I went mainland China for business and I know the strong lights and shadows of the nation but let me tell you what I have seen and found there. My oh my, for the pipes, the same situation with the feature film DVDs and music CDs are going on.
It recalled me the Wilson Pickett’s hit song Land Of 1,000 Dances. It was like land of 1,000,000 Or More Illegal Copies. There was a brake cylinder parts for GM cars and the price was unbelievably cheap. Genuine ? Not !! From its outer box, it is the unbelievably unreliable auto parts which the HMVSS would go crazy.
About the pipes, oh yes, I’ve seen and found some at the souvenir stores and some. THis means that they have found the demand. They have one big disadvantage. Many of the carvers or say the manufacturers don’t know about the briar wood. So, no matter what the shape of the pipes are, those are made is whatever the wood material is available.
The higher priced ( about 8 to 16 dollars ) ones come with the case and the gadget. The notable thing is the gadget. Every one of them looks as the high end tamper and pipe tools of the famous brands ( of course ! ) But the material is cheap. It is just like those fake Rolex and things you see on the spams and the websites offering such.
Gadgets are hard to tell from a distance but the pipes. They still don’t dig the overall shape and the details that the pipe smokers do care. Also lack of briar and wood with good grain is making those pipes finished in darker stain. Mostly burgandy like deep cherry red.
I bought one and tried it with the Rattrey’s Professional. Hmmmmm, haaaaaaa, urrrrrrrrgh ( tone down ) Seems like it will take them another decade or so to come up with the better or say the reliably smokable pipes.
Also there were copies of Savinelli, Peterson and some. The only thing which looked like the real one is the box and the case. And maybe the tamper if the one comes with it originally. But the pipe.
I’ve seen more than a hundred pipes and I can say that none of those will draw the pipes.org member’s interest.
Well, the pipes are okay for now. But for the others, there are significant leap could be seen. One of my colleague is the mechanical watch fan and at the store in Shanghai, he found a fake looking Mickey Mouse watch but it had the real Tour billon mechanism. The watch cost him $150 after negotiating from 280.
He had his watch tools with him and soon as he got back to his hotel room, he took those out and opened the watch case and inspected the mechanism. It was a mechanical movement with the real tour billon. He lost words. TB is on those high end Swiss watches as the major feature of the model and those costs about more than 10K in US$. He said as the parts are rough and not as sophisticated but doing its job.