Tuesday, May 2, 2017

1965 Gillette Travel Tech

Classic Shave

The '65 Tech offers the same shave character as essentially all post-world-war-II Techs. It's a mild-to-moderate shaver (depending on one's evaluation criteria) that is prized by many.

The Travel Handle

The handle that comes as part of the Travel Tech kit is short -- obviously to save space -- but it offers significant mass (20 g) for its size. The travel handle is made of durable, care-free stainless steel, and it's grippy having nice knurling and a classic ball-end design. I, personally, used the travel handle on several razor heads, and found that it offers a nice and unique shaving experience.

However, because the razor is a three-piece design, it accepts standard handles. This allows the Travel Tech to be used just like any other every-day razor by simply substituting another, non-travel handle.

The Baseplate and Top Cap

With the contours of its post-WWII siblings, the baseplate of the '65 Travel Tech is very similar to that of the c.'48 Techs. The only difference is that Gillette developed the four-tab method of centering the blade in the razor head, and eliminated the centering flange that ran along the long-dimension center line of the underside of the top cap.

The 1960s evolution of the Tech included a different top cap contour with an embossed Gillette logo. While the baseplate continued to be made from a thick metal, which is thick enough to make me question whether it was stamped or cast, but is very similar in appearance to earlier Techs, the top-cap design is an updated departure and is likely made out of a zinc alloy rather than the traditional brass. Zinc alloys are known for their ability to yield high-quality castings, and as long as they retain their protective plating, are durable and long lasting.

The centering tabs are on the underside of the top cap at the corners, and fit into corresponding notches in the baseplate. The method is as secure and reliable as the center-flange design of earlier Techs, and I only assume that Gillette evolved to this design for one or more of the following reasons:

  • The zinc alloy of the top cap allows better casting, thus allowing the tabs to be cleanly and precisely located.
  • The manufacturing process of the top cap may have been made more efficient with the design and material evolution.
  • The cost of production may have been reduced with the design and material changes.

Razor-Head Plating

The plating on the baseplate and top cap has a silvery finish that I would describe as semi-gloss -- something in between satin and mirror finish. It's not clear whether it's chrome or nickel. The coloring of the plating has a more silvery shade than the slightly-yellowish nickel plating on my Gillette Slim, but is more yellowish than the mirror-finish chrome on modern razor heads. This tweener shading of the plating on the Travel Tech razor head makes it difficult to state with confidence exactly what is its composition.

On the specimen that I own, however, this unspecified razor-head plating is in excellent condition and doesn't at all suggest that this is a 50-year-plus-old razor.

The Travel Case

A charming feature of the Travel Tech is its gold-and-white-vinyl travel case. With separate, internal white-vinyl stirrups to hold the top cap, handle, and vintage blade, the entire unit zips up using a classic, vintage brass-toothed zipper to make a compact travel package. My version of this travel case is in flawless condition, with the only feature belying its age is that the case may have stiffened with age, so I have been gentle with it when I opened it wide enough to extract or insert its razor components.

Razor Garage Sale Continues w/ New Additions & ** Price Reductions ** !!!

I'm continuing to reduce my inventory of razors, seeking a win-win solution. I win because I simplify my shaving gear, and you win because you get a good razor at a reduced cost.

Many have already taken advantage of the offerings. Don't wait or you may miss a good bargain.

Keep in mind that there is about $4 of packaging and mailing costs embedded in the prices of my DE garage-sale razors (the straight is a little less expensive to mail because it's flatter), and there really isn't a lemon in the bunch.

Happy shaving!

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