Sébastien Beo Pipes
Last year, on our trip to visit pipe makers in France, Italy and Germany, Alyson and I made an important stop in St. Claude to visit Sébastien Beau, owner of Genod pipes. This was a follow up visit from a discussion we'd had in Chicago. I was interested in introducing Danish style engineering to a line of classically French pipes. Sort of a French on the outside, Danish on the inside approach (with apologies to my one Franco-Danish friend to whom this description could also apply). Sébastien had piqued my curiosity with the way he was talking about pipes and his thoughts on the factory that he had just purchased from the previous owner who he had worked with for a few years. Sébastien was younger, receptive to new ideas and we just generally got along rather well.
Just as important, I wanted to be able to offer the pipes for reasonable prices, less than Stanwells, perhaps in the same neighborhood of Peterson's less expensive pipes. At first, Sébastien thought I was asking for the moon. While we were in St. Claude, we started fiddling through the details. At first it still seemed like a challenge, but as we worked our way through it, it seemed increasingly possible. Well, that was almost a year ago.
After occasional correspondence since, Sébastien wrote me, almost out of the blue, to tell me that the first 144 pipes were almost ready.I was tentatively excited. It wasn't until they arrived that I knew that this little project had succeeded. Adam, who is one really hard guy to please, was floored by the quality of the internal construction: 4mm draft holes, chamfered tenons, fluted buttons, transitions handled as they should be. These are the sorts of things that excite Adam. And Adam was excited.
Yet they look like cool old French pipes. Generally on the smaller side (perhaps Dunhill groups 3-4), they're offered (at present) in twelve shapes, all cool older Genod shapes. Presented in three finishes, a sandblast, a contrast brown and a light orange, the whole package is quite fetching.