Product no.: 363
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This is a Puma #88 SPECIAL, razor that was made in Solingen, Germany. This wide blade razor is an absolute beauty. It is in absolutely perfect Defect and blemish free, factory new, unused condition. The blade appearance is designed and made in marvelous silver wash. This razor has not been restored in any way, it has only been lightly honed to improve on the factory honing that never is quite shave ready. Otherwise it is in the exact same condition as when it came from the factory. It comes with the original factory box that is in pristine new condition. Also included is the little Puma instruction booklet that is still sealed with the pewter clasp. This razor is an old style Puma razor. This brings about some interesting conversation as thus; There has been a lot of talk among straight razor people, including the forums about the new Puma's being made and sold. The main thing razor people are asking is, are these new Puma's any good? As yet no one seems to know as they are quite new and the word on them has not seeped through the grapevine yet. Personally, all I know at this point is that I don't like the looks of them. They are quite different from the old Puma razors, they look to me like they have cheapened them, at least as far as their lackluster looks go. They may have good steel in them, but this too seems to be a question. Compared to the old razors that were hand polished on all steel surfaces to a high mirror finish, the new Pumas appear to have had the steel surfaces finished by some production process, as these surfaces have a dull finish rather than the old long time used hand finishing method. Here is a link to what the new puma razors look like. (http://www.royalshave.com/p/405-130-00/puma-straight-razor-rosewood-handle-936300.htm) The difference from the old razors is very obvious. No Puma head silver emblem on the front scale. Where the Puma logo is placed it is just a cheap stamp. This stamp can wear and/or be re-finished off quite easily if one were to restore it, and then there would be no identifying marks and then the razor, with no identifying marks would lose it's value. This is the appearance difference between old vintage razors like this razor listed here, and the new style Puma razors. This new style of manufacturing with just light printing, etc., seems to be the way many razors are coming out of Germany in the last few years, i.e., some C-Mon's, Brummels and others. Also, the sellers don't seem to be saying much if anything to answer these "who and when" questions. These new "Puma razors" are being sold as if they had never stopped making them. But, they did stop making them and started up again they have. This much is known, In 1953 Oswald Von Frankenberg and Ludwigsdorf are in charge of production management and greatly improve the Puma products. In 1967 Renate Von Frankenberg took over the management of PUMA-Werk. In 1986 Oswald Von Frankenberg and Ludwigsdorf die and leave an economically highly profitable and internationally recognized enterprise behind. In 1991 PUMA-Werk is sold to the Solinger family Hindrichs. About this time or within approximately 4 years is when the old style of Puma straight razors ended. Some time thereafter, seemingly just a few years, the new style came into production. In 1995 Harald Lauer becomes Managing director of PUMA-Werk, he brings new production methods, CNC controllers and laser technology. In 1998 Puma Werk is sold to businessman Heiner Hiepass-Aryus and the company moves to the modern industrial area, bringing about new product lines in 2003 and 2008. Now, where do the new style straight razors fit into the above time frames, probably within the last coupla few years with the new product lines from 2003 to 2008, or even more recent. The old style Puma, "which this razor in this listing is", is considered to be one of top 5 best razors, and often the 1st or 2nd best razor ever made. Their shaving qualities certainly can not be bested. This is one of the last old style Puma razors to roll out of the factory just before they stopped making "THE OLD STYLE" straight razors sometime it seems, in the early 1990's. The blade of this razor is a generous 11/16 wide, is made of carbon steel, with a hollow grind. The 3-pin celluloid scales are the old style, butterscotch colored with a lustrous surface finish, with the silver Puma emblem on the front facing scale. As with all old style Pumas, there is an identification number stamped into the celluloid just under the pivot pin. This razor is numbered 491. As you would expect this razor is in all around perfect mechanical condition in every way. This razor comes guaranteed shave ready.