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Thread: Reviewing the Aristocrat/Diplomat/President group

  1. #1
    Senior Member De Layne's Avatar
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    Default Reviewing the Aristocrat/Diplomat/President group

    Hiya,

    There's a group of three Gillette DE razors that are very similar in style and shaving performance. They're called Aristocrat, Diplomat, and President. The first two are completely gold plated and the President has a Rhodium plated handle. I'm not sure what the head's plated with, and it doesn't shine quite like the handle.

    I won't go into the various little features making em cosmetically different from each other, since that doesn't effect the shave.

    As a reference point, I'll use a fatboy set on #4, with either an Iridium or Feather blade as my perfect set up.

    All three of the classy named razors are very good for me as far as aggressive nature. They feel about a 5-6 Gillette setting, which is very bearable for my face. Any razor past that point I won't even use anymore. Heh, I got that outa my system a while ago. Yeah, these are right in the middle of the 5&6......nice.

    They all have some decent weight to em, and the balance is better than average. The knurling pattern is easy to grip, and all of those razors feel good in my hand. They are a pleasure to use as a great change of pace.

    To my eye, they're some of the nicest looking razors made by anyone at any time. The gold plate on the Aristocrat/Diplomat is surprisingly durable and there's some nice examples still to be found. User grades are normally very reasonable and will give someone a good idea of what that trio is about.

    Oh, I should mention the exact era I'm talking about here. These Aristocrats started around the late 40s, and most are impossible to date. One though has an easy ID. The 1946-47 was made without a notch, and that's how it can be dated. Heh, that one shaves the same as the notched one. The Diplomats were mostly dated, and I believe were made around 1953 and for a few years after.

    The President is dated in the same manner as the Diplomat, but I'm not sure when in the 1950s those were made. It's got that very shiny Rhodium handle and that's the one to try if you don't like a gold razor. Sadly, those things are a bit pricy, and that sometimes includes even user grades. Heh, no big deal though since they all shave the same. Actually, I should say they all shave basically are the same, although not all shave exactly alike. I've found a couple more aggressive than others, which I think is because of a little tiny quality control quirk during production runs.

    I've used somewhere around 35-40 different razors and lots of different blades over the years. If I hadn't found the daily combo I use now, I would be shaving much more often with one of the three types mentioned. I have nothing bad to say about em. Even the doors open and close better on these things than most other Gillettes.....they are quality razors that should be included on the DE journey.

    Martin

    First pic is an early- mid 1950s Aristocrat. Next is a 1953 Diplomat, and the last is a 1955 President.
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    Last edited by De Layne; 08-06-2010 at 11:29 AM.
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  3. #2
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    Very nice indeed, Martin. Thanks for sharing.

    Are these razors restored, or did you get very lucky and manage to procure NOS/barely used models?

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    The Electrochemist PhatMan's Avatar
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    Martin,

    Lovely razors

    My 1948-50 Aristocrat is a great shaver !

    Have fun !

    Best regards

    Russ

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    Senior Member De Layne's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ryan82 View Post
    Very nice indeed, Martin. Thanks for sharing.

    Are these razors restored, or did you get very lucky and manage to procure NOS/barely used models?
    Hi there,

    Over the years I've run across various razors in nice shape. None have been bought on Ebay, but instead found at flea markets and estate or garage sales. The prices have all been extremely reasonable and many of these razors are in excellent condition.

    The nice thing about collecting goofy stuff like DE razors is they're a blind item for most sellers. As a result, I'v been able to find some real gems for almost no money. The problem is that they're few and far between.

    I have a few exotic razors such as a Toggle and an old Gillette Bulldog that were priced amazingly low, but I never use em. For one reason or another, they just don't fit me very well, but I do get to hold em sometimes....heh. It's strange, but I can't bring myself to sell these, even though they'd bring some decent cash. Silly eh?

    Thanks for the nice words,

    Martin

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    Senior Member 2Sharp's Avatar
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    Back in the day when I used DE exclusively I found my 48 to 50 Aristocrat to be one of my finest shavers. I equate it to be similar to the Red Tip in the quality of shave it gave but much more beautiful. I still have it and use it on occasion. The DE I used every day was the long handle Black Beauty and consider it to be the best shaver because of the thin head, light weight and long handle which suited me to a T.

    bj
    Don't go to the light. bj

  7. #6
    Senior Member De Layne's Avatar
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    Hiya,

    Russ and bj, thanks for the posts. Yeah, the Aristocrats from those years are such nice pieces. I've been lucky enough to use a bunch of various ones over the years, and I use one that shaves me better than any of the others. For whatever the reason, this one's perfect and is one I could use every day without a problem. Heh, matter of fact I used it just this morning and plan on that tomorrow as well.

    The red tip comparison is exactly right, and I agree the Aristocrat shaves most like one of those. The balance is a little different and the knurling and handle shape as well, but they're pretty close overall.

    My first DE razor was one of those super adjustables and it turned out to be a very good choice. They have some good things going on with em, and are a favorite with many experienced DE users.

    Martin

    This is the 1946-47 no notch in my rotation.
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    RKP
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    You have some really fantastic razors . One day I'll get lucky and find a few of these nice razors.

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    Senior Member freebird's Avatar
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    Default Reviewing the Aristocrat/Diplomat/President group

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    Just stumbled across your review. Great job! The pic is of my late 40's Aristocrat. I liked the shave so much I purchased one to give my Brother.
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    Senior Member Johnus's Avatar
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    Default Reviewing the Aristocrat/Diplomat/President group

    They still can't compare to a good old WW1 '04! ☺

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    The Assyrian Obie's Avatar
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    Martin:
    An excellent piece on these delightful razors. Delicious razors, really. Of the three, I'm fortunate to have the Aristocrat. Two of them, which I am saving for my grandsons. The Aristocrat is a wee bit mild for me, but I still shave with it from time to time just to hold a work of art in my hand.
    Stay well.
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