Le Grelot

Halifax, Republic of Yorkshire
Our man Waits is pretty light on the matter, but does have an entry for 'Grelot' which simply says, "see Le Grelot" ... which simply says ... no, it actually says, "Le Grelot Hospital - Manufacturer unidentified. France. Single edge, wedge blade. At least two variations. See also Grelot."

... and that's what we have. There's a picture of this razor in a fairly nondescript box not really showing off how absolutely beautiful this razor is.

Belonging to the same tribe as the Henckels Wotan and the Wilkinson Sword Pall Mall, this Le Grelot is a simple mechanism that secured a piece of wedge in a frame with a back-sprung clip. The engineering is so simple, it is quite genius. Compare this to the whirls and cogs, rods and levers of the Wilkinson Sword Empire or the Autostrop Valet; granted, all that wizardry was to incorporate a stropping mechanism.

What amazes me about these razors is just how good they still are after ... what? 100 years? I'm going to guess this is pre-1910. Other similar designs are.

But, what are we looking at?





Intriguing, isn't it?

This razor is a loaner. That I have to give it back some time galls me since shaving with it, I have fallen in love. This razor is everything that the Ever Ready Streamline is in terms of solidity, heft and fine casting, yet light and nimble like the 1912, but without that lightness which feels so mass-produced.

This is a truly beautiful safety razor.

Let's drop a blade into it ...


The razor came in a box with a Le Grelot blade which was alas past it, but the owner popped in a Heljestrand blade which also fits. Full, half, I dunno ... it's hollow ground and on the spine, simply, "FREDAG" ... which is Swedish for Friday, today!

... and so it would be rude not to :D


See how the back clip secures the blade from behind? It does not need much, but that spring keep it safely and soundly in place.


Up front, we can see the securing hooks, which are also sprung and will open up to accommodate a small variation in grind.


... a reasonable blade gap.


... and Saints be praised! It'll take a modern (okay, NOS here) GEM blade which is tomorrow's treat.

Tonight, I shave with the wedge ...


Digging out some of my more interesting scents, I thought a lovely shave with C&S No.88 would set off perfectly and finish with a good splash of 4711, light rose complimenting throughout.

I was right ...

This was one of my best ever shaves and that came about, I am certain, because of my admiration for the razor. What a sensational shave!

Two passes did it - with and cross. That was all. I made a final with the grain pass just to polish, but it was not in the slightest bit necessary, just nice.

In use, the Le Grelot feels like an Ever Ready Streamline. It has the heft. It also has a smoothness more akin to the 'Little Lather Catcher', the 1914, with the aggression of the Micromatic Open Comb.

This razor is aggressive! Just scroll back and look at the blade gap.

Nicks? Nah! I'm too experienced for that (he says with little more than six months of "proper" shaving). What I mean is, I've tried all manner of face scrapers and have a real knack for the single edge offerings. To me, the angle was obvious - I clicked with it first swipe and it delivered throughout.

Can I pour any more emotion into this?

I doubt it, but here's a couple of comedy negatives:

First, it's a safe wedge. This is no Rolls Razor "wedge on a stick". This is a classy razor and so, it only sets the heart racing out of love, not fear :D

Second, it is so damn efficient that the shave is over before you know it. I could get crude here, but I'll finish with ... if this was a woman, she'd be one for marriage.

I pray the lender leaves me this in his will.
Halifax, Republic of Yorkshire
Simple re-post of my SOTD entry for 27th April 2014:


Another sensational shave with the Le Grelot, tonight with a GEM blade ...

I said "sensational" ... and it certainly was not without sensation! The blade gap is practically an abyss and it was with both fear and love that my heart fluttered shaving again with this razor. Using the lightest of touch, the razor rasped away at my face, wiping off a couple of day's growth. Once again, once with and once cross was quite sufficient but I made a final with the grain pass just for fun at the end.

Phew! I survivied! No cuts, no weepers and once rinsed off and alum applied, it was quite clear I had just had one excellent shave.

This combination is massively aggressive!

I made a few familiarities with GEM razors after my first shave with this, likening the weight and heft to a Streamline, that wonderful sound and glide from the 1912 and the aggression of the Micromatic OC. This combination is way beyond the Micromatic OC. This combination is almost surgical!

Splash of Clubman for afters and we're ready for dinner ...
Top Bottom