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

Nav

Messages
117
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.

ProSS1.jpg


ProAL1.jpg




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:


ProAL5.jpg


ProAL4.jpg


ProAL3.jpg


ProAL2.jpg




Windsor Pro Stainless Steel:



ProSS5.jpg


ProSS4.jpg


ProSS3.jpg


ProSS2.jpg




Windsor SSH1 Atlas:



Windsor5.jpg


Windsor4.jpg


Windsor3.jpg


Windsor2.jpg


Windsor1.jpg




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.
 
Messages
5,217
Location
Devon
I've had enough shaves with both Windsor Pro razors now to pass judgement on them.

Stainless Steel Windsor Pro SB90. The finish on this razor is excellent. I was already a big fan of the Kronos handle so it was always going to be a natural fit in my hand. I enjoyed shave with this razor. In terms of comfort, I'd describe it as a smoother version of the GC .84 with the same level of efficiency. The finish on this razor is much better though. It has a bit more blade feel than the Windsor H1 but feels more forgiving than the regular H1. It's a good two pass razor for me (WTG and XTG). I think this razor is a bargain - ~£75 delivered from the US - and I'm pleased to own it.

Aluminium Windsor Pro SB90. I expected this razor to be quite harsh but I was wrong. Slightly more blade feel than the Stainless version but still a very comfortable shave. The handle is the Calypso version. Same dimensions and weight as the Kronos but with a spiral knurl (?) rather than the diamond knurl on the Kronos. Whilst I prefer the Kronos, I do like the Calypso handle in both aluminium and steel forms. Like its steel brother, this razor is an excellent 2 pass weapon for me. Certainly one I'll be keeping in the den.

I know there's some negativity surrounding the Windsor Pro series as they're made in China but I think some further context needs to be considered with this. The final finishing is still done in the US. The US machine shops that ATT use are currently running at full capacity and still produce the Windsor series including their new offerings: X1 slant, SSMR and SSRH plates. This won't be changing.

I'm a big ATT fan and I think they've made a good move by offering these wallet friendly offerings that perform very well.
 
OP
N

Nav

Messages
117
I've had enough shaves with both Windsor Pro razors now to pass judgement on them.

Stainless Steel Windsor Pro SB90. The finish on this razor is excellent. I was already a big fan of the Kronos handle so it was always going to be a natural fit in my hand. I enjoyed shave with this razor. In terms of comfort, I'd describe it as a smoother version of the GC .84 with the same level of efficiency. The finish on this razor is much better though. It has a bit more blade feel than the Windsor H1 but feels more forgiving than the regular H1. It's a good two pass razor for me (WTG and XTG). I think this razor is a bargain - ~£75 delivered from the US - and I'm pleased to own it.

Aluminium Windsor Pro SB90. I expected this razor to be quite harsh but I was wrong. Slightly more blade feel than the Stainless version but still a very comfortable shave. The handle is the Calypso version. Same dimensions and weight as the Kronos but with a spiral knurl (?) rather than the diamond knurl on the Kronos. Whilst I prefer the Kronos, I do like the Calypso handle in both aluminium and steel forms. Like its steel brother, this razor is an excellent 2 pass weapon for me. Certainly one I'll be keeping in the den.

I know there's some negativity surrounding the Windsor Pro series as they're made in China but I think some further context needs to be considered with this. The final finishing is still done in the US. The US machine shops that ATT use are currently running at full capacity and still produce the Windsor series including their new offerings: X1 slant, SSMR and SSRH plates. This won't be changing.

I'm a big ATT fan and I think they've made a good move by offering these wallet friendly offerings that perform very well.

Thanks for sharing.
I fully agree with your experience!

I also find the Pro SS has a little less blade feel than Pro AL.
And the Windsor H to have basically no blade feel, whereas the Classic H had a lot of blade feel (due to much more blade reveal).

The whole China thing never bothered me. Half the products we have in our homes are from China/Asia so who cares if a razor is made there, especially considering ATT is not a Chinese company, but a small family owned business in the US!
 
Messages
5,217
Location
Devon
I have to admit, after reading this I would quite like to get a Windsor Pro. I like the classic look of it and very good price. Thanks for the reviews.
It's a bargain Jon and its $99 price tag qualifies for free international shipping on the ATT website. They use USPS and the link between Tenessee and Atlanta seems to be an express one. I typically receive my orders from ATT in 6-7 days.
 
Top Bottom