"The most futile and disastrous day seems well spent when it is reviewed through the blue, fragrant smoke of a Cigar." Evelyn Waugh
Exploring not just the extraordinary story of tobacco and cigars but also a history that has been instrumental in the foundations of societies and cultures, Cigars will take you on an astonishing journey through landscapes, scents and an incredible roll call of the great, the good and the not-so good. The cigar has provided solace and a chance for worldly contemplation to generations of thinkers, businessmen, writers, entrepreneurs and connoisseurs.
In this elegiac offering to the pinnacles of hand-rolled tobacco, world-renowned expert Nicholas Foulkes guides you through the myths, legends, nuances and delicious realities of the smoke-savouring universe, serving as an introduction for the neophyte and a reference for the connoisseur.
"A cigar ought not to be smoked solely with the mouth, but with the hand, the eyes, and with the spirit." Zino Davidoff
Founded in Geneva in 1839, and to this day a family-owned company, Patek Philippe makes what are widely regarded as the world’s finest mechanical watches. Among them, the most valuable watch ever made: the famous 1933 pocket watch known as the “Graves” supercomplication, which sold at auction in 2014 for US$23,934,00. A cult among collectors, Patek Philippe and its timepieces have been treasured by kings and princes, rock stars, and sportsmen. Notable customers of the storied Swiss watchmaker include Queen Victoria, and her great-great-granddaughter HM Queen Elizabeth II.
Drawing exclusively on interviews with the company’s owners and with staff and watchmakers past and present, as well as on hitherto unseen documents from the company’s archives, Patek Philippe: The Authorized Biography, celebrates the history of a unique company. Nicholas Foulkes traces the Patek Philippe history from founder Antoine Norbert de Patek’s early life in Poland as a young cavalry officer fighting in a doomed uprising. He recounts Patek’s exile, his life in Geneva, his meeting with gifted watchmaker Jean Adrien Philippe, and the 1932 purchase of the company by the Stern family who, over four generations, have turned it into the legend that it is today.
“I am very pleased to see the history of my family’s company come to life in this excellent volume. This is the first time that the Patek Philippe archive has been accessed and brought to life in a factual and definitive work. Nicholas Foulkes has perfectly recreated the atmosphere and details of our 175-year journey.” - Philippe Stern, Honorary President of Patek Philippe