REVIEW: Above-The-Tie (ATT)...The all new Windsor Pro SS & AL (and Windsor original)

nav1

Active Member from afar
2018 Sabbatical Fail
Joined
Aug 23, 2012
As many of you are aware, ATT is essentially the DE razor industry’s first Artisan razor maker. They were essentially the only company to provide high-quality, high-precision CNC milled stainless steel razors.

The last time I had used one was back in 2013 when my friend had let me borrow his Classic model with the H plate.

Recently I saw ATT released their new Windsor Pro razors. One in stainless steel and the other in aluminium.

I wanted to try something new and thought why not give these razors a go since ATT has been around a long time and know what they’re doing.

I also noticed the Windsor model with the 3-inch Atlas handle. The little holes for lather channels really caught my eye as it’s a very unique design and having read positive reviews about this model, I added this in with the SSH1 plate (SS=stainless steel, H=aggressive plate, 1=straight bar).

PACKAGING:

The packaging is similar to most other razor makers these days. A sturdy cardboard outer box with the foam cut-outs inside holding the razor, blades etc.

ATT also include a microfibre polishing cloth and a couple of nylon washers with each razor. It is a nice touch which I appreciate.




FIT & FINISH:


As soon as I opened the boxes and took out the razors, it was clear these are remarkably high quality, precision instruments! I like to think of razors as “tools”, but I really couldn’t get “precision instruments” out of my mind when I handled these razors for the first time!

Finish is flawless! There are no machining marks. On the Windsor Pro SS, the areas that clamp the blade are bead blasted so it gives a perfect finish. You really can’t notice any marks, blemishes or defects on any of the razors.

It has a fantastic mirror polish which is immaculate. This is really something for those that like their highly polished razors. I appreciate the high-quality polish however, my personal preference has always been matte/satin finish.

All three razors utilise the little pins on the underside of the top-cap to centre the blade, and this works like a charm! The blade is always perfectly centred and I’ve never had to manually fix the alignment of the blade. It’s just perfect each and every time! Plus those little pins are such a unique design compared the usual wider posts on other razors.

Windsor Pro Aluminium:






Windsor Pro Stainless Steel:






Windsor SSH1 Atlas:







ERGONOMICS (Balance, Overhang):

The Windsor Pro SS is a hefty razor for sure. It is well balanced with the balance point just below where the knurling ends. The Handle is the 3.5-inch Kronos version, which is a very beautiful handle. The knurling is very grippy without being sharp. There is no overhang.

The Windsor Pro aluminium is of course a very lightweight razor. It is well balanced and handle is the 3.5-inch Calypso version, which is very nice to hold. The grip on the Calypso feels softer to my fingers. It seems to be a finer knurling, which is very comfortable but still provides excellent grip. There is no overhang.

The Windsor SSH1 has the 3-inch Atlas handle with the absolutely gorgeous barberpole knurling. This is my personal favourite without a doubt. Not just with ATT razors, but perhaps my favourite handle of all time!!

The razor is perfectly balanced, even with the shorter handle. There is no overhang. The little holes on the base plate channels the lather just fine! There was no issue in rinsing the lather out and the holes really adds a very unique character to the look of the razor. As far as I know, there is no other razor that offers this style of lather channels.

I believe the ATT Classic range had blade overhang. The Windsor and Windsor Pro don’t have any blade overhang.

BLADE GAP / BLADE EXPOSURE / BLADE REVEAL / BLADE CLAMPING:

Windsor Pro SS and Windsor Pro AL have a blade gap of 0.90mm (The model number for the new Windsor Pro razors is “SB90”, which translates to Straight Bar with blade gap of 0.90mm).

The blade exposure on the Windsor Pro is positive (I don’t have the exact number but ATT advised it is under 0.20mm).

The blade reveal, i.e. the amount of blade sticking out beyond the top-cap, is 1.5mm on the SS and 1.75mm on the AL.

The blade is clamped tightly on all three razors. There is never an issue of any blade play, nor any misalignment whatsoever. Just load your blade and go!!

Windsor SSH1 has a blade gap of 0.91mm. I don’t have the blade exposure figure for this model. The top-cap on the Windsor SSH1 is the widest out of the three razors and reveals just 1mm of the blade past the top-cap.

EFFICIENCY / COMFORT / BLADE FEEL:

The Windsor Pro SS is an efficient razor, no doubt about it! It provided me with a BBS in my usual 3 plus touch up passes and the shave lasted well into the evening! This is comparable to the shave I get from my Karve D plate (0.98mm blade gap). The blade feel from the 1.5mm blade reveal, is med-high to my skin. I am somewhat sensitive to blade feel however, this was not over the top. If one likes a bit of blade feel, or is not overly sensitive to it, this razor would be the one to choose.

The Windsor Pro AL, also having the 0.90mm blade gap, is also an efficient razor but requires a technique adjustment given the 40g weight of the razor. The blade reveal is 1.75mm so this model has a somewhat higher-end blade feel. This is for those that enjoy feeling the edge of the blade doing its job. One should have skin that can tolerate a higher-end blade feel. Given the light weight of the razor, a no-pressure approach does reduce the blade feel somewhat, but I would point out that while it is reduced, the blade is still felt on the skin.

The Windsor SSH1 has a similar efficiency to the Windsor Pro SS. They are both hefty SS razors with nearly the same blade gap. However, the 1mm blade reveal on the SSH1 means the blade feel is at the low end of the scale. I mean, I hardly feel the blade at all on my skin, and this is my personal preference. I know many guys don’t prefer such a muted blade feel however, for those that do…this razor provides very high efficiency with very low blade feel. I mean, the H plate is the most aggressive plate from ATT and yet it gives an exceptionally smooth feel on the skin. The BBS shave lasts well into the evening, as with the Windsor Pro SS.

OVERALL:

The new Windsor Pro razors definitely live up to the revered ATT high-precision quality and aesthetics.

For now, the SS and AL models are available only in straight bar with 0.90mm blade gap. If one wants a lesser blade gap, the original Windsor SS has the R and M plates available.

In terms of choosing between the Windsor Pro and Windsor SSH1, my suggestion is to go with the model that aligns with your preference of blade feel.

The Pro has higher blade feel and the SSH1 has a very low blade feel, with the same high-efficiency.

Additional note:

It is my understanding that the original Windsor SS model will no longer be produced and the current stock is the final stock. If one wishes to purchase the original Windsor, this would be the time!

Also note the original Windsor is also available with the polished copper baseplate.
 

alfredus

Auctioneer-in-Chief + organises many group buys
Staff member
Site Moderator
State Convenor - SA
Grand Society
Group Buy Caporegime
Charity Auction Team
Joined
Nov 14, 2014
Location
Adelaide
Great review - many thanks @nav1 (y)(y)(y)

I guess the only thing to add is, that apart from the old stock, all new razors will now be Made in China rather than the US. Only time will tell, if this is good or bad news...
 

nav1

Active Member from afar
2018 Sabbatical Fail
Joined
Aug 23, 2012
A big effort an a great review. @nav1 you’ve done a lot of work there to produce such a detailed review. Still waiting on my Windsor Pro and I pre ordered.
Thanks so much!

When I read a review, I like technical data. Same goes for when I write one :)

Did you order the SS or the AL?

I had pre-ordered and opted for DHL express so got it quite fast but it was like US$43 for shipping.

Great review - many thanks @nav1 (y)(y)(y)

I guess the only thing to add is, that apart from the old stock, all new razors will now be Made in China rather than the US. Only time will tell, if this is good or bad news...
Thank you!

Correct, the Windsor Pro is made in China but I purposefully didn't include that as it's a non-issue for me...

In terms of quality, the Windsor Pro is flawless.
The price of US$144 is pocket friendly compared to the USA made ATT. (Currently just $99 for Thanksgiving sale).

In terms of preference, I like the USA made Windsor the best because of its cap design making it very smooth on the skin.
 
Joined
Jun 28, 2017
Location
Hobart
Thank you for such a detailed review, not very often seen with such details of pics and text plus own experience. I have sometimes in the past think about ATT, but reckon ?i am sttle with the timeless, and aybe in the future try for something more... yes, "limited"

cheers
Fer
 

nav1

Active Member from afar
2018 Sabbatical Fail
Joined
Aug 23, 2012
Thank you for such a detailed review, not very often seen with such details of pics and text plus own experience. I have sometimes in the past think about ATT, but reckon ?i am sttle with the timeless, and aybe in the future try for something more... yes, "limited"

cheers
Fer
Thanks mate!

I was considering timeless but wanted to first try out the ATT.

The Windsor SSH1 has become one of my all time favorite razors! It's so balanced in terms of efficiency and comfort.

It's not a mild feeling razor but it never feels bitey or harsh and never causes any nicks because it doesn't have any blade chatter.
 

nav1

Active Member from afar
2018 Sabbatical Fail
Joined
Aug 23, 2012
@nav1 Just ordered a Windsor SSR1 Atlas with extra copper CH1 plate. The free international shipping sealed the deal.
WOW great!
Free shipping too, awesome!!

Please share your feedback once you've given it a go.

The Atlas/Windsor H has actually become my favourite razor. I can use it daily without my skin feeling raw after a few days. Most higher gap razors so cause some problem after a few days, but not the Windsor H!
 
Top