With over 100 years of history, Alfred Dunhill is a brand which is rich, yet complex in its perception. It began with the dream of one man- Alfred Dunhill- the quintessential English entrepenour. Obsessed with detail, fanatical about quality and craftsmanship, his talent lay in creating exquisitely designed, ingenious accessories for the perfect gentleman.
Alfred Dunhill inherited a harness business in 1893 at the age of 21. Alfred soon saw that the age of the automobile was coming and decided to convert his father's factory from horse-drawn carriage accessories to motor accessories. “Dunhill Motorities” was soon born and Alfred was fast at work inventing and creating all possible accessories. The pioneering of early motoring ment drivers needed to be fully equipped for any conditions or hazards. When taking to the open road, in what were not much more than horseless carriges, driving goggles, the “Bobby Finders” and the “Windshield Pipe” (which protected the smoker while driving) , were essential accessories. It was this sort of innovation in response to the customer's needs that would make Dunhill the leader in its field.
Alfred supplied everything that was required from weather proof trunks, cases and leather coats to altitude meters to assist up and down motoring - from voltometers and clocks for the dashboard to lamps as well as horns of extraordiany shape and musical ability which could frighten off the sleepiest drivers of old-fashioned horses and carts.
From the 1900s on Alfred Dunhill produced accessories for the Pipe, Ciagrette and Cigar smoker. In 1906, the first pipes and tobacco shop opened on Duke St. The shop soon came to be known for its customized blends. Each customer could come and create his own recipe, noted in a little book entitled “my mixture.” This is a prime example of Dunhill's ability to tailor itself to the customer's needs. In the 1920s the compendium Cases were created. Comprising a cigarette case, ivory notepad, a lighter, a propeling pencil, penknife, a watch and stamp compartment. Such cases were soon adapted for the cigar and pipe smoker.
Alfred also manufactured Pipes (with its famous white dot), lighters (the highlight being Pablo Picasso’s gift to his mistress Dora Maar. With her portrait engraved on the tiny lid).
In 1933 the New York store opened in the Rockefeller Center on 5th Ave. At that time three events influenced sales and creativity:The Silver Jubilee of George V & Qween Mary, the funeral of George V and the coronation of George VI. Royalty, rulers, Indian princes, polititians, diplomats, movie and theater stars from Europe and America all passed through Dunhill.
Today Alfred Dunhill still caters not only to the English gentry but also to the hip and stylish business man and woman. Having created business suites eather ready made or to order. Impecable accesories for Cigar and Pipe smoker. A line of cigars to rival any Cuban and Pipe smoking blends as good as any of the estyblished Danish brands.