Actually that is a known thing - I can't remember the exact address, but someone did actually track down where the pipes are coming out of, and it's a little warehousey/factory setup in Exeter or somewhere... like it's just a few guys and a very small shop. But it is physically in England (although it seems not all parts of all pipes are maybe produced right there - the usual rumors of buying bowls from France persist). I'll do a bit of re-digging and see if I can find this info. But it's boring info.
Some of the recent dunhills are really nice looking pipes, some of them (I posted a really ugly, badly made one on facebook) are real dogs for shape and proportion. I will maintain the position that "Classic British" pipes are not quite as good as certain Italian marques because of a failure to address engineering issues - little stuff like funneled tenons. But they are still in most cases "nice pipes" - Dunhill, Ashton, etc
The pics I posted come from James Barber, they seem to get some of Dunhill’s better work around Christmas time each year. Most recent production Dunhills don’t do much for me so it was nice to see a few that caught my eye all at once. If they could find someone who knows how to bend a stem properly it’d be a major improvement, then they can move on to things like funneled tenons, thin bits, comfortable buttons, etc.
I gave the White Spot a go back in 2015 --- got one mailorder from a shop in Italy because they have better prices than here.
I'd always wanted a 305 "riding pipe" stubby billiard and a new modern version popped up so I went ahead and got it.
I was extremely disappointed when it arrived.
You'd think it'd be somewhat easy to drill straight on such a short shank, but alas apparently not. The stem was wonky too.
Totally off-center and airhole high in the heel.
Somewhat of a clusterfock to return it due to international purchase. I decided to test the famous White Spot Guarantee and try to return it to an authorized dealer because that what it says. A bit of tribulation but I finally got an authorized dealer to honor the guarantee and I got shop credit.
The whole experience left a bad taste in my mouth.
I hope that their quality has improved since then. I was astounded that they'd let such a pipe out of the shop and into the world.
True enough. We are just glad she started wearing shoes.
I think Dunhills are overpriced especially if you buy them in the us. For the price they should be more impressive in grain, finish, everything, but everyone I have purchased whether new or estate has been a solid smoker that was comfortable to clench. Not an awesome smoker but good.
The Castellos I have purchased have been a mixed bag. The ones I kept are awesome smokers better than any Dunhill but I have had some real dogs just terrible pos and the stems aren’t as comfortable. Even @Sasquatch has to admit there is some irony in a Castello fan pointing out ugly pipes of another brand although I did miss the part where the Dunhill above was an $1,100 Pipe.
I’ll take your word on the engineering. If I didn’t think you knew what you were talking about, I wouldn’t keep buying your pipes, but I am not convinced the Italian makers are that much better in general.