard to improve on the classic sleek and stainless Zippo, which has been classic for long enough to risk becoming boring.
This year’s model comes from Zippo’s new butane-powered Zippo Blu line, a technical change that has inspired a bevy of redesigns. This one is our favorite, with a vaguely cell-phone-ish shape and a set of four fleurs de lys that actually fit into the design.
The patterns flirt with gaudiness, but it’s to be expected in reaction to the typical featureless Zippo. As a result, the lighter looks more like a trinket than a tool. But there’s nothing wrong with trinkets.