S. T. Dupont Paris is a designer brand name and manufacturer of stylish lighters, collectible pens, handbags, and recently stylish tech gadgets using the trademark diamond-head pattern. The company has been producing luxury items since 1872 when founded by Simon Tissot Dupont. The founder of the brand, Simon Tissot-Dupont was born in Savoy in 1847. S.T. Dupont owes its initials to him.
Simon Tissot founded a carriage company which was destroyed in a fire in 1872. Unabashed, that same year he bought a workshop which made leather briefcases for diplomats and businessman.
In 1884, Simon Tissot Dupont became the supplier of one of the world’s largest shops – Les Grands Magasins du Louvre – while maintaining his private clientele.
Simon Tissot Dupont handed over his company to his sons in 1919, Lucien and Andre, who, trading under the name of Les Fils de S.T. Dupont (the Sons of S.T. Dupont) relaunched the activity. The activity was focused on high quality travel cases and accessories. Highly qualified craftsmen were called upon and patents were taken out to protect industrial secrets. Two hundred and fifty workers and 17 separate traders were involved in the manufacture, such as goldsmiths, woodworkers, engravers, leather craftsmen, lacquer workers, locksmiths, etc.
S.T. Dupont transferred its workshops from rue Dieu in Paris back to the family’s hometown of Faverges in Savoy in 1924.
In 1929 Lucien Tissot Dupont was invited to New York by Louis Cartier to present his travel cases in their 5th Avenue shop. On the ship going to New York he learned about the Crash and the ensuing panic on Wall Street. Upon his return to Paris, in response to the crisis, he decided to move even further upmarket and cater to clients unaffected by the Crash.
Dupont became supplier to kings, emperors, maharajahs, ambassadors, and bankers. Up to 10 exceptional travel cases are turned out of the workshops every month. The master craftsmen work with extravagant materials: crocodile skin, gold and silver, ivory, and tortoiseshell.
In 1971, ST Dupont was purchased by Gillette. The company bought 48% of its stocks.
However, the brand would not last with Gillete too long. In 1987, it was eventually sold to Dickson Concepts Ltd.
Since then, Dupont has gone on to produce lighters, pens, wallets, watches, and fragrances. It currently controls 70% of the luxury lighters market. The first S.T. Dupont serially produced lighter was created in 1941, during World War II. It was made of Aluminum, as brass was used as a strategic metal restricted for war purposes only. From 1958-1963 all lighters were constructed of 18k solid gold with 3% brass. The 50-60’s LIGNE 1 series was most popular and very pricey. S.T. Dupont is better known as a masculine luxury brand but it creates accessories and products also appealing to women.
Today S.T. Dupont is active in high quality luxury and jeweled lighters, writing instruments, leather goods and accessories
As of May 25, the most expensive lighter on Ebay.com, at $85,000, is the ST Dupont Prestige lighter.
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