Gillette Blades - which is which?

Monsta_AU

...can I interest you in some vintage blades?
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(I previously posted part of this YKW, it was possibly the most liked post I ever got - the amount of PM's I got thanking me for posting it was insane - emptied my PM box multiple times!)

We all love the Gillette Platinum blades in various guises but which one is which? It's all so confusing. Here is my take on the situation, updated regularly with more info.



OFFICIAL NAME: Gillette Platinum.

ORIGIN:
Russian made at PPI St. Petersburg, main distribution appears to be Eastern European.

P&C NICKNAMES:
I call them Maltese Platinums (Maltesers) or Dark Platinums.
Others call them Dark Blue Platinums or Navy Platinums (as in Navy Blue). Someone I know likes to call them Silver Platinums as the word 'Platinum' is printed in Silver ink.

SOURCE:
Originally via a Maltese eBay seller, hence the name 'Malteser'. I got 2,000 blades delivered to AU for USD10c/blade back in 2009 - not long afterwards the source dried up Some US-based shops had these such as AOS.

Currently there is a Romanian eBay seller with these and some other blades, but they are more expensive. They are of the newer St Petersburg production with two wax spots on the blades.

PERSONAL SHAVE SYNOPSIS:
Good in most razors I have tried, EJ/Muhle head and the Adjustable Gillettes (Fatboy/Slim) would be the pick, relatively sharp (some say between an Astra SP and a 7OC Yellow) however there is no real smoothness to the blade. This is compensated for by a complete lack of roughness, so it works nicely in a very neutral fashion. Also have had good reports from Redtip users who like this, P&C's very own @NicktheKnife bought a lifetime supply (5K blades) and he used them in a RedTip at the time.

I found open-comb razors exhibited roughness and neck irritation when loaded with this blade (Gillette NEW especially).

OVERALL: Good value blade with a decent longevity for me, certainly worth trying at the price.


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OFFICIAL NAME: Gillette Platinum.

ORIGIN:
Current stock is Russian made at PPI St. Petersburg and shows the glue spots, main distribution appears to be Western European - Spain, Portugal and Greece have been mentioned by B&B members. These blades have been thought to be produced at the famous Lodz, Poland facility before it was converted to Mach3 manufacturing and all Gillette DE production moved to St. Petersburg.

P&C NICKNAMES:
I call them White Platinums.

Some call them Cardboard Swedes or Cardboard Platinums. Some sites online call these Gillette Platinum Classic. As you may notice, these are a cardboard box on a cardboard hangar, which is similar to the packaging that the Swedes used to use, except they are in a cardboard box instead of a plastic dispenser.

SOURCE:
I got mine from eBay via seller iexira, 5packs x 5blades (25 total) for a cost of well over $1 per blade as they are very expensive, and then Spanish postal costs are very high.

PERSONAL SHAVE SYNOPSIS:
Some have said that these are the current spiritual successor to the Swedes, and I would say that I understand those sorts of statements. Hell, even @Drubbing likes these very much and then got very angry with me once he realised what they cost! The White Platinums excel where the Dark Platinums failed, namely in open-comb razors. Effortless, smooth shaving. Improved over the Dark Platinums in the other razors too, but in something like a Fatboy there was not much improvement at all.

OVERALL: Great shaver, many have said spiritual successor to the fabled Gillette Swedes. From my research, it would seem very likely that these were the direct descendants of the Swedes. Amazingly good blades, but not $1.50 good. I prefer vintage blades at that pricepoint.


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OFFICIAL NAME: Gillette Bleue Extra.

ORIGIN:
The NOS blades I don't think anyone has any real answers but Lodtz is thrown about, as is a factory in France. NOS versions (pictured left) are in a plastic dispenser, and manufactured around 1999-2001. The current production (pictured right) are PPI St. Petersburg made, and come in a cardboard box on the same cardboard hanger as shown in the picture. They are available in France for €2,50 per 10-pack last time I checked.


P&C NICKNAMES:
GBE is pretty much the standard moniker around here. Also Bleueueueueueue etc etc

SOURCE:
I got mine from 'rareup31' via eBay, 2 cases (20 boxes of 10 dispensers with 10 blades per dispenser) for a total of 4,000 blades. I paid about USD15c/blade delivered. That sources is now gone, although some online shops had the NOS production, they were at a much higher price. The NOS seem to be all gone now.

PERSONAL SHAVE SYNOPSIS:
I have to say that some of my best shaves come from a Bleue in a Slim set to 6-7, and going WTG/XTG on that setting. Blade does not sing at all, but gives feedback against your skin, and you never feel like you will ever nick yourself. I have said before that I tend to shave with 'Gay abandon' with these blades, and I mean that in the pre-1960's meaning.

OVERALL: For me, one of the best blades ever produced and highly underrated. I can shave with my stash exclusively for approximately 100 years.

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OFFICIAL NAME: Gillette Silver Blues
.

ORIGIN:
Originally made in Czechoslovakia, currently PPI St. Petersburg. Packaging is a dead ringer for the Dark Platinums, except the blue ink is a lighter yet richer blue. The Dark Platinum is a darker & dirtier blue.

P&C NICKNAMES:
GSB's or Silver Blues.

SOURCE:
Various online sellers and eBay. Price ends up over $30 delivered to AU, but you can get 1000 blades for about $170 plus post - one of the cheaper options if you like them! There was a point a few years ago where they dried up and everyone went into meltdown - however another production run occurred and they were back with a vengeance.

PERSONAL SHAVE SYNOPSIS:
The easiest way to explain these is that Gillette told PPI to turn the sharpness '7' setting on the Dark Platinums all the way to 11 and call them 'Silver Blues' instead. If Feathers scare you, don't even think about these. Sharp, relatively unforgiving for inexperienced players but rewarding when you get them right. I found some smoothness where I only find sharpness with Feathers.

OVERALL: I love these blades. Sharp and smooth, last reasonably well. I think that the PermaSharp Supers are better value at $20/100 delivered, but I prefer these in bulk as BestShave does not discount on massive buys.
 
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filobiblic

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Awesome. Post doesn't show up correctly on mobile though...
 

borked

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Can hardly wait for you to update and add other blades like spoiler, polsilver and swedes to make a more conclusive list.
 

Nick the Knife

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Nice work RM - pretty fair assessment IMHO tsk tsk tsk wish I'd been around to nab some of those GBE's instead but I've never had a bad shave from the Malties and for all the blades I've got I find they give me 4 shaves in any of my razors on par with what I'd get from the same 4 shaves from anything else - need to do some double blind testing though. Haha oh and FWIW I only got 3,000 of those Maltesers, not 5,000.
 

nav1

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I actually found the GSB to be a very smooth and forgiving blade.
They are also not as sharp as Gillette black ninja (Indian blacks).
 

alfredus

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Fantastic review!!!

I don't have any experience with vintage blades, but I also find the GSB a very smooth blade and nowhere near as sharp and rough as feathers.
 

filobiblic

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Fantastic review!!!

I don't have any experience with vintage blades, but I also find the GSB a very smooth blade and nowhere near as sharp and rough as feathers.
Maaaaate.... You so need to sign up for the upcoming (it's still coming right?) @Monsta_AU vintage blade bonanza. Once you try a few vintage blades, your shaving will never be the same. It's like levelling up in wet shaving...
 

alfredus

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Maaaaate.... You so need to sign up for the upcoming (it's still coming right?) @Monsta_AU vintage blade bonanza. Once you try a few vintage blades, your shaving will never be the same. It's like levelling up in wet shaving...
Where can I sign up?
 

stillshunter

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Maaaaate.... You so need to sign up for the upcoming (it's still coming right?) @Monsta_AU vintage blade bonanza. Once you try a few vintage blades, your shaving will never be the same. It's like levelling up in wet shaving...
@Monsta_AU might need a leg up here. Not to be confused with a prod to get going. More he might need help converting this from a Box to a Bonanza by others well-endowed in the vintage blade department - as there seems to be a lot of us downstream. Might I suggest the first stop in Sydney be with @borked to supplement with some of his old metal goodness (and I aint talking Black Sabbath here)? ;)
 

filobiblic

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Where can I sign up?
It's coming in 2015...
I think our esteemed webmaster and vintage blade hoarder extraordinaire @Monsta_AU is working on it. He is a busy one. There's a huge backend update to this website to happen. As well as whatever else is on his plate. He'll get around to it soon... I hope...
 
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It's coming in 2015...
I think our esteemed webmaster and vintage blade hoarder extraordinaire @Monsta_AU is working on it. He is a busy one. There's a huge backend update to this website to happen. As well as whatever else is on his plate. He'll get around to it soon... I hope...
So that's what we are now, hoarders ? : / I prefer the term 'Cautious'.
 

borked

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Just because I plan to live to 500...
 

Lifes a Peach

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Monsta_AU

...can I interest you in some vintage blades?
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Yeah, that's them - Dark Platinums. Probably the newer production run.

I'd be trying to get them from this listing if possible. I have a few of them, as does @Nick the Knife. Either of us may be able to be tempted.

The White Platinums - search for "Gillette Platinum Hojas de afeitar" or "Gillette Platinum Classic". Expensive bloody things but the best current production blade that Gillette makes for an Open Comb. Still miles cheaper than going for carts.
 

borked

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@Lifes a Peach , ah you've great taste - I always thought you were one of the more discerning, talented and better looking P&C members! ;)

Nice reviews over at the Razor Emporium link - and almost as exxy as they are at The Shaver Hut!

I'll pop you a PM and take it from there. :)
So much buttering up a potential customer that you deserve the Nick of SuperFat ;)
 
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