Exposed to tobacco from birth, the brand that Zino Davidoff would create, Davidoff would grow from humble beginnings to form a prominent luxury goods business.
Born in the Ukraine, Zino was the son (one of four) to the Jewish tobacconist Henri Davidoff. The family left the Ukraine when Zino was only 5 to avoid persecution due to the anti-Semitism rampant within their homeland. They originally settled in Geneva where Henri Davidoff founded his tobacco store in 1912.
Zino had become fascinated by the family business at a young age, and once he had completed school he traveled to Latin America to learn about the cultivation and production of tobacco first hand in the fields and factories of Argentina, Brazil and Cuba.
Davidoff took control of his father's store in 1930 and created what would become essential equipment to cigar smokers worldwide - the desktop humidor. The device recreated the conditions that the finest cigars in the world are manufactured to create a fresher, more pleasant smoke for longer.
In an effort to expand his business beyond his adopted homeland, Davidoff introduced Hoyo de Monterrey Châteaux cigars in honor of Bordeaux wines in 1947. This move gave the business a leading market share in France, with the brand's quality rapidly growing in reputation.
Davidoff was established as a cigar brand in its own right in 1969, after 2 years of negotiation between Davidoff and Cubatabaco. Produced in the El Laguito factory in Havana the brand soon captured the attention of smokers becoming popular overnight within Geneva.
The business was acquired by the Oettinger Group in 1970, which extensively marketed the brand overseas and increased distribution into new markets to cope with demand. Despite the changes, Davidoff continued to maintain control over the operations of the company, instilling the customer service attitude that to this day drives everything the company does. A popular anecdote regarding this attention to detail:
A customer walks into the Davidoff store in Geneva and asks for a pack of matches. A clerk, busy with a customer, ignores the man until he can summon Zino for assistance. “Mr. Davidoff,” says the clerk, “can you get this man some matches? I have a very important customer who is buying 2,000 cigars.” Zino proceeds to greet the customer, and get him his matches. After he leaves, Zino says to the clerk, “Always remember to treat every customer equally. You didn’t realize this, but the man who came in for the matches bought 10,000 cigars yesterday.”
Along with the brand's line of cigars, Davidoff established itself as a supplier of premium pipes and pipe tobacco using only the finest briar and trades craftsmen to produce each item. In 1985 the brand further expanded itself in partnership with Reemtsma Cigarettenfabriken GmbH (which is now owned by Imperial Tobacco) to produce a line of premium cigarettes.
The years of success for the Cuban cigar line masked almost constant disputes between Davidoff and Cubatabaco regarding the quality and the ownership rights on the trademark. The most public display of these issues was the burning of over 100000 cigars by Zino Davidoff which he declared unfit to sell. It came as no suprise in 1991 where the line was discontinued to be replaced by cigars manufactured in the Dominican Republic.
Zino Davidoff died in 1994, yet his business has continued to be a success, attaining an iconic status in the tobacco industry, and despite the negative view of the public towards cigarettes, has managed to successfully use the Davidoff trademark on a line of humidors, watches, neckties, wallets, briefcases, pens, coffee and cologne.
The brand also released a cognac in 2005, designed to carry on Davidoff's goal of complete luxury, and to be a perfect companion to the brand's cigars.
Today, under the continuing control of the Oettinger Group, Davidoff has grown into a global brand that is synonymous with luxury and prestige with a wide range of products to appeal to any consumers taste and over 450 approved merchants.
- Series Aniversario
- Series Classic
- Series Grand Cru
- Series Mille
- Series Special
- Series Millennium Blend
- Mini Cigarillos Silver
- Mini Cigarillos
- Club Cigarillos
- Long Pantellas
- Royalty Mixture
- English Mixture
- Scottish Mixture
- Danish Mixture
- Flake Medallions
- Red Mixture
- Green Mixture
- Blue Mixture