Chacom are one of the most historically important pipe makers still in business today. As early as 1825 the Comoy family was producing smoking pipes from Boxwood, long before the discovery of Briar wood. Henry Chacom is born in 1850, just 6 years before the discovery of briar and St Claude becoming the home and centre of the briar pipe world. While in a Swiss prisoner of war camp (1870) Henry meets up with his cousins (the Chapius family) and the plan to open a pipe factory if and when they are released. On their return to France, the Comoy & Chapius families open their factory is opened. With the popularity of there pipes in London, Henry takes machinery and skilled craftsmen to the UK. The Comoy factory was supplied with pre cut bowls and other raw material from St Claude.
After the “Great War” the St Claude factory is renamed is “CHAPUIS COMOY & Cie”. Following the death of Henri in 1924, the company (London & St Claude factories) is taken over by Paul & Adrian Comoy with help from Emile & Louis Chapius. By 1928 the London Chacom factory had begun completely making pipes in London and the supplies from St Claude were no longer required. Rather than closing the original factory the company was renamed Comoy (a combination of both names) in 1928. Shapes, ranges and grading remained the same between the two factories and Chacom was only sold in France, Switzerland and Belguim.
After the financial crash in the late 1920s, Chacom went in to joint venture with a number of other pipe makers, forming La Bruyere one of the worlds biggest ever pipe companies. La Bruyere employed over 450 workers, producing 100,000’s of pipes annually for the world markets. In 1945 at the end of the Second World War, Chacom got its independence again and began working on more modern designs with some of St Claude’s more skilled artisan carvers. Various name changes and wrangling with the owners didn’t stop Chacom from becoming on of the biggest names in France, Belguim, Japan, Germany, Scandinavia and America.
Innovations in shape and finishes continued from the 1970’s to this day. Most notably was Pierre Morel who had initially worked on the Chacom Gran Cru, Naja and Fluer de Bruyere handmade ranges and eventually became the companies head pipe maker. Still to this day Chacom are known for their traditional manufacturing techniques, with a very contempory look and feel them.