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  1. #21
    Member MadAussie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Soopercat View Post
    Sorry for the confusion, I was making reference to the fact that I have not seen a 1955 Diplomat and was asking if the 1953 Y4 I posted was the same as his 1955 Diplomat. I like the #66 but I prefer open comb razors, It could be because I haven't had the opportunity to use #16 yet.
    The #66 and #58 are the only solid guards that I've experienced to day.
    Kind regards,
    Mine is 55 'A diplomat, I'd wager identical to the 53. 55 was the last year they made it, but I dont know if they made it across all quarters.

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  3. #22
    Member GoingPostal's Avatar
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    IMHO, the razor that shaves far better than any of the US or British Aristocrats (or Diplomats and Presidents, for that matter) that does not get much mention because of its rarity, is the Executive. If I was only allowed to own one vintage Gillette razor, this would be the one. The Executive was the only US razor that was plated in rhodium (and only the second with a "bulldog" handle), and it came with the most impressive case that Gillette ever designed. There are a lot of debates at the various shaving forums as to which Gillette model was "the best", but I say, hands down, it is the Executive.




  4. #23
    zib
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    I gotta tell you guys, I've never been a big DE fan, nor do I own any, but those are absolutely beautiful. I wouldn't mind finding something like that myself. I do have some "Enders" Speed blades and razors, even an Enders Straight razor because my last name is Enders. The are not as pretty as your DE's, but are cool none the less....

    Rich
    We have assumed control !

  5. #24
    Senior Member blabbermouth JimmyHAD's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GoingPostal View Post
    IMHO, the razor that shaves far better than any of the US or British Aristocrats (or Diplomats and Presidents, for that matter) that does not get much mention because of its rarity, is the Executive. If I was only allowed to own one vintage Gillette razor, this would be the one. The Executive was the only US razor that was plated in rhodium (and only the second with a "bulldog" handle), and it came with the most impressive case that Gillette ever designed. There are a lot of debates at the various shaving forums as to which Gillette model was "the best", but I say, hands down, it is the Executive.
    This is where the YMMV of wet shaving comes in. I had a minty copy of one of those complete with all the bells and whistles and sold it. I shaved with it a couple of times. It is a truly beautiful razor but I didn't prefer the shave to that of my '47 USA Aristocrat which is more aggressive as is my British Red Tip. I haven't shaved with a DE in a couple of years but of the Gillettes that I kept the fore mentioned Aristocrat and Brit red tip, the model 58, British HD SS and "New" Big Fellow are all preferable to that model Executive.
    Be careful how you treat people on your way up, you may meet them again on your way back down.

  6. #25
    Member GoingPostal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JimmyHAD View Post
    This is where the YMMV of wet shaving comes in. I had a minty copy of one of those complete with all the bells and whistles and sold it. I shaved with it a couple of times. It is a truly beautiful razor but I didn't prefer the shave to that of my '47 USA Aristocrat which is more aggressive as is my British Red Tip. I haven't shaved with a DE in a couple of years but of the Gillettes that I kept the fore mentioned Aristocrat and Brit red tip, the model 58, British HD SS and "New" Big Fellow are all preferable to that model Executive.
    To clarify my definition of "best", I'm thinking in overall terms. The Executive was one of the few US built razors that had a level of quality comparable to the Brits. As I said, there was only one other US built razor with a "bulldog" handle, the last of which were produced in 1918 -- so the handle design, as well as the beautiful rhodium plating, is unique among the other high-end US Gillette razors. The case is what really sells it for me, though. The case exudes underscored elegance with its substantial heft (10 oz), genuine leather covering, fold out mirror, and rich dark green velvet interior. As to shave quality, it does a better job for me than the #16, #66, #58, HD Rocket, 1948-50 Aristocrat, President, or Diplomat -- which were the only comparisons I was thinking of since they are similar razors. Trust me, I love my Big Fellow De Luxe, but I was keeping it "apple to apple". Calling any razor the "best" is always highly subjective, but in terms of overall build quality, shave quality, and presentation, it's the Executive in my eyes.

    Interesting that you mention the 1946/47 Aristocrat, because I was planning on shaving with one today to compare it to my Executive (that I used yesterday) to see if the heads are the same. The Executive definitely has a more aggressive head than the other razors I mentioned, and I'm wondering if it is not the same.

    Oh, yeah, if you still have that British Red Tip and are looking to sell...

  7. #26
    Senior Member blabbermouth JimmyHAD's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GoingPostal View Post
    As I said, there was only one other US built razor with a "bulldog" handle, the last of which were produced in 1918 -- so the handle design, as well as the beautiful rhodium plating, is unique among the other high-end US Gillette razors.
    Rick I do still have the Brit red tip but I'm hanging on to it. They are scarce and my less than pristine copy came from a fellow in Australia. The '34 -'40 USA Aristocrat also had the B-dog handle IIRC ? I could go in the closet and dig mine out but I'm too lazy. BTW, when I referred, in a previous post, to the HD SS I meant the HD Rocket. Been a long time since I read anything about DEs and I've got oldtimer's disease.
    Be careful how you treat people on your way up, you may meet them again on your way back down.

  8. #27
    Member GoingPostal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JimmyHAD View Post
    Rick I do still have the Brit red tip but I'm hanging on to it. They are scarce and my less than pristine copy came from a fellow in Australia. The '34 -'40 USA Aristocrat also had the B-dog handle IIRC ? I could go in the closet and dig mine out but I'm too lazy. BTW, when I referred, in a previous post, to the HD SS I meant the HD Rocket. Been a long time since I read anything about DEs and I've got oldtimer's disease.
    Okay, this is embarrassing! I have one of those sitting front and center in my display cabinet that is about 3 feet behind where I am now sitting and typing, and it is indeed a bulldog handle! D'oh!

    I knew what you meant by HD SS. Interestingly, I have a framed ad hanging on my wall for the HD Rocket, and in that ad, the term "superspeed" is used as a one-word verb rather than the two-word noun "Super Speed" that we normally see.

    Anyway, I just finished shaving with my 1946/47 Aristocrat and, with absolutely no question, this is the most aggressive Aristocrat of all. And just to add some credence to my comment, I have used the #15, #16, #21, #22, and #66 British Aristocrats, as well as the 1934 open comb, 1948-50, and the seldom seen 1951 American Aristocrats -- along with the similar non-Aristocrat models like the #58, HD Rocket, President, Diplomat, and Executive. Why this is not in my regular rotation is beyond me, but I will definitely rectify that situation. The head of the 1946/47 Aristocrat is definitely different than the one on the Executive, but I really believe that the one on the Executive is different from its peers, and I stand by my earlier claim that the Executive set is the finest that the Gillette Razor Company ever produced.

  9. #28
    Senior Member blabbermouth JimmyHAD's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GoingPostal View Post
    I just finished shaving with my 1946/47 Aristocrat and, with absolutely no question, this is the most aggressive Aristocrat of all.
    I really like mine and that is why I compared it to the red tip. My favorite DE is the Merkur Slant so obviously I prefer aggressive razors. Perhaps that is why I finally moved over to straight razor shaving exclusively.
    Be careful how you treat people on your way up, you may meet them again on your way back down.

  10. #29
    Member GoingPostal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JimmyHAD View Post
    I really like mine and that is why I compared it to the red tip. My favorite DE is the Merkur Slant so obviously I prefer aggressive razors. Perhaps that is why I finally moved over to straight razor shaving exclusively.
    Have you ever shaved with a Barbasol? I think this is the most aggressive fixed head DE ever made. It's the same size and weight as a Gillette Big Fellow, but in comparison, it makes the BF seem like a Bic Sensitive.




  11. #30
    Senior Member blabbermouth JimmyHAD's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GoingPostal View Post
    Have you ever shaved with a Barbasol? I think this is the most aggressive fixed head DE ever made. It's the same size and weight as a Gillette Big Fellow, but in comparison, it makes the BF seem like a Bic Sensitive.


    Indeed I have. That very model is also one of my keepers. I agree that it is a delightfully aggressive razor. I still have a fair number of Gillettes and a heck of a collection of slants. Merkurs from different periods and with different brands such as Pomco, Hoffritz, Lunawerk and Coles, Also Apollos, Ben Hur, and others that I can't think of off the top of my head. Also quite a few of the 'no name' slants or 'twisted head' as the older collectors used to call them. Who knows, I may return to shaving with a DE on occasion so I'm hanging onto them.
    Be careful how you treat people on your way up, you may meet them again on your way back down.

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