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NEW GILLETTE DE Razor

Interesting point, but the author seemingly forgets that between 1904-21 Gillette was the only company which could legaly sell “thin and flexible” blades. They were completely aware that they didn’t need to lower prices (even reduced the number of blades per set) and when someone copied the blade and or razor, they went to court and won.
The blade and business strategy was launched in 1921 exactly when the patents expired with the dirt cheap Brownie and other sets, or free razors packed together with gum/toothpaste/soap/jeans whatever.
Iirc Gillette sold the post 1921 low priced sets cheaper than any competing business.

The New improved was never intended for the masses, it was a luxury line, just like the later De luxe.

Adam
Of course they didn't "need" to reduce prices to compete with DE competitors 1904-21 but they certainly could have expanded their market among SE and straight users (including Weck and Durham) had they done so, and that i read as the author's point.Instead they locked in a much smaller universe of $5 razor consumers.

Yes like the original Gillette razor the New Improved market was limited by its price to the luxury market and the Old Type was mostly responsible for razor revenues 1921-29. My point was simply that it was 1930 before Gillette designed a $1 razor (and later before they entered the cheap blade market that ate up their market share). Obviously they had the Old Type after 1921 but it was not designed to be sold at that price it was essentially their $5 razor sold at discount due to the engineering costs having been long amortized. The Brownie sets were directly competing against nicely packaged sets from ASR at comparable or less cost ($.49-.75)

Gillette set pricing after 1921 and especially after 1930 didn't persuade consumers to subsequently buy Gillette replacement blades, Gillette was getting killed in the US by cheap blade competition all through the decade with substantially all their profit coming from non-US operations.

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Of course they didn't "need" to reduce prices to compete with DE competitors 1904-21 but they certainly could have expanded their market among SE and straight users (including Weck and Durham) had they done so, and that i read as the author's point.Instead they locked in a much smaller universe of $5 razor consumers.

Yes like the original Gillette razor the New Improved market was limited by its price to the luxury market and the Old Type was mostly responsible for razor revenues 1921-29. My point was simply that it was 1930 before Gillette designed a $1 razor (and later before they entered the cheap blade market that ate up their market share). Obviously they had the Old Type after 1921 but it was not designed to be sold at that price it was essentially their $5 razor sold at discount due to the engineering costs having been long amortized. The Brownie sets were directly competing against nicely packaged sets from ASR at comparable or less cost ($.49-.75)

Gillette set pricing after 1921 and especially after 1930 didn't persuade consumers to subsequently buy Gillette replacement blades, Gillette was getting killed in the US by cheap blade competition all through the decade with substantially all their profit coming from non-US operations.

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The “New” era could have worked, they dumped millions of free and cheap razors onto the market in the US and Europe (based on newspaper articles the European manufacturers were pretty nervous during the early 30ies). Where it went wrong was Gaismans case, then the recession, then courts finally realised that the New/Gaisman patents shouldn’t have been actually patentable.
So instead of the previous 17 years of protection, anyone could produce similar blades and razors from ~1936 in the US, and somewhat earlier in Europe.


Adam
 
The “New” era could have worked, they dumped millions of free and cheap razors onto the market in the US and Europe (based on newspaper articles the European manufacturers were pretty nervous during the early 30ies). Where it went wrong was Gaismans case, then the recession, then courts finally realised that the New/Gaisman patents shouldn’t have been actually patentable.
So instead of the previous 17 years of protection, anyone could produce similar blades and razors from ~1936 in the US, and somewhat earlier in Europe.


Adam
All true. Gillette's decisions to confront competition in the courts rather than in the marketplace didn't serve them well. ASR and Segal beat them to the one piece TTO and it took Gillette until the end of the decade to enter the cheap thin blade market which already dominated by that time. ASR revenues and stock value suffered from the economic depression but not nearly as much as Gillette. Gillette were truly a mess until around '38.

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One further comment re patent protection. It seems to me that Gillette's recovery 1938-59 occurred even with very limited patent protection for its blades and for the Tech razor (the Muros patents did protect the TTOs through '53). They succeeded as they finally solidified a reputation for quality and quality control at low prices, and because smaller regional competitors in the blade business simply couldn't match Gillette's dominance in national radio and TV advertising, particularly after WW2 intervened to Gillette's benefit.

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Without wanting to further derail this topic, it would be interesting to see actual production and profit numbers for blade manufacturers from around 1930-45.
The US side is somewhat covered (didn’t find many numbers), but the strange part is that all Gillette factories switched to Gaisman strip production method after the merger, Roth&Büchner and Autostrop facilities were using it even earlier. So Gillette factories should have produced more blades at a ?much? lower cost than any other competitor.
Another interesting topic would be Roth&Büchner and the war years. They supplied almost everyone in Europe and the Middle-East and although Gillette was cut off from Germany, what happened after the war with the profits withheld?

Adam
 
Without wanting to further derail this topic, it would be interesting to see actual production and profit numbers for blade manufacturers from around 1930-45.
The US side is somewhat covered (didn’t find many numbers), but the strange part is that all Gillette factories switched to Gaisman strip production method after the merger, Roth&Büchner and Autostrop facilities were using it even earlier. So Gillette factories should have produced more blades at a ?much? lower cost than any other competitor.
Another interesting topic would be Roth&Büchner and the war years. They supplied almost everyone in Europe and the Middle-East and although Gillette was cut off from Germany, what happened after the war with the profits withheld?

Adam
It would be interesting but I know of no such reporting beyond a couple of references to Gillette's market share at a couple of points during the period.

I'm sure all those smaller blade manufacturers selling cheap blades operated on tiny margins and most all of them were gone after WW2. A few, Marlin, Barbasol, Berkeley, and obviously ASR's Star stumbled on a bit longer.



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No it is not a Merkur head but has some similarities to that head in general profile. It is made in China.
Well dang. I would like to try a 34c but don't think it will bring anything to the table I don't already have. However, if it was Gillette branded, that would be enough for me to try it. I may still give it a shot when it shows up in my local WG.
 
Well dang. I would like to try a 34c but don't think it will bring anything to the table I don't already have. However, if it was Gillette branded, that would be enough for me to try it. I may still give it a shot when it shows up in my local WG.
I think the first batch is still winging it's way from China. When they arrive, looking for someone to take one for the group so we can have some feedback.
 

THall

Ambassador
Where the head is made has yet to be determined until we get them in. As mentioned here and elsewhere, Gillette traditionally will indicate the “Handle” as the entire razor for cart sales. The problem with saying that is simply their most recent DE release, the Heritage. Initially, Gillette indicated on Amazon that the Heritage had a US made handle with no mention of the head. Obviously when people saw that the head was likely the Mühle R89, and it was, they changed the description and added that it had a German made head and US made handle.

Advertising at Gillette has been out of touch here in the US since the 80s with regard to DE. The people putting those descriptions together most likely either do not know or care that people shaving with DE all this time want to know where all the parts of that razor are made.

The box also indicates that it was designed by Gillette in Boston. I don’t think this is the case either. The blades are made in Russia and the actual handle is made in China. We will know for sure where everything was made later. If it has brass threads like the Heritage, then the thing was most likely made in Germany I would assume.
 

THall

Ambassador
Just saw a side by side comparison between the Heritage and the King C Gillette on another thread by someone that got one in store. The top caps look identical as do the threads, meaning they may be brass threads on this one too. At first I was thinking Merkur but this could still be the R89 with a modified baseplate. In the very
least, looks like the Mühle top cap on this razor.
 
Where the head is made has yet to be determined until we get them in. As mentioned here and elsewhere, Gillette traditionally will indicate the “Handle” as the entire razor for cart sales. The problem with saying that is simply their most recent DE release, the Heritage. Initially, Gillette indicated on Amazon that the Heritage had a US made handle with no mention of the head. Obviously when people saw that the head was likely the Mühle R89, and it was, they changed the description and added that it had a German made head and US made handle.

Advertising at Gillette has been out of touch here in the US since the 80s with regard to DE. The people putting those descriptions together most likely either do not know or care that people shaving with DE all this time want to know where all the parts of that razor are made.

The box also indicates that it was designed by Gillette in Boston. I don’t think this is the case either. The blades are made in Russia and the actual handle is made in China. We will know for sure where everything was made later. If it has brass threads like the Heritage, then the thing was most likely made in Germany I would assume.
It says Made in China on the box.
 

THall

Ambassador
It says Made in China on the box.
Yes, it says handle made in China (See above). The Heritage on Amazon initially only said that the handle was made in US but the head was not specifically mentioned. The latest Heritage description has said that the head had been made in Germany for some time now, they changed the description. I think we will find the same will apply here.

Looking at the video again, there is no doubt the threads look exactly the same as in the Mühle top cap, probably same brass threads. As far as the baseplate, I can’t venture a guess.

I’m going to just shoot Mühle USA an email after I pick one of these up to see.
 
I saw the same video and the thing I noticed is that there's a "G2" under the top cap, that may be a clue as to where it comes from. Anybody familiar with that marking? On the Heritage there's a "4" in that location same as the Muhle R89.
I was hoping to find one locally and checked a couple local stores but no dice. The lady in one of them told me they get deliveries on Tuesdays so I'll check again then.
 

THall

Ambassador
I saw the same video and the thing I noticed is that there's a "G2" under the top cap, that may be a clue as to where it comes from. Anybody familiar with that marking? On the Heritage there's a "4" in that location same as the Muhle R89.
I was hoping to find one locally and checked a couple local stores but no dice. The lady in one of them told me they get deliveries on Tuesdays so I'll check again then.
I saw the display at my Walgreens last week, but no razors yet. Looks like they have room set aside for a bunch of them, including the rest of the line. Not sure if I want to venture out further for something that will be around the block soon.

Wherever the cap and baseplate are made, I’m very happy about those brass threads, no zamack wear issues. The fit and finish look nice on the video, just like the Heritage. I like the vintage look Heritage handle better though. My EJ never slipped through my hands but I’d pay that $5 difference on Amazon for that presentation box and handle.
 
I'm happy to take one for the team here but in my neck of the woods we typically are a bit behind. I will check a couple WGs tomorrow.
 
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