Vintage Cigarette Lighters

& Ashtrays, too!

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Silver Match Lighters

The Silver Match brand name first saw the light of day in 1953, thanks to French manufacturer Robert Hocq. Its creator's brilliant idea was to combine British elegance with French ingenuity.

His first company, the Paris-based "British Butanic Lighter Company", served as the launching base for his revolutionary gas lighter, the "Compound", entirely manufactured in France. Silver Match went on to meet spectacular success throughout the world, becoming one of the leading lighter brands, and even reaching world leader status during the 60s.

"As proof of our technique's success, 1,000,000 Americans use Silver Match" ran the publicity slogan at the time.

Sustained by advanced technology and an avant-garde design which would be represented by the period's leading poster designers, in 1961, the company launched the "France" model, an ambassador of French prestige designed as a tribute to the ocean liner of the same name. Three years later, in 1964, Silver Match brought out its famous "Ultra Slim" model, which won France's first Industry/Fashion Oscar awarded by Pierre Cardin and Raymond Loewy.

In 1971, Robert Hocq designed a lighter which he had initially considered too prestigious for Silver Match. After visiting the jewelers on the famous Place Vendôme in Paris to see who would be interested, Cartier took up the challenge and, for the first time in the history of Haute Joaillerie(a Cartier division), affixed its name on a cigarette lighter.

This trial shot was in fact a masterful move; after the Cartier lighter's meteoric, global success, Robert Hocq led a group of investors and acquired the name and company in 1972.