Do you own a vintage Darwin razor, but are having trouble finding information about it? Look no further, this page is for you! To help you recognise your vintage Darwin razor, we list here the different Darwin razors that have been produced. There are very few traces of our history left. It is thanks to collectors, users and those who have kept the razors of their ancestors that we are able to preserve a rare industrial heritage today. Discover below the different razors that the Darwin brand manufactured in England between the 1920s and the Second World War.
This page will be updated as we discover them, so please let us know if you think you have any information that might be useful!
The following table was put together by our friend Tom O. whom I thank warmly for his contribution. Each column indicates a razor reference (X1, X2, and so on…) but note that these references are not official, they have been chosen by the author for more clarity. Most of the times, the more you go to the right, the more recent the model. This table only includes very similar razors (Deluxe, Standard and Adjustable models) as they are very comparable and it is easy to confuse one from the other. For other models (Bijou, Darlette, Miracol, Rolls-type…), see end of page.
Darwin X1 razor
This is the closest model to the one presented in the drawings of the patent filed in 1924, obtained in 1925. Note the lack of markings, the plain handle, the pointed cap with male screw. This is certainly one of the earliest Darwin razors ever made. The lack of markings would indicate pre-patent manufacture. The male screw descends from the cap.
Darwin X2 razor
Very similar to the previous model, this Darwin razor now has markings on the cap in capital letters. These markings indicate the patent number, the material (cobalt steel) and the origin of the razor. Darwin is already making a name for itself around the world with its unique manufacturing. The male screw still comes down from the cap.
Darwin X3 razor
On this model, the cap’s lines are softer, the grooves / flutes start to appear on the handle. The markings are still in capital letters, the studs still go downwards, but the male screw now comes out of the head, through the top of the cap, as it is at the end of the handle.
Darwin X4 razor
The zigzagged logo appears for the first time, and here the studs come out towards the top of the cap. Rare attribute : the top of the cap has a flat strip running all the way across. Another rare detail is that the logo appears on both sides of the cap, and the patent is missing.
Darwin X5 razor
Very similar to the previous model, the cap of this Darwin razor is rounded and features the patent number in addition to the zigzag logo. The end of the handle is faceted, and this will be its last appearance.
Darwin X6 razor
The only difference with the Darwin razor X5 is that the end of the handle is now rounded, like a dome.
Darwin X7 razor
The Darwin razor X7 has a downward pointing head. This is a characteristic feature of the “Standard” model which was made of stainless steel. A rare feature is that the logo is present on both sides of the head.
Darwin X8 razor
A variation of the previous razor, and perhaps the most common Darwin steel razor, this is the Darwin Standard razor, with a zigzag logo and patent on the cap, pins facing downwards and a rounded handle end.
Darwin X9 razor
The Darwin razor in its X9 version is generally called “Adjustable” because the neck of the handle is marked with fine lines that can be used as markers for the user. By screwing and unscrewing the razor, playing with the elasticity of the blade, the user can find the right tightness and therefore the setting that suits him best, and come back to it at each shave. This variant of the Darwin razor is in two pieces and not three (the comb plate is attached to the handle).
Darwin X10 razor
The Darwin razor X10 is similar at first glance to the others, but the big difference is in the inner part of the head. It has no pins, but a special longitudinal bar, which means that it can only use proprietary blades.
How can I know if my Darwin razor is made of Cobalt or regular stainless steel?
Cobalt steel is magnetic, so a simple test can be done. With the use of a good magnet, try each part of the razor. It if sticks to the magnet, that part is cobalt steel. If it doesn’t work, then it’s standard stainless steel.
With modern steels one can see the color difference in the steel (cobalt is “whiter” than stainless), but with vintage steels you can never know, so the magnet is a good test.