Swellboy on… tattoos

A flurry of portents leads our man to think about ink

It is about time that I got a tattoo – after all, I would hate to wake up one day to find that I am too old for a midlife crisis – and from the number of portents I have been noticing, it would seem that the universe is trying to tell me something.

First of all, I learnt of the Big Bang Sang Bleu watch [£14,200, second picture], a handsome timepiece with a hexagonal bezel made by Hublot in collaboration with celebrity tattoo artist Maxime Büchi. As my ignorance on the subject of tattooing is encyclopedic, I mentioned the name around a few of my more au courant friends and asked if I should let Büchi loose on my epidermis. It was as though I had said that I was thinking of getting Gerhard Richter to come round and give the old ancestral wattle and daub hut a lick of paint.

I decided to ponder the matter over a cigar and sauntered into the humidor at Davidoff, where I spied a very dangerous looking inky-black corona. This, I was told by Sahakian fils, was a Tatuaje.

Eddie Sahakian, who runs Davidoff of London with his father, has been bringing in a few novelties to add to the classic Havanas and Davidoffs and among them is Tatuaje (Spanish for tattoo), the creation of Pete Johnson. A failed bass guitarist-turned-cigar success story, he has heavily tattooed arms that betray the origins of his brand name and that of his nickname in the industry: Tattoo Pete. If Quentin Tarantino ever made a film about a cigar maker, he could do worse than model his protagonist on Tattoo Pete.


And then the other day I was in Berluti in Paris and saw a spider’s web artfully etched into the hide of a blue holdall. Berluti has been tattooing things for years, but it has clearly escalated its efforts in this field. I was informed that the object of my admiration was the result of a collaboration between the Parisian bottier de luxe and the tattooist to the stars (as I believe the popular press might say) Scott Campbell, whose work is also to be appreciated across Berluti’s leather jackets this winter [example in first picture, £3,700].

It never pays to rush into these things, so I think I might build up to my excursion into body art gently and start with a tattooed Berluti briefcase or, better still, commission a tattooed leather cigar sleeve in order to have an aesthetically correct home for my Tatuajes.


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