When did it all start? At what age did you start smoking?
I was a late starter - 39 years old, to be exact - on my third trip to Havana in 2002.
Your favorite five cigar lounges/hotels worldwide?
In Havana, the Partagás Factory LCDH and the terrace at the Nacional. In Hong Kong, the Red Chamber Cigar Divan. In London, James J Fox and, although not exactly a lounge, the wonderful garden of my private club in Chelsea.
Your favourite three cigar shops worldwide?
Partagás Factory LCDH, James J Fox, Hajenius.
With which int. personality would you like to smoke a cigar?
Yo Yo Ma … although I don't think he smokes cigars.
You are the designer of an amazing jewelry collection related to the brands Partagas, La Casa del Habano and cigars in general, what gave you the inspiration to start this special collection?
Four of us were sitting out in London one summer evening, smoking great Cubans and drinking Barbaresco. Like many cigar smokers, we are passionate in how we see the world. That evening we spoke about the fact that we all wore jewellery - some classic in style, some rock and roll - yet there was nothing available that paid homage to one of our greatest pleasures: smoking cigars.
And so, Cigar Sanctum was born….
What are the masterpieces of your collection?
I'm not sure about masterpieces, but there is a certain joy in seeing a simple design succeed. What appears simple is often quite difficult to make. The Partagás cigar band ring, for example, relies on clarity of detail, which is not an easy thing to achieve on such a small scale.
Please tell us more about your cigar jewelry collection
Each design carries a story that connects the wearer to the piece of jewellery. Our unofficial emblem, for example, is the Smoking Skull - a skull set against two cigars with a spiralling plume of smoke. This is a Memento Mori piece.
You enjoy your cigars with a glass of…?
Santiago De Cuba 11 or 20 years, Barolo, Ribera del Duero.
Who has to be featured in a cigar book? Which unique cigar personality worldwide?