Dunhill Pipes Are Overrated

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New member
Jan 8, 2019
I see this a lot on here, usually in the form of "they're not what they used to be"..."they're good but way overpriced", "Castello is what Dunhill used to be" or similar.
Asking why. I've seen a few that catch my eye, but am curious to exactly what about them people see as falling short.



Preferred Member
Jun 26, 2016
Well that is very subjective isn't it? Some people love them, others grow plants in them. Some people love coffee, some hate it. Such is the world. Don't even start with cobs and meers!



New member
Jan 8, 2019
haha fair enough...certainly very subjective....
I was basically looking for the people who don't like them to offer their reasons. Why are the "not what they used to be"?



Preferred Member
Jun 11, 2017











Preferred Member
Aug 9, 2013
This is my take on it. The company has gotten to be such a recognized name in Men's fashion and cologne, that it wants to cut ties with it's old school pipe roots. They ditched the tobaccos, and it even made the pipe company part of their business change it's name from Dunhill to Alfred's White Spots. Does that sound like a company you'd want to support?

The US distributor dropped the company a year or so ago, and in talking to them, they seemed to not give a rat's ass about them any more either.
I'm more surprised when a pipe smokers would be willing to buy one of them now.



Nov 18, 2018
I've never smoked one, but I am hoping a find a cheap one at a antique store or flea market just so I can have one. I can't justify the outrageous price of most of them.



Preferred Member
Mar 11, 2018
Never had one, probably never will. They are too expensive for me, but whatever floats your boat, butters your biscuit, gets you through the night, ruffles your truffles, rocks your socks, and tickles your pickle works as far as I'm concerned.



Preferred Member
Feb 21, 2013
You can buy two or three (or four) superb new artisan pipes for the price of one new Dunhill. I'm not an owner, new nor estate. However, I appreciate that Dunhill/White Spot are well made and attractive classic traditional pipes, and most of them smoke well. My Forums authority on Dunhill pipes is foggymountain who worked at a Manhattan pipe shop as a teenager and has distinct preferences, and will not, for example, buy Shells and one other series, maybe it's Cumberland. This illustrates that they are high quality but not infallible. Being an amateur student of marketing, I am impressed at how Dunhill imposed its steep upward price curve on the pipe smoking public. When some of us were teenagers, Kaywoodie pipes were the Cadillacs pipes and Dunhills cost a few dollars less. So, Dunhill/White Spot pipes are nice, just not the value for the price. And some of them may just not be particularly good.



Preferred Member
Aug 23, 2013
...but whatever floats your boat, butters your biscuit, gets you through the night, ruffles your truffles, rocks your socks, and tickles your pickle works as far as I'm concerned.
I have...five (I had to think there) all estates. Three of historic interest, 1923, and two from the WWII period. The other two are 1969, and 1975. All good smokers that have stood the test of time. Would I buy a new pipe from Dunhill at the current prices...no. I'm going to smoke the little grp 3 pot right now that I found at a second hand shop, about 8 years ago, for $20.



Preferred Member
Jun 15, 2013
Dunhills were well made pipes and in the early part of the 20th century, were not only well made, but also quite creative in design and styling. Were they better than the other top English makers like Comoy, Barling, BBB, Charatan, or Sasieni? Nope. But they were well made and smoked well. While the wood was often unremarkable, the stem work was always exceptional. Add to this Dunhill's penchant for diverse stampings and arcane markings, the stuff that appeals to collector OCD. You could date a Dunhill. Some people study hieroglyphics and others study Dunhill.
The problem is that Dunhill's marketing sought to make the Dunhill more than a pipe. They sought to make a Dunhill pipe a symbol, the epitome of excellence, success, and financial status. And they charged a lot for the privilege. Dunhill may not have been the best pipe ever made, but it was the best KNOWN pipe ever made. And after the late 1960's, the quality became more variable as more pipe manufacture was outsourced. Not that Dunhill hadn't always outsourced, but as people became more aware of the unevenness of the product, the pricing and marketing really began to grate.
I own a dozen or so Dunhills, and they are OK, and a couple of them are really exceptional. I almost never think of smoking one, not since I started smoking Barlings. Dunhills are good pipes. They're not better than all other pipes and certainly, to me, not worth the money being asked.



Preferred Member
Aug 9, 2013
Good response, Sable. I actually came back to say something about the older pipes by them. But, as always, you said it better. One thing I would add is that it’s not as much “the price being asked” but the demand for the older pipes that keeps them expensive, even for an estate. These older pipes will always have a huge following. I am just amazed at the demand for the newer ones.



Preferred Member
May 8, 2017
Sugar Grove, IL, USA
Where Dunhill really goes off the rails for me is their DR pipes and some of the special issue pipes. The DR pipes, which are supposed to be the best and usually straight grain, have only mediocre grain. I have one relatively recent DR one flame Amber Root which I got for a steal of a price. There's barely any flame grain on it. As far as grain goes, any number of Italian makers' pipes would run circles around Dunhill's DR pipes at half the cost or less.



Junior Member
Jun 12, 2017
Whether it is called White Spot or Black Spit, I couldn't care. If only all the other English top factories had continued to make quality pipes in England, then there would be more alternatives to White Spot . Pipes with the names of once proud Comoy's, Orlik, BBB etc. of today are laughable compared to earlier ones made in England (even some under Cadogan ownership). White Spot of today is more in line with good old Dunhill.

To compare the value of a White Spot to a Castello may not mean much. They both make good pipes (and of course also duds, as forum members have reported). White Spot is classic English with vulcanite stems, Castello is none of that. Whether you prefer one or the other is up to you. In Denmark we have no pipe factories left, only half-artisan or artisan. Most less expensive artisan and the affordable imported ones are made with acrylic stems. I have recently bought few of the imported pipes with declared vulcanite stems in the usd/eur 100,- region. They were not at all at the level of Dunhill stems, etc. At the usd/eur 200,- level you can almost get a new or almost new Dunhill. I sure hope new White Spot pipes will still be available in a few years but I fear not.



Preferred Member
May 9, 2018
Raleigh, NC
Yeah, I think if I ever got one, it would have to be one from an earlier period, much like Sable mentioned. If I ever found an estate from that time period that I really liked the look of, I might consider buying it for the fact that it would be a pipe that was well made, with an ass-load of history to it. But I'm nostalgic like that.



Sep 11, 2011
I finally found an estate Dunhill from 2011 that I really liked the look (and price) of. It smokes great, and has become a dedicated Escudo pipe. I mostly did it because I didn't have one in my collection and I was skeptical of them in general.
I've been very happy with it, however.



Senior Member
Sep 14, 2018
I would have found a better blend to dedicate to that dunhill. But congrats on the Dunhill!!!!