It goes back to the end of the 19th century when Elbert Gubbels Sr. opened a shop focused on tobacco pipes and other smoker accessories. The smoking business grew to the point that in 1924 the company was transformed into a wholesale trade business. Because of the lack of tobacco pipe manufacturers in the Netherlands, Gubbels imported pipes from Europe, primarily France and England.
During the German Invasion that occurred in 1940, the Gubbels family had difficulties importing products from Europe. Mr. Gubbel wanted to cut ties with his suppliers and have his tobacco pipe production. With the ending of World War II, his dream came alive.
In 1946 the Gubbels Family opened their first factory. After a successful expansion, Mr. Gubbels quickly realized that his brand needed an international name to appeal to the European market. He bought a small trade company in Amsterdam, which owned the rights to the brand Big Ben that was well established in the international market.
From that point, Big Ben pipes and the Gubbels family became a recognized brand that everybody knew.
With the opening of the new factory in Roermond in 1974, Her Majesty Queen Juliana of the Netherlands granted the title “Royal” to the Gubbels Company. Hence, its official name became Elbert Gubbels & Zonen – Koninklijke Fabriek van Tabakspijpen (Elbert Gubbels & Sons – Royal Dutch Pipe Factory). Following the new title, the company went through a new rebranding to negate the belief that the company’s origins were English becoming Royal Dutch.
To this day, the Big Ben Pipes are made in Holland. Most of them are fitted with 9mm Filters. It stands for innovative designs and outstanding quality. Because of their reliability and intriguing styles, Big Ben is the first pipe for many new pipe smokers and the favourite of many.
As you can see from the pictures, these pipes are classic and somehow future forward with their style and palette colour.
Head over to our Big Ben page and browse our collection.