Well, if you appreciate good design and are passionate about not frittering away the Earth's natural resources then this is something for you - yes, it's a clockwork razor in the style of an electric razor, BUT, instead of plugging in to consume fossil fuels, you turn the big chrome handle on the rear to wind the mechanism and a butter smooth speed-governed clockwork mechanism powers your shave.
This truly is a beautiful thing and comes supplied in original box complete with case, cleaning brush and instruction manual. The sensuous organic shape of the uurea formaldehyde polymer casing fits neatly into the hand and feels beautifully balanced. Honestly, this thing is such a paragon of exquisite design that I am surprised that it isn't exhibited in the MMA, or the Design Museum.
This razor works on the same principle as the rotating blade electric shavers but is instead powered by clockwork, ideal when you are miles from anywhere. We have cranked this up and found that the cutting head works find though would struggle to give an effective shave with anything other than an overnight growth of beard. I suspect this razor will be bought by someone seduced by it's aesthetic and engineering excellence for an occasional rather than a regular shave though.
Who made it, I hear you ask, well, Thorens, a German company, in the Black Forest who started off in 1883, making cuckoo clocks before branching put to make horn gramophones, cigarette lighters amongst other things with the Thorens Riviera shaver coming along between 1953 - 1961. HiFi affectionados will revere the Thorens name for their hifi turntable offerings and below, I present a little chronological homily on what Thorens has been up to for the past 130 or so years.....!: -
1883 - business established by Hermann Thorens; first registered in Sainte-Croix (Ste-Croix), Switzerland to make musical boxes and clock movements
1903 - start making Edison-type phonographs;
1906 - begins manufacture of horn-gramophones for shellac records;
1913-1964 - make cigarette lighters;
1914-1920, 1939-1952 - make harmonicas;
1927 - becomes a joint-stock company Thorens AG
1928 - develops first direct drive electric motor for gramophones.
1929 - develops first electric phono pick-up (magnet principle).
1933 - manufactures wireless appliances in cooperation with Strassfurt-Imperial Company of Germany.
1940-1950 - produces professional disc-cutting lathes and phono pick-up cartridges
1943 - produces first record changer.
1954-1960 - produce mechanical razor 'Thorens Riviera'
1957 - introduction of TD124 Hi-Fi record player
1963-1966 - Thorens merges with Paillard SA, St.-Croix, Switzerland.
1966 - Thorens-Franz AG take over business of Thorens record players and together with EMT Wilhelm Franz of Germany, establish research, development and manufacturing business in Lahr, Germany
1983 - company reorganised and divided into three independent companies: Thorens-Cabasse Vertriebs GmbH, (sales distribution in Germany), Thorens Produktions GmbH and ,(R&D and manufacturing in Lahr) and EMT-Franz GmbH (R&D of professional studio equipment)
2002 - restructuring of ownership and shareholders; new management re-launches the Thorens brand; Thorens Export Corporation Ltd. Kaiseraugst, Switzerland