The British Gillette Razor.

Discussion in 'Safety Razors' started by brit, Sep 23, 2018.

  1. brit

    brit in a box

    Hello fello shavers.
    My name is brit and i am a ...well you know how it ends. I have used vintage Gillette razors now for approx 2 years. I have bought many, sold a few, tried most and given some to new wet shavers who now use them.
    To start, I am grateful to all who have helped me improve my DE journey, though knowledge, guidance ,and reference.Thankfully there are many enablers here that have helped steer my SAD,RAD, AND BAD.To be humble , I have some fantastic gear.. and get fabulous shaves..Thank You.
    Now to my point.I wanted to have a thread dedicated to the British Gillette razor. I have many U.S. and Canadian Gillettes as well and I love them all. I collect and use my British Gillettes due to my background.I am British and my grandfather was R.A.F ,stationed in Burma during WW 2. He was a staunch Gillette ,Old Spice, Aqua Velva man. I like to think he had access to all these razors back in the 40s 50s and 60s. As I knew him he probably had one and stuck with it. He never showed me his shaving gear..Aristocrats were out of reach for a Corporal after the war and he wasn t a flash man.....This thread is for British Gilletes of all types,: Rockets ,News, Crats, Techs , all ,in any condition.If yours have a story please post it,or not. I love the pics...I will start...
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2018
    tonich, gorgo2, CarlfromMO and 11 others like this.
  2. ordinaryshaver

    ordinaryshaver Well-Known Member

    Wow! Those are some seriously nice looking razors!!!
    I have long desired to find a brittish made razor to call my own, but I'm not quite sure which model I would go with.
    It is interesting however, I get fantastic shaves with my vintage U.S. Gillettes, I can only imagine how wonderful the Brit versions must shave.
    I look forward to seeing more of these great razors!
    dmshaver, Jorvaljr and brit like this.
  3. brit

    brit in a box

    thank you, i have and love my u.s. crats, new deluxe and techs and use them be honest i can t pick a favorite.i am a little nostalgic...
    dmshaver likes this.
  4. PLANofMAN

    PLANofMAN Paperboy

    Article Team
    Every British razor I own is better in every way than it's American made counterpart. Fit, finish, plating...all superior.
    brit, preidy and dmshaver like this.
  5. kfbrady

    kfbrady Well-Known Member

    I'm British too, born and raised in Liverpool before moving to the USA in my mid 20's back in the 1970s.

    And my father was a corporal in a Scottish infantry regiment during WWII. He landed at D-Day and fought through Europe until he was seriously wounded about 9 months later. Fortunately - for me! - he survived and he shaved exclusively with a 50's Rocket and used Old Spice.

    My dozen or so vintage Gillettes are all USA-made but I must find a British-made one or two to add to my collection.

    Not knowing as much about British Gillettes I'm hoping to learn a bunch from this thread.
    BigMark83, brit and dmshaver like this.
  6. dmshaver

    dmshaver Well-Known Member

    I'm fortunate to have British Gillettes. I started my vintage journey after having several modern razors. I started with a Slim Adjustable, then purchased an American prewar fat handle Tech. I still really like the Tech. I had read a great deal about how better engineered British Gillettes were compared to their American counterparts. The variations of the Aristocrat make my head swim, & I couldn't afford even a user grade, so I started looking at what are considered the better British razors.

    My first British purchase was several of months ago when I acquired an Aristocrat Junior. It shaves wonderfully! A TTO is different than a 3 piece, so I'm not going to compare it to my Tech. The Crat Jr. shaves exceptionally smooth & efficient. I love it! I started my British hunt thinking I wanted a Rocket HD & had posted a WTB for a Rocket HD on a forum, but got no response until a couple of weeks ago. I recently bought a Rocket HD II. Very nice razor also, a bit less efficient than the Aristocrat Junior as well as a bit heavier, but still very smooth. Both are great razors.

    I hope one day to possess a British made Aristocrat, as well as a British & Canadian made Tech.

    The pictures are of my Aristocrat Junior with a flat base plate & my Rocket HD II. The 'Crat is in the foreground in the first 2 pictures.

    IMG_0015.jpg IMG_0016.jpg
    And the 'Crat Jr. is on the right in the following picture.
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  7. brit

    brit in a box

    i think so too, but like the u.s.and canadian too..
  8. brit

    brit in a box

    i am hoping to learn more as well , thank you..
  9. brit

    brit in a box

    i love the aristocrat jr as well, mine came in a canadian rocket case. flat base plate. made for canadian market around 1948-9.
    dmshaver likes this.
  10. wchnu

    wchnu Duck Season!

    Beautiful razors..thanks for posting.
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2018
    brit likes this.
  11. BBS

    BBS Well-Known Member

    As far as British Aristocrats goes there should only be 4 razors to get if you are buying them to shave with. Other than that you collecting cases and sets then. I'll use B & B nomenclature here how they designate each of the 4 by generations.
    From left to right 1st through 4th gen Aristocrats.
    1st gen Aristocrat.jpg 2nd gen Aristocrat.JPG 3rd gen Aristocrat.JPG 4th gen Aristocrat.jpg
    Jorvaljr, dmshaver and brit like this.
  12. brit

    brit in a box

    thank you sir...
  13. brit

    brit in a box

    i am on the search for the first 2 .they are pricey and i want decent examples. thank you . my #22 is in a mismatched case.
  14. dmshaver

    dmshaver Well-Known Member

    Thank you, that simplifies it for me. I'm not collecting, I'm in search of great razors for daily use, so the box & other accessories that came with the original are not of concern to me. Looks like I need to be searching for a #15 or #22.
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2018
  15. dmshaver

    dmshaver Well-Known Member

    @brit, you have a lovely collection!
    brit likes this.
  16. brit

    brit in a box

    i sold my rocket hd to my friend nice razor. i purchased the #58 atistocrat jr ,which is just a rocket hd with a more ornate handle..the crow in me i guess. which brit aristocrats do you have?
  17. BBS

    BBS Well-Known Member

    Based on searching around the forum, the most to least aggressive of the British Aristocrats compared against each other based upon user reviews would be the 1st and 2nd gens being about the same regardless of plating with the 1st gens being found in sets like #15 and 2nd gen in sets like #21. The next step down is the 3rd gen razors found in sets like the #16 and finally the least aggressive would be the 4th gens found in sets like #22 or #66.

    Plating doesn't seem to make a difference regardless of the gen as far as how they shave except for maybe how the razor glides across the face but that would true of any razor in different metal finishes.

    Some sets came with multiple gen razors depending the year and lots of times you get a razor in the wrong set case. This is why using set #'s to collect razors here can become real expensive real quickly. Let the collectors with lots of money to burn buy up the correct sets and look for the particular razor gen. You'll eventually get a good deal on a user grade razor with enough patience going this route.

    I bought a second gen user grade British Aristocrat in a mislabeled set only because it was part of a lot and when I priced out the other things in the lot if I resold them all the razor wound up being around $70 USD. I couldn't pay for it fast enough considering what they go for normally.

    Comparing it against my 46 - 47 no notch and 47 - 50 NDC US Aristocrat, I would call the US one more aggressive but the 2nd gen has more blade feel and shaves much smoother. End result is as good if not better than the those US versions without the nicks and weepers that I get when using them. As long as you take your time and don't disrespect what the 2nd gen is capable of you shouldn't have an issue shaving with it. I prefer the British 2nd gen when all is said and done.
    brit likes this.
  18. brit

    brit in a box

    i have the 46-7 no notch and 47-50 u.s.crats cased. i purchased them for under $100 each and are very clean examples. i enjoy their shaves. while i like them a lot i am not a big fan of gold razors, and prefer my 3rd and 4th gen brits. my 4th gen i purchased in very nice condition caseless. i purchased a 1945 # 88 new rfb case (see mr razor new) from greece. it appears unused.its the new home of my # 22 4th gen. my #15 third gen brit crat as seen in #16 sets was a purchase from a local friend. if this had hit the market it may have sold for double+ what i paid. one just sold on ebay uk for $285 with case and shipper.only the felt liner in mine shows its age. i like the look of the gillette president as it is rhodium ...i would trade my u.s. crats for an nice one- case not required , but i don t want a razor that requires replating or repairs..i am picky i guess...i am not a true collector per say, just the 30s t0 50s brit gillettes are my favorites..
  19. larzone

    larzone Member

    I only collected british ones two last years of collecting. I have owned a lot of different US Gillettes but all my brits shave a tad better and fits better.
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  20. Jorvaljr

    Jorvaljr Operation Daytona 8000

    I’m lucky to own each one of these as one model or another. Great shavers each
    dmshaver and brit like this.

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