Gillette Date Code Q


Astute observers will notice that US Gillette Dating Information skips from P to R, omitting Q. This subject has been discussed on the forum from time to time.

There are several theories about why Gillette omitted Q from the date code sequence, and possibly all of them are true. First, the letter "Q" can be difficult to distinguish from the letter "O". Second, omitting "Q" reduced the sequence to 25 codes: most people find multiples of 5 and 10 easier to handle than multiples of 13 and 26. So the full sequence from A to Z is exactly 25 years.

This would have made even more sense if Gillette had started from A=1900 or A=1901, but in fact A represents 1930, 1955 and 1980. The date code system was originally developed for blades. That coding started with "A" in 1930. It skipped from P to R for the first time in 1946. Razors were first stamped with date codes in 1951.

Date Code Q and US Production

Members of B&B have reported several black-handled adjustable razors with date code Q-1. This may have been a short-lived mistake by one Gillette production line. If so, the best theory is that Q-1 and R-1 both indicate the first quarter of 1971.

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NB - this is another photo of the same razor, not a third example of Q-1.

Date Code Q and UK Production

Members have also reported examples of a "Q-1" date code in the UK, on a black-handled G1000 TTO razor. This code probably indicates 1996, by which time Gillette in the USA was no longer producing safety razors. It is not clear whether the use of "Q" was intentional or accidental.

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