Gillette is a brand of men's and women's safety razors and other
personal care products including shaving supplies, owned by the
multi-national corporation Procter & Gamble (P&G).
Based in Boston, Massachusetts, United States, it was owned by The
Gillette Company, a supplier of products under various brands until
that company merged into P&G in 2005. The
Gillette Company was
King C. Gillette
King C. Gillette in 1901 as a safety razor manufacturer.
Under the leadership of Colman M. Mockler Jr. as CEO from 1975–91,
the company was the target of three takeover attempts, from Ronald
Perelman and Coniston Partners. On October 1, 2005, Procter &
Gamble finalized its merger with the
Gillette Company's assets were incorporated into a P&G unit
known internally as "Global Gillette". In July 2007, Global Gillette
was dissolved and incorporated into Procter & Gamble's other two
main divisions, Procter & Gamble Beauty and Procter & Gamble
Household Care. Gillette's brands and products were divided between
the two accordingly. The
Gillette R&D center in Boston,
Massachusetts, and the
Boston Manufacturing Center
(known as "
World Shaving Headquarters"), still exist as
functional working locations under the Procter & Gamble-owned
Gillette brand name. Gillette's subsidiaries Braun and Oral-B,
among others, have also been retained by P&G.
In some languages, the brand has become the genericized trademark for
all razor blades, for example in Czech (žiletka), Estonian (žilett),
Latvian (žilete), Macedonian (žilét), Polish (żyletka), and
1 Product history
1.1 Double-edged safety razors
1.2 Discontinued products
1.3 Current products
3 Net worth
5 In popular culture
6 Canadian headquarters
8 Further reading
9 External links
See also: King Camp Gillette
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Double-edged safety razors
Gillette Razor and Packaging, Circa 1930's
The first safety razor using the new disposable blade went on sale in
Gillette maintained a limited range of models of this new
type razor until 1921 when the original
Gillette patent expired. In
anticipation of the event,
Gillette introduced a redesigned razor and
offered it at a variety of prices in different cases and finishes,
including the long running “aristocrat".
Gillette continued to sell
the original razor but instead of pricing it at $5, it was priced at
$1, making a
Gillette razor truly affordable to every man regardless
of economic class. In 1932 the
Gillette Blue Blade, so-named because
it was dipped in blue lacquer, was introduced. It became one of the
most recognizable blades in the world. In 1934 the "twist to open"
(TTO) design, was intuitiuted, which featured butterfly-like doors
that made blade changing much easier than it had been, wherein the
razor head had to be detached from the handle.
Razor handles continued to advance to allow consumer to achieve a
closer shave. In 1947, the new (TTO) model, the "Super Speed", was
introduced. This was updated in 1955, with different versions being
produced to shave more closely — the degree of closeness being
marked by the color of the handle tip.
In 1955, the first adjustable razor was produced. This allowed for an
adjustment of the blade to increase the closeness of the shave. The
model, in various versions, remained in production until 1988.
Gillette safety razor set, made between 1921 and 1928
The Super Speed razor was again redesigned in 1966 and given a black
resin coated metal handle. It remained in production until 1988. A
companion model the,"Knack", with a longer plastic handle, was
produced from 1966 to 1975. In Europe, the Knack was sold as "Slim
Twist" and "G2000" from 1978 to 1988, a later version known as "G1000"
was made in England and available until 1998. A modern version of the
Tech, with a plastic thin handle, is still produced and sold in
several countries under the names 7 O'clock, Gillette, Nacet, Minora,
Rubie and Economica.
Techmatic was a single blade razor introduced in the mid-1960s. It
featured a disposable cartridge with a razor band which was advanced
by means of a lever. This exposed an unused portion the band and was
the equivalent of five blades.
Adjustable Techmatic was a version of the Techmatic dating from 1970.
The adjustable version featured user-selection of shave closeness on
the cartridge. The adjustable version was interchangeable with the
non-adjustable version. Both versions of the Techmatic and their
cartridges have been discontinued.
Trac II was the world's first two-blade razor, debuting in 1971.
Gillette claimed that the second blade cut the number of strokes
required and reduced facial irritation.
Trac II Plus was an identical model but adds a lubricating strip at
the top of the blade. The blades and handles were interchangeable.
The European versions of the Trac II and Trac II Plus were known as
the GII and GII Plus respectively.
Atra (known as the Contour, Slalom, Vector in some markets) was
introduced in 1977 and was the first razor to feature a pivoting head,
Gillette claimed made it easier for men to shave their necks.
Atra Plus featured a lubricating strip, dubbed Lubra-Soft.
Good News! is a currently produced first disposable, double-blade
razor, released in 1976.
The Good News! comes in three forms: the "Original", the "Good News!
Plus", which includes a lubricating strip, and the "Good News! Pivot
Plus", which features a lubricating strip and a pivoting head.
Gillette Sensor debuted in 1990, and was the first razor to have
Gillette claimed the blades receded into the
cartridge head, when they make contact with skin, helping to prevent
cuts and allowing for a closer shave.
Gillette Blue II Razor, Circa 2007
The Sensor for Women was released around the same time and was nearly
identical, but had a wider cartridge head.
Sensor Excel was released in 1993. This featured "Microfins", a piece
of rubber with slits at the bottom of the cartridge which Gillette
claimed this helped to raise facial hairs, making for a closer shave.
Sensor 3 had three blades instead of two. All Sensor handles can use
all Sensor cartridges.
Blue II is a line of disposable razors. In Latin America, it was
marketed as the Prestobarba.
Blue 3 is a line of three-blade razors, cheaper version of Sensor 3
(Sensor compatible). It's only available also in disposable variant.
Custom Plus is a series of disposable razors
The Custom Plus comes in many varieties: the "Fixed
Disposable razor", the "Custom Plus 3 Sensitive
Disposable", and the "Custom Plus 3 Soothing Disposable".
Mach 3 - the first three-blade razor, introduced in 1998, which
Gillette claims reduces irritation and requires fewer strokes.
The Mach 3 featured five improved microfins and spring blades, a
pivoting head with greater flexibility and a blue lubrication strip
that faded with usage to encourage users to change their blades more
Mach 3 disposable - the Mach 3 with a plastic handle.
Mach 3 Turbo - this razor was released in late 2001. It had ten
microfins as opposed to the five on the original, a new grip and
claims improved lubrication and "anti-friction" blades.
All Mach 3 blades are interchangeable between the three products in
the range, so it is possible to use the Mach3 Turbo blades on a Mach3
Mach 3 Turbo Champion has a slightly different handle design.
Gillette Mach 3 Razor, Circa 2015
Mach 3 Power is a battery-powered version of the Mach3 Turbo razor
which can also be used with the power switched off. The blades differ
from Mach 3 Turbo with a new coating which
Gillette describes as
Mach 3 Sensitive was awarded a 2012 Best New Product Award after being
voted 'Best in Show' in the program's awards in Mexico.[citation
The lubrication and microfins are identical to Mach3Turbo. The Mach3
Power Nitro has a slightly different handle design.
Venus is a division of razors for women.
Venus Divine is a version of the Mach3 Turbo for women.
Venus Vibrance is a version of the M3Power for women. Venus blades are
interchangeable across the line.
Venus Embrace is a five-bladed razor with a ribbon of moisture
surrounding the blades.
Venus Breeze is a three-blade razor with shave gel bars built into the
head of the razor.
Another version of the Breeze, the Venus Spa Breeze, is essentially
the same as the Breeze, but with a white tea scent to the shave gel
Venus ProSkin Moisture Rich, launched in January 2011 in the United
States, is an updated version of the Breeze, featuring Moisture Rich
shave-gel bars that are enhanced with a triple blend of body
Gillette Fusion ProGlide Power
Gillette Fusion is a five-bladed razor released in 2006. The Fusion
has five blades on the front, and a single sixth blade on the rear for
precision trimming. Its marketing campaign was fronted by the sports
stars Roger Federer,
Thierry Henry and Tiger Woods.
Gillette Fusion Power is a motorized version of the Fusion. The Fusion
Power is battery-powered and emits "micropulses" that are claimed to
increase razor glide. 
Fusion Power Phantom - the Fusion Power Phantom (Stealth in UK) was
released in February 2007 and features a redesigned handle with a
darker color scheme than the original.
Fusion Power Phenom was released in February 2008. It has a blue and
silver color scheme.
Fusion ProGlide and Fusion ProGlide Power were launched on June 6,
2010, in North America.
The ProGlide series feature re-engineered blades with edges that are
thinner than Fusion and are finished with low-resistance coating which
the company claims allow the blades to glide more easily through
Fusion Proshield Flexball released in November 2015: the blades have
lubrication before and after the blade so that it protects the skin
Fusion Power Gamer (known as "Cool White" in some markets)
Fusion ProGlide FlexBall released in June 2014
The ProGlide FlexBall has a handle allows the razor cartridge to
Gillette claims that it means 20% fewer missed hairs, the
ability to cut hairs 23 microns shorter, and 23% increased skin
The desire to release ever more expensive products, each claiming to
be the best ever, has led
Gillette to make disputed claims for its
products. In 2005, an injunction was brought by rival Wilkinson Sword
which was granted by the Connecticut District Court which determined
that Gillette's claims were both "unsubstantiated and inaccurate" and
that the product demonstrations in Gillette's advertising were
"greatly exaggerated" and "literally false". While advertising in the
United States had to be rewritten, the court's ruling does not apply
in other countries.
Procter & Gamble (P&G) shaving products have been under
investigation by the UK
Office of Fair Trading
Office of Fair Trading as part of an inquiry
into alleged collusion between manufacturers and retailers in setting
prices. According to the
Daily Mail newspaper, an industry insider
claimed that the Fusion range of blades cost only £0.05 each to
manufacture, yet sold for up to £2.43: a mark-up price of more than
Gillette was fined by
Autorité de la concurrence in France in 2016
for price-fixing on personal hygiene products.
In 1999, Gillette, as a company, was worth US$43 billion, and it
was estimated that the brand value of
Gillette was worth
US$16 billion. This equated to 37% of the company's value, which
was the same as DaimlerChrysler, one of the world's largest car
manufacturers at the time.
Gillette Advertisement Flyer, Circa 1953
Gillette has a long history of promotions for its products, especially
towards young men. Current promotions include sponsorship of sports
events such as
Major League Baseball
Major League Baseball (since the 1940s, when it was the
only sponsor for
World Series television broadcasts) and the England
national rugby league team, along with the Rugby League Four Nations.
Gillette ships a razor to males in the
United States around the time
of their 18th birthday; as of 2010
Gillette has been sending the
Fusion ProGlide. Athletes such as Roger Federer, Tiger Woods, Shoaib
Malik, Derek Jeter, Thierry Henry, Kenan Sofuoglu, Park Ji-Sung, Rahul
Dravid, and Michael Clarke are sponsored by the company.
There were calls to boycott
Gillette products given their association
with Thierry Henry, after a handball by Henry went undetected by
referees and allowed France to knock Ireland out of qualifying for the
World Cup. Marketing experts have highlighted "the curse of
Gillette", given the mishaps that happen to sports stars associated
with the brand.
In popular culture
Saturday Night Live
Saturday Night Live featured a triple-blade razor in 1975, 23 years
before the Mach3, with the slogan "The Triple-Trac. Because you'll
believe anything". Not to be outdone, satirical newspaper The Onion
printed a mock-commentary by Gillette's president after
Wilkinson/Schick introduced their Quattro razor in 2004, three years
before the Fusion was introduced, entitled Fuck Everything, We're
Doing Five Blades.
Mad TV also featured a parody poking fun at Gillette's Mach3 line of
Mad TV called the product the "Spishak Mach 20".
Gillette continues to hold the naming rights to
which is home to the NFL five-time
Super Bowl champions New England
Patriots and the MLS New England Revolution.
Eh Joe (1965), an avant-garde screenplay for television penned by the
minimalist writer Samuel Beckett, references
Gillette razors several
times in its script.
James Bond film Goldfinger features a
Gillette Slim 195 Adjustable
twist to open (TTO) razor which contains the homing device Bond used
while aboard the title character's private jet.
British comedian Michael McIntyre made jokes parodying the brand's
adverts during his Mock The Week appearance, saying: "Our closest
shave yet. In fact, it's too close. It acts like a bacon slicer. Go
back to using the previous one."
In laser research and development, a "Gillette" is a non-standard
measurement used as a rough estimate of a particular device's
penetrative ability; a "four-
Gillette laser", for example, can burn
Gillette safety razor blades.
Until the late 1980s,
Gillette Canada's headquarters were in the
Montreal suburb of
Mont-Royal, Quebec until they moved west to another
Montreal suburb in Kirkland. The Kirkland offices were closed in 1999
Gillette Canada moved to Mississauga, Ontario, a
Gillette acquisition of Duracell. The Mississauga
offices were closed in 2005-06 after Procter & Gamble acquired
Gillette, and Gillette's Canadian headquarters are located in downtown
Toronto with parent Procter & Gamble on Yonge St.
^ SRINIVASAN, R. CASE STUDIES IN MARKETING: THE INDIAN CONTEXT. PHI
Learning Pvt. Ltd. ISBN 9788120349964.
^ Gillette, K.C., The
Gillette Blade February 1918, vol 1, No. 4, page
^ Gale Directory of Company Histories: The
answers.com; accessed August 22, 2014.
^ a b
Gillette website, gillette.com; accessed August 22, 2014.
Gillette Adjustable Double Edge Razors".
GilletteAdjustable.com. Retrieved 12 March 2017.
Gillette Venus: Venus Spa Breeze 2-in-1 Razor" Archived 2011-07-11
at the Wayback Machine., gillettevenus.com; accessed August 22, 2014.
Gillette Venus: ProSkin MoistureRich Razor" Archived 2011-03-06 at
the Wayback Machine., gillettevenus.com; accessed August 22, 2014.
Gillette - Men's Razors & Shaving Products".
Gillette Unveils Newest Members of Its
Gillette Young Guns Lineup"
(Press release). Gillette. February 11, 2008. Archived from the
original on September 7, 2012. Retrieved February 15, 2008.
Gillette Fusion ProGlide Shaving Razor for Men, Official website;
accessed August 22, 2014.
^ "Truth in advertising", Gizmag; accessed August 22, 2014.
^ "Sharp practice? The razor heads that cost just 5p to make, but sell
for £2.43 each", Daily Mail, June 8, 2009
^ "Huge price-fixing fine is upheld". The Connexion. 28 October 2016.
Archived from the original on 9 February 2017.
^ Jane Pavitt.
Brand New, September 2000. ISBN 0-691-07061-X.
^ Variant. "
Gillette Endorsements - Athletes Who Are Endorsed by
Gillette". www.athletepromotions.com. Retrieved 2016-08-04.
^ "Henry, Woods, Federer: The curse of Gillette". The Independent.
London, UK. November 29, 2009. Retrieved May 3, 2010.
^ James M. Kilts (2004-02-18). "Fuck Everything, We're Doing Five
Blades". The Onion.
^ Rachel Zurer (December 27, 2011). "Three Smart Things About Lasers".
Wired. Retrieved May 21, 2015.
"King C. Gillette, The Man and His Wonderful Shaving Device" by
Russell Adams (1978), published by Little Brown & Co. of Boston,
McKibben, Gordon (1998). Cutting Edge: Gillette's Journey to Global
Leadership. Harvard Business School Press.
Gillette Company History (thefundinguniverse.com)
Media related to
Gillette at Wikimedia Commons
Gillette Adjustable Double Edge Razors: A Reference website
Procter & Gamble
Norman R. Augustine
Lynn Morley Martin
William Cooper Procter
John F. Smith Jr.
Bonux 3 in 1
Head & Shoulders
Nice 'n Easy
Arbora & Ausonia Joint Venture
Procter & Gamble Co. v. OHIM
Procter & Gamble Philippines