Gravity bongs are filled with ingenuity. Making your own grav bong is easy in theory, but there’s a level of MacGyver-ing involved that leads to creations and innovations with objects as simple as the bottle (milk jug, Hawaiian Punch bottle) or larger water receptacle (bucket, plastic bin).
Stündenglass — “hourglass” in German and owned by vaporizer company Grenco Sciences — takes that ingenuity and creativity to another level with its gravity hookah, made of borosilicate glass and aircraft-grade anodized aluminum.
According to Timothy Cotter-Patenaude, marketing director at Stündenglass, the company’s founder story begins in 2012 with Tracey Huston, an Apple employee at the time, wanted to retire his own at-home grav bong set-up for something… that wasn’t a jug and a bucket. As the patriarch of a large family who didn’t have time to sesh, he enjoyed the ability to take one big hit, but wanted to improve the grav bong experience and design.
A family friend who knew Seth Rogen gifted the stoner-celeb a prototype of the Stündenglass. Rogen proceeded to put a video of him using it on social media, where it went viral. Huston began selling the Stündenglass out of his garage.
What began as a passion project became a new business venture in 2020, when Grenco Sciences invested in Stündenglass and hired Huston. Now, you’re likely to find Stündenglass in weed cafes and hookah lounges. But should you shell out $600 to have one in your home?
Easy to Use: The Stündenglass is easier, and less risky, to use compared to the traditional gravity bong. There’s no anxiety of ruining your weed by getting it wet, the mechanics of the Stündenglass allow for smooth, flavorful hits every time. It’s also exponentially classier than using a literal bucket and jug.
In an age where cannabis consumption involves apps and haptics, it’s a breath of fresh air to use something more analog that’s just as science-y. Seeing gravity work its magic and fill the Stündenglass with smoke felt like I, a cool adult scientist, was in charge of a cool adult science experiment. The base is incredibly sturdy, meaning you won’t tip anything over while you’re flipping the glass. The smoke is smooth and easy to ingest, and the high from it is body-encompassing. The Stündenglass fills with enough smoke to share between two people for a comfortable high, but if taking a single, very large hit is more your style, Stündenglass can accomplish that without destroying your lungs. Overall, the high you get from Stündenglass is cleaner than one from a regular bong.
Zero-Contact Smoking: The contactless delivery on the Stündenglass is incredibly effective. In the era of COVID-19, where our perception of germs has been heightened and we definitely don’t want to use something that someone else’s mouth has been in contact with, the product is less grimy than passing around a hookah wand or bong. And, it’s backed by trusted stoners. Along with Rogen, rapper Wiz Khalifa is also a fan and frequently posts videos using the Stündenglass on his Instagram stories.
Not Just for Getting High: The versatility of Stündenglass is also impressive. On top of using it with flower, hookah and wood chips, you can also attach a dab rig — either an e-nail or a regular banger — to the device. So, despite its hefty price tag, you’re getting at least four devices in one. According to Cotter-Patenaude, there are plans to make more attachments to Stündenglass, including a tea and coffee brewing attachment. Added with the product’s 10-year warranty, that means you could be using Stündenglass to make an entire breakfast. If you’re looking for some ideas to really stretch Stündenglass’ capabilities, take a look at the product’s subreddit.
What’s Not Good
That $600, Though… : The price is pretty steep, objectively. And, although it is a hit among celebs, it might not be a hit among the stoner plebeians, no pun intended. “I can’t imagine it being 50 times better than what I can make it [sic] home for $10,” Reddit user DeadpotSociety wrote.
Tricky to Assemble: Per my crafty partner who loves building Ikea furniture, the Stündenglass instructions are like “diet Ikea instructions.” The videos on the company’s YouTube channel are definitely a must-watch to get an idea of how to use the Stündenglass. Although Cotter-Patenaude said it’s easy to set-up, there are a lot of parts that look the same upon first glance (e.g., the hookah wand and the upstems). The product could definitely benefit from marking the parts using lettered stickers.
Multi-Use … If You Have the Tools: Smoking alcohol and food using the Stündenglass is difficult without the proper tools. You need a blowtorch, wood chips and a smoking hood to do so — all of which are sold separately as of this writing. Although Stündenglass often markets the device as a smoker, official Stündenglass smoking hoods aren’t available yet on the site. Because I am a very middle-class journalist and lazy minimalist with average taste who doesn’t want to buy extra things, I tried using what I had on hand (a lighter and a large piece of Tupperware) to upgrade my Old Crow whiskey ginger and grilled cheese into a five-star meal. It didn’t really work, mostly because I didn’t have a blowtorch. If you’re really into dabs, you probably already have one, but not everyone is, including me, since “long hair,” “fire,” and “apartment” don’t really mix.
You can always make your own grav bong, purchase a separate hookah and smoker and just let all three devices be separate devices. There are also Stündenglass knock-offs on the internet. Additionally, there’s the Infinity Waterfall, which also brands itself as a multi-functional gravity pipe, and Freeze Pipe’s Gravity Bong.
If you want to invest in a piece that does a lot, makes a statement and functions as a part of your home, sure. The contactless delivery really sets the Stündenglass apart from other devices on the market and the device has a lot of versatility. But if you don’t really like hookah, don’t have a desire to smoke food, or you’re not super into gravity-related devices, it might be worth passing if your regular bong makes you happy.
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