Savinelli's shape chart is expansive. It encompasses all the classics, from the traditional Billiard to even the Yachtsman, as well as a range of intriguing renditions you won't find anywhere else. If you're unfamiliar with Savs, even perusing through our currently available pipes can be daunting, and finding a favorite of your own can seem impossible. So we've helped you out. Or, at least, we think we helped. What follows is by no means a comprehensive list of some of our favorite Savinelli shapes around the office, complete with detailed (somewhat) descriptions of why they hold a special place in our collections.
It's no secret that my favorite pipe shape is, without question, a well executed bent Dublin. It just so happens that Savinelli's 920 KS, irrespective of finish, is just that. Whether it is a playful example like one finds in the Caramella line or the sophisticated, classic presentation of the smooth brown Giubileo d'Oro, there is a restrained elegance about the graceful half-bend of the stem and the jaunty, forward-thrusted bowl. Also, while it does bear the moniker of "KS" (King Sized), I feel that the chamber is on par with a Dunhill Group 4, so proportion-wise, it's right in the sweet spot. If you are like me and prefer your pipes with a timeless, classic nature about them, and perhaps just a touch of attitude, I think you should consider looking at the 920 KS in all its incarnations throughout the Savinelli line-up.
The clean lines and attractive proportions of the Lovat are, for me, irresistible. It's my favorite shape. Like all derivatives of the traditional Billiard, it's a smoking machine, easy to run a pipe cleaner through, efficient and dependable.
However, there are Lovats, and then there are interpretations of Lovats. I prefer a more traditionally proportioned piece. There's a reason it's traditional, after all. Shapes become classic because smokers appreciate their characteristics over generations.
It should be little surprise, then, that my favorite Savinelli shape is a Lovat: the 703 KS. It's a beautifully proportioned shape, and at slightly under 6 inches in length and 2 inches tall, it's just the right size for me. I prefer a relatively short bit on a Lovat, and the 703 KS falls into the my Goldilocks zone. The ratio of shank diameter to bowl diameter is important as well. If the bowl is too narrow across, it looks like a Stack; too wide and it's a Pot, and I don't like either. It's intriguing to me that the modification of a bowl by just a quarter inch can render such a different shape and impression.
The variety of finishes is another winning attribute. The Punto Oro Bordeaux has a classic deep red stain reminiscent of the early 20th century, and the Bianca has a dress finish that is irresistible, especially with the addition of a silver fitment. The Onda presents a sandblasted finish (my favorite) that I think looks best without a decorative accent ring, though it's available either way.
So not only is the 703 KS a spot-on rendition of the Lovat, but it can be had in nearly any finish, with different decorative fitments for any taste or occasion. It may be the perfect pipe.
It's no well-kept secret that I like my pipes on the smaller side, generally. As someone who wears a few hats, so to speak, it's not often I find myself with an overabundance of time. Even while working, it's not often I find myself in the same spot for more than 15-20 minutes, so of course a smaller bowl is more well suited to my smoking habits. The exception to this being the rare luxury of curling up in a favoured chair with a book to enjoy a well earned reprieve and a bowl of something complex. This is where the 320 KS really shines. Hand filling and capacious, with broad walls that are somewhat more forgiving of inattentive puffing, it's the perfect companion for a blissfully uninterrupted period of indulgent silence and literary contemplation.
When Savinelli launched the Petite line in 2013, it was like they made a series with pipe smokers like me in mind. I'd been casting about in Savinelli's shape selection for a long time. The classic favorites like 320 KS and 606 KS were way too big for my tastes. Even smaller billiards like the 104 and the 109 were on the chunky side. I had a few and enjoyed smoking them, but they weren't really what I was looking for. Prior to that, I had a few 202 shapes — older Punto Oros for the most part — and I was leaning toward that as being my go-to, small, straight Savinelli shape.
But, as I said, with the Petite series and the wider use of the 105 shape, that all changed. The 105 is, in my opinion, the perfect Billiard. Beautifully proportioned, slender of shank, lightweight and small, but with a large enough chamber that I don't feel like I'm smoking a truly tiny pipe. It's also one of the few Savinelli shapes with a shank that's too narrow for a 6mm filter, so it's one of the very few shapes (the 701 being the other notable) that comes only sans-filter. And I prefer non-filter Savinelli pipes, so that works for me. It does mean that it's not widely represented in major series: there's no Roma or Trevi or Spring 105.
So it started there. I bought two: the Petite Rusticated Black and the Petite Natural. Then I bought one of the Smooth Brown. Then they had a few natural rusticated ones, and I got one of those.
Following that, they decided to do the Punto Oro Petite sub-line. Basically, in factory pipe making, you kind of need all the grades to use up your bowl production, so they needed a place for the really nice Petite shapes (105, 202, 402, etc) to go. Then I fell in love. I bought a couple PO Petite 105s. And a sandblasted Giubileo D'Oro 105s. Simultaneous to this, they found a small bunch of old production Punto Oro Corralo rusticated pipes from the 1960s in storage at the Savinelli shop in Milan. There was a 105 in there (or, rather, the 105 from the old shape chart, but it's the same shape).
And then the Tre came out and I had to buy those. I keep two Tre Rusticated pipes in the car as commute smokers.
The real silliness started in early 2018. In a chat with folks at Savinelli, we thought that doing Giubileo d'Oro in various stem colors — because Savinelli has some amazing acrylics to work with — would be fun. I still think it was a great idea, though the project hasn't been met with very much commercial success. From that though, I realized I could ask the factory to make 105s with various stem colors. I'm up to (between Punto Oro and Giubileo d'Oro) five colored-stem 105s in four different colors.
As of this writing, I have fifteen Savinelli 105s, most of which are various Punto Oros. The irony is that if you look at sales by shape for Savinelli, the 105 doesn't make the top 40. It seems my devotion to the shape is not widely shared.
If you are into the new-fangled, join me in loving this contemporary, modernistic take on a classic poker by Savinelli: The 311 KS. It's sleek and timeless while standing aggressively canted on its own both figuratively and literally.
Siting pipes are quite the selling point for a graphic designer who spends as much time as I do with as many fingers as I use on a keyboard simultaneously. To be fair, all sitters make it possible to maintain the symphony of keyboard strokes and mouse clicks that often accompany my puffing, but I find the 311 KS take on the Poker shape to be more versatile; due to its welter-weight class, it can be easily clenched.
Its lack of overall size still boasts a deep chamber for a smooth and lengthy, no-hassle smoking experience. The 311 KS betrays its KS tag as it's quite compact, fits in my pocket, and is nearly unlimited in style. From a dark blue rusticated Alligator, to my current favorite, the Oscar Tiger, the 311 KS shows up in nearly every style or treatment Savinelli offers. I have the Marte, the aforementioned Oscar Tiger, and the Spring, but the Punto Oro Gold will join these lovely pieces soon enough.
I'm a big fan of smaller pipes and classic shapes, and the "202" is easily my favorite from Savinelli's smaller-scale pieces. Mine is a Petite, in particular, giving it a lightweight feel that is comfortable to clench, and I find it pretty handy to tuck into my bag even without its own protector. This pipe holds a special place in my collection, too — it was the first pipe I ever owned, and probably the one I've used the most — enough that it's gotten a little worn with time.
Rather than bring in a collection of 701s, I opted instead to bring in my prized favorites; the two pipes of this shape I tend to get the most compliments on when I take them out. I love the Savinelli 701, in part because I'm just a big fan of the Lovat. But Savinelli's 701 Lovat is a bit different. The bowl's a little taller, the shank and mouthpiece a little longer too. But it still feels classic in the way the French and English renditions do, just in a different way. I've got a bunch of these in different shapes and finishes, but my Punto Oro and my Giubileo d'Oro are definitely the jewels of the bunch. I baby the hell out of them.
And there you have it: A handful of our favorite Savinelli shapes here at Smokingpipes.com. Spot any trends? Seems like many prefer the marque's smaller shapes, with the exception of Chuck, who I think would be perfectly happy smoking a Lovat the size of a small warehouse. The point is Savinelli offers the perfect shape for just about anybody. You only need find your own.
What's your favorite Savinelli shape? Feel free to share your thoughts and experiences in the comments section below.