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Rockwell Model T is in!!

Great explanation, thanks. The thing is, today's artisan manufacturers have the advantages of modern technology, but they don't have all the same conditions that Gillette operated under 50-100 years ago. So it isn't necessarily a good idea to try to copy Gillette's design approaches. I'm not really a vintage collector, but I do have a 1958 Super Speed and a 1962 Slim. These clearly were non-luxury, inexpensive, ordinary household items in their day. But there aren't many inexpensive household items today that are made to their level of precision and close tolerances.
Great points, all. Today's artisan makers have modern CNC technology which produces outstanding results and is relatively affordable for small scale production. This works because though today's DE razor market is a tiny segment of the overall shaving market, it is the high end of that market. Selling a small number of units at a high price (and a high margin) is a viable business model.

Gillette on the other hand could capitalize mass production manufacturing capacity back in the day largely because their market was huge; essentially the entire universe of shavers, at least potentially. Though the per-unit profit was small, they sold a zillion razors and that provided a handsome return on their investment in mass production. No maker today can afford the capital investment that would be required to produce razors like Gillette did; the market size simply isn't there. That's why we'll never again see mass produced, affordable razors that approach the quality of the vintage Gillettes.
 
Crowd funding = "We've got a terrific design. We just need funding to bring our excellent prototype to market."

Rockwell Model T = "Give us your money for an all stainless razor. Yeah, that's the ticket. All stainless. Coming in 2017."

Later:

"Sorry we didn't have a terrific design; we hadn't really thought about the problems, and it turns out we need to work with cheaper materials. But thanks for your money while we fantasized about a design that didn't work out. Hope you like our consolation prize. Which you may never get. We're sorry about that too."

"But we've got your money, and you won't get what you expected, but having your money all this time has been great. Thanks very much."

Oh wait, after over a year of waiting, while Rockwell has held my money, I could get a refund. They keep the financial float of everyone who paid in. Sweet.
Yeah such an embarrassing way to go into a business. Total lack of balls in my opinion. First, you acquire your funds like a real man instead of begging and pleading strangers to hand it to you. Then you make your design, your prototypes utilizing a great number of selected wetshavers from the community, then pass it off to development and finally a finished product. THEN you can market it when it is AVAILABLE! I'd be totally embarrassed to be the owner of Rockwell to be quite honest.
 

emwolf

Contributor
Yeah such an embarrassing way to go into a business. Total lack of balls in my opinion. First, you acquire your funds like a real man instead of begging and pleading strangers to hand it to you. Then you make your design, your prototypes utilizing a great number of selected wetshavers from the community, then pass it off to development and finally a finished product. THEN you can market it when it is AVAILABLE! I'd be totally embarrassed to be the owner of Rockwell to be quite honest.
While I agree with you regarding the nucleus of this, it is, unfortunately, the new way of doing business. I'm an older guy working in an older industry. I used to think you find a company, work for it and retire. The standard now is 5 years for a company before moving on. I used to see my industry plan for the future, how it will remain competitive in 5, 10, 20 years. Now we only work for the end of the month. Our customers suffer, but that has definitely not been a concern for upper management.

The business community of today is a short sighted, fickle entity. It's more concerned with how it can disrupt the status quo than if it's a good thing to disrupt the status quo. It will change, since it's changed greatly in my lifetime, but I'm not enamored of the current state.
 
Any more info or updates or shave experiences to tell?
I've had my Model T for a few weeks now and have been using it, mostly, for my typical every-other-day shaves. It is, for me, an outstanding shaver; exceptionally smooth and comfortable and quite efficient. I really like the ability to adjust mid-shave, which I have been doing. I'm generally a two pass shaver; first pass WTG and a second pass AGT. I've been using setting 4 for my first WTG pass, which yields pretty impressive stubble reduction, and then dialing back to 3 for a very comfortable ATG pass. This approach has been giving me very close shaves with no irritation. I have quite a number of razors, and I would rate the Model T as one of the very best shavers in my stable.

I'm less impressed with the build quality. First off, it's a very large razor, with a long, thick handle and a huge head. This is largely a matter of my personal aesthetic, but it is really just too massive for my tastes. I do like the mechanism, which is smooth and precise. But I don't like the fact that the head parts are clearly cast (zamak, I assume) as evidenced by the mold marks on the plate. While the tolerances seem very good, it's still basically a cast zamak razor with a $195 asking price. As good a shaver as it is, this seems to me like it will be a hard sell at $195.
 

emwolf

Contributor
I've had my Model T for a few weeks now and have been using it, mostly, for my typical every-other-day shaves. It is, for me, an outstanding shaver; exceptionally smooth and comfortable and quite efficient. I really like the ability to adjust mid-shave, which I have been doing. I'm generally a two pass shaver; first pass WTG and a second pass AGT. I've been using setting 4 for my first WTG pass, which yields pretty impressive stubble reduction, and then dialing back to 3 for a very comfortable ATG pass. This approach has been giving me very close shaves with no irritation. I have quite a number of razors, and I would rate the Model T as one of the very best shavers in my stable.

I'm less impressed with the build quality. First off, it's a very large razor, with a long, thick handle and a huge head. This is largely a matter of my personal aesthetic, but it is really just too massive for my tastes. I do like the mechanism, which is smooth and precise. But I don't like the fact that the head parts are clearly cast (zamak, I assume) as evidenced by the mold marks on the plate. While the tolerances seem very good, it's still basically a cast zamak razor with a $195 asking price. As good a shaver as it is, this seems to me like it will be a hard sell at $195.
Thanks for the review. I have a feeling there won't be many sold at the higher price
 
I received my Model T a little over a week ago and was duly impressed. Shaved with it and really liked the razor. For a few days anyways, however, before the week was done the 2 part T-bar assembly separated and the razor's doors fell into my hands. So now the razor is useless. I am waiting for Rockwell to answer back what my next step should be? IMHO The 2 part T-bar is a bad design! After such a long wait I am sorely disappointed.
You paid for this razor in advance, you waited a year or more to get it. The razor arrived and before a week was out it fell apart in your hands. And you then say you're "sorely disappointed".

That is either the understatement of the year or you're a very polite Canadian.

As a Canadian commenting on a Canadian company, I hope Rockwell does right by you.
 

A Cut Above

Contributor
I got a refund after a year and a half waiting. Bought a REX Ambassador which is stainless steel and a real engineering work of art. Excellent shaves, adjustments are accurate. Worth the money for a Rolls Royce instead of a cheap wanabe.
 
I got a refund after a year and a half waiting. Bought a REX Ambassador which is stainless steel and a real engineering work of art. Excellent shaves, adjustments are accurate. Worth the money for a Rolls Royce instead of a cheap wanabe.
This is exactly what I did and couldn't be happier. The rex really has been a RAD killer for me thus far. Now I'm just thinking about buying the polished version as well whenever it comes out Lol
 
Any more info or updates or shave experiences to tell?
I was notified that the replacement to my faulty Model T is on its way.

I will say that the one shave that I was able to do before it wonked out on me was pleasant. $199 pleasant? No way. I got mine for $89 as an early backer.

I will say, my 6S remains one of the best razors I own of over 50 vintage and modern.

We will see...


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

THall

Ambassador
I never invested in the Model T but once invested in a Kickstarter. A few years ago, my wife and I wanted a home security system without monthly bills, mainly a camera and alert system. The cameras we saw overall were bulky and wired.

Searched around and found the Blink system on Kickstarter. They had many working functioning prototypes and were battery powered. Got in early before regular production and now the units are one of the best and cost a whole lot more. Fast forward a few years and Amazon bought them out for a boatload of cash.

They had a plan, they had models and they wanted to both measure interest and build up funds for production and they came through on all of their promises, no surprises. It looks like that did not happen here.
 
This is exactly what I did and couldn't be happier. The rex really has been a RAD killer for me thus far. Now I'm just thinking about buying the polished version as well whenever it comes out Lol
Yeah seriously. At first i felt it was kind of heavy and bulky on the handle but after shaving with it, it has become my go-to. I do have the 6s but the REX totally beats it by far. I am actually surprised something new and modern is actually good...
 
They had a plan, they had models and they wanted to both measure interest and build up funds for production and they came through on all of their promises, no surprises. It looks like that did not happen here.
You're right, that definitely has not happened here. The Rockwell Model T campaign proved to be all about raising money, quickly. The Model T is an admittedly appealing design concept, but it was based on just a few working prototypes. Between their KS and IGG campaigns, Rockwell raised over 620K based on that design, but apparently had no idea how to put it into mass production. It seems like they were unwilling (or didn't know how) to invest the money required to timely complete a design and develop the manufacturing capacity to produce the Model T at scale. It's been nearly two and a half years since the launch, and still there is no large scale production. It makes you wonder where all that money went.

It has been a very amateurish campaign in terms of managing the design and manufacturing process. What's perhaps more annoying has been the consistently disingenuous communication from Rockwell. Their "updates" on the Model T have been filled with obfuscation and the-dog-ate-my-homework excuses. IMO, this has been a less than honest effort to try to stem the rush to the exits from backers. It would be to their credit if they would simply own up to the fact that they got in over their head on this project and, instead of continuing to over promise, just try to provide some realistic estimate of actual delivery.
 
You're right, that definitely has not happened here. The Rockwell Model T campaign proved to be all about raising money, quickly. The Model T is an admittedly appealing design concept, but it was based on just a few working prototypes. Between their KS and IGG campaigns, Rockwell raised over 620K based on that design, but apparently had no idea how to put it into mass production. It seems like they were unwilling (or didn't know how) to invest the money required to timely complete a design and develop the manufacturing capacity to produce the Model T at scale. It's been nearly two and a half years since the launch, and still there is no large scale production. It makes you wonder where all that money went.

It has been a very amateurish campaign in terms of managing the design and manufacturing process. What's perhaps more annoying has been the consistently disingenuous communication from Rockwell. Their "updates" on the Model T have been filled with obfuscation and the-dog-ate-my-homework excuses. IMO, this has been a less than honest effort to try to stem the rush to the exits from backers. It would be to their credit if they would simply own up to the fact that they got in over their head on this project and, instead of continuing to over promise, just try to provide some realistic estimate of actual delivery.

Are you serious? Did they really get more than $620,000 in interest free loans to make a razor?
 
Being as the Rockwell 6s was declared the Holy Grail of shaving, never understood the reason for the Model T. Excepting that the 6s isn't the Holy Grail of shaving as claimed. Anyway, I'm through with Rockwell, they got my money once, not twice.
 
Are you serious? Did they really get more than $620,000 in interest free loans to make a razor?
They did indeed. In the interest of complete accuracy, the current figure is $619, 226 according to IGG. That reflects a reduction of a few thousand dollars from the total originally raised, presumably due to a number of backers taking Rockwell up on their offer of a refund.
Grants, not loans. Technically they don't pay them back.
But they do promise to "pay it back" in the form of delivering product for each pledge; i.e. they promise each backer a razor. But as many Rockwell apologists have pointed out on the KS site, the fine print of KS campaigns means that as a backer, you are guaranteed nothing.
 
A nice subsidy for the rest of their business.
Yes. The $620K raised is 787% of the KS campaign goal originally established for the Model T. Given what seems like a dearth of Model T product delivered so far, it does make me wonder what has become of all that money.
 
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