Just some prototype cell pics, but in about 3-4 mos. Focus will have an aluminum 3pc DE coming out (to go with their 'Dynamic' aluminum SE), "R51", with three comb options - regular flat, concave as shown here, and a slant bar.
All production's in Milan, IT, and the headcap and screw is coming from one large piece of aluminum, so the screw can't really wear away.
I'm sure it'll be quite costly, but they're real good engineers and seems there's quite a lot of ultra high end DEs mentioned on the shaving boards nowadays, I'd be surprised if it were higher than them.
got 2 prototypes today, 'flat' and 'concave', imagine an actual SKU ~March 2020, no idea $ but not the least expensive option [far as I know, nobody else has a 3pc aluminum w/o any fissures/seams/welds?]
I've just shaved w/ the 'flat' prototype with a new Tiger Platinum (CZ-produced) blade.
That is, without doubt, the strangest DE I've ever used in my lifetime. I COULD NOT feel it working, I kept having to check with hands on the just-passed zone and sink to see if it was cutting, at some point I even flipped the guard bar around, just more and more pressure beyond anything you're used to doing with regular DE. Something along what I associated with how much I'd tug a Sensor Excel down my face in my youth.
Here's what I find tremendously odd about this razor compared to a common fixed most know like Gillette Super Speed/Mühle and Jagger #89/Merkur 34; with any of those if one wants to increase the aggression to the max ignoring variance of pressure, one brings the handle closer to the skin plane as it moves along (to the limit of physical interference of the handle or so much pressure under the guard bar that the skin doesn't get touched), while conversely to maximize mildness one angles toward head cap as much as possible to the point that it prevents the blade from touching.
With this new Focus DE, in my opinion that's the opposite of what you do; instead, angle the handle as far off the skin as possible, *and* push down to allow it to become 'aggressive' (heavens to Betsy, this is sure a relative term here).
I'll believe until someone could show me something more acute that the angle of incidence of blade to skin in this head the lowest of any razor using a conventional double edge blade.
This design covers the blade corners - you cannot shave with your blade corner. I do not recall seeing this on any DE. Surely must be some prior strange one that does this, anyone know?
I tried with my stereo binocular microscope to see if the blade edge exceeds the plane created by the bar-to-head bevel...it is hard to see because of those blade end covers. I really don't think it exceeds it, which would mean essentially the razor simply requires pressure!
Nonetheless, cut hair it did do just fine...press down by intent and absolutely nothing bad happens!
The 'stack height' of the head would be the best I've ever seen for getting under the nose, if only you'd shave with the handle in a conventional position. I'll have to try and speak with the engineer (doesn't speak much English so hopefully at tradeshow a translator near), as what I wish to know is if [like their aluminum shavette razors] is one supposed to lay that little plane on the head completely down on the skin. If so, that'd make it much different than a normal DE where your null position of the handle is more or less pointing to Earth. But their 'Dynamic' model with pivoting head using 1/2 the regular DE blade is a super strange piece, too, as you must *push* toward the *top* of the head while it is moving on the skin to get its best (that's how the pivot's engaged), so perhaps that is the design here. I don't find Dynamic easy around the nose bottom, either, but I can't say I find many razors easy for that [there's a smushed down old Feather 3pc traveller that's probably the best I've seen for this].
I now have in middle age a bonafide harsh beard all 'round the mustache/goatee zone; it is noisy no matter how prep it gets, and sandy again in <12hrs easily. This is not a razor I can use in the traditional handle position + pressure to get close enough to please me with a DE (which I hold to a higher standard in that area, admittedly with a small expectation of mild irritation, in exchange for that closeness), not with this head paired with that gentle Czech blade. Perhaps with a Feather/Astra or with the forthcoming more aggressive 'twisted' guard bar model due soon, I could use it in the regular position. I had to angle the handle such that that plane was flush and go over and over the tough zones, varying the pressure, until the 'checking hand' confirmed a baby's rear closeness. It isn't a similar ergonomic experience of the same approach with the 'Dynamic' as there your handle's sort of the regular position and the change in angle's down with the pivot.
So much like Dynamic, this is a razor I cannot use quickly as another DE or a cartridge, but I can do repeated passes for a maximum level of closeness with zero irritation - which is impossible for me with other DEs or cartridges.
Tempted to take one of the 'mild' to my legs, if only that wasn't limited in feeling pleasant afterwards for all of one day.