Envisioning the Viajero

They say inspiration often comes from the most unlikely places. I’ve found inspiration tends to strike me in the most predictable of places: on a bench in Edwards Gardens, my favoured haven for meditation. With coffee and cigar in hand, I pondered what was next for A Cigar Advocate. It was there, amongst the wildflowers, rhododendrons, and willfully roaming geese, that I resolved to reinvent and revolutionize the ubiquitous cigar case.

For such an indispensable accessory, cigar aficionados have been underserved by both the quality of cigar cases on the market. In my research, I arrived at the conclusion that the existing market offerings swung too far in one direction or the other: utilitarian at the cost of aesthetic, or ostentatious at the expense of functionality. Thus, I met with my team and communicated my vision: to realize a piece that was the best of both worlds - ruggedly functional and stunningly beautiful - a perfect entry-level piece for the brand and emblematic of everything we stand for.

From the very early conception stages, I knew I wanted to embrace a minimalist look with the clean lines and symmetry that define our ashtrays and humidors. At the same time, I wanted this piece to make a statement: to communicate strength and confidence, to speak volumes about the person who carries it without ever having to say a word. The goal was to create a cigar case that didn’t necessarily look like a cigar case: a piece that embodied luxury and timeless beauty but stood on its own stylistic merits as a piece of art to the curious onlooker.

It was from this desire that I decided to make our logo the focal point of this piece, proudly oversized and set gently recessed within the buttero leather of the exterior. The “Bull and Flame” is visually impressive and symbolic, reflecting our commitment to “leading the charge” towards innovation and sophistication in our industry, but also functional: they serve as tactile touch points for opening and closing the case, splitting and reforming in the act. On a more straightforward level, I knew I couldn’t craft a signature piece without incorporating my own signature into the design.

When the arduous design process was finished, I initially chose the name Viajero (‘traveller”) to pay homage to the Spanish roots of cigar culture. Upon reflection, I realized the name was even more fitting. I set out to craft an accessory that effortlessly enables and empowers the bold, adventurous lifestyle of the cigar aficionado. With the Viajero, wherever you go, your passion for cigars travels with you.

It’s an exercise in creativity to dream up a piece like this, and an exercise in dedication, cooperation, and persistence to make it real. It’s the end result of endless trial and error and a lot of late, espresso-fueled nights starring at blueprints. The outcome is a piece unlike anything else on the market: a true must-have that inspires admiration from those in the know and leaves an enduring impression. On behalf of myself and the rest of the ACA team, we are proud to debut our Viajero: a regal, reliable companion for whatever journeys life takes you on.

Stay Smokey Friends,

Written By Sam Nafeh

Envisioning the Viajero

Collab With Havana Club International S.A.