As we have done since 2016, each writer who attends the PCA Convention & Trade Show takes some time after the show is over to list out three things that they think deserve a bit more recognition. The items can be anything present at the show—either overtly cigar-related or not—but whatever it is does have to be seen in person by the author to be in contention.

And so, without further ado, here are the top three things I saw during the show this year.

1. J.C. Newman The American Baseball Humidor

While I do watch the Dallas Cowboys when I have the time, and, in a former life, photographed pro, college and high school sports for newspapers, I am far from a sports fanatic. With that said, I loved the design of this extremely unique-looking humidor produced by Jason LeGear of JML Modern in Milwaukee, Wis., which is made in the shape of a home plate. However, that’s not the only cool thing about the design: details on the edges are made to mimic the stitching of a baseball, while the exterior of the humidor was made from wood from three wooden bats.

J.C. Newman says it is only releasing 30 of these humidors, each of which will include 30 of the Tampa Smokers cigars—named after a minor league baseball team in Tampa that played its last game about 70 years ago—that are rolled to resemble baseball bats.

2. S.T. Dupont Lighter Necklace

“Top Thing I Saw At The Show” and “I Will Definitely Be Buying This The Second It Is Available” are not always mutually exclusive, and that is definitely the case with this lighter. Sadly, I did not have time to study everything that S.T. Dupont was showing off at the show this year, but this petite lighter caught my eye with its combination of small stature and pure, unadulterated extravagance.

In addition, I was a bit surprised at the $395 price tag—in a good way—as I thought it would come in quite a bit higher. I can’t imagine pulling one of these out from under my shirt to light a cigar, but I have to give S.T. Dupont credit for being able to shrink one of its amazing products down this small and still be reasonably usable.

Of course, this is not the first—or only—wearable cigar accessory on the market: Les Fines Lames—a company also based in France—also sells cigar cutters that double as bracelets or necklaces, but this lighter is on a totally different level.

3. Espinosa Las 6 Provincias ORT

Knowing that the final entry in Espinosa’s Las 6 Provincias series was being shown off at the show, I made a point to stop by and see it in person. After all, I have been impressed with just about every other entry in the series so far, a point that is backed up by the fact that four of the five boxes up until this year have made it onto halfwheel’s Packaging Awards for the years they were released.

The last release in the series is named ORT, an abbreviation for Oriente, which was the easternmost of Cuba’s six original provinces. The box that houses the cigars is adorned with art depicting various scenes from the history of Cuba. The lid opens from the side, revealing 20 box-pressed toros in two rows of 10 standing upright and snuggled tightly in their own individual round slots. The art is colorful and playful, the box design is unique and it is a fitting way to cap off the series.

Overall Score

halfwheel's coverage of the 2024 PCA Convention & Trade Show is sponsored by Drew Estate.
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Brooks Whittington

I have been smoking cigars for over eight years. A documentary wedding photographer by trade, I spent seven years as a photojournalist for the Dallas Morning News and the Fort Worth Star Telegram. I started the cigar blog SmokingStogie in 2008 after realizing that there was a need for a cigar blog with better photographs and more in-depth information about each release. SmokingStogie quickly became one of the more influential cigar blogs on the internet, known for reviewing preproduction, prerelease, rare, extremely hard-to-find and expensive cigars. I am a co-founder of halfwheel and now serve as an editor for halfwheel.