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Savinelli Oscar 616 KS Dry System

February 10, 2010

I think you’ll agree, that’s one heck of a nomenclature! Nearly as big as the pipe I am now holding in my hand. I got this one, again, by being a bit stealthy on Ebay. It is my third Savinelli. I have a baby billiard and a very old, beaten up champagne full bent that I rescued from a cellar somewhere and use for yard purposes. Neither of those two compare with this monster. It is a lovely pipe.

I do have one issue with it, although it might be more correct to say, I have an issue with Savinelli. This is a dry system pipe. As with a Peterson system pipe, it has a well bored in the base of the airway to collect evaporated water, gunk or whatever. So I wonder, why on earth is it bored for a filter? Could it be that the system doesn’t work? Or is it simply that Savinelli set their sights firmly on the filter fixated German market with this one?

Either way, I dispensed with the filter, I never use them, and will eventually buy a 9 mm plug to fill the filter cavity. Without the offending cardboard insert, I must say that the big Savinelli smokes extremely well. I filled the big bowl with Rattray’s Black Mallory and puffed away for over an hour over a scotch and some interesting reading matter. The pipe smoked out and returned a fine heap of grey ash. Beautiful.

The bowl displays a little straight grain on the port side fading to flamegrain on the starboard. The base of the bowl has some lovely birds eye. The stem is beautifully finished and is decorated with the yellow metal ring. A big pipe, this one is not for clenching and walking around with. It needs to be lovingly smoked while relaxing in a solid armchair. And don’t worry, it will be!

Price? Well, I got this one for €17.00, about $30.00 by today’s rates. Which is really a bit like stealing. It is worth a whole lot more than I paid. Lucky me.


Starboard on the shank; “Oscar” over “Dry”. Port on the shank; Savinelli’s logo, “616KS” over “Italy”. Underside Shank; “Savinelli Product”. I can make out a faint five pointed star shape on the stem on the port side.


Length: about 150 mm from bowl front to button.Bowl diameter: 44 mm
Chamber: Ø21 mm x 45 mm deep
Bowl height: 53 mm
Button: 18 mm broad x 6 mm high

6 Comments leave one →
  1. Highstump permalink
    February 13, 2010 02:33

    Grand looking pipe my friend. And at that price, yes it was a steal. Congratulations to you sir. I have the same issues with Savinelli and their system. I have two Savinellis that take the filter and have tried to use the balsa filters in them but just can’t seem to appreciate them. I leave the filters out and just give them a good cleaning when they cool. Those two Savs seem to like a Virginia tobacco the best.

    Strange that you should say that about the Virginia. This big Savinelli seems to like it too. Maybe it has something to do with the briar they use? Perhaps I should investigate.
    Omitting the filter is common practise. I do it. I do strive to get the tenons plugged though. The pipes tend to whistle if I dont, probably due to the venturi effect in the airway.
    I hope you enjoy your Savs as much as I do.
    Thanks for your comment.

  2. Chris G. permalink
    February 15, 2010 04:50

    I agree with Highstump, I just purchased a new Savinelli in New York City and the very first thing I did was to toss out the balsa filter. I have elected to not purchase a plug and will just give it a good cleaning when needed. I enjoy the wide open draft. I have one other less expensive Savinelli and it is a great “work horse.” It has been out with me while working and its takes a beating and still smokes great! I too, enjoy Black Mallory in this fine pipe!


    I agree. Filters are not for me. I plug the stems to avoid the “whistle” effect. I have an old beaten up champagne 612 that takes a hiding in the yard or at work. It’s astounding how much punishment that old Sav can take and still be sweet.
    Thanks for chipping in.

  3. John McKenzie permalink
    February 16, 2010 12:37

    That’s a lovely pipe.

    Would you say there is any difference in nature between the big Savinelli dry systems and Peterson system pipes in terms of how they smoke, or your personal preference?

    Well, I’m just getting to know the Sav, but it certainly smokes well and loves Virginias. I tend to learn the capabilities of each of my pipes and try not to directly compare them. This allows me better to pick my pipe for my mood. I think the best way to sum it up right now is, that they perform equally well. Undoubtedly, the Peterson systems are very good and I would champion their system pretty much against anything else on the market. My Mark Twain and my 302 are absolutely among my best smokers.
    Maybe in a couple of months, I’ll have a more objective opinion!
    An interesting question though. Perhaps others will join the debate.

  4. konkurrencer permalink
    March 12, 2010 22:26

    Where abouts are you from? can’t tell from your use of english if its UK English or American English!

    Originally from England Sir, or maybe Madame. I can’t see from your comment if you are male or female since you didn’t sign it. I have been here in Denmark under voluntary exile for the last 27 years. Hence the nickname…
    By the way, I removed your spam URL.. see “Contact and Comments Policy” under “About this blog”.
    Thanks for your interest.

  5. June 12, 2010 18:53

    Now that is a nice big bowl! Lasts the whole evening, eh? 17 Euros is really a steal – I got my favorite Ohm Poul-style Lorenzo “Titano” for about the same price, makes you almost feel guilty. Well, almost. 😉

    All best to an English exile in Denmark from a German exile in Paraguay, *lol*
    Martin AKA “PipeSmokingMan”

    Thanks for commenting Martin. And thanks for the link.

  6. Efe Ertem permalink
    July 5, 2010 22:43

    It’s not dry system.

    Really? Strange. I just re-examined the pipe. It’s clearly stamped; “Oscar DRY”.

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