Review of Altinok AutoGraph 124: My first meer

Discussion in 'Meerschaum Pipes' started by Ozzie, Feb 18, 2012.

  1. Ozzie

    Ozzie Member

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    The mailman finally smiled on me today, and I received a yellow package from Turkey containing my long awaited first meerschaum pipe...the Altinok AutoGraph 124. I still have a second Altinok pipe that I'm waiting for (currently being carved in Turkey.)

    This being my first pipe review ever, and given that I am a meerschaum amateur, please cut me a little slack if this review is subpar to what you are used to. Also, please excuse the poor quality pictures that fail to do the pipe any justice, but I have an old and cheap digital camera that needs replacing.

    First Impression: 4.5 out of 5
    The pipe turned out to be a lot bigger than I expected (which is not necessarily a bad thing.) At first glance the pipe seems to look exactly like what I ordered, and the quality of the finish seems extremely good. Fit and finish between the stem and the shank is perfect. The only reason I will give it a 4.5 out of 5 is because at certain angles and under the right lighting condition, I notice one extremely small scratch on the bottom of the pipe. It's almost invisible, but it's there and has to be mentioned. I don't mind though, since I'm sure I'll do worse to it over hopefully many years of use.

    [​IMG]

    Presentation: 4 out of 5
    The pipe did come with a little bit of meerschaum dust inside the chamber, but a quick pass with the pipe cleaner down the stem, and a quick swipe with a towel inside the chamber took care of that. The pipe came with a personalized certificate of authenticity, a receipt, and a business card. The case is or a reddish brown color, lined with white velvet inside. The fit of the pipe inside the case is perfect, though the fit and finish of the case itself seems a little sloppy in some areas.

    Properties of the meer/pipe balance: 5 out of 5
    The pipe is well balanced, and the meer seems to be porous and of very high quality. This is evidenced by the snow white appearance of the meerschaum, and the extreme light weight of the material.
    [​IMG]

    Smoking qualities: 5 out of 5
    I put some hot burning tobacco in the chamber, lit the pipe up, and was shocked by how smooth and tamed the smoking experience was. I got no tongue bite whatsoever, and the smoke was cool and dry. I could taste the intricacies of the tobacco in a way I have never been able to do with a briar pipe. It was an experience that had to be felt to be believed. The draw of the pipe is also superb. There is no resistance whatsoever. I rate smoking satisfaction at 100%. I only had to relight the tobacco once towards the end. Other than that, it was smooth sailing.

    Summary: 18.5 out of 20
    I would recommend Altinok meerschaum pipes to others, though I do hope the quality of the case for my Signature pipe will be a little better. We'll see when I get it. But all in all, I am satisfied with my purchase, and look forward to many long afternoons smoking my new meer pipe. Thank you Altinok for helping me appreciate the superb smoking qualities of a meerschaum pipe, and for carving such a superior product. I can't wait until the Signature pipe arrives. If this one is anything to judge by, I doubt I will be disappointed.
    iSiv, Kiowapipe, David Emond and 3 others like this.
  2. Lestrade

    Lestrade Active Member

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    Awesome review! Thanks Ozzie and congrats and enjoy the new addition! :puffy:
  3. IrishRover

    IrishRover Active Member

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    Excellent review. I am looking forward to buying a block meer one of these days..
    I hope you enjoy many smokes with your new pipe.
  4. DGErwin11

    DGErwin11 Moderator Moderator

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    I too prefer a smooth meer rather than carved. Great looking pipe. Hope you enjoy it as much as I enjoy my IMP.
  5. t-bear

    t-bear Active Member

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    Good review....even for a "beginner"...LOL
    Good to hear you had a first rate experience with Sinan....though not in the least surprised. Here's to many pleasurable smokes from your new pipe!
  6. Arkie

    Arkie Active Member

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    It's an elegant looking pipe. The case wouldn't be a big deal to me because I would keep the pipe in a rack anyway. If I took the pipe on a trip I would carry it in a combo tobacco & pipe pouch. I understand it is traditional for a meer to have a case but it wouldn't bother me if a case didn't come with it at all. I have a no-name meer that I bought about 35 years ago (it didn't come with a case) and I love it. Maybe it's time for me to get another.
    dgerwin11 likes this.
  7. David Emond

    David Emond Active Member

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    Thank you for your review :)
  8. dmkerr

    dmkerr Moderator Moderator

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    Nicely done! :th1:
  9. Ozzie

    Ozzie Member

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    Update: A total of 14 bowls latter and my pipe is already starting to change color around the shank area, and the rim of the bowl is also getting a nice golden patina color. I did not think it would start to change colors so fast. I'm pretty impressed.

    Also, I have barely had any cake to speak of. It seems like cake buildup won't be a huge problem with this pipe. In another month or two when the color starts to become more evenly distributed and stronger, I will post a few pictures along with another update.
    David Emond likes this.
  10. David Emond

    David Emond Active Member

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    I was under the impression that theres no cake buildup with meers ?
  11. dmkerr

    dmkerr Moderator Moderator

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    No, it builds up - you just don't want it to. Unlike briars, meerschaum requires no cake to protect it from heat. Plus it impedes the coloring process. Best to wipe the inside of the bowl down with a paper towel after smoking to keep cake away.
    dgerwin11 likes this.
  12. David Emond

    David Emond Active Member

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    ahh ok got it thanks Dm
  13. ComputerGuy

    ComputerGuy Member

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    Enjoyed the review. Dang it, now I'm looking at Meers.
  14. Woody

    Woody I'm working on it. Admin

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    LOL
  15. JuJu McMojo

    JuJu McMojo Member

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    Handsome looking pipe, and a great review. Looking forward to your impressions of the Autograph.
  16. Ozzie

    Ozzie Member

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    My second meer was finally shipped by Altinok today. This is the Signature pipe that cost me around $170.

    My first pipe is really starting to get a lot of color on the shank, and the bowl is starting to show the first hints of color. I will post pictures in the next 24 hours so you can see the progress.
  17. David Emond

    David Emond Active Member

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    Ozzie may i ask what was your method of shipping that you chose and how long did it take for your 1st pipe to get to you?
  18. Ozzie

    Ozzie Member

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    For the last pipe I used the cheapest option (2-3 week shipping) and I got the pipe in 12 days, so I suspect I'll get my second pipe in about 12 days.