The razors nobody wants: Gillette Set #59

Discussion in 'Double Edged Razors' started by Atinofpeas, Jun 14, 2019.

    Mr Razor

    I have bought a Gillette Set #59 from Ebay.

    This razor did not sell on the 1st auction. On the second auction, the seller removed the reserve and give it a buy it now price of £20 delivered. I couldn't resist....

    The auction photos were not promising. The razor looked dull and dirty and the case equally filthy and worn. However, i like user grade vintage stuff. I get to use pieces of history for cheap, and I don't have to mind them or fret over preserving them.

    So i took a punt. Here is a picture of the set from the auction:

    It arrived just like this picture tbh. Completely gross.
    In the name of basic hygiene for future use, i decided to try and clean up the crud whilst limiting any new damage or wear and tear to a minimum. I did my best to get the tray out of the bottom of the case but gave up for fear of really damaging it. I decided i had to try and clean it in situ.
    What i did was use gentle soap, hot water and a toothbrush, avoiding the lettering and embossing. I have a super soft battery toothbrush which is great for this work. The crud from the case was disgusting. Not cleaning is this was not an option. It went ok tbh not without some issues but not terrible.

    So then i went at the razor.
    Equally disgusting and i was somewhat concerned that under the crud, i would find it unusable or damaged beyond repair. This thing had 50 years of hard encrusted Old Spice soap in it. Again i used dish soap, hot water and the soft toothbrush to clean it.
    Once the crud was off, a soak in hot water and a careful oiling with Liquid Parafin BP. followed up.


    20190614_173023.jpg 20190614_173049.jpg 20190614_173201.jpg 20190614_173253.jpg

    I am ok with the case. I dont mind any new wear and tear i may have caused in order to get the worst of the crud off and i am happy enough with the result The new dark spots which have appeared from cleaning will fade once its dried out fully.

    I am utterly stunned with the razor. It has a few, tiny flea bites here and there and some very light and small tea staining but apart from that, it is fantastic. Straight as a die and as tight as.
    The cleaned up condition is a real treat. I can't wait to use it!

    I can't believe the quality of its construction.
    Even though i have never seen one, I thought this was an aristocrat! This #59 is a step below the #58 which is a step below the #66 so God only knows how good those must be.

    The TTO mechanism, Knurling, Fit, Finish and feel are many leagues above any razor new or old i have currently. It is jewel grade.
    I am obviously delighted.

    The poor #59. The razor nobody wanted. Now adopted by me, given a bath and polish and fit and ready for another lifetime of service.

    Well done Gillette!
  1. Its awesome when you find an ugly duckling and it transforms!!
  2. ackvil

    ackvil Moderator

    Nice work.
  3. emwolf

    emwolf Contributor

    cleaned up nicely, looks like a great razor. The British TTO's were a real precision tool.
  4. Well done!
  5. Esox

    Esox Ambassador

    Surprising how well the old Gillettes clean up huh?

    The made in England Gillettes really are precisely made. The precision of the TTO mechanism of the Brit razors is difficult to explain. It almost feels hydraulic its so smooth.

    I still think of my fathers old Flare Tip as the best all around DE razor I've used. I gave it to my nephew over a year ago and he says the same. He's moved on to using straights now but when he's in a hurry and wants a nice quick shave, he reaches for his grandfathers old Rocket over all his other DE's.
  7. A great way of explaining it tbh And timely too as that "hydraulic feel" was the first thing that struck me after i had cleaned and oiled it
  8. So i had my first shave with it this evening (i am a night shaver).

    I figured a classy 50's razor demands a classy 50's soap and aftershave!

    Yardley is top notch soap and the soap and the A/S still have a wonderful cologne!

    As for the shave, i used a Gillette SB blade (had to be a Gillette blade of course).
    The word that comes to mind best for this shave is "Keen".
    There is a sound a razor makes when it is working perfectly. It is a shsshhssh sound. I don't hear it with too many setups but this one does it from the get-go. Its a lovely sound to hear. Its like the razor is singing.

    Whilst the #59 has heft and authority in its feeling to the hand, its no brute. This my look like a posh 34C but it is an elegant dancer compared to the workman shuffle of the Merkur. I really loved how it sits in the hand. Its a very tactile and personable razor. This delicacy really suits the shave it gives. It isn't aggressive in the normal sense but it is efficient. It reminded me of my WS New classic in agressiveness but without the WS' coarseness and uncouth manner.

    I have been reading about the new EJ 316 and the first impressions from that razor resonated with me as a shaved.
    The #59 demands respect and finesse during the shave and has a heap of blade feel. If you were rough with it it will bite you.
    Very, very efficient.

    I absolutly loved everything about it regardless of the posh suit it wears.

    Highly recommended to try if you can!

    Attached Files:

  9. ajkel64

    ajkel64 Ambassador

    Great story, the razor cleaned up very nicely. Congratulations.
  10. well done and congrats to your #59!

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