Zippo released the new Blu range in 2007. Does it build on the unrivalled reputation for quality or is Zippo a dinosaur trying to catch up with the market? More importantly, to us, are they worth the money (and do they work)?
Since 1932 Zippo has made petrol lighters. More specifically, they have made 'windproof lighters'. Like most advertising claims windproof is a bit on the optimistic side. There is no lighter in the world that will remain alight in a gale. On the other hand, where most lighters fail a petrol Zippo will work well. Petrol Zippo are an icon, there is the distinctive click, they are seen in too many films to mention (without the now obligatory endorsement agreements). The Blu has a hard act to follow.
It is undoubted that petrol lighters are more troublesome than the disposable lighters that now flood the market. They have to be filled, wicks replaced and trimmed, flints ware down (top tip - always carry replacements). On the other hand, they are a statement, the designs that are available allow the owner to say something about their philosophy be it Anarchy or Serenity there is a Zippo for everyone. Zippo enjoy a place in American history. In fact, the enjoy a place in British history. I was able to reunite an ex-sailor on the HMS Splendid with his Zippo after 24 years! he had served during the Falklands war, losing his Zippo in the process. Somehow it came into my possession and his wife bought it from me. How does the Blu fit into this heritage?
The Blu brings Zippo into the 21st Century. The click is still there, it feels 'right' in your hand. There is that knowledge of 70+ years of development is behind it. Yet there is still a sense that, perhaps, Zippo is trying to catch up. They may be trying to reach a new market. Harley owners tend to use themed petrol Zippo for example. Would they use Blus? Probably not, at least, not until they produce Harley themed Blus.
I have drifted away from the original subject, do they work and are they value for money?
Subjectively, I have to say that I will always prefer my old brass Zippo. It has been with me for 20 years or more, it is an old friend. We have been through so much together. His back up (are lighters male?) is a Blu Sable.
They do work, they are reliable,and provide good value in these dys of throw away commodities. The lifetime guarantee is still there (my shop and listings provide a link to the guarantee address). As to whether the Blu will become a new classic, I think that the jury is still out. The jury would have been out in 1933, we know which way it would vote now. My guess is that the Blu will assume the same status in the years to come.