Last year, Davidoff showed off the new face of the Winston Churchill brand at an event in New York City. Earlier this year—as you’ve probably seen—it began shipping the line, now known as Davidoff Winston Churchill.
Since its inception in 2007, the Winston Churchill brand has always held a special place in the Davidoff family. It was the only cigar to be rolled at the factory that produces the company’s flagship white label brand. Now, Winston Churchill, the cigar, has a new blend and a new look, including a white label.
As part of the major re-launch the company is drawing heavily from the life of Sir Winston Churchill in the shaping of the new brand. While he is undoubtedly known best for serving as Prime Minister of Britain through World War II, the company is seeking to shed light on dimensions outside of his diplomatic career.
Six character facets are defined as the focus for Davidoff Winston Churchill, collectively: the Aristocrat, the Artist, the Commander, the Statesman, the Raconteur and the Traveler. The four vitolas on the market represent the first four of those facets, while the latter two are expected to be associated with a pair of cigars debuting later this year.
While each vitola shares the same tobaccos components, each size is blended with unique proportions of those tobaccos. Each aspect of Sir Winston is then tied to the specific format: a bold cigar for the statesman, an elegant take on the Churchill vitola for the aristocrat, a powerful cigar for the commander—and a delicate format for the artist.
Time Beautifully Filled is the philosophy of Davidoff on a larger basis and a large part of that campaign has been about creating smaller format cigars that are suited for when you don’t have enough time to smoke a toro or even a robusto. The 4 x 41 Davidoff Winston Churchill Petit Corona serves that purpose well, but it’s an even better embodiment of the facets of Sir Winston Churchill.
In much the same way that an artist must use every inch of their canvas to capture a vision, the petit corona format requires you to focus your attention and savor every inch, otherwise it is difficult to capture the full breadth of what is intended with the blend. You have to be delicate with the smaller ring gauge, but you also have to be more deliberate with your puffs.
It is an interesting intersection for the man—a war leader and a painter. And it’s yet another merging of art and cigars by Davidoff. As a company, Davidoff is a strong supporter of the arts. There’s the Davidoff Art Initiative in the Dominican Republic, the company’s large presence at Art Basel, the Davidoff Art Edition—and now the new Davidoff Winston Churchill.
Sir Winston was known as a leader, noted for his cigar smoking, but art was a big part of how he reflected on his greatest decisions. Painting was one the single most intimate things in Churchill’s life and yet for a man that there is so much written about, there’s little about his love of the activity. He discovered painting late in life, largely by chance, after seeing his sister-in-law painting watercolors. She gave him her son’s paint box for him to try his hand at it; Churchill later said about his first experience, “Experiments with a child’s paint box led me the next morning to produce a complete outfit in oils.” He described the craft as “a friend” that “made no undue demands.” By the end of his life he had over 500 completed works.
Davidoff has brought on Randolph Churchill, great-grandson of Sir Winston, to help promote the brand, as well as to provide insight into what really drove Sir Winston Churchill on a more intimate level. During the Davidoff Winston Churchill launch party, Davidoff CEO Hans-Kristian Hoejsgaard sat down with Randolph Churchill for a question and answer session, going over Sir Winston’s cigar smoking and its relation to the many facets of a man. On his favorite place to paint:
He loved the south of France – he painted a quarter of his paintings there. He was never happier than in the Casino of Monaco – lost money, but the cigar would come to his rescue at the end of the day.
On whether Winston enjoyed a cigar while painting:
In today’s age it is so important for people to take time away and to have time to actually take time to stand back and reflect… Things like painting or enjoying a cigar – which he always did when he was painting – was the most wonderful way to recharge his batteries and look at the world in a different way. He loved painting outdoors. His very first paintings were outdoors in English Gardens.
On the role of Sir Winston’s painting during World War II:
…when he went to the trenches he took his paints with him” he said, “He tried to capture how life was like in those days – the situation – quite magical. Can you imagine a government minister today, after he heads out of office he heads off to the trenches? He played the full part of a soldier. And when you look at the DNA of the man – he got so much inspiration from the person at the bottom, and he got the respect of his men because he rolled up his sleeves and got stuck up with them.
And on his life as a whole:
Certainly painting really saved Sir Winston… it allowed him to get away from it all, to relieve stress and strains. He could not have operated under these circumstances if not for painting.
“There is only one Winston Churchill.”
The concept behind Davidoff Winston Churchill. There is only one Sir Winston Churchill, only one cigar that bears his name. Part of this concept relies on the idea that the man was many men in one person. Davidoff chose six facets and will make six different vitolas based off those facets.
For many years Davidoff has been looked at as a monolithic cigar brand. That began changing a few years ago with Davidoff Nicaragua and it’s continued with the latest iteration being Davidoff Winston Churchill.
At one point in time Nicaraguan tobacco in a Davidoff would have been believed as farfetched, Davidoff Winston Churchill pushes that idea even further. Not only is there Nicaraguan tobacco in this release, but there’s also Mexican tobacco, even further away from the pairings of Dominican tobaccos and Ecuadorian wrapper that defined Davidoff for many years.
Winston Churchill is a great historical figure, Davidoff is a classic cigar brand, but Davidoff Winston Churchill is a modern cigar, adapting to the world like the great man, a great artist.
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